The Prisoner’s Wife by Maggie Brookes

The Prisoner’s Wife

Just feast your eyes on this magnificent cover.  The fact that this WW11 novel is based on a real story does not change that it is indeed a novel of The Holocaust. I know. We all are fascinated and horrified by it, and, in many ways we are exhausted by the sheer number of  stories. So when I come across something unique I take notice. In the case of THE PRISONER’S WIFE, I’m really glad I did.

Brookes, a British poet and novelist, was moved to write THE PRISONER’S WIFE after hearing a story told by a British POW who survived WW11. Though her characters are fictionalized, Brookes conducted extensive research, including visiting the sites of the former POW camps featured in this story, and driving the length of the Long March, the bitterly cold, miles-long route that soldiers forced their prisoners to trek across Northern territory in snow and severe winter conditions. The author ‘s own father was a POW and her novel sheds light on the treacherous conditions that many prisoners faced, which few people know about today. 

It’s 1944 and Izabela is a Czech teenager left behind with her mother while her father and older brother are fighting with the resistance  against the Nazis. Of course, Izabela is wild to begin her own adventure by joining in the fight. It isn’t long before she falls for a British prisoner, weds him in secret and flees the farm. The story that follows the star-crossed lovers is based on a true story and although it’s quite harsh and even punishing at times to read, it is one to be told.

As Izabela hides her identity as a woman and becomes a “boy” the reality of what this means becomes almost intolerable. But the other prisoners keep the couple’s secret at all costs. After all, her survival is contingent on everyone working together.

Tireless research was done. New facts learned have been woven into this compelling story of courage, endurance, friendship and love. Not to be missed.

Maggie Brooks is a British ex-journalist and BBC television producer turned  novelist.

Maggie Brookes

THE PRISONER’S WIFE by Maggie Brookes is on sale now in a trade paperback edition. Copperfish Books will be able to order this title for  you.

My review copy came from Berkley, a publishing division of Penguin Random in exchange for an honest review. It’s a real winner. You WW11 buffs need this one.

Camino Winds by John Grisham

Camino Winds

I loved CAMINO ISLAND.  Discovering that a sequel was coming, well, it is here!! And it’s wonderful. Perfect. Entertaining but with a murder mystery to be solved,  during a hurricane at that.

The story begins with a  sumptuous party at Bruce Cable’s home on Camino Island. Celebrating the return of now best-selling literary ,  Mercer Mann. All the usual suspects are there. What a bunch of literary gossips. A delightful and very colorful group.

But the fun quickly dissipates as hurricane Leo changes course and makes a beeline straight for the island. Mandatory evacuations go out. Most residents heed the alarm. But  Bruce decides to stay behind and ride the storm out.  I knew this would not end well. It rarely does. The scenes during the storm are harrowing. Anyone who’s endured a storm such as this understands the aftermath. Sometime as you hunker down in the midst of the storm, your mind reminds you that this was not a good plan.

After the storm passes Bruce emerges from his mostly unscathed to   out the island and  on friends.  When he discovers the body of  Nelson Kerr who is a popular thriller writer, the question arrises: was this an accident from the storm, or was this murder? We get up front and personal with some of the local  who seem to be totally bungling the investigation…Small town stuff.

Grisham brings back more of what he is so well known for:  murder and mystery and even legal stuff. So as much as I loved the story, I missed, missed, missed, the . Of course the is a mess and has sustained lots of damage due to flooding. It could have been much worse if Bruce and some of his employees hadn’t taken the time to move books and valuables to the second floor. Still, wreckage to be repaired.

John Grisham is a master story-teller.  CAMINO WINDS brings what is actually a   read into the murder mystery genre.  So there is more story for everyone.

John Grisham

CAMINO WINDS is pure entertainment. But  it also brings to mind that hurricane season is almost upon us. Always mindful, I can’t even imagine the fear of a storm coming during this pandemic. I shudder at that thought and pray they all just go away.

I am including a link to a very enjoyable podcast with Mitchell Kaplan of Books & Books out of . His conversation with Grisham is just delightful. You will enjoy it and hearing the passion in their voices as they speak of books and stuff is just what you need right now.

Some really great news to end my review. There will be a third in the Camino Series. Yippee. Much dancing around and clapping. You see, I’ve totally  fallen for the quirky character of Bruce Cable. I can’t wait to meet him again.

