March 6, 2021

February 2021 Book Update

Books I read this month

Where the Heart Takes You by Virginia Wise

Pennsylvania, 1737. Greta Scholtz braved a perilous journey--and the loss of her beloved father--to find religious freedom in America. With two orphan children she's taken under her wing, she's trying hard to survive this rugged new world. So she won't let settlement elders pressure her into marrying reserved widower Jacob Miller. She and Jacob simply can't agree on anything--even if the unexpected feeling between them is proving an irresistible force . . .

After losing his wife and baby, grief-stricken Jacob keeps everyone at arm's length. Duty is the only reason he began helping the headstrong Greta make a life for herself and her charges. Yet he's grown to admire her, especially her strength in the face of obstacles--including him and his wounded ways. But wrenching misunderstandings and a jealous rival could separate them forever. To find harmony--and perhaps even a future together--Greta and Jacob must take a leap of faith and risk opening their hearts . . .

My review
I liked this book but I have mixed feelings about it as well. I really liked the characters of Gretta, Ruth and Jacob. I was also super frustrated by Greta and Jacob. They knew they wanted to be with each other but they kept finding reasons not to be. I thought that scenario lasted a bit long and was making me angry reading it. But the end of the book had me so happy that it made up for the angriness. I was hoping for a little more history weaved into the book about them settling here for the first time. All in all I am glad I read the book.

Courting Can Be Killer by Amanda Flower

Some Amish men don't know what's good for them. That's what Millie Fisher told herself when young Ben Baughman set his heart on marrying Tess Lieb. With Tess's father refusing to give his blessing and Tess's
ex-boyfriend being a wet blanket, the hapless couple was bound to butt heads more than Millie's Boer goats. But when Ben tragically dies in a mysterious fire, Millie wonders if someone in her hometown of Harvest, Ohio, wanted Ben out of the wedding picture altogether...

With the help of her quilting buddies, and her outspoken Englischer friend Lois, Millie is determined to patch together all the clues without even dropping a stitch. She only hopes it won't be the death of her...

I enjoyed this second installment of this series. I felt bad when Ben was killed in the flea market and then for some to say he was the cause of his own death. It was also hard to watch Millie go through the trauma of losing him. I liked how close Lois and Millie are they make a good team.

Rebecca by Daphne Du Mauier

So the second Mrs. Maxim de Winter remembered the chilling events that led her down the turning drive past the beeches, white and naked, to the isolated gray stone manse on the windswept Cornish coast. With a husband she barely knew, the young bride arrived at this immense estate, only to be inexorably drawn into the life of the first Mrs. de Winter, the beautiful Rebecca, dead but never forgotten...her suite of rooms never touched, her clothes ready to be worn, her servant -- the sinister Mrs. Danvers -- still loyal. And as an eerie presentiment of the evil tightened around her heart, the second Mrs. de Winter began her search for the real fate of Rebecca...for the secrets of Manderley.

I tried read this book but had trouble getting into it so I switched to the audio book which I enjoyed better. I have to say I really did not like the head house keeper she was not nice and therefore I felt bad for the new wife there was a big twist at the end that I did not see coming. I also watched the movie which o thought was good and explained a few more things for me.

Hundred in the Hand by Joseph Marshall III

Beautifully written and reminiscent of the oral tradition, Hundred in the Hand brings a new slant to the traditional Western: historical fiction written from the Native American viewpoint.

I have read more than one book by this author and really enjoyed them so I thought I would give this one a try. I hate to say it but I was disappointed in this one and think I will stick to his other books that I have. I just felt this one did not flow for me.

Murder with Clotted Cream by Karen Rose Smith

Margaret Vaughn has hired Daisy to provide afternoon tea for her theater group. A local girl who left long ago for an acting career in New York, Margaret has returned home—with a multimillionaire husband in tow. But while Daisy bustles around Margaret’s historic farmhouse, she senses that there’s tension behind the scenes. Then she discovers the hostess on the floor of the pantry—dead and covered with clotted cream.

Barely recovered from her previous sleuthing adventure, Daisy joins forces with the former detective she’s been dating to help solve the case. Should she cast suspicion on the stars of the upcoming play? Can Margaret’s sister shine a spotlight on potential culprits? Or are there clues to be found in the victim’s past? With plenty of family stress of her own to deal with, all Daisy knows is she better act fast .

I enjoyed this book and liked that it addressed postpartum depression as many women have this but don't discuss it. This time we got to learn a little more about Daisy and her mom's relationship, which explains some things. I am liking that this series is continuing on.

Murder with Oolong Tea by Karen Rose Smith

The faculty of Willow Creek High School are having a get-together after the spring concert with refreshments provided, courtesy of Daisy's Tea Garden. Oolong tea and chocolate biscuits are just what the staff needs to help them unwind from Althea Higgins' demanding curriculum. Her lessons on such controversial subjects as school uniforms and under qualified substitute teachers are earning her an F from her colleagues.

But a failing grade was preferable to Althea falling victim to foul play. Daisy was there when her body was discovered in the school swimming pool, murdered by strangulation. Althea was certainly a strict, opinionated taskmaster, unliked by both teachers and students, but would any of them actually want to kill her? As Daisy starts asking questions, she gets a real education in Althea's history, discovering more than enough enemies with more than enough motives to cancel her classes permanently...

Another great installment in a fun series. I will say this one had me sad for a little while but was good in the end. I enjoyed seeing what was happening with my friends. I liked that Daisy helped Jazzie’s friend and there was a little more of the Amish included.

Books I acquired this month
The Man Who Sent the SOS by Paul Amirault
Bridgerton by Julia Quinn
Signing Their Lives Away: The Fame and Misfortune of the Men Who Signed the Declaration of Independence by Denise Kiernan and Joseph D'Agnese
Signing Their Lives Away: The Fame and Misfortune of the Men Who Signed the United States Constitution by Denise Kiernan and Joseph D'Agnese
John Adams Under Fire by David Fisher