Waiting on Wednesday – The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls: A Novel by Anton Disclafani

“Waiting on Wednesday” is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re really excited about.

The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls – Anton Disclafani
To be published June 2013

Goodreads says:A lush, sexy, evocative debut novel of family secrets and girls’-school rituals, set in the 1930s South.

The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls: A NovelIt is 1930, the midst of the Great Depression. After her mysterious role in a family tragedy, passionate, strong-willed Thea Atwell, age fifteen, has been cast out of her Florida home, exiled to an equestrienne boarding school for Southern debutantes. High in the Blue Ridge Mountains, with its complex social strata ordered by money, beauty, and girls’ friendships, the Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls is a far remove from the free-roaming, dreamlike childhood Thea shared with her twin brother on their family’s citrus farm—a world now partially shattered. As Thea grapples with her responsibility for the events of the past year that led her here, she finds herself enmeshed in a new order, one that will change her sense of what is possible for herself, her family, her country.

Weaving provocatively between home and school, the narrative powerfully unfurls the true story behind Thea’s expulsion from her family, but it isn’t long before the mystery of her past is rivaled by the question of how it will shape her future. Part scandalous love story, part heartbreaking family drama, The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls is an immersive, transporting page-turner—a vivid, propulsive novel about sex, love, family, money, class, home, and horses, all set against the ominous threat of the Depression—and the major debut of an important new writer.

What are you waiting for?

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Waiting on Wednesday – Cinnamon and Gunpowder by Eli Brown

“Waiting on Wednesday” is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re really excited about.

Cinnamon and Gunpowder – Eli Brown
June 2013

Goodreads says: A gripping adventure, a seaborne romance, and a twist on the tale of Scheherazade—with the best food ever served aboard a pirate’s ship.

Cinnamon and Gunpowder: A Novel     The year is 1819, and the renowned chef Owen Wedgwood has been kidnapped by the ruthless pirate Mad Hannah Mabbot. He will be spared, she tells him, as long as he puts exquisite food in front of her every Sunday without fail.
To appease the red-haired captain, Wedgwood gets cracking with the meager supplies on board. His first triumph at sea is actual bread, made from a sourdough starter that he leavens in a tin under his shirt throughout a roaring battle, as men are cutlassed all around him. Soon he’s making tea-smoked eel and brewing pineapple-banana cider.
But Mabbot—who exerts a curious draw on the chef—is under siege. Hunted by a deadly privateer and plagued by a saboteur hidden on her ship, she pushes her crew past exhaustion in her search for the notorious Brass Fox. As Wedgwood begins to sense a method to Mabbot’s madness, he must rely on the bizarre crewmembers he once feared: Mr. Apples, the fearsome giant who loves to knit; Feng and Bai, martial arts masters sworn to defend their captain; and Joshua, the deaf cabin boy who becomes the son Wedgwood never had.
Cinnamon and Gunpowder is a swashbuckling epicure’s adventure simmered over a surprisingly touching love story—with a dash of the strangest, most delightful cookbook never written. Eli Brown has crafted a uniquely entertaining novel full of adventure: the Scheherazade story turned on its head, at sea, with food.

 

What are you waiting for?

Waiting on Wednesday – Calling Me Home by Julie Kibler

“Waiting on Wednesday” is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re really excited about.

Calling Me Home
Julie Kibler
To be released February 12, 2013

Amazon says:Eighty-nine-year-old Isabelle McAllister has a favor to ask her hairdresser Dorrie Curtis. It’s a big one. Isabelle wants Dorrie, a black single mom in her thirties, to drop everything to drive her from her home in Arlington, Texas, to a funeral in Cincinnati. With no clear explanation why. Tomorrow.

Calling Me Home: A NovelDorrie, fleeing problems of her own and curious whether she can unlock the secrets of Isabelle’s guarded past, scarcely hesitates before agreeing, not knowing it will be a journey that changes both their lives.

Over the years, Dorrie and Isabelle have developed more than just a business relationship. They are friends. But Dorrie, fretting over the new man in her life and her teenage son’s irresponsible choices, still wonders why Isabelle chose her.

Isabelle confesses that, as a willful teen in 1930s Kentucky, she fell deeply in love with Robert Prewitt, a would-be doctor and the black son of her family’s housekeeper–in a town where blacks weren’t allowed after dark. The tale of their forbidden relationship and its tragic consequences makes it clear Dorrie and Isabelle are headed for a gathering of the utmost importance and that the history of Isabelle’s first and greatest love just might help Dorrie find her own way.

What are you waiting for?

Frozen – Mary Casanova

Frozen
Mary Casanova
Released September 1, 2012
University of Minnesota Press

Amazon says:
Sixteen-year-old Sadie Rose hasn’t said a word in eleven years—ever since the day she was found lying in a snowbank during a howling storm. Like her voice, her memories of her mother and what happened that night were frozen.

Set during the roaring 1920s in the beautiful, wild area on Rainy Lake where Minnesota meets Canada, Frozen tells the remarkable story of Sadie Rose, whose mother died under strange circumstances the same night that Sadie Rose was found, unable to speak, in a snowbank. Sadie Rose doesn’t know her last name and has only fleeting memories of her mother—and the conflicting knowledge that her mother had worked in a brothel. Taken in as a foster child by a corrupt senator, Sadie Rose spends every summer along the shores of Rainy Lake, where her silence is both a prison and a sanctuary.