My copy of CAMINO WINDS was a gift. So I am not indebted to anyone for a review. However, I did love it! The great publishing people at Double Day, a division of Penguin Random ,  have a great gift in John Grisham.

Copperfish Book

Copperfish Books is selling CAMINO WINDS at a 20% in or online.  Free shipping to your home with $35 or more purchase. Might I suggest a paperback copy of CAMINO ISLAND….. to add to your pleasure. Cheers!

 

The Summer Guests by Mary Alice Monroe ( now in trade paper )

The Summer Guests

A new novel by Mary Alice Monroe is always a big deal. THE SUMMER GUESTS is just out in trade paper and available to purchase at Copperfish Books. As I scanned for information about the story, I expected to see it taking place along the coast of South Carolina where most of her other novels are set. Yes, this one actually begins on Isle of Palm on the coast of South Carolina, but it quickly moves away from the coast and up into the gorgeous mountains of North Carolina. Why? EVACUATION! A monster hurricane has just rolled off the coast of Africa and is headed that way.

When I began reading the prologue the hair actually stood up on the back of my neck. I kid you not. Those of you who have known the horrors of a hurricane coming straight for you know what I’m talking about.  Residents in Florida and along the Southern Eastern coast need to leave their home; evacuate, now. That’s where this story begins. A couple years ago we had hurricane Irma come so close to our home that it scared the bejesus out of all of us. I know what the day by day waiting is like. I know what it’s like to hear the hour by hour reporting as the storm gets ready to blow through your community.  My heart was already pounding.

Mary Alice

Mary Alice Monroe is now famous for bringing us the very best in environmental fiction.  I have learned so much about endangered species that live in my own backyard and nearby. I love her writing and I love how involved she is with protecting the animals and wildlife.  This time her main concern is the equestrian world of horses and handlers. I fell hard for this novel. I just think it’s super.  I completely lost myself in it.

Cara Rutledge just did not think the tropical wave the newscasters were talking about would come to amount to much. After all, she’d been through plenty of storms through the  years. You don’t live on Isle of Palm  and not feel scathed. But she was preparing to take her young daughter to visit friends in the mountains in North Carolina. Surely, it would just be fine.  So, she turned her back on the storm and went her way.

In Palm Beach, Florida, Hannah McLain was flitting between her boyfriend Angel’s creepy dog Max, and trying to shove all Angel’s Olympic medals in a suitcase per his instructions.  Hannah is a make-up artist and Angel is a famous equestrian.

In Kiawah, South Carolina, Moira Stevens is packed and ready to evacuate to her  parent’s horse farm Freehold Farm in the mountains of North Carolina.  Her husband Thom was away on business.  Their marriage could easily be in trouble.

In Wellington, Florida, Elise Klug and her mother are struggling to get their prize horses into their trailers and ready to begin the long drive to the mountains.  Elise’s mother is a no-nonsense German woman  who is determined that her daughter become an award-winning  equestrian whether she wants it or not.

Each chapter begins with a weather update that will keep you on the edge of your seat.  My neck is getting tight just contemplating it all.  It adds to the tension.

So, the question arises: what would you take with you if  you had to evacuate your home not knowing if you would ever return?

All these people are thrown together with a some very special  dogs and some very important horses. They are in close quarters for a week. They are forced to confront issues, come to terms with important life-changing events, and question love and devotion. Tempers bristle and even the animals question the many changes.

“Mary Alice Monroe is a passionate conservationist who uses novels to bring public awareness to the plight of the world’s endangered, undervalued, and sometimes obscure creatures. ”  This is why I love Mary Alice Monroe.

Let’s just say that these people will leave this mountain different than when they arrived. All good.

” But as the storm passes, they realize that what really matters isn’t what they brought with them to the mountains. Rather, it’s what they’ll take with them when they leave.”

My review copy arrived via Gallery Books, a division of Simon & Schuster publishers in exchange for an honest review. Well, folks, I absolutely LOVE it.

Punta Gorda

Copperfish Books

Copperfish Books loves Mary Alice Monroe. We have trade paperback copies of THE SUMMER GUESTS in stock and read to go.  Plus, our Cathy has chosen the paperback version as her bookclub pick for August. Perfect timing.  You’ll receive 10% off this book club pick.

