#ARC review ​of another brilliantly written books of 2018

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Synopsis: Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?

Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband has left her, and her professional life is going nowhere. Regardless of why Evelyn has selected her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.

Summoned to Evelyn’s luxurious apartment, Monique listens in fascination as the actress tells her story. From making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the ’80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way, Evelyn unspools a tale of ruthless ambition, unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love. Monique begins to feel a very real connection to the legendary star, but as Evelyn’s story near its conclusion, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.

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US edition

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Review: I picked up this book because I was given an ARC by the publisher. Although I have seen it making rounds on Instagram, I wouldn’t have picked it up anytime soon.

The title “The Seven husbands …” makes you wonder that this book is entirely about the love life of a Hollywood actress but it so isn’t.

The book starts with Monique Grant, an ambitious journalist, who is sent to interview a famous ex-actress Evelyn Hugo. It should be a normal interview but it isn’t for a number of reasons:

One, Evelyn specifically requested Monique ;

Two, when Monique went to meet with Evelyn, she confessed that there isn’t going to be an interview afterall!

LET ME EXPLAIN:

Evelyn doesn’t want to do a “tell-all” interview, she wants Monique to write her biography which she has to publish after Evelyn’s death. Day after day, Evelyn unravels all the secrets and lies and finally, she reveals the real love of her life. The questions are : Did she love any of her seven husbands? Or, did she love someone else? Why did she specifically request Monique Grant?

Let’s talk about the things I loved and didn’t :

  • I loved Evelyn Hugo. She is such a flawed character and is totally aware of it. When you will read about the struggles she had to go through, I’m sure that you will fall in love with Evelyn as well.
  • I loved the pace of the story and the surprise ending.

Overall, I loved reading this book. It has everything -from old Hollywood stories to topics like sexism, racism; drama and a heartbreaking reveal.

Verdict: 5 out of 5 stars

Author: Connect with Author Taylor Jenkins Reid on Goodreads.

  • Publisher: Simon and Schuster UK Fiction
  • Publication Date: May 2018
  • Paperback(ARC): 400 Pages


One of my favorite​ reads of 2018 | Review of The Toymakers by Robert Dinsdale

Synopsis: Do you remember when you believed in magic?

The Emporium opens with the first frost of winter. It is the same every year. Across the city, when children wake to see ferns of white stretched across their windows, or walk to school to hear ice crackling underfoot, the whispers begin: the Emporium is open!

It is 1917, and London has spent years in the shadow of the First World War. In the heart of Mayfair, though, there is a place of hope. A place where children’s dreams can come true, where the impossible becomes possible – that place is Papa Jack’s Toy Emporium.

For years Papa Jack has created and sold his famous magical toys: hobby horses, patchwork dogs and bears that seem alive, toy boxes bigger on the inside than out, ‘instant trees’ that sprout from boxes, tin soldiers that can fight battles on their own. Now his sons, Kaspar and Emil, are just old enough to join the family trade. Into this family comes a young Cathy Wray – homeless and vulnerable. The Emporium takes her in, makes her one of its own. But Cathy is about to discover that while all toy shops are places of wonder, only one is truly magical…


Review:

‘Are you lost? Are you afraid? Are you a child at heart?’

I admit,I was totally acting like a child when the book ended. I cried as if my favourite toy was snatched ,which was absurd for a number of reasons. Let me introduce you to the book …

The prologue welcomes you into the magical world of Papa jack’s Emporium,which is a toyshop that opens with the first frost and closes when the snowdrops start blooming again. The Emporium is situated at the heart of London and is unlike any other toyshop.

Soon.we met Cathy, a young woman who ran away from her home and see her seek shelter in the Emporium. Here,Cathy meets Papa Jack, his two sons Kaspar and Emil ,a woman named Martha , and other Emporium workers.

We follow Cathy-who was pregnant when we ran away from home- wondering where to go when Emporium closed for the season but Cathy’s fears soon abated as Kaspar offered to sneak her into Wendy House-a part of the Emporium. Soon Cathy gives birth and Papa Jack offers her to stay with the Emporium permanently.

