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Early Morning Musings

Are you ever awoken by words?

Swirling around endlessly, beckoning to be released.

Tormenting you until you put pen to paper.  

Always appearing at the most inconvenient of times:

In the middle of the night,

In the early morning hours.  

Your body and mind plead with them:

Let us rest for a few more hours.

Unsuccessful.

Defeated, you rise

And let the deluge of words pour from your mind,

Washing over the page.

No matter how insignificant or incoherent,

The words have been set free.

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It’s five o’clock in the morning.  I sit here in the sweet silence, because your wiggles woke me.  You are 37 weeks old today. Each day brings us closer to your arrival.  Each day brings an onslaught of new thoughts and emotions,  bubbling up at seemingly insignificant moments.  Washing over me like waves.

Yesterday, I sat on the deck, book propped on my swollen belly, surrounded by the gentle sound of rainfall.  As I inhaled the cool, crisp mountain air, a hummingbird flitted up to a flower basket, prodding the bright pink blossoms in search of sweetness.  I felt an instant surge of emotion rise up through my body, tears welling in my eyes as I reflexively rubbed my belly. What absolute beauty our world holds – a beauty that I can’t wait for you to experience.

How can such a simple, fleeting moment bring me to tears?  How can I already feel such a deep love for you? You have already changed me irrevocably.

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The calm before the storm.  

The quiet before the chaos.  

The last, fading moments 

of lives about to change forever.  

You stretch and squirm,

adjusting to your increasingly cramped quarters.  

The only home you’ve ever known.  

Pushing the boundaries. 

Responding to the mysterious sensations surrounding you.  

We prepare.  

We clean, organize, learn, 

and savour our moments together.

“Things will never be the same,” they say.

Of course they won’t be.  

You’ve already altered our lives.

Ever since those two little blue lines

appeared magically in front of us.

The anticipation.

The wonder.

The questioning and worrying.

You have grown so fast.

Time has passed so quickly, 

yet now it seems to slow.  

To pause.

My body urges me to relax, 

to contemplate.

Preparing me physically and emotionally

for what is to come.

The worries and hesitations

that have so long surrounded birth

swiftly disappear, 

as I realize that I’ll endure anything

just to finally hold you in my arms.  

I feel calm.  

At peace.  

Still in wonder of the miracle moving inside me.

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A bit of a departure from my usual book reviews and wrap-ups, but I hope you enjoy anyways.

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Life & Reading Update | 6 months later…

Hi everyone!  Well, it’s been awhile since I’ve made an appearance here… so much for my monthly reading wrap-ups and frequent book reviews…

I think I’ve got a pretty good excuse though?  Coincidentally, my last blog post was around the time we found out that I’m growing a tiny human inside of me! (Well, to be honest, the human is not feeling so tiny these days…)

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We are SO excited to welcome a little bookworm into the world this August!  I won’t say I haven’t had time for blogging, but I certainly haven’t made time for blogging.  Between teaching full time, being ridiculously sick during the first trimester, buying and moving into our first house, and preparing for baby, I’ve been pretty exhausted.  I have still managed to stay on track with my reading goal for this year – miraculously!

So here’s a little update on reading and life.

Reading Update

My Goodreads reading challenge for this year is 50 books! I know my life is about to change a LOT, so I lowered it from last year’s goal.

Well, instead of a monthly wrap-up, let’s go for a 6-month wrap-up!  Here’s a summary of my reading from January-June.

Total Number of Books: 30
Total Number of Pages: 9,702 (that was way too much math for a Saturday morning)
Average Pages per Book: 323
Average Rating: 4.06

Here’s the list with my ratings (and a summary of my rating system below):

  • The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
  • Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
  • The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
  • Do Chocolate Lovers Have Sweeter Babies? by Jena Pincott β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
  • The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
  • The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
  • Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
  • Keeper’n Me by Richard Wagamese β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
  • By Chance Alone by Max Eisen β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
  • Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling β˜…β˜…β˜…
  • Hunting Annabelle by Wendy Heard β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
  • How to Stop Time by Matt Haig β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
  • Wishtree by Katherine Applegate β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
  • Homes: A Refugee Story by Abu Bakr al Rabeeah & Winnie Yeung β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
  • Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
  • Brother by David Chariandy β˜…β˜…β˜…
  • Fablehaven by Brandon Mull β˜…β˜…β˜…
  • Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
  • The Two Lila Bennetts by Liz Fenton β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
  • Karamo: My Story of Embracing Purpose, Healing, and Hope by Karamo Brown β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
  • Circe by Madeline Miller β˜…β˜…β˜…
  • The Wisdom of Psychopaths by Kevin Dutton β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
  • The Enchanted Hour: The Miraculous Power of Reading Aloud in the Age of Distraction by Meghan Cox Gurdon β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
  • When We Found Home by Susan Mallery β˜…β˜…β˜…
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
  • A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
  • Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
  • Ina May’s Guide to Breastfeeding by Ina May Gaskin β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
  • Rick Mercer Final Report by Rick Mercer β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
  • On the Come Up by Angie Thomas β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
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Here are a few of my top reads so far this year:

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By Chance Alone by Max Eisen β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

Max Eisen just turned 90 years old.  His memoir details his tragic, brutal, and heartbreaking experiences as a survivor of the Holocaust.  His story is incomprehensible, but so important.  I had to set the book down several times because it made me so emotional.  But that is what it is meant to do.  Some of the most important books are the hardest to read.  I am so happy that this book won Canada Reads 2019, because it truly is a story that needs to be told and shared – especially amidst the rise of divisions based on race, ethnicity, and nationality.

“I am inspired by the need to document my story so others may learn from the past. On a personal level, I have a highly developed sense of observation of the world around me, which constantly inspires and motivates me to take action.”

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Homes: A Refugee Story by Abu Bakr al Rabeeah & Winnie Yeung β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

Homes was another Canada Reads finalist, and I love this story and also how it ended up being written.  Abu Bakr’s family fled their home in Iraq and moved to Homs Syria, just before the civil war broke out.  The book details Abu Bakr’s experience growing up in a war zone and eventually finding safety in Canada.  Winnie Yeung, his high school English teacher here in Canada, has listened to his story and written it, as told by him and his family.  It’s eye-opening, and sheds light on the experiences of immigrants and refugees.  Another important and timely read.

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A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

The last season of Game of Thrones on TV got me back into reading the book series (because it is just so much better!).  I just love the description, detail, and all the different plot lines. If you haven’t read the books, I definitely recommend them!

Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

I listened to this on audiobook and it was SO GOOD! An entire cast reads it, and it honestly felt like I was listening to interviews with real people who had experienced these things.  In fact, it was so convincing that I googled the band and was looking for some photos and their songs… when I realized that they don’t actually exist.  THAT is good fiction!  I can’t say whether it would be as engaging to read, but I would definitely recommend the audiobook.

Life Updates

As I mentioned above, it’s been a big year for us!  We are expecting our first baby in August, which we are so excited about!  We’ve decided to keep the sex a surprise, and are looking forward to meeting our little munchkin this summer.  I’m lucky that my pregnancy has gone well so far.  I had a lot of “morning” (hah – it’s actually 24/7) sickness in the first trimester, but since then I have just been tired, hungry, and sore.  I’ve always wanted children, but I always dreaded being pregnant.  Surprisingly, I’m enjoying it for the most part!  Sure, some days are frustrating and increasingly uncomfortable, but it is also amazing what my body is going through.  I love feeling baby move around and watching my belly wiggle and ripple, trying to figure out which body part is jutting out here or there.  Yup, now I’m being one of those cheesy people who declares that pregnancy is just “such a miracle!” Haha… who’d have thought.

We also bought and moved into our first house this spring!  We absolutely love it, and I’ve enjoyed collecting plant babies…

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Plus we have the perfect reading window ledge in our bedroom (pictured here).

I’ve now finished teaching for the year, and it’s going to feel so strange not going back in September!  I’m definitely going to miss all of my students and coworkers, but I’m also looking forward to new adventures in motherhood.

My little bookish shop, Bibliophile Belle’s Boutique, is still going strong, and I’m currently working on my last restock of book sleeves before baby arrives!

AND just because there aren’t already enough new and exciting things happening in life this year, my friend Kristen (@my.book.is.calling) and I have started a Canadian book subscription box – The Uniquely Bookish Box – which will debut in October.  Visit our Instagram or Facebook pages for more information.  Our website will be launching soon, with pre-orders happening in July!

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Well, that’s about it for now!  Hopefully I’ll be around more often now that I am off work and have a bit more time on my hands.  Let me know what is new in your life – reading or otherwise!