If you purchase ON OCEAN BOULEVARD and THE SUMER GUESTS you’ll get free shipping to your home. Something to think about. And they’re both  discounted.

Beach Read by Emily Henry

Beach Read

I was combing the bookshelves in our office a couple weeks ago looking for something special to read. The shelves are used to display review copies of upcoming titles. And I needed something new. Something fresh. Just look how colorful this cover is.  And the photo on the front definitely got my attention.  I was actually hoping for a beach read. And that is what I got.

BEACH READ by Emily Henry is a novel about two blocked novelists who can’t get out of their own tracks.  January Andrews has sequestered herself in her recently deceased dad’s beach house in Michigan. She’s listening as the clock tick-ticks against her deadline for the next great romance novel. And she’s blocked. She’s broke, and she’s feeling pretty beat up.  Who’s her neighbor? Augustus Everett writes literary fiction. They say opposites attract. Really?

Henry managed to grab my reading attention right away with her sense of place and sense of humor.  January has issues and she’s trying to deal with the newness of discovering her father had another life, one she has only found out about since his death.  So there is that.  And it’s getting in the way of her writing. She’s also lost the ability to feel love and that’s devastating for someone who makes her living writing about it.  I love the beach cottage. And the small town the story is set in. Not to mention the little book store and the cast of unique characters.

Augustus has his own demons. His world is filled with secrets that do not come to the surface right away. They ooze into the story like cold honey from the jar.

When push comes to shove, the two decide to swap genres for the summer. January will take a stab at writing a literary novel. Augustus will write a rom-com. Where on earth is this going? January gets to take Augustus into her romance world one day a week; show him the way around. One day she takes him to the carnival, a great place for lovers.  Augustus takes January on several interviews with survivors of a death cult he’s been following. Now you get the ghist.

You have to know they are going to hook up. After all, this is a romance novel. And when they do ooh-la-la. Hot and heavy. Scenes are pretty steamy. Beware.  This is just what you need to take you away from this virus and get you out of your house and into another world. The writing is very good. Being at the beach or the lake is always a good thing. And this delightful story is being published in trade paper form and will be on sale tomorrow. You can purchase your copy at Copperfish Books. Our Lucy will be hosting a virtual book club featuring BEACH READ in July. Purchase the book at 10% off. We will have copies in store as of tomorrow, May 19.

I have to thank Berkley Jove publishing company, a division of penguinrandomhouse for providing a review copy of this book. I loved it.

Punta Gorda

Copperfish Books

On Ocean Boulevard by Mary Alice Monroe

On Ocean Boulevard

New York Times Best Selling Author, Mary Alice Monroe, is back with another highly anticipated  novel in her beloved  Beach House series. I am beside myself. She has outdone herself. I loved this book. LOVED IT!

ON OCEAN BOULEVARD, is one of those books you have to rein yourself in over. I kept trying to make it last longer. It’s got everything I love in a summer read including bringing back many of the characters I’ve come to love over the years. And, we are back on Isle of Palm,  one of my favorite beach communities. Throw in the sea turtles that I adore and some really important ocean information and I am happy as a clam.

I think the cover is great.  For me, that says a lot. Covers can make or break a novel.  This cover practically screams yippee it’s summer and we’re going to the beach. It’s bright and colorful and makes me smile. A happy book cover.

We all have been hovering at home, staying safe and trying to stay well. Some beaches in this country are still closed. It’s been a very sad couple of months. But some beaches are opening up, very carefully. And if people do the right thing and keep social distancing like they are asked to do, well, maybe we all will be able to return to the beach sometime this summer.  Having said all that, this book is going to be your first BIG summer book of the season. You will be at the beach: Isle of Palm and Sullivan’s Island, both in South Carolina.  You will have toes in the surf, you will be able to raise your face to the wind and smell the ocean, and you will be enjoying the life-changing sounds of the waves as they meet the coast. All this stuff sure makes a difference and will make you happy.

There are some serious issues addressed in ON OCEAN BOULEVARD.  I’ve  been following the turtle ladies for years. I feel as if I know them. They are tireless and the love and dedication they show is refreshing to see and I never tire of reading about their findings.

