Monday, July 22, 2013

Another Good Summer Read!

Can you believe it? I scored another good summer read from a first time author - and it was another random pick! I just LOVE that! I just finished (and by "just" I mean "just put it down") The Mourning Hours by Paula Treick DeBoard, and I really liked it! 

Why did I pick it? Well, I liked the cover because I am sentimentally attached to fireflies in mason jars (part of my childhood), I was intrigued by the play on words for the title, and the preview on the back of the book interested me. There were no reviews or recommendations on, or in, the book - so, I almost took it as a challenge. I also liked her dedication page. I suppose I felt a common bond with an author who writes, "For my Tea Time friends, because I always said I would." My book club friends can relate to that, as they try to encourage me in my writing endeavors. ;)

Now, to sum it up and not give anything away...

I read this novel in a few days (of course, I'm a teacher on summer break). I usually like to sprinkle a few shorter reads in between big novels or series. I knew this would be one of my shorter reads. While it wasn't a difficult read, it was an interesting one! The first couple of chapters didn't flow for me at first, but once I got into the main story, the storyteller did a good job of pulling me in to the family's life.

The narrator of the story is an adult woman who is having to return to her childhood home because something has happened. As the reader, we don't yet know what that event is. The trip "back home" takes the narrator back in time to when she was nine and tragedy struck her family. She tells the story of what happened and how it changed her life, and the life of her family, forever. The back of the book states, "The Mourning Hours is a gripping portrayal of a family straining against extraordinary pressure, and a powerful tale of loyalty, betrayal and forgiveness."

One more thing I just have to mention. It was only after I purchased the book that I noticed the publisher was Harlequin MIRA. Harlequin? Really? I only associate them with romance novels. So, researcher that I am, I looked it up. Some of the information I found seemed to indicate that this part of Harlequin publishing focuses on "relationship novels," but I did find some references to "romance" on other books published under the "MIRA" label. That being said, let me assure you The Mourning Hours is not a romance novel. 

I hope you'll give Ms. DeBoard's novel a try! I also hope you give other new authors a try from time to time. I love to go to bookstores that have a special section dedicated to new writers. Classics are great, national bestsellers are usually a good bet, but...sometimes, be sure you're giving the unknown a try. I'll tell you what I tell my students, "A careful, good preview of any book should usually result in a good read." :)

If you'd like a little more info:

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