Book Review: Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon

Dragonfly in Amber is the follow up book to Outlander.  I wrote all about that amazing book here.

Very few authors can write sequels that are as good as the first book in a series.  But Diana Gabaldon has proven that theory wrong!  Not only is the second book equally as good as the first, but all 8 books are Stop What You Are Doing and Read worthy!  I like that each of the books have an interesting and stand alone title.  However, I do find myself referring to them as the second/third book in the Outlander series.

I will do my very best to not leak any spoilers for those who love to discover a book for themselves, but when summing up a book some things are bound to get out there.  Oh, and I may abbreviate Dragonfly in Amber as DIA….just a heads up.  Here we go!

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At the end of Outlander, we had Jamie and Claire en route to France both out of necessity and as a place to heal Jamie from the trauma that occurred at Wentworth.   You'd think that is where DIA would pick up- and it does Eventually.  
This threw me at first, but just start reading- it will all make sense in good time.

Dragonfly in Amber begins in 1968, with Claire bringing her daughter to Scotland. Claire plans to tell Brianna who her father is and about her experiences at Craigh Na Dune.
During this revealing, the story takes the reader back to France in 1744, right where Outlander left us.

Paris, France is worlds away from life in the Scottish Highlands. The dress, housing, customs, everything; is different for Jamie an Claire. Because of Claire's knowledge of upcoming historical events, they decided to try to alter the course of history by playing a high stakes political game.
Politics is a risky business and things do not always go as planned.Circumstances and events will threaten to tear apart their relationship and they must find a way back to each other. 
Realizing that they cannot change what is to come they return home to Scotland. Only to find that the upcoming battle of Colloden will shadow their future forever.  A heartbreaking choice must be made. This author knows how to write a heart pounding and consuming novel! 

After recounting all of the story to Brianna, Claire may or may not find peace with her past. 

* Dragonfly in Amber is a must read before you watch.  I am looking forward to the second season of Outlander that is airing on Starz in April.  They have done a good job of sticking to the plot of the story and maintaining integrity to this well loved book. I hope they continue to do that with Dragonfly in Amber. *

 

 

Vintage

Vintage – the ideal name for a clothing store of unique and classic pieces.
I need a Vintage store in my area.  I am in search of gloves for tea time.

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This novel by Susan Gloss, is about a girl who never really fit in back in her small town.  Violet moves to a bigger and more open minded city to open her own clothing shop called Vintage.
Violet specializes in seeing the treasure in old things and in people too.
As customers come in with items to sell, unlikely friendships and bonds are formed. Three fragile women will become strong and whole again.

The characters in this book are likable and relatable. Their stories weave together smoothly.
Vintage was a pleasure to read and is just the title for a stay at home in comfies selection.

A paraphrased line from the book, that may become my life motto is- 
"Better a little something exceptional than a lot of something mediocre."

 

 

 

Review of Into the Wilderness

The novel, Into the Wilderness by Sara Donati, was my first fiction read for the new year.
I choose this title from a so you liked Outlander, you may like…. kind of list. Anytime you line up a new book with an all time favorite, it is a risky thing. It is a lot of pressure to put on an unsuspecting book. 

But the wild book reading person that I am started reading…..and didn't want the book to end!

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This book was amazing. 
The characters are well written and well developed.  One thing that I loved is that the main character, Elizabeth, does not fit the typical beautiful and all perfect heroine.

The story starts off with the judge going to pick up his spinster daughter, Elizabeth, who has come to the colonies to teach school. The current becomes electric when Elizabeth and Nathaniel meet.  Nathaniel is a white man who is part of a family of Indians who want to purchase a mountain of land, called Hidden Wolf.
But the judge plans to deed this mountain to Elizabeth when she marries… and he already has someone in mind, someone who knows of his debts and is willing to pay the debts in return for the land. 

Elizabeth is determined to remain unmarried and finds her heart torn between the man she comes to love and her independent spirit. 

