Change Me into Zeus’s Daughter: A Memoir

Change Me into Zeus's Daughter: A MemoirChange Me into Zeus’s Daughter: A Memoir by Barbara Robinette Moss
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Change me into Zeus’s Daughter: A Memoir, by Barabara Robinette Moss is one of those sleeper books. I bought it at a used books store when a huge sale was going on and it sat on my self for some time before I picked it up.

I found out I was sick with a rare brain disorder in Jan of 2016. After years of trying going to doctors and ED visits and being sent home, I finally had an answer. The treatment options were not promising and I was also told I was going blind and deaf. If I refused to have surgery, this would only get worse until I would no longer be able to see. It was due to this diagnosis that I started to read everything in my house I could get my hands on. I didn’t want to waste one single moment I had left with my eyesight. I love to read, books are everything to me, as is my sight, and I could not think of being without the ability to hold a book in my hand and read the printed words.

This brings me back to Change Me into Zeus’s Daughter: A Memoir. The pages were worn, yellowed with age, and dogeared. I didn’t care. I peeled the discount sticker off the cover of the paperback, and squinted at the black and white photo of the family sitting on the front steps, trying to see their faces through my fading vision.

The story is not about a famous starlet, sports start or other popular person. This story is about a simple person who grew up very poor with an equally abusive drunk father, and a mother who allowed the abuse. With a large amount of siblings, living in the south, with a dysfunctional family, somehow Barbara Moss brings both humor and light to living in her world. She is able to show the reader both her life as a child through the eyes of an adult, and those as a child.

This Memoir to some, may seem sad, and many may not want to read books about sad or abusive stories. It would be a shame to pass up this book. Barbara Moss captured me almost immediately with her quick wit, her direct way of writing, and above all else, her determination to survive at all costs, as a child.

It was by reading this book I was given the courage to go ahead and have the surgery I dreaded. I felt if she, a simple, ordinary person, like me, could survive the things in her life that she did, then I, could gather myself up and do what needed to be done.

It took courage to write her story about her life, her abuse and her family. I hope, if she ever reads these reviews, she will know how much her book, helped this ordinary woman find the courage and strength to do what I needed to do, after reading her book.

Thank you Barbara Robinette Moss for having the courage to tell your story. I find it is the ordinary, everyday people whose stories have the most effect on me, and are the most interesting.

This is a well written book, easy to read, easy to follow and I highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in reading Memoirs, history, large families, poverty and abuse.

(Disclaimer: I am also the survivor of abuse. This book may be a trigger for some. It wasn’t for me, but it maybe for some.)

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The Astronaut Wives Club, by Lilly Koppel

The Astronaut Wives Club: A True StoryThe Astronaut Wives Club: A True Story by Lily Koppel
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Lilly Koppel, the author of The Red Leather Diary: Reclaiming a Life Through the Pages of a Lost Journal (Harper 2008), has done it again! Her book, The Astronaut Wives Club, is an amazing journey back into a time when Squares stayed square and men walked on the moon.

The A. W. C. as some of the women called themselves. starts off with a list of all the wives, beginning with The Mercury Seven and ending with The Nineteen. Several first hand accounts are told with wit and kindness by Koppel.

The book details how each woman struggled with the celebrity status of being an Astronaut’s wife, NASA, husbands absences, Cape Cookies, (the women who ruined several marriages)children, and unthinkable tragedies while upholding a pristine imagine of a 1950’s house wife. NASA instructed these women to refrain from adding any stress to their husbands while they were training for Space. These women, who on the outside were Proud, Thrilled and Happy, (Their motto) where able to band together and support each other behind closed doors.

Each woman was followed by a reporter from Life magazine, per NASA’s instructions. These reporters were with them from the moment their husbands became Astronauts to when they left NASA or died. Their day to day life was captured in photos for the world to see. But, the real stories where never told to the public. Koppel has captured many of these in her book.

If want to know more about these amazing women, who were the backbone of the Space Race, pick up a copy of this book.

Special thanks to Tiffany Sanchez and Hachette Book Group for sending this fantastic work of art to me.

Happy Reading!
~ C

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Lacy Eye by Jessica Treadway

Lacy EyeLacy Eye by Jessica Treadway
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Disclaimer: I won this book after entering a giveaway on The Reading Room.

Lacy Eye is a powerful, depressing book about the murder of one parent and the injury of another. The mother and father are attacked in their bed one night over Thanksgiving. The mother survives, but is unable to remember the event in detail. The man who killed her husband is her daughter’s boyfriend or so she thinks. Everyone around her, including her other daughter, believe her youngest daughter had something to do with the event. She is unable to see this until it is too late.

