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Friday, July 31, 2015

Behind the Scenes: Insurgent

I missed seeing Insurgent in the movie theaters due to being on bed rest with my girls! I am so excited for it to  come out on Blu Ray/ DVD! Check out the bottom of my post for access to an exclusive clip featuring a behind the scenes look at the movie!

Press Release:

Golden Globe® Nominee Shailene Woodley Delivers An Explosive Performance In The Electrifying Sequel Arriving
On Digital HD July 21st

Available on 3D Blu-RayCombo Pack, Blu-Ray, DVD And
On Demand August 4

SANTA MONICA, CA (May 19, 2015) – Shailene Woodley (The Fault in Our Stars, The Descendants) and Theo James (Underworld: Awakening) pack a powerful one-two punch in the blockbuster action-adventure, The Divergent Series: Insurgent, arriving on Digital HD July 21 and on 3-D Blu-ray™ Combo Pack (plus Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD), Blu-ray (plus Digital HD), DVD (plus Digital) and On Demand August 4 from Lionsgate’s (NYSE: LGF) Summit Entertainment label.

Based on Veronica Roth’s #1 New York Times best-selling novel Insurgent, The Divergent Series: Insurgent raises the stakes for Tris (Woodley) as she searches for answers and allies in this star-powered, action-packed second installment of the Divergent series. On the run and targeted by ruthless faction leader Jeanine (Kate Winslet), Tris fights to protect the people she loves, facing one impossible challenge after another as she and Four (James) race to unlock the truth about the past—and ultimately the future—of their world.

Joining Woodley and James, The Divergent Series: Insurgent features a superb ensemble cast including Academy Award® winner Octavia Spencer (Best Supporting Actress, The Help, 2011), Jai Courtney (upcoming Terminator: Genesis, A Good Day to Die Hard), Ray Stevenson (Thor), Zoё Kravitz (Mad Max: Fury Road), Miles Teller (The Fantastic Four, Whiplash), Ansel Elgort (The Fault in Our Stars, Carrie), Maggie Q (TV’s “Nikita,” “Stalker”), Mekhi Phifer (Showtime’s “House of Lies”), Daniel Dae Kim (TV’s “Hawaii Five-O,” “Lost”) and Ashley Judd (Double Jeopardy), with Naomi Watts (Summit Entertainment’s The Impossible, King Kong) and Academy Award® winner Kate Winslet (Best Actress, The Reader, 2008; Titanic). The film is directed by cinematic mastermind Robert Schwentke (RED) and written for the screen by Brian Duffield and Akiva Goldsman and Mark Bomback.  The first two Divergent films have grossed more than $550 million at the worldwide box office.

The 3-D Blu-ray Combo Pack, Blu-ray (both featuring distinctive lenticular covers) and Digital HD release are packed with over four hours of entertaining bonus material including “Insurgent Unlocked: The Ultimate Behind-the-Scenes Access” documentary (a feature-length, in-depth look at all aspects of the movie – for the ultimate fan), audio commentary with producers and five exclusive featurettes: “Diverging: Adapting Insurgent to the Screen,” “From Divergent to Insurgent,” “The Others: Cast and Characters,” “The Train Fight Unlocked”  and “The Peter Hayes Story.”

The 3D Blu-ray Combo Pack and Blu-ray are encoded in Dolby TrueHD and feature a Dolby Atmos® soundtrack, which delivers captivating sound that places and moves audio anywhere in the room, including overhead, to bring entertainment alive all around the audience. The Divergent Series: Insurgent 3-D Blu-ray Combo Pack, Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD will be available for the suggested retail price of $39.99, $35.99 and $29.95, respectively.