What I loved most about this book was the gasp-out-loud moment that I had.  Something that I had never encountered before; a mention of characters from a different book interacting within the book I am reading. 

That sounded confusing….so to sum it up-
Outlander fans…three of our favorite characters are mentioned in this book!  Yep, a certain red-haired Scot and his wife and one other! ( I will let you read it to find out who)

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Long winter days and lengthy books go hand in hand.  So don't let the 800+ pages intimidate you.  The story progresses at a good speed and is captivating once you get going.

Pour yourself a hot cup of tea and enjoy the adventure.

 

 

 

 

 

The Night Circus

Do you want to read a book that is hypnotic and captivating?

Then I highly recommend that The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, be the next book you read.

I spent the majority of this title not quite understanding what was going on – and loving every page of it!

Maybe that is the magic of this book.

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Two contestants, Celia and Marco, are chosen because of their skills in illusion and magic. They are bound to a contest, unknowing of the rules, requirements and even each other. They only know that they must take on an opponent and the contest will take place when they are ready.

The stage is set in a magical black and white circus that arrives without notice.
Le Cirque des RĂ©ves, is a mulit-sensory delight for all attendees. But as the other circus performers become entangled in the contest – can love break the spell and save the day?

 The Night Circus is a must read and has a spot on my favorite books of 2015!

 

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Big Stone Gap

Small towns hold a kind of magic over me.  I love how quaint they are, driving on historic Main Street with no traffic lights and how the whole community seems to know each other.

Maybe that is why Big Stone Gap  by Adriana Trigiani filled me with reading pleasure.

It is exciting when you can read about a place and find it on a map.  Big Stone Gap is an actual, honest to goodness place.  
I want to visit there someday!

Not the case with Hart of Dixie- a TV show about small town doctor that I enjoyed.  The writers invented the whole thing! 
Took me a while to get over that one! 

My rant is now over & back to this title!

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Big Stone Gap is the story of Ave Maria Mulligan, ( Yep, think the Christmas song ) a mid thirties woman who is known as the town spinster.  She is self sufficient and very involved in her small town life.  But she wonders has life and love passed her by.
Drama and untold secrets unfold after her ailing mother passes away that set off new discoveries about herself and all that she has known.  As if that is not enough change in a gals life, she somehow manages to get two marriage proposals! 
How does Ave Maria deal with all these happenings? 
Read for yourself in Big Stone Gap (Movie Tie-in Edition): A Novel .

This was an appealing afternoon read.  A novel that was easy and light but that still had a captivating story and a good plot.

Imagine my joy when I discover it has been made into a movie!  I missed that in theatres but I am going to watch it when it comes out on DVD for sure.
The joy kept coming on this one–Big Stone Gap is the first book in a four book series! 

Happy Reading!

 

 

The Tea Rose

I found this book by happenstance. It is so hypnotizing that I am going to give it a permanent home on the book shelf!

I have mentioned before that I am a happy fluff, light reading kind of fiction girl.  Well this book proved you should go outside your comfort genre and try something new.

The Tea Rose, by Jennifer Donnelly, is a novel filled with suspense, murder & star crossed love & was quite the page turner!

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This book had me reading until my eyes blurred at night and then reaching for it with my first morning sips of tea.

The setting- East London, not the richy well dressed London, but the hardworking yet close to poverty side in 1888.

Fionna, a hardworking tea packer has a dream. One she shares with life long love Joe. They will leave this place of despair one day and make it on their own.  They save to open up their own shop one day.

Tragedy strikes and Fionna knows she must leave all she has known behind for survivals sake.

I want to tell you more…but that would take away the thrill of reading it yourself!   I will say there is a smattering of language, some gore and sensuality. Nothing that I thought was cringe worthy but everyone has their own levels of tolerance.

The Tea Rose has many twists and turns and will leave you breathless and reading every spare moment you can! 
Get a copy of The Tea Rose: A Novel (The Tea Rose Series) today!!

A favorite line from chapter 24-

~ Fionna found life’s trials easier to bear with a strong cup of tea in hand.