One day, Sadie Rose stumbles on a half dozen faded, scandalous photographs—pictures, she realizes, of her mother. They release a flood of puzzling memories, and these wisps of the past send her at last into the heart of her own life’s great mystery: who was her mother, and how did she die? Why did her mother work in a brothel—did she have a choice? What really happened that night when a five-year-old girl was found shivering in a snowbank, her voice and identity abruptly shattered?

Sadie Rose’s search for her personal truth is laid against a swirling historical drama—a time of prohibition and women winning the right to vote, political corruption, and a fevered fight over the area’s wilderness between a charismatic, unyielding, powerful industrialist and a quiet man battling to save the wide, wild forests and waters of northernmost Minnesota. Frozen is a suspenseful, moving testimonial to the haves and the have-nots, to the power of family and memory, and to the extraordinary strength of a young woman who has lost her voice in nearly every way—but is utterly determined to find it again.

Adrienne says:
I’m a huge fan of unearthing family skeletons so this really appealed to me. The writing was well done but not OMGTHISISTHEBESTEVER and it had an American Girl feel for the last 1/3 of the book. I later found out that there’s a reason for this. The author has written American Girl books! This is definitely YA level literature but if the reader is much of a prude I wouldn’t suggest it to them. Sadie was an interesting character. She was damaged and then suddenly, she finds her voice. Huzzah! What a nice, Pollyanna-esque turn of events! And another thing. I know that 16 year old girls don’t always have a great track record, but I am Sick And Tired of every. single. teenage girl not being able to have any rational thoughts. Sadie just runs. She doesn’t really think. At all. She just says “Oh I think I’ll get on a boat. I have no idea where I’m going. I’ll get a job there even though I have no experience and no skills besides the piano! La dee da!” The ending bothered me the most though. Like I said, it felt like an American Girl book. You knew that people were going to say sorry (whether they meant it or not) and other people were going to forgive them (or at least continue to mooch off of them).

I know this makes it sound like I hated it, it was terrible, but really, I’d give it a 3.5 of 5. I feel like the end was wrapped up too quickly with everything in a nice little bow but with a lot of unanswered questions. It would have been nice to have more character building so we have a chance to care about all of the side characters. I’d recommend this but I suggest you get it from a library unless you know you’ll love it.

*I received this for free from NetGalley for review*

Waiting on Wednesday – The Ashford Affair by Lauren Willig

The Ashford Affair – Lauren Willig
To be release April 9, 2013The Ashford Affair

Amazon says: As a lawyer in a large Manhattan firm, just shy of making partner, Clementine Evans has finally achieved almost everything she’s been working towards—but now she’s not sure it’s enough. Her long hours have led to a broken engagement and, suddenly single at thirty-four, she feels her messy life crumbling around her. But when the family gathers for her grandmother Addie’s ninety-ninth birthday, a relative lets slip hints about a long-buried family secret, leading Clemmie on a journey into the past that could change everything. . . .

What follows is a potent story that spans generations and continents, bringing an Out of Africa feel to a Downton Abbey cast of unforgettable characters. From the inner circles of WWI-era British society to the skyscrapers of Manhattan and the red-dirt hills of Kenya, the never-told secrets of a woman and a family unfurl.

 

What are you waiting for?

Coming Soon!

Hopefully I will finish up a review of The Black God’s War.

In a nutshell- I loved it. I’m really excited for the next one. I love things that involve mythology, comparative religions (even fictional ones!). This was very.. crusade-ish. If I had to pick two groups of people to represent the countries in the book, I’d go with Sufism (Kind of. Maybe a sect of Hinduism instead?) and Romans (the pagan Romans, not the Roman Catholics. And again, not an awesome comparison on my part.) I’ve been slacking on the reviews and I apologize for that. I have a job, a husband and a toddler who all try to keep me very very busy.

What I’m reading this week

The Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All. Holy cow is that a mouthful. I remember the made-for-TV movie from when I was a kid so I thought I’d give it a try. Lucy (the widow) is an awesome narrator. Human. Flawed. Honest. I’m not very far into it, but it’s better than I expected so far (I’m basing my comparison on a made-for-TV movie, remember? And I haven’t seen it in at least 10 years. My comparison is probably not reliable.)

I’ll be starting Splintered, San Miguel and The Secret Keeper soon. There’s a lot of hype about Splintered and I’m not exactly an Alice in Wonderland fan so I’m not very eager to get into it. I’m much more excited about The Secret Keeper. I really enjoy Kate Morton’s books.

Waiting on Wednesday – Ragnarok by A S Byatt

“Waiting on Wednesday” is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re really excited about.

Ragnarok – A. S. Byatt
To be released March 12, 2013

Amazon says: The gods meet their cataclysmic end in this acclaimed work of fiction from the inimitable author of Possession and The Children’s Book, now in paperback.

As the bombs of the Blitz rain down on Britain, one young girl is evacuated to the countryside. She is struggling to make sense of her new life, whose dark, war-ravaged days feel very removed from the peace and love being preached in church and at school. Then she is given a copy of Asgard and the Gods—a book of ancient Norse myths—and her inner and outer worlds are transformed. She feels an instant kinship with these vivid, beautiful, terrifying tales of the end of the gods: they seem far more real, far more familiar during these precarious days.

RagnarokHow could this child know that fifty years on, many of the birds and flowers she took for granted on her walks to school would become extinct? War, natural disaster, reckless gods, and the recognition of the world’s impermanence are just some of the threads that Byatt weaves into this most timely of books. Linguistically stunning and imaginatively abundant, Ragnarok is a landmark piece of storytelling from “one of the most brilliant minds and speakers of our generation” (The Independent).

 

What are you waiting for?