DIGITAL HD/3-D BLU-RAY COMBO PACK/BLU-RAY SPECIAL FEATURES*
  • Audio Commentary with Producers Doug Wick and Lucy Fisher
  • Insurgent Unlocked: The Ultimate Behind-the-Scenes Access” Feature-Length Documentary
  • “Diverging: Adapting Insurgent to the Screen” Featurette
  • “From Divergent to Insurgent” Featurette
  • “The Others: Cast and Characters” Featurette
  • “The Train Fight Unlocked” Featurette
  • “The Peter Hayes Story” Featurette
  • Marketing Gallery
*Subject to change

DVD SPECIAL FEATURES*
  • Audio Commentary with Producers Doug Wick and Lucy Fisher
  • “From Divergent to Insurgent” Featurette
  • Marketing Gallery
*Subject to change

*** For the trailer, clips and artwork please visit www.lionsgatepublicity.com ***

Official Site/Tumblr: http://bit.ly/1JkQqyU

PROGRAM INFORMATION
Year of Production:         2015
Title Copyright:     The Divergent Series: Insurgent © 2015, Artwork & Supplementary Materials& © 2015 Summit Entertainment, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Type:                Theatrical Release
Rating:     PG-13 for Intense Violence and Action Throughout, Some Sensuality, Thematic Elements and Brief Language
Genre:                Action/Adventure
Closed Captioned:        English SDH
Subtitles:                English and Spanish
Feature Run Time:         119 minutes
3D Blu-ray Format:         3D 1080P High Definition 16x9 Widescreen (2.40:1)
Blu-ray Format:        1080P High Definition 16x9 Widescreen (2.40:1)
DVD Format:            16x9 Widescreen (2.40:1)
3D Blu-ray/Blu-ray Audio:     English Dolby TrueHD Atmos Mix, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, English 2.0 Dolby Digital Audio Optimized for Late Night Listening, English Descriptive Audio
DVD Audio:            English and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, English Descriptive Audio

ABOUT LIONSGATE
Lionsgate is a premier next generation global content leader with a strong and diversified presence in motion picture production and distribution, television programming and syndication, home entertainment, digital distribution, channel platforms, video games and international distribution and sales. The Company currently has more than 30 television shows on over 20 different networks spanning its primetime production, distribution and syndication businesses, including such critically-acclaimed hits as the multiple Emmy Award-winning Mad Men, the broadcast network series Nashville, the syndication success The Wendy Williams Show, the critically-acclaimed hit series Orange is the New Black and the breakout series The Royals.
Its feature film business has been fueled by such recent successes as the blockbuster first three installments of The Hunger Games franchise, the first two installments of the Divergent franchise, Age of Adaline, John Wick, Now You See Me, CBS Films/Lionsgate’s The DUFF, Roadside Attractions' A Most Wanted Man, Lionsgate/Codeblack Films' Addicted and Pantelion Films' Instructions Not Included, the highest-grossing Spanish-language film ever released in the U.S.
Lionsgate's home entertainment business is an industry leader in box office-to-DVD and box office-to-VOD revenue conversion rates. Lionsgate handles a prestigious and prolific library of approximately 16,000 motion picture and television titles that is an important source of recurring revenue and serves as the foundation for the growth of the Company's core businesses. The Lionsgate and Summit brands remain synonymous with original, daring, quality entertainment in markets around the world. www.lionsgate.com

For artwork and additional information on this release, please e-mail Marcela Kosonoy at insurgentbd@thinkjam.com

Want a look behind the scenes?:


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Review: Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal

Title: Kitchens of the Great Midwest
Author: J. Ryan Stradal
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books
Publish Date: July 28, 2015 (Today!)
Source: I received a copy from the publisher; however, this did not affect my review.






What's the Story?:

From Goodreads.com: "Kitchens of the Great Midwest, about a young woman with a once-in-a-generation palate who becomes the iconic chef behind the country’s most coveted dinner reservation, is the summer’s most hotly-anticipated debut.