Lacy Eye is a difficult read for anyone who is a parent. It is depressing to follow the main character as she tries to figure out if her daughter was involved in the murder of her husband. The lengths she will go to, to not remember are amazing.

As a parent, the one thought that continued to run through my brain while reading this was, “what would I do if this happened to me?” Even after finishing the book, I still could not answer this question. I found myself wanting to reach through the book and shake the mother until she stopped living with blinders on.

This book is disturbing because we all know someone who lives in a very small box and refuses to see what type of person their own child is. We know the mother who says “it is just a phase.” or “He didn’t mean it like that.” or “He is so misunderstood. If only people would stop judging him..”

Lacy Eye describes the behavior of someone close to me so well, I had to check who the author was several times. This is not a feel-good work of fiction. It won’t make you warm and fuzzy. If you are prone to depression, this might not be the book for you. If you know someone who has a hard time seeing their own children as the world sees them, you might want to give them this book when it comes out in March 2015. Then again, they might not even understand why you are giving it to them.

A big thanks to The Reading Room, author and publisher for allowing me the chance to read this book. I will be looking for more books by Jessica Treadway.

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EENY MEENY

Eeny MeenyEeny Meeny by M.J. Arlidge
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Disclaimer: I won a Uncorrected proof of Eeny Meeny after entering a First Reads, Goodreads contest.

From Back Cover: ” Two people are abducted, imprisoned, and left with a gun. One lives and one dies.”

Eeny Meeny is a murder mystery/thriller set in the U.K in present time. DI Helen Grace is a hard, tough female DI and she gets handed the case above. The book takes the reader along while Grace figures out who committed the murders.

What I liked about this book:

1. It is fast. The story gets right to the point, most of the time. 2. Strong female lead. DI Helen Grace is a strong, tough female lead with issues. 3. The book has very short chapters. 4. The story is original and it kept me wondering what was going to happen next.

What I didn’t like about this book and the reason I gave it two stars:

1. The 2nd chapter brings to the attention of the reader a darker part of DI Grace. She is into S and M. I tried to figure out why the author would include this right at the start, and couldn’t. It seemed like the author was trying to gain some readers from the “50 shades” book. This whole side story of S and M, did not fit with the character of DI Grace. Frankly, I am sick of the whole bondage junk that authors are trying to push unto readers. I finished the book just to see how this side story was brought to a close. It just does not fit. I cannot see the character doing this. It is almost like the author just threw it in the book to shock the reader. I disliked it so much, I almost put the book down after the 2nd chapter. It seemed like the author was trying to ride on the coat-tails of someone else. I feel if this part was left out, this would be a better story. If you like that sort of thing and you are not sick of seeing it appear in books, then…hey..maybe this will be a great read for you. This is the main reason, I gave this book two stars. I feel like this S and M stuff has been overused. In this book it really does not have anything to do with the story.

2. Often one chapter will end with a great part of the story and the next will begin with new characters. This was confusing. It is supposed to be the next victims in these chapters, but..it was hard to follow. I found myself turning back a few pages, trying to figure out who was who.

Overall, the story was good. The whole idea behind the book is great and I can see where this might be picked up by T.V. I was on the edge of my seat several times and I read the book in a day. It is like reading The Fall and The Killing combined. (I didn’t like The Fall T.V show either for the same reason. The sex is just there for shock, nothing else.) If the author expanded on the reasons for the main character’s interest in S and M-it is hinted to, but never comes out and says it, then maybe I could understand what they were trying to present. Also, the bouncing from one character’s POV to another is exhausting to read. This book was a hit in the U.K and is scheduled to be released June 2015 as a New American Library Trade Paperback.

Special thanks to Goodreads, M.J. Arlidge-the author and the publisher NAL for allowing me to receive a Uncorrected proof of this book.

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Sidney Sheldon’s Chasing Tomorrow

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Disclaimer: I won a copy of Sidney Sheldon’s Chasing Tomorrow, penned by Tilly Bagshawe after entering a Review Giveaway on The Reading Room’s website.

Chasing Tomorrow starts out interesting and strong. It’s main character center’s around a strong female lead, as do most of Sheldon’s books. I was confused as to why Tilly Bagshawe’s name was also added as an author, since I have only read one of Sheldon’s books, until I did a little research. Bagshawe is currently writing in the style of Sheldon, per request from Sheldon’s Estate. This is the 2nd book of Sheldon’s I have read and the 1st of Bagshawe’s.