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November Wrap-up

Happy December!  Sorry for the delay in my November wrap-up, I’ve just been too busy relaxing in my cozy, Christmasey home πŸ˜‰

Total Number of Books: 7
Total Number of Pages: 2,469
Average Pages per Book: 353
Average Rating: 4.4

Here are the books I read in November:

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The Girl They Left Behind by Roxanne Veletzos     β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

First of all, a huge thank you to JKS Communications and the author for sending me a copy of this book. I always gravitate towards books set in the time period of the Second World War. I love learning about the lesser-known pieces of history. The Girl They Left Behind is a fascinating and deeply moving novel based on the lives of the author’s mother and grandparents. The story gives us insight into life in Romania – first ravaged by war, then faced with political upheaval, economic uncertainty, and loss of freedom under Stalin’s rule. This novel captured my heart immediately, and had me crying within the first 50 pages. It was an emotional ride, exploring war and family relationships. The characters are deep and multi-faceted, providing an endearing and riveting read.

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Sea Prayer by Khaled Hosseini    β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

“I have heard that we are the uninvited.  We are the unwelcome.  We should take our misfortune elsewhere.”

Hosseini wrote this as a response to the Syrian refugee crisis, and it is a beautiful, heartbreaking, and timely work.  Written as a prayer/letter from father to son, this book is a truly masterful piece of art.  It features stunning illustrations by Dan Williams, and both the images and words are breathtakingly beautiful.  It’s short, yet impactful.  It requires slow contemplation and leaves you heartbroken.  Yet another one that brought me to tears this month…

The Return of History: Conflict, Migration, and Geopolitics in the Twenty-First Century by Jennifer Welsh   β˜…β˜…β˜….5

This was my only non-fiction read of November.  It is the book version of Welsh’s CBC Radio Massey Lecture, in which she refutes Fukuyama’s idea of “progress,” and argues that many of our past struggles – the ones we presumed would disappear or be solved – have returned. She discusses the mass movement of refugees and displaced populations, the invasion and annexation of territories, and the continued attempts to annihilate ethnic and religious minorities.  This is clearly intended as more of a surface overview than a deep dive into the problems and potential solutions.  It is interesting, and provides a good entry point for those interested in the current state of our world.

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Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young.   β˜…β˜…β˜….5

I am still a bit torn about this one.  I was so excited to read this book – a stunning Viking-esque cover, a badass female protagonist, and an interesting premise.  The novel starts out strong by thrusting us straight into battle with Eelyn.  Right from the beginning I felt immersed in the story, and subsequently drawn in by Eelyn’s emotional turmoil as she discovers that her brother – who she thought she saw die previously in battle – is still alive and now fighting alongside the enemy tribe.  I was eager for the mystery to unravel, and as a history and mythology nerd, I delighted in the Viking-inspired setting.  Ultimately, I was not fully captivated throughout the whole novel.  There were a few points where I really had to push myself to keep reading.  I suppose it just wasn’t as impactful as I had anticipated.  I had trouble connecting with most of the characters, and I wasn’t thrilled about the romance that seemed to develop abruptly.  I did enjoy the book, but it didn’t “wow” me as I expected it would.

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The Book Thief by Markus Zusak    β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… (just all of the stars in existence…)

First of all, I can’t believe it took me this many years to read The Book Thief.  It graces many book nerds’ all-time favourites list, so I suppose my hesitation was due to the fact that I had high hopes and did not want to be let down.  Well, I can tell you that I was certainly NOT disappointed in any way.  The Book Thief is everything I want and need in a story.  It gave me the most horrendous book hangover I’ve ever experienced, and I know that I will re-read it over and over again, just to spend more time with the characters.  Zusak’s writing is so poetic, and the fact that this novel is narrated by Death makes it so unique and fascinating!  I could go on and on and on about this book, but I need to finish this post, so I’ll exercise restraint.

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Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli     β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜†

This was such a fun and endearing read!  I absolutely adore the characters, and was drawn into the story right away.  It was a quick and light-hearted read.  Now I NEED to see the movie…

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The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee     β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜†

This is another one that I had so much fun reading! From the outset, I loved and hated Monty.  He is one of the most entertaining protagonists I’ve had the pleasure of meeting, and his wit and sarcasm had me giggling constantly.  I just adored his relationship with Percy.  This book is full of humour, adventure, and romance!  Plus it’s set in history, with English gentlemen being not-so-gentlemanly.  Just read it!

Looking back at my TBR for November, I read ONE of the five books I had planned to read.  In my defence, I did disclose that I am horrible at following a set TBR…

I’m currently reading:

  • Witch Born by Nicholas Bowling
  • The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch (FINALLY!!!)

Two books that I am DETERMINED to read in December (because I need all the magical reads this month) are:

  • The Toy Makers by Robert Dinsdale
  • Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor

Let’s see if I can accomplish that at least! πŸ˜‰


How was your reading month? Any amazing recommendations?