Flash Forward several years,and see Kathy’s child all grown,and Kathy married to Kaspar. Things seem really well but soon they don’t as every male shophand seems to have signed up for joining to fight in the ongoing World War. Kaspar joins to fight for England as well and soon the Emporium is no more Papa Jack’s but it is Emil’s .

Will the Emporium survive under Emil ? Will Kaspar come back from the war ?

The story is mainly focused on the brothers’-Kaspar and Emil- war or the Long War .The Long War is the battle in which the winner will control the Emporium. It has themes of love,loyalty and war .The author writes candidly and beautifully about pain and darkness. I was reminded of Night Circus,while I read the read but I wasn’t bored or wanted to DNF it at any point.

Let’s talk about the things I loved and didn’t :

  • I loved the setting ! Oh,it was spectacular minus the times of the Wars .
  • I hated Emil and Nina’s characters . At first,he seems like an underdog, a soft boy but later ….you need to read the book because if I complete the dots it will be a massive spoiler.

I highly recommend this book! And, I promise you ,reader, you will love this story if you give it a chance. Perhaps, you should read it when your mind is free of all burdens; read it on your bed or your favourite reading nook; read it as a physical book or an ebook ,you will fall in love with the enchanting world of Emporium.

Verdict: 5 stars out of 5

Author: Connect with Author Robert Dinsdale on Goodreads.

  • Publisher: Del Rey
  • Publication Date: February 2018
  • Paperback: 480 Pages

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Buy The Toymakers on Amazon or on BookDepository.

Thank you (2)

Review: ​The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock

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Synopsis: This voyage is special. It will change everything… 
One September evening in 1785, the merchant Jonah Hancock hears urgent knocking on his front door. One of his captains is waiting eagerly on the step. He has sold Jonah’s ship for what appears to be a mermaid.
As gossip spreads through the docks, coffee shops, parlours and brothels, everyone wants to see Mr Hancock’s marvel. Its arrival spins him out of his ordinary existence and through the doors of high society. At an opulent party, he makes the acquaintance of Angelica Neal, the most desirable woman he has ever laid eyes on… and a courtesan of great accomplishment. This meeting will steer both their lives onto a dangerous new course, on which they will learn that priceless things come at the greatest cost.
Where will their ambitions lead? And will they be able to escape the destructive power mermaids are said to possess?
In this spell-binding story of curiosity and obsession, Imogen Hermes Gowar has created an unforgettable jewel of a novel, filled to the brim with intelligence, heart and wit.

Continue reading “Review: ​The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock”

#HorrorOctoberBooks: The Witch Of Willow Hall (audiobook review )

Synopsis: Years after the Salem witch trials one witch remains. She just doesn’t know it… yet.

Growing up Lydia Montrose knew she was descended from the legendary witches of Salem but was warned to never show the world what she could do and so slowly forgot her legacy. But Willow Hall has awoken something inside her…

1821: Having fled family scandal in Boston Willow Hall seems an idyllic refuge from the world, especially when Lydia meets the previous owner of the house, John Barrett.

But a subtle menace haunts the grounds of Willow Hall, with strange voices and ghostly apparitions in the night, calling to Lydia’s secret inheritance and leading to a greater tragedy than she could ever imagine.

Can Lydia confront her inner witch and harness her powers or is it too late to save herself and her family from the deadly fate of Willow Hall?

Continue reading “#HorrorOctoberBooks: The Witch Of Willow Hall (audiobook review )”

Review: My Plain Jane by Cynthia H.,​ Brodi A. & Jodi M.

Synopsis: You may think you know the story. After a miserable childhood, penniless orphan Jane Eyre embarks on a new life as a governess at Thornfield Hall. There, she meets one dark, brooding Mr. Rochester. Despite their significant age gap (!) and his uneven temper (!!), they fall in love—and, Reader, she marries him. (!!!)

Or does she?

Prepare for an adventure of Gothic proportions, in which all is not as it seems, a certain gentleman is hiding more than skeletons in his closets, and one orphan Jane Eyre, aspiring author Charlotte Brontë, and supernatural investigator Alexander Blackwood are about to be drawn together on the most epic ghost hunt this side of Wuthering Heights.

Continue reading “Review: My Plain Jane by Cynthia H.,​ Brodi A. & Jodi M.”