When Lars Thorvald’s wife, Cynthia, falls in love with wine—and a dashing sommelier—he’s left to raise their baby, Eva, on his own. He’s determined to pass on his love of food to his daughter—starting with puréed pork shoulder. As Eva grows, she finds her solace and salvation in the flavors of her native Minnesota. From Scandinavian lutefisk to hydroponic chocolate habaneros, each ingredient represents one part of Eva’s journey as she becomes the star chef behind a legendary and secretive pop-up supper club, culminating in an opulent and emotional feast that’s a testament to her spirit and resilience."


My Two Cents:

"Kitchens of the Great Midwest" is a book that has been getting a lot of buzz the summer. I was excited to read it but I always have a little bit of trepidation when it comes to books that are getting tons and tons of accolades before they even come out and seemingly come from nowhere. Is it real buzz or is it just a hot whiff of marketing air? In the case of this book, the accolades are definitely earned. I didn't quite know what to expect when I opened this book but I got a great reading experience with the story that engaged me from the very beginning. Each chapter tells the story of a recipe and an inter-related character.

It's sort of hard to describe what's going on in this book because there is so much and it covers such a wide swath of years. This is not to say that the book is disjointed at all! Most of this story focuses on Eva, a girl who is never felt like she is fit in with her family and Iowa. As a teenager she figures out that she has an incredibly palate and believes that she is destined to become a great chef. This book is filled with family, family secrets, and great food. There are recipes sprinkled throughout the book that go along with the things that are being discussed in the book.

It's really a treat to be so engaged by a story. This story is very original. I really like that the way that the author is able to make the characters, even the secondary characters feel so fullly realized and so 3-D. To me, a mark of a good book is when you like the characters so much that you want to know more about them not because the author hasn't given enough detail but because you don't want the book to end and to have to step away from the characters! I know that these characters and the storyline are going to stick  with me for a very long time.


 

Monday, July 27, 2015

Truth or Dare Blog Tour: The S Word by Paolina Milana

Title: The S Word
Author: Paolina Milana
Format: Ebook
Publisher: She Writes Press
Publish Date: May 5, 2015
Source: I received a copy from the publisher; however, this did not affect my review.






What's the Story?:

From Goodreads.com: "In accordance with her Sicilian Catholic family’s unspoken code, Paolina Milana learned at an early age to keep her secrets locked away where no one could find them. Nobody outside the family needed to know about the voices her Mamma battled in her head; or about how Paolina forged her birth certificate at thirteen so she could get a job at The Donut Shop; or about the police officer twenty-six years her senior whose promise to her Papà to “keep an eye on her” quickly translated into something sinister. And perhaps that’s why no one saw it coming when—on the eve of her sweet sixteen, pushed to edge—Paolina attempted to take her own mother’s life."


My Two Cents:

"The S Word" is a memoir covers the mostly teenage years of Paolina, the daughter of Italian immigrants who is facing a lot of difficulties. Her mother is schizophrenic but due to her not wanting medical attention and her father not being able to navigate the American medical system, she never really gets help. She threatens her family, including Paolina and none of the children nor her husband know what to do about it. Aside from the difficulties with her mother, Paolina is also facing difficulties at work. After laying her way to a job at a donut shop she comes into contact with a 40 something year old police officer, Gunner, who is anything but kind and takes advantage of her. This is a powerful memoir that is often difficult to read because of the subject matter but hard to put down.

I love memoirs when they cover extraordinary circumstances. Paolina definitely for better or for worse has an extraordinarily difficult time during her teenage years. She gives an unflinching account as to what it's like growing up in a household where your parent's mental stability is in question and nobody seems to know what to do about it. The tribulations that she faces by herself are incredibly difficult and she doesn't always deal with them in the most healthy way because she doesn't really have a great support system. Her father tries that he has his hands full with Palena's mother.

I really enjoyed this book because it is so raw and unflinching. I liked how the author gave us a first row seat to some really difficult subjects. Overall, I think this book would appeal to anyone who enjoys memoirs but doesn't mind really tough stuff.


