{Book Review} Bridge of Scarlet Leaves

 Bridge of Scarlet Leaves is a story of love, family, racism, and patriotism here in the United States during World War II.

Book Cover: Bridge of Scarlet Leaves

Bridge of Scarlet Leaves by Kristina McMorris

When Maddie Kern, an aspiring violinist, falls in love with her brother’s best friend, Lane Morimoto, she assumes that her biggest challenge would be her overprotective brother and Lane’s very traditional Japanese family. But Maddie is so wrong . 

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{Book Review} Sunflowers Beneath the Snow

Sunflowers Beneath the Snow tells the story of three Ukrainian women and their very different life experiences, through Soviet occupation to an independent Ukraine.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author for my enjoyment. All opinions are mine alone.

Book Review: Sunflowers Beneath the Snow

Sunflowers Beneath the Snow by Teri M. Brown

It is 1973 and the Soviet Union occupies Ukraine. The new Communist regime is increasingly oppressive, spurring one man – Lyaksandro – to do his part to counter the Soviets. He’s not overtly confrontational but secretly passes on little bite of information. However, Lyaksandro  is almost caught and is forced to flee Ukraine. His wife, Ivanna, is told that he died along with his lover. 

Sunflowers Beneath the Snow is the story of Ivanna, her daughter Yevtsye (Yevt), and her granddaughter Ionna, from Soviet occupation through the early years of Ukraine’s freedom. Continue reading “{Book Review} Sunflowers Beneath the Snow”

{Book Review} The Warsaw Orphan

The Warsaw Orphan by Kelly Rimmer is a story of love, tragedy, hope, and a fight for justice, from Nazi occupation to Soviet communist regime.

Photo of a book cover, The Warsaw Orphan

The Warsaw Orphan by Kelly Rimmer

It’s 1942 and Elzbieta Rabinek is a young girl with nowhere to do. The Nazis occupy Warsaw, Poland. Elzbieta is not allowed to go to school or go on many outings. Bored, she befriends her neighbor Sara and starts sneaking away to spend time with her new friend each day. But one night, Elzbieta stumbles upon Sara’s secret and she can’t look back.

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{Book Review} Sunflower Sisters

Sunflower Sisters is a story of slavery, the Underground Railroad, and the Civil War through the eyes of three strong but very different women. 

Book Review: Sunflower Sisters

Sunflower Sisters by Martha Hall Kelly

The sharp divisions between the North and the South have finally resulted in war in the United States. Sunflower Sisters follows three women from  very different backgrounds, showcasing both slavery and the Civil War through each woman’s eyes. 

Ann May, owner of the Peeler Plantation in Maryland, and her slave Jemma are two of the characters. Jemma was born into slavery and has lived most of her life on the tobacco plantation. By contrast, Ann May grew up in Louisiana but came to Maryland after she married, to run the plantation left to her by an aunt. Even within her household, loyalties are divided between North and South.

Finally, there is Georgeanna Woolsey (Georgey) from New York City. Georgey comes from a family of strong women who fight for their beliefs. Not one to sit at home and wait for marriage, Georgey makes a name for herself as a Union nurse. 

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Best Books of 2021

2021 was a slow year for reading and an even slower year for blog posting. Life started returning to some sort of new normal in late spring. The kids went back to school part time and I resumed working fulltime, not just coming off of reduced hours due to the pandemic but actually going back to a 40-hour a week job. (And boy, do I miss my day off each week!)

Last year, I also leaned toward spending more time on crafts – mostly knitting and scrapbooking (trying to catch up on the many years of albums I haven’t done!) rather than reading or being at a computer to blog. (If you’re interested in my crafting, you can follow #booksncookscrafts on Instagram.) Anyway, as 2021 came to a close, I realized I read a few great books but had never actually posted the reviews. Those – here and here – went up earlier this month, so now you have my favorite books read (not necessarily published) in 2021. 

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