Monthly Archives: July 2014

Title: The Midnight Side
Author: Natasha Mostert
Publication Date: December 28, 2000

Rating: ★ ★ ★  ☆
Review: 
When Isa gets a late night cryptic phone call from her cousin, Alette, she is surprised to learn later that the phone call was made after Alette has already died. Swept off to London to handle her cousin’s affairs, she finds herself caught up in a plan laid out in Alette’s will – one that she finds a bit difficult to carry out. But she shortly learns there was much more to her cousin and her cousin’s life – and death – than she’d imagined.

I recently read Natasha Mostert’s Season of the Witch, which I very much enjoyed, and I wasn’t too surprised to find this book just as enjoyable. Mostert has quite a skill for crafting a mystery/suspense novel with paranormal elements and romantic overtones, and it’s very easy to get caught up in her books. I definitely recommend this to those interested in any one or more of those qualities because I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.

(eGalley provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.)

Title: Amity & Sorrow
Author: Peggy Riley
Publication Date: April 16, 2013

Rating: ★ ★ ★  ☆
Review: 
Amaranth and her daughters, Amity & Sorrow, have fled their family and their life in a polygamist religious compound with nowhere to go and Amaranth’s only thought being to get them as far away as possible. But when the car crashes in rural Oklahoma and she is forced to rely on a farmer for help (one of many things that challenges the strict rules they’ve all been taught to follow), she is also forced to confront the past, the present, and the future for both herself and her daughters.

A gripping tale of the aftermath of being indoctrinated into what I can only describe as a cult, Amity & Sorrow contains some difficult content but is one of those books that really hits you emotionally. The layers of Amaranth, Amity, and Sorrow’s experiences that are slowly revealed over the course of the book through narrative and flashbacks are complex and provide the reader with a dark and vivid picture of their lives before the book begins.

Overall, I enjoyed the book, though I know it’s not one everyone is likely to enjoy. It’s gritty and certainly isn’t a shiny happy tale, and I know some people don’t like books like that. But I’d still encourage people to give it a chance.

(eGalley provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.)

Content warnings: [mentions of child abuse, sexual abuse, and incest; religious fundamentalism]

Title: The Envelope
Author: Stephen del Mar
Publication Date: April 26, 2013

Rating: ★ ★ ★  ☆
Review: 
I really wish this was longer! We get dropped in on a story already in progress and very quickly learn that Tony recently lost his partner and has been trying to cope. While the story is powerful (especially considering its length), I really want to know more about them. A prequel, a sequel, something? There just wasn’t enough time to really connect to the story before it was done.