The main female character starts out fierce, but becomes predictable in the middle of the book. I am glad I finished the book and did not stop at this point. The ending makes up for any predictability.

The Female lead is a con-artist who is marrying another con-artist. It is no surprise when their relationship tanks and the lead finds herself alone. She leaves her old life behind and starts over with a surprise addition. For ten years she lives a quite, secluded life, until an investigator calls her regarding a string of murders. At first, she is the main suspect. She has to leave her new life behind and enter back into the dark world of a con-artist in order to help find the killer.

Overall, this was a decent book in the style of Sheldon.
A big Thank you to The Reading Room, the author, and the publisher for the chance to read and review this book.  Don’t forget to visit The Reading Room here for giveaways and more book reviews. 

Secrets of a Charmed Life-Best Read for 2015

Secrets of a Charmed LifeSecrets of a Charmed Life by Susan Meissner

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Disclaimer: I won an uncorrected proof of Secrets of a Charmed Life by Susan Meissner, after entering a contest on Goodreads.

Secrets of a Charmed Life, by Susan Meissner is a beautiful book. Kendra Van Zant, an American scholar is trying to win a place in the world and sets out to interview a reclusive survivor of World War II. Isabel MacFarland has a secret and is ready to tell her story about her life during and after the war. The novel takes place in Present day, Oxford, England and 1942, England.

Kendra is under the impression she is going to be told a simple story about one woman in World War II. The story is anything but simple. Before the famous Blitz, almost one million children are evacuated to the country in England, into homes of people they do not know. With tags around their necks and belongings, they leave their homes, and journey by train. Kendra learns of one 15 year-old who does not want to be sent away to the country with her sister. Emmy’s passion for drawing wedding dresses and her future, are very much on her mind, when her absentminded mother orders her to leave the city and travel with her younger sister to the country. Emmy is determined to return to the city, without her sister, to finish her dream of becoming a Wedding Dress Designer. Things don’t go as planned and something devastating happens.

Meissner has woven a portrait of life during World War II in England that is unforgettable. Some have compared this novel to The Orphan Train. Meissner takes the story of these children so much further than The Orphan Train ever did. Her writing is smooth, and hypnotic. She has captured the pain and struggle of those during WWII with ease.

I recommend this novel to everyone I meet. I look forward to reading more of Meissner’s work. Look for this book in February 2015. Make sure it is on your reading list!

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Independently Wealthy. A Novel by Lorraine Zago Rosenthal

Independently Wealthy: A NovelIndependently Wealthy: A Novel by Lorraine Zago Rosenthal
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Disclaimer: I won a copy of Independently Wealthy:A Novel, by Lorraine Zago Rosenthal, after entering a Goodreads 1st Reads giveaway. Published by Thomas Dunne Books, a divison of St. Martin’s Press.

Independently Wealthy is the 2nd book and sequel to New Money, also by Rosenthal. Independently Wealthy picks up where New Money left off. It is not a requirement to read New Money before, but, if the reader tends to get confused because of lack of back story in this novel, then by all means, check out New Money 1st. Thomas Dunne Books even offered to send me a digital galley link for New Money, if I needed it.

Independently Wealthy opens up with Savannah Morgan living in Manhattan during Christmas. Savannah inherited a massive amount of money after the death of her father, in New Money. She was united with a family she never even knew existed and starts a new richer life in Manhattan. She ends up going to work for her brother, who after their father’s tragic unexplained death, takes over the company. Savannah is obsessed with finding out the truth about her father’s death. The reader follows her as she tries to track down information and people, all under the radar of her very controlling bother.

Savannah is a southern girl who never knew who her father was and certainly did not know he was loaded. She takes to living in a expensive apartment in Manhattan and showering the people in her life with expensive gifts, even if they don’t like them. She has her own driver and gives him a big present for his family at Christmas. Savannah wasn’t born a rich heiress, yet, she at times comes across as flaky and out of touch. There are several, several references to they type of car her boyfriend is driving, a Honda and the type of clothes he is wearing and she is wearing, that almost makes the reader feel like Savannah is a snob. I don’t think this is what the Author was trying to do, but the constant references about clothes, shoes and cars, including their brands, made me not like Savannah at times. For a girl who has just become wealthy, she has a large appetite for expensive things and seems to have a good deal of knowledge about those items. There are times, when the type of shoe or car is not relevant to the story and becomes distracting.

This is an easy read and is a good snuggle and watch the snow fall book. It is lighthearted in places and captures the vibe of winter in NYC and Manhattan. I enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more from Rosenthal and Thomas Dunne Books.

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