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Review and Giveaway: Movie Star by Lizzie Pepper by Hilary Liftin

Title: Movie Star by Lizzie Pepper
Author: Hilary Liftin
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Viking
Publish Date: July 21, 2015 (Today!)
Source: I received a copy from the publisher; however, this did not affect my review.



What's the Story?:

From Goodreads.com: "Actress Lizzie Pepper was America’s Girl Next Door and her marriage to Hollywood mega-star Rob Mars was tabloid gold—a whirlwind romance and an elaborate celebrity-studded wedding landed them on the cover of every celebrity weekly. But fame, beauty, and wealth weren’t enough to keep their marriage together. Hollywood’s “It” couple are over—and now Lizzie is going to tell her side of the story.

Celebrity ghostwriter Hilary Liftin chronicles the tabloids’ favorite marriage as Lizzie Pepper realizes that, when the curtain falls, her romance isn’t what she and everyone else thought. From her lonely holidays in sumptuous villas to her husband’s deep commitment to a disconcertingly repressive mind-body group, Lizzie reveals a side of fame that her fans never get to see. Full of twists and turns, Movie Star by Lizzie Pepper is a breathless journey to the heights of Hollywood power and royalty and a life in the spotlight that is nearly impossible to escape."


My Two Cents:

"Movie star by Lizzie Pepper" by Hilary Liftin is a faux celebrity memoir that has flavors of so many of those celebrity couples whose faces and combined names (TomKat, Brangelina, etc.) grace the likes of People and US Weekly. I've definitely been fascinated by that world and so I was looking forward to reading this book. It's fascinating to me that the author decided to write a faux celebrity memoir but what makes it even more interesting is that the author partially started her writing career as a ghostwriter for celebrity memoirs so she knows where she's going. As she put it, Lizzie Pepper would be her dream client!

Lizzie Pepper is a middle-of-the-road actress until she meets Rob Mars, one of the most eligible bachelors in Hollywood. Lizzie falls for Rob quickly and thinks that what they have is real but she slowly starts to realize that their fairytale is anything but a fairytale and all the things she loved about their relationship have a really cheap veneer. The book is written from Lizzy's perspective which I really liked because it allowed me to get into her head and to understand what she was going through.

This book is for those who are intrigued by the world of celebrity like I am. I love reading serious books but you can also find me scanning the tabloids in the grocery store checkout line. I loved the Hollywood insider flavor of this novel. The cool thing about this book is that because it is a faux celebrity memoir, we get closer to the elusive Hollywood world more than any other real celebrity memoir would allow us to get. Overall, this is a fun read that engaged me from the very beginning.




Giveaway:

This book is already exciting a lot of people! Thanks to the publisher, I am giving away a prize pack to one lucky winner (U.S. only!). Included in the giveaway is a copy of the book, a pair of branded sunglasses with a Lizzie Pepper hangtag, and popcorn all packaged in a gold envelope.





Just fill out the Rafflecopter form below!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, July 20, 2015

Truth or Dare Blog Tour: Fire Season by Hollye Dexter

Title: Fire Season
Author: Hollye Dexter
Format: Ebook
Publisher: She Writes Press
Publish Date: April 14, 2015
Source: I received a copy as a part of BookSparks' Truth or Dare Blog Tour; however, this did not affect my review.






What's the Story?:

From Goodreads.com: "Hollye Dexter and her husband Troy woke one night to find their house ablaze. To escape the fire, they had to jump from their second-story window with their toddler son—and then watch their house and home-based businesses burn to the ground. Over the next two years, the family went bankrupt, lost their cars and another home, and got dropped by their best friends. As the outer layers of her life were stripped away, Dexter began to unravel emotionally; but then she found herself on the brink of losing her marriage, and she realized that if she was going to save her family, she would have to pull herself back together somehow.

