What I’m Reading: Raven Black

I am a HUGE fan of the television series Shetland.  I think I could easily say it’s my favorite television show ever…besides MASH.  Have you seen the series??  Season 7 came out this Fall and I watched it each week with MUCH anticipation of the next week.

I love everything about the characters.  I love the actors.  I love-love-love the scenery.  I love the storylines.  I love peacoats.  There really isn’t anything I don’t like.  Wait…I don’t like that there is so much time between seasons.

Well, the other day when I was looking for a book to listen to I decided to check out the book series that the shows were originally based on.  The first in the series in Raven Black.

I wasn’t sure what I’d think when I started because sometimes books are better than shows and versa-visa.

I ended up liking both.  They are enough different to keep my interest so that was wonderful.  The only problem I have, and it’s not a problem, is that I keep imagining the characters on the television to be the characters in the book.  They have the same names so…

It turns out in the book that Jimmy really doesn’t like Sandy but in the show, Jimmy can get annoyed by Sandy but he actually still really likes him and values his work.  In the book, Fran isn’t dead.  Cassie is younger.  All of this is totally okay but just different.

Here is what Amazon had to say:

What Kelli is Reading: Lost Girls of Willowbrook

My daughter Kelli called me the other day and said, “Mom, I’m reading the best book.”  I told her thanks for the recommendation and to feel free to send me a review of the book.

The book was The Girls of Willowbrook by Ellen Marie Wiseman.  I’ve read other stories from this author and have loved her so I was certain, this would be a good book.

Kelli writes:
I really liked this book.  I like books that have a historical component and this book definitely did!  It details the story of twin sisters Rosemary and Sage.  From the background provided in the book and the description of some of Rosemary’s characteristics, I believe she may have met the diagnostic criteria for Autism.  When they are younger, her parents divorce, her father leaves, and her mother struggles with some mental health issues and gets remarried.  Rosemary ends up “dying” and Sage is left to deal with her mother’s following death in the care of her stepfather who is not overly interested in her or being a parent to her. 

The book tells the story of Sage and Rosemary and how Sage fights to do the best that she can for Rosemary after finding out that she was a resident at Willowbrook State School. After a little “research” aka a quick google, I learned that Willowbrook State School was an actual place that housed and “cared for” individuals with mental and intellectual disabilities in New York.  The book does not chronicle an actual person that was at the school but highlights many of the struggles encountered by residents there.  My research was heartbreaking when I found out about their experiments that were done on people living there (think Tuskeegee Institute, but with Hepatitis).  It reminds me of the many advancements in the mental health field that have been made (although there are many more improvements that can be made) and reaffirms that compassion and care can go a long way. 

Another thing that I liked about this book was that I had a general idea of how things were going to go, but I didn’t actually know the details until the events happened.  I tend to quickly tire of books that are very predictable. 

Overall, this book was great!  I’m going to be looking into seeing if this author has written any other books and will be adding them to my Hoopla list ASAP!”

Here is what Amazon had to say: …

What I’m Reading: The Other Passenger

I was looking for something that wasn’t historical fiction.  I love historical fiction but sometimes it’s pretty heavy and I need a break.  This one, The Other Passenger by Louise Candlish, looked promising.

This book was a little slow.  I kept waiting for something to happen.  You all know the saying “one step forward and two steps back”.  I felt like days went by in the story…but the story only advanced in clues by inches.  I got a little bored waiting for some action.  About a quarter of the book could easily have been omitted without missing any of the story.

I’ve said it before and bears repeating.   I have to love one of the characters to love a book and this book had not a single person to love!

Here is what Amazon had to say:

What Kelli’s Reading: A Place to Land

Kelli was reading a book and shared the book with me.  I haven’t read it yet but Kelli did and liked it.  The book is called A Place to Land by Lauren K. Denton.

After listening to Kelli and reading the synopsis, I think I’ll give it a try.  Read along, you might want to give it a try as well.

From Kelli:
I liked the book, as I like books that have a little romantic side and a little crime, but the downside was that I thought it was predictable and was able to peg the ending fairly early in the book.  The other part that I liked was that it told the story of a few relationships and throughout the book, it was interesting to see how all the relationships were connected together and how they mirrored each other and changed throughout time.  It was an easy read and the storylines were easy to follow.  Overall, I liked it.

Here is what Amazon had to say:

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