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Hannah’s marvelous new novel gives us both the tale of the struggling Allbright family who uprooted and started a new life in the wilderness of Alaska in 1974, but also the story of the fierce, lonely 13-year-old Leni who not only finds a place to belong but discovers her own inner strength and worth. The reader endures along with them not only the hardships of homesteading, the grueling and never-ending winter, but also the fiercely independent community of strong men and women that help them find the strength to survive not only the elements but the fracturing of family. This book will keep you enthralled to the very end and stay with you a long, long time. Powerful, enduring, spectacular, just like the Alaskan wilderness it portrays. ~ Reviewed by Tambra Johnson Reap
It’s hard to believe this is a debut novel for author C.J. Tudor. In 1986 a group of young friends find a headless corpse, and the aftermath of that resonates long after, culminating in a new murder 20 years later. There are so many twists and turns your head will be spinning by the time all the mysteries are solved. And that ending? You’ll NEVER see it coming. ~ Reviewed by Tambra Johnson Reap
Probably my favorite fantasy book of 2017! Fans of His Dark Materials will not be disappointed, as it is classic Pullman which captures the feel of the original trilogy, even after 17 years. In the first of three volumes we meet an infant Lyra and her ever-changing dæmon Pantalaimon, and are introduced to the curious and steadfast Malcolm Polstead, who finds himself forced to protect Lyra from the many threats she faces throughout the book. Floods, disgusting villains (and their terrifying daemons!) and heroic characters abound...with the tension climbing faster and faster toward a dark and brutal climax. I was devastated to have to leave this world of daemons, alethiometer and an alternate Oxford...and wait longingly for the next installment. ~ Reviewed by Tambra Johnson Reap
Although we all probably know the basic history of Anna Anderson and Anastasia, I found this book incredibly fascinating and hard to put down. The author chose to relate it in alternating chapters telling one person’s story chronologically and the other backwards through time, and only by the end do we know how it all started. Although a work of fiction, the author incorporates great historic details and draws you into the story with imagination. She brings to vivid life a mystery that mesmerized the world for much of the twentieth century, in an incredibly creative format. ~ Reviewed by Tambra Johnson Reap
“Irene Bobs loves fast driving. Her husband is the best car salesman in rural south eastern Australia. Together with Willie, their lanky navigator, they embark upon the Redex Trial, a brutal race around the continent, over roads no car will ever quite survive.” This tragicomic historical novel set in 1950s Australia not only covers the excitement of the Redex, but also examines Willie’s and Irene’s individual journeys of self discovery, as well as the beginnings of Australia coming to grips with its own dark history of racism and transgressions against its aboriginal population. The truths will haunt not only the characters but the reader as well. An unforgettable novel. ~ Reviewed by Tambra Johnson Reap