Mary Alice Monroe

Mary Alice Monroe begins each chapter with a paragraph about the turtles or the environment; true things. For instance, here is the one at the top of Chapter Fourteen:

 The temperature of the sand during incubation plays a role in determining the sex of the hatchlings. Cool sand produces males, while hotter sand produces females. Thus the phrase, “Hot chicks and cool dudes.”

Another issue that is quickly becoming very important to me is the horrific  ocean of plastic that  is growing larger by the day; this out in the middle of nowhere.  And here is the paragraph for Chapter Fifteen:

Plastic isn’t biodegradable. Depending on the type of plastic and where it lands, items can take days to hundreds of years to break down into very small  pieces, which means the waste plastic is left for generations to come.

Sea Turtle & Plastic

So, what do  you think I did upon finishing ON OCEAN BOULEVARD? I found a website to purchase one of those bracelets that actually use that plastic. 4Ocean makes bracelets from the renegade plastic. I bought two: one to save the ocean, the other to save the turtles, of course. My husband also has two. And our grandchildren are also sporting these very important trinkets.

Okay, now back to the actual story.  THE BEACH HOUSE series began years ago and has evolved into a big juicy family saga that’s set in Charleston, South Carolina and Isle of Palm, on the coast. It has everything you want for summer.  I care about these characters.  They experience very real problems that most families actually deal with.  Over the years I’ve watched as Cara Rutledge has gone from being the youngest to now becoming the matriarch  now that  her mother has passed on. I’ve watched the drama over the future of the beloved beach house and I’ve felt worried.  You see, I want this beach house to live on forever. Now, Cara is about to get married, for the second time. After losing her first husband too soon,  she thinks she’s ready to experience love again. Is she?

So many of the characters you’ll remember from older books have come home to roost.  They’ve grown and become more mature, some at a price. Cara’s brother, Palmer, an alcoholic, has stopped drinking and is working hard to stay sober. Her niece is back after running away from the island to experience “real off island” life in California.  And even the Gold Bug, Cara’s mother’s old car, is back.

Me with On Ocean Boulevard before publication.

Honestly, I was totally transported to Isle of Palm while reading ON OCEAN BOULEVARD.  A book is a real winner to be able to do that.  I simply can not wait to return to Isle of Palm and more of the Beach House series. I could NOT put it down. It was wonderful!

I can not thank the very generous publishing people at Gallery Books enough. They sent me this wonderful finished copy of ON OCEAN BOULEVARD.  I am so fortunate.

Copperfish Books in Punta Gorda, Florida will have copies of ON OCEAN BOULEVARD for sale on Tuesday. 20% off because they are brand spanking new hardcovers. You need this novel. And you can get it Tuesday.  Tell them Maurice sent you:)

Punta Gorda

Copperfish Books

 

Save Me The Plums by Ruth Reichl

Save Me The Plums

I love this pristine cover! I so enjoy good food writing. This is food writing taken to another level; one of the highest proportion. Filled with juicy tidbits from behind the scenes of Gourmet magazine back in the hay day when Gourmet was at the top of food magazine row. I so loved it and so miss it now.

Ruth Reichl is a name you know if you are in the restaurant business, or, if you’ve ever been in the business. If you love food, you probably are already a fan. This newest memoir is now out in a trade paper edition and  is for you. I loved every word of it.

“Trailblazing food writer and beloved restaurant critic Ruth Reichl took the risk (and the job) of a lifetime when she entered the glamorous, high-stakes world of magazine publishing. Now, for the first time, she chronicles her groundbreaking tenure as editor in chief of Gourmet, during which she spearheaded a revolution in the way we think about food.”

Ruth Reichl

SAVE ME THE PLUMS comes complete with signature recipes. Believe you me, they are such a welcome edition. The jeweled chocolate cake alone is worth the cost of the book!

Ruth turned down the initial offer to be editor in chief of Gourmet. She was a writer, not a manager.  Thank God she changed her mind. She brought so much to the table. Her story is witty and fun to read. Even though I knew where this story was going…… no good ending in sight,  I found it most compelling.

I worked in the restaurant business for much of my younger life. I waited tables, tended bar, and managed various successful businesses over the years.  It was during the time Ruth writes about. And, so, I am very invested in great food, celebrity chefs who worked their way up to stardom, and all the behind the scenes shenanigans that compete the circuit.  Ruth sure does know how to bring it all to life.