As she fought to reassemble the pieces of the life she’d had, Dexter discovered that a shattered heart has the ability to regenerate in a mighty way; that even in the midst of disaster, you can find your place; and that when everything you identify with is gone, you are free to discover who you really are. Poignant and inspiring, Fire Season is a story for anyone who has ever lost hope—and found it again."


My Two Cents:

 After Hollye Dexter and her family wake up to discover their houses on fire, all of their belongings are destroyed and they feel like they're losing all hope. This book is about the family trying to find hope again and trying to get back on their feet after it seems like their life has totally been destroyed. This is a memoir that is about family and about what it means to lose hope and to, more importantly, regain it.

The Dexter family not only loses their house in a fire but their social circle is shaken as the friends that they thought would be there and the family that they thought cared for them weren't necessarily there. This book meanders from event to event after the fire that takes their house to show how the family copes and how they try to rebuild their life. The part that really hit home for me is how the Dexter's family and friends acted after they lose their house. I've always heard that it's the most difficult circumstances that show you who your true friends are. It's those life changes where friends or family either rally together or fall away. It shows you who's going to be with you when the going gets tough and who is simply a fair weather friend.

Like I said this book meanders quite a bit and it covers a lot of ground, not just the fallout from the fire. I did find myself wishing that the book covered a little bit less and was a little bit tighter because they've meandering takes away from the story actually and makes some of the events feel unrelated to each other.

The writing is very honest and because the narrative meanders so much, the book almost feels like stream of consciousness. You really feel like you are getting into the authors head and we are getting a front row for everything that she and her family go through. Overall, this book is for those two cars that give you a front row seat to be unimaginable.



Sunday, July 19, 2015

Giveaway Winners!

Hello! I have one giveaway winner to announce today!






Ana of California/ Anne of Green Gables Giveaway:
Sandra K.

Thanks for entering and keep an eye out for more giveaways soon!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Review: A Passion for Paris: Romanticism and Romance in the City of Light by David Downie

Title: A Passion for Paris: Romanticism and Romance in the City of Light
Author: David Downie
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publish Date: April 28, 2015
Source: I received a copy from the publisher; however, this did not affect my review.






What's the Story?:

From Goodreads.com: "Abounding in secluded, atmospheric parks, artists’ studios, cafes, restaurants and streets little changed since the 1800s, Paris exudes romance. The art and architecture, the cityscape, riverbanks, and the unparalleled quality of daily life are part of the equation.

But the city’s allure derives equally from hidden sources: querulous inhabitants, a bizarre culture of heroic negativity, and a rich historical past supplying enigmas, pleasures and challenges. Rarely do visitors suspect the glamor and chic and the carefree atmosphere of the City of Light grew from and still feed off the dark fountainheads of riot, rebellion, mayhem and melancholy—and the subversive literature, art and music of the Romantic Age.

Weaving together his own with the lives and loves of Victor Hugo, Georges Sand, Charles Baudelaire, Balzac, Nadar and other great Romantics Downie delights in the city’s secular romantic pilgrimage sites asking , Why Paris, not Venice or Rome—the tap root of "romance"—or Berlin, Vienna and London—where the earliest Romantics built castles-in-the-air and sang odes to nightingales? Read A Passion for Paris: Romanticism and Romance in the City of Light and find out."


My Two Cents:

Part love letter to Paris and part literary romp through that city, A Passion for Paris" takes a look at the history of the Romantic movement and its inextricable link to the city of Paris. With all of the big names of the Romantic movement working and playing in Paris, it works well to talk about both the city and the movement together! The author is very knowledgeable on the Romantic movement and makes it very exciting for the reader to follow him through that city on the trail of some of the biggest names in the Romantic movement.

Paris is someplace I've always dreamed of going and one thing that I really like this book is that the author gave great insight into what the city was like during the Romantic period and why it drew so many big names of the movement to its streets and parks. The author's passion for the topic certainly shines through and it rubbed off on me as the reader! I love just about any book on traveling and what makes this book unique is that it takes you on a trip to Paris through a very specific lens. You can see what the big authors of the Romantic movement or seeing and what they were doing. It's very cool!

