The Blonde Bookworm: BookSparks Spring Reading Challenge

BookSparks Spring Reading Challenge

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

I had the wonderful opportunity to read some of the Spring reads for BookSparks, and I can't even begin to tell you how much fun I had doing it! The BookSparks crew is quick to spoil me and they sent over some great treats and some even better reads! Below I will do a quick recap on the books in the Spring Challenge as well as a mini review! 


Title: The Saturday Evening Girls Club 
Author: Jane Healey
Synopsis: For four young immigrant women living in Boston’s North End in the early 1900s, escaping tradition doesn’t come easy. But at least they have one another and the Saturday Evening Girls Club, a social pottery-making group offering respite from their hectic home lives—and hope for a better future.

Ambitious Caprice dreams of opening her own hat shop, which clashes with the expectations of her Sicilian-born parents. Brilliant Ada secretly takes college classes despite the disapproval of her Russian Jewish father. Stunning Maria could marry anyone yet guards her heart to avoid the fate of her Italian Catholic mother, broken down by an alcoholic husband. And shy Thea is torn between asserting herself and embracing an antiquated Jewish tradition.

The friends face family clashes and romantic entanglements, career struggles and cultural prejudice. But through their unfailing bond, forged through their weekly gathering, they’ll draw strength—and the courage to transform their immigrant stories into the American lives of their dreams.

Mini Review: A charming story about a group of women who gather together to escape the real world and the restraints it places on them. I loved the characters and writing style! A must read for lovers of historical fiction. 


Title: A Ring of Truth 
Author: Michelle Cox 
Synopsis: Newly engaged, Clive and Henrietta now begin the difficult task of meeting each other's family. Difficult because Clive has neglected to tell Henrietta that he is in fact the heir to the Howard estate and fortune, and Henrietta has just discovered that her mother has been hiding secrets about her past as well. When Clive brings Henrietta to the family estate to meet his parents, they are less than enthused about his impoverished intended. Left alone in this extravagant new world when Clive returns to the city, Henrietta finds herself more at home with the servants than his family, much to the disapproval of Mrs. Howard and soon gets caught up in the disappearance of an elderly servant's ring, not realizing that in doing so she has become part of a bigger, darker plot. As Clive and Henrietta attempt to discover the truth in the two very different worlds unraveling around them, they both begin to wonder: Are they meant for each other after all?

Mini Review: A romance novel with a touch of mystery! I loved this novel and enjoyed the change in pace from the first novel in the series. The "rich boy, poor girl" storyline was quite enjoyable and I look forward to the third book. 


Title: The Absence of Evelyn 
Author: Jackie Townsend 
Synopsis: Newly divorced Rhonda, haunted by her sister Evelyn's ghost, travels to an old palazzo in Rome to confront Marco, the man who stole her sister's heart--only to find out he's vanished in the wake of Evelyn's death. Meanwhile, Rhonda's nineteen-year-old daughter Olivia, adopted by Rhonda at birth, travels to the mysterious and lush waters of northern Vietnam, where she's been summoned by the missing Marco--a man she only knows from her parents' whispers, a man she has never met or seen. Soon, truths are exposed and lives unraveled, and the real journey begins. Four lives in all, spanning three continents, are now bound together in an unfathomable way--and they tell a powerful story about love in all its incarnations, filial and amorous, healing and destructive.

Mini Review: Travel, dramatic relationships, and mysterious men... That should hook you right away. This was an interesting book that held my attention throughout! 


Title: Jumping Over Shadows
Author: Annette Gendler 
Synopsis: History was repeating itself when Annette Gendler fell in love with a Jewish man in Germany in 1985. Her Great-Aunt Resi had been married to a Jew in Czechoslovakia before World War II--a marriage that, while happy, created tremendous difficulties for the extended family once the Nazis took over their hometown in 1938, and ultimately did not survive the pressures of the time. Annette and Harry's love, meanwhile, was the ultimate nightmare for Harry's family of Holocaust survivors. 

Weighed down by the burdens of their family histories, Annette and Harry kept their relationship secret for three years, until they could forge a path into the future and create a new life in Chicago. As time went on, however, Annette found a spiritual home in Judaism--a choice that paved the way toward acceptance by Harry's family, and redemption for some of the wounds of her own family's past.

Mini Review: A captivating read about love, history, and religion. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and all loved reading about Gendler's history. 


Do YOU want to be a part of the BookSparks Summer Reading Challenge? Join me by clicking HERE and sign up to read! 


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