Toward the end of the life of Gourmet Ruth travels to Paris with a colleague. They are on a difficult journey to find budget lodging and great food at rock bottom prices. All this during the downturn in our economy. You need to keep in mind that Gourmet has always been the magazine that brings eliteness not just on the page but to the doorstep of their loyal and usually well-to-do readers. The question being asked is, will these same people go for this? This is a wonderful chapter titled MIDNIGHT IN PARIS.  You’re going to love it. The food, the lumpy mattresses, the amazing characters. Ruth had gotten used to being treated like food royalty. But what do you miss out on? You’ll find out.

In the early years, Ruth worked at the magazine and took care of the house and cooked for her husband and son. When a parent had to leave work because of a crisis at home, well, you guessed it, it’s always the mother who has to take the hit.  That hasn’t changed today as much as it could. Ask any mother.

It becomes quite poignant when Ruth writes about her experience with 9/11. She was working in the city that day and has a first-hand account.  It was such a difficult time. Who knew what tomorrow would bring. How the people of NYC came forward and took control is a  story of its own.

Magazines are certainly not what they used to be. So much is digital now.  And less and less is actual print. But I’m one of the ones who love print magazines. Nothing more relaxing than lounging on my lanai on a lovely day with a stack of colorful magazines filled with food and travel articles. What a way to escape this crazy world we live in now.

Punta Gorda

Copperfish Books

Now available at Copperfish Books in Punta Gorda in the trade paperback version. In stock today and just waiting to be your personal copy. Don’t miss it.

 

Camino Island by John Grisham

Camino Island

Somehow I missed CAMINO ISLAND last year when it came out in hardcover. But it’s out now in mass market paperback and I just  gobbled it up. It’s so perfect for book lovers. PERFECT. It was my Mother’s Day read.

Takes place mostly on a small island off the coast of Jacksonville, Florida. Small.  Santa Rosa is a sleepy little town with lots of character and plenty of small restaurants that will beckon to you. Bruce Cable owns the little bookshop named Bay Books. He’s built up a following of authors and has plenty of bookie friends nearby. But what most people don’t know is that he sometimes dabbles in stolen material.

Another great cover.  It’s about books and is at the beach.  But it begins with a great heist on the property of Princeton University’s Firestone Library, far from any beach.  The criminals have their heads together planning a fantastic operation. They are about steal five of F.Scott Fitzgerald’s original manuscripts right out from under the school. How do they do this? Who the hell are they? And how will the beach come into play?

Mercer Mann is a writer who had one book success years ago and has passed her deadline for the next book by three years. Yes, she’s blocked. She’s been teaching and that job is disappearing. So when she’s approached and offered a job making a lot more money than she’s making now, well, she goes for it.  She’s being asked to spy on a little bookseller who owns a small Indy store on Camino Island….. You see, the insurance people do not want to have pay out. They heard maybe Bruce Cage has the manuscript buried in his vault beneath his shop. But does he?

And we move to the beach. Mercer is living in her dead aunt’s cottage right on the beach.  And she becomes deeply involved rather quickly with the bookseller and his cronies. There are long lunches complete with wine. Dinner parties to die for. You’ll meet a host of book lovers who will make your head spin. And I learned so much about the world of antiquated books…. A feast for those of us who truly love our books.

I so enjoyed this novel. Of course it took me to the beach. Gotta love that. But it had me engrossed in the very special book world that I love right from the start. I hope they make a movie out of this book because the part of Bruce Cage just has to be played by Ashton Kutcher. I can so picture Ashton in one of Bruce’s signature pastel seersucker suits, complete with bright yellow or red bow tie and scuffed up old buckskins and no sox, ever.  Yes, a real character!

Such an enjoyable read. Made me want to go directly to this island and have lunch and visit the bookstore. Ha ha.

So the end is satisfying but leaves you wanting more of these people and this so atmospheric island. Low and behold, CAMINO WINDS has just been published and is getting rave reviews. I’m halfway through it and I’m loving everything about it except that it takes place in the midst of a cat 5 hurricane. Yikes. Too close to home.

We have copies  at Copperfish Books  of CAMINO ISLAND in mass market paperThey’re in stock and ready for pick up or delivery.  Do not miss this. You are going to love it. We also have copies in stock of CAMINO WINDS, hardcover marked at 20% off.  They are hot off the press and ready to go.