• Our Rating “Before We Were Yours” is told from the standpoint of two young women, Avery and Rill, separated by decades and, even more so, by their social standing. Avery is the daughter of a successful politician and very proper mother, whereas Rill is the child of a young couple scraping by, living on the river. Avery has had everything come easy to her. Rill discovers that the system is rigged against her family when she, along with her younger siblings are snatched away to live in an orphanage. Rill is only accepted into a family to help settle her younger sister. Avery meets an older lady, May, while on the campaign trail with her father and a photograph featuring her grandmother Judy (who is nearly lost to Alzheimer’s disease) piques her interest. How are this cranky old lady and her sweet grandmother connected? We follow Avery and Rill’s journeys, as Rill’s future intersects with Avery’s past. Avery has so many unanswered questions. May is unwilling to answer them and Judy is seemingly unable to. Avery channels her inner Miss Marple and follows the clues left behind in Judy’s old journals to discover connections that span the generations. “Before We Were Yours” is based on real life events. Countless children were taken from loving parents seemingly because the authorities thought that they could be given a better life in new families. How Lisa Wingate captures a Rill’s feelings of pain and rejection are incredibly moving, especially the events that lead to her eventual acceptance of her lot. Avery feels constrained by her family name and feels the burden of what is expected in her future. The two young women’s stories show that we are not to be prisoners of our past or our future and we can change our seemingly destined path by the choices we choose to make. Check it out on Amazon
    Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate (Review by Kirsty Bradshaw)
    October 15, 2018
  • Rating: 4/5* “What we do in life echoes in eternity”. This quote from Gladiator sprang to mind as I read “The Other Girl” by Erica Spindler. The main character is Miranda Rader. Growing up, she made some poor choices, mainly due to a lack of positive role models in her life. Despite and probably in defiance of this, she has risen to the rank of detective in her hometown police force. The plot focuses on a gruesome murder, of which Miranda is the lead investigating offi The book features flashbacks to a night experienced by the 15 year old Randi. Because of her troubled upbringing, there is a reluctance to believe her story and instead she is punished for pocketing an older boy’s stash of pot. The story of Randi, later known as Miranda, really resonated with me. As the recent #TimesUp and #MeToo movements have shown, women have for too long not been listened to. Just as she fought to be believed as a teenager, Miranda is once again fighting against the police force as she is seen as hysterically pursuing a course of action that goes against what fits the establishment’s version of events. I found Miranda to be a strong character and some may say the romance with her partner is unnecessary in the story. However, I found her relationship helped her unlock the past and gave her hope for a future, in spite of recent and past events. Although this is a crowded genre dominated by the likes of Patricia Cornwell, Kathy Reichs et al, I found “The Other Girl” to be an enjoyable, easy read. It definitely would push me to reading more offerings by Erica Spindler. Check it out on Amazon
    The Other Girl by Erica Spindler (Review by Kirsty Bradshaw)
    June 5, 2018
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