I would recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in Paris or getting a behind the scenes look at the Romantic movement. Overall, I really enjoyed this book.


 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Review: About a Girl by Sarah McCarry

Title: About a Girl
Author: Sarah McCarry
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publish Date: July 14, 2015
Source: I received a copy from the publisher; however, this did not affect my review.






What's the Story?:

From Goodreads.com: "Eighteen-year-old Tally is absolutely sure of everything: her genius, the love of her adoptive family, the loyalty of her best friend, Shane, and her future career as a Nobel prize-winning astronomer. There's no room in her tidy world for heartbreak or uncertainty—or the charismatic, troubled mother who abandoned her soon after she was born. But when a sudden discovery upends her fiercely ordered world, Tally sets out on an unexpected quest to seek out the reclusive musician who may hold the key to her past—and instead finds Maddy, an enigmatic and beautiful girl who will unlock the door to her future. The deeper she falls in love with Maddy, the more Tally begins to realize that the universe is bigger—and more complicated—than she ever imagined. Can Tally face the truth about her family—and find her way home in time to save herself from its consequences?"

My Two Cents:

"About a Girl" is the story of Tally, a very smart and very independent 18-year-old who seems very happy in her New York City home. She was adopted and is very happy with her family but it is interested in her past and to see if she can find out who she really is. This book is the third book in Sarah McCarry's Metamorphoses series. Each of these books focuses on a present-day story based on mythology. You definitely don't need to read the first two books in this series in order to understand what is going on with this book. This book is based on the myth of Atalanta, a myth that I was not familiar with before reading this book. I do suggest getting familiar with the myth before you read this book in order to understand it better. Eventually there is a little more of an explanation but it doesn't come until about the last third of the book.

The story itself was a little bit hard for me to get into. Tally goes in search of her father but by the end of the book we still don't really know much about him or Tally's origins other than she was abandoned by her mother. While Tally is on the other side of the country trying to figure out who she is, she falls for Maddy, a mysterious woman who has a hidden past. Again, I wish that I had a little bit more of a background in mythology and then maybe I would've understood where the story was going out little bit more.

One thing that I really enjoyed it about this book is that Tally's voice is very original. Tally is very sure that she wants to be an astronomer and she is extremely smart. The way that the author wrote her character was wholly original and I really did like her voice. I wish that I had liked this book a little bit more. I like that the author chose to use mythology and put a present day spin on it. I will definitely try other books by this author but the story was not my favorite!


 

Monday, July 13, 2015

Truth or Dare Blog Tour: A Different Kind of Same by Kelley Clink

Title: A Different Kind of Same
Author: Kelley Clink
Format: Ebook
Publisher: She Writes Press
Publish Date: May 5, 2015
Source: BookSparks






What's the Story?:

From Goodreads.com: "Two weeks before his college graduation, Kelley Clink’s younger brother Matt hanged himself. Though he’d been diagnosed with bipolar disorder as a teenager and had attempted suicide once before, the news came as a shock—and it sent Kelley into a spiral of guilt and grief.

After Matt’s death, a chasm opened between the brother Kelley had known and the brother she’d buried. She kept telling herself she couldn’t understand why he’d done it—but the truth was, she could. Several years before he’d been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, she’d been diagnosed with depression. Several years before he first attempted suicide by overdose, she had attempted suicide by overdose. She’d blazed the trail he’d followed. If he couldn’t make it, what hope was there for her?

A Different Kind of Same traces Kelley’s journey through grief, her investigation into the role her own depression played in her brother’s death, and, ultimately, her path toward acceptance, forgiveness, resilience, and love."


