The Daughter’s Tale

The internationally bestselling author of The German Girl delivers an unforgettable family saga of love and redemption during World War II, based on the true story of the Nazi massacre of a French village in 1944.

New York City, 2015: Elise Duval, eighty years old, receives a phone call from a woman recently arrived from Cuba bearing messages from a time and country that she’s long forgotten. A French Catholic who arrived in New York after World War II, Elise and her world are forever changed when the woman arrives with letters written to Elise from her mother in German during the war, unravelling more than seven decades of secrets.

Berlin, 1939: Bookstore owner and recent widow Amanda Sternberg is fleeing Nazi Germany with her two young daughters, heading towards unoccupied France. She arrives in Haute-Vienne with only one of her girls. Their freedom is short-lived and soon they are taken to a labor camp.

Based on true events, The Daughter’s Tale chronicles one of the most harrowing atrocities perpetrated by the Nazis during World War II: the 1944 massacre of all the inhabitants of Oradour-Sur-Glane, a small, idyllic village in the south of France. Heartbreaking and immersive, The Daughter’s Tale is a beautifully crafted family saga of love, survival, and hope against all odds.

April 15, 2019
3 of 5 stars

The Daughter’s Tale by Armando Lucas Correa

A special thank you to NetGalley, and Simon & Schuster for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

The story overall was very nice. The characters were easy to believe, and the story flowed well. One thing I was thankful for, especially having read The Tattooist of Auschwitz not that long ago, it wasn’t as graphic as I feared.

I actually had a nice block of time to read this book, and so I wasn’t going three chapters forward, one back. Unfortunately, I did cram the ending in shortly after midnight one night about a week ago. Note to self: Don’t do that! I missed key phrases that would have made the ending make sense and not left me feeling gypped and grappling for answers when it was already well past my bedtime.

Fast forward to today, where I took an hour to go back to the last section of the book for a thorough reread. It all became clear in a checklist kind of way, unfortunately I find this quite common in fiction; answering all the questions in the last few paragraphs.

That said, it was an enjoyable read and I learned a little bit more about the history of this time period because the author employed some facts and added a note at the ending referencing them. A nice touch I thought.

The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes

Ruth Hogan, the international bestselling author behind the The Keeper of Lost Things returns with an irresistible novel of unexpected friendships, second chances—and dark secrets…

They say friends make life worth living…

Once a spirited, independent woman with a rebellious streak, Masha’s life was forever changed by a tragic event twelve years ago. Unable to let go of her grief, she finds comfort in her faithful canine companion Haizum, and peace in the quiet lanes of her town’s swimming pool. Almost without her realizing it, her life has shuddered to a halt.

It’s only when Masha begins an unlikely friendship with the mysterious Sally Red Shoes, a bag lady with a prodigious voice and a penchant for saying just what she means, that a new world of possibilities opens up: new friendships, new opportunities, and even a chance for new love. For the first time in years, Masha has the chance to start living again.

But just as Masha dares to imagine the future, her past comes roaring back…

Like her beloved debut, The Keeper of Lost Things, Ruth Hogan’s second novel introduces a cast of wonderful characters, both ordinary and charmingly eccentric, who lead us through a moving exploration of the simple human connections that unite us all.

March 15, 2019
5 of 5 stars

The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes Review

A special thank you to NetGalley, and Crooked Lane Books for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

I loved this book so much I immediately wanted to read it over again! This story was written to perfection from the opening line to the amazing ending. The language is beautiful, yet I found myself skipping over some of the poems and impressive vocabulary to race through the story! Another reason to read it again!

“Life is full of small joys if you know where to look for them.”

What I particularly loved about this book is there was intrigue and mystery from the very start. There was no dump of back-story to weigh it down, yet each concise chapter leaked another clue. It was very much like putting together a jigsaw puzzle. And I LOVE jigsaw puzzles.

The introduction of the main characters in the opening chapters set the stage pretty quickly around graveyards, swimming pools, and the subject of drowning. Masha appears to be obsessed with them all. Masha spends a great deal of time wandering the graveyard with or without her dog Haizum, having conversations with the occupants of the various grave sites. She considers them ‘my Family on the Other Side.’

As the stories unfold for “Sally”, Masha, Alice, and Mattie, (in order of introduction) the theme of death, grief, and dark secrets begins to evolve.

“When the music ends for someone you love you don’t stop dancing. You dance for them as well.”

It was right around Chapter 50, I was lying in bed, my mind turning over the chapters I’d read the night before, when I had the AH HA moment!! So much for sleeping in!

At that point, I was excited to finish it, to see if I am right, and at the same time afraid I am! For the next couple of chapters, I convinced myself I was mistaken, but then another clue. Reading it on my Kindle, I was beginning to hyperventilate at the 95% mark. HOW was she going to finish this in so few pages? The ending was PERFECT!!!!! I couldn’t believe the beautiful way Ruth completed the story.

I laughed, I cried, I wondered, and I loved. All of the things a great read should do for you!