My Two Cents:

"A Different Kind of Same" is a heart wrenching memoir. When Kelley Clink was a teenager, she was diagnosed with depression. A couple years after that, her younger brother was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. She attempted suicide. A couple years later, her brother attempted suicide and succeeded. This memoir is about Kelley coping with the idea that she feels she blazed the trail for her brother. It also covers how her brother's suicide sent her into a tailspin. This book deals with a grave topic and some parts are hard to read but I think books that cover mental illness in such a clear, unflinching manner are so important.

Kelley holds nothing back when it comes to discussing both her own mental health and that of her brother. She talks about her diagnosis and everything that she went through when she was first getting diagnosed. She also covered how it affected her family. In that same vein, she covers how her brothers diagnoses affects her family.  I can't imagine how it would be to suffers something like the suicide of a sibling. Her family had no known history of depression.

This book was a very fast read for me because I got pulled so deeply into the story of Clink's family. I really appreciated how open the author was with such a difficult subject. Kelley's brother's suicide affects her in a huge way. Not only has she lost her brother but she worries about how her own mental health might be affected since it's quite fragile. I think this is a good book for anyone who has dealt with the suicide of a close friend or family member or is interested in a story of resilience!


 

Friday, July 10, 2015

Review: The Girl Who Wrote in Silk by Kelli Estes

Title: The Girl Who Wrote in Silk
Author: Kelli Estes
Format: ARC
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Publish Date:
Source: I received a copy from the publisher; however, this did not affect my review.






What's the Story?:

From Goodreads.com: "The smallest items can hold centuries of secrets...

Inara Erickson is exploring her deceased aunt's island estate when she finds an elaborately stitched piece of fabric hidden in the house. As she peels back layer upon layer of the secrets it holds, Inara's life becomes interwoven with that of Mei Lein, a young Chinese girl mysteriously driven from her home a century before. Through the stories Mei Lein tells in silk, Inara uncovers a tragic truth that will shake her family to its core — and force her to make an impossible choice."

 

My Two Cents:

"The Girl Who Wrote in Silk" is a historical fiction dual narrative with one part told in the present and one in the past. Both parts are set in the islands just off of Washington state, close to Seattle. The past part is set in the late 1800s, a time when white residents of the Seattle area and many other parts of the country were trying to get rid of Chinese people in the area. Although the Chinese people had done many things like worked on the railroads and done other labor that was difficult to get white people to do, there was a general distrust and hatred of the Chinese. Mei Lien and her family are some of the Chinese that the white people are getting rid of. They are told to get on a ship to go back to China but the captain of the ship really plans to throw all of the people off before it leaves the coast. Mei Lien escapes from the ship and goes to make her life on one of the islands near Seattle. She will still face prejudice but it's better than the alternative. In the present day, Inara is a young woman from a rich family who is involved with real estate and investments. Inara would like to do something different then the job that her father has lined up for her. She'd like to take the house that her relatives left to her after they died and turn it into a boutique hotel. She finds that the history of the house and how her ancestors got it is more than just a little unsettling.

Dual narratives are a little bit of a mixed bag for me. Sometimes I really like them and other times I don't. Most of the time I really like the historical aspect and dislike the present. In the case of this book I really liked both the past and the present narratives and thought they fit together beautifully. Inara discovers a a sleeve that goes to a robe in the old house. The sleeve has all sorts of different embroidery on it. The action of The book focuses on the sleeve and how it came to be.

I really like that does book covered a topic diet isn't discussed a lot. The United States is more inclusive of people of diverse backgrounds than it used to be. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, there were many exclusionary policies that focused on excluding huge groups of people that were seen as unsavory the policies were totally unfair. For instance in the case of Mei Lien, she was supposed to be sent back to China because she's of Chinese descent even though she had been born in the states and had never been to China. It was hard to read about this difficult history but although this book is fiction, I think books like this that cover some of the more unsavory parts of history are important. Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it and what not. The author did a really good job of bringing the history and feelings of the time to life.

I would recommend this book for anyone who wants to be enveloped and a historical fiction tale that tackle some pretty difficult subjects!





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