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October Wrap-Up & November TBR

β€œOctober extinguished itself in a rush of howling winds and driving rain and November arrived, cold as frozen iron, with hard frosts every morning and icy drafts that bit at exposed hands and faces.”

― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

I can’t believe it is already November! The last stubborn leaves have given up and fallen to the ground, where they’ve been covered in heavy frosts and falling raindrops. We’ve been gravitating towards our comfort foods, and our home, yard and vehicle are now ready for the blanket of snow that will soon cover us…

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October Wrap-up:

October was a decent reading month for me. I didn’t finish as many books as I’d have liked to, but I have completed my 2018 reading challenge: I’ve read 60/60 books!  I also didn’t have any 5-star reads this month, which is unusual!  I didn’t write any reviews in October, and I am struggling to read any of my NetGalley picks, because I really just despise reading on my e-reader.  If I have the option of choosing a physical book, I will read that every time – regardless of how interesting the book on my e-reader is.  The good news is that I own approximately 60 unread books…. which should last me another year without buying any (HAH, as if that will happen… )

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This House is Haunted by John Boyne

where the crawdads
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Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

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No Is Not Enough: Resisting Trump’s Shock Politics and Winning the World We Need by Naomi Klein

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The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

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The Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz

I also read an amazing graphic novel of Poe’s Stories & Poems! I didn’t count it towards my challenge, but for all of you Poe fans out there: it is BEAUTIFUL!

I am still currently reading:

  • A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin
  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  • The Wisdom of Psychopaths by Kevin Dutton

November (maybe) TBR:
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I’m horrible at actually following a set TBR, because I am a mood reader. These are some I’m really hoping to get to though.

  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  • Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor
  • The Toy Makers by Robert Dinsdale
  • The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
  • The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

See any books that you’ve read or want to read!? Let me know in the comments below.

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September Wrap-up

Total Number of Books: 6
Total Number of Pages: 2,162
Average Pages per Book: 360
Average Rating: 4.7

I had an amazing reading month!  I will always choose quality over quantity, and this month I read quite a few wonderful books.  I must admit that I am quite liberal with my five-star ratings, compared to most people, but if I really enjoy every aspect of a book I think it deserves those five stars! I also just know what I love in a book, so I tend to abandon other less interesting books and finish the good ones…

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The Spellbook of Katrina Van Tassel: A Story of Sleepy Hollow by Alyssa Palombo     β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜†

This book definitely fit in well with September’s changing leaves and gloomier weather.  I love that the author told the legend of Sleepy Hollow from the female perspective.  There was a nice mix of romance, suspense, witchcraft and creepiness to make this a lovely autumn read. Thank you to NetGalley for this one – I’ll be posting a full review soon!

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The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald      β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜†

I’d read this before (ages ago), but I decided to listen to the audiobook version, narrated by Jake Gyllenhaal.  I just adore the language in this book, and it has me seriously yearning for an evening spent at a Gatsby-style party.  This era is one of my very favourite settings!

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Us Against You by Fredrik Backman     β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

The day I received this in the mail I started reading it. I’m pretty sure I finished it over a weekend, because I just couldn’t put it down! I am in love with Backman’s writing, and enjoyed spending more time with the residents of Beartown.

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Harry Potter: A History of Magic     β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

This book is EVERYTHING I LOVE combined into one stunning masterpiece.  My major was history, and whilst at university I did a lot of research about magical beliefs and practices throughout history.  This essentially looks at the magical creatures and subjects in Harry Potter, and their ties to various practices and people throughout history.  It is absolutely fascinating, and is one that I will keep picking up and reading again and again.  Plus, it is illustrated and presented in such a beautiful way.

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The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton     β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

I was sent this book as part of the HarperCollins Canada First Look program, and I am eternally grateful because it was one of those mind-blowing reads that you will keep thinking about long after you’ve finished it! Read my full review here.

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Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover     β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

This book is a fascinating glimpse into a very different life.  I was completely captivated by the heartbreaking and unimaginable story of Tara’s childhood.

I have a really hard time sticking to a TBR list, HOWEVER since it is October, there are a few books that I am hoping to read this month:

  • This House is Haunted by John Boyne (1/3 through and loving it!)
  • The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
  • The Witch of Willow Hall by Hester Fox
  • The Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz
  • The Hollow of Fear by Sherry Thomas
  • The Little Shop of Found Things by Paula Brackston

How many books did you read in September? What were some of your favourites?

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Book Review | The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

If you’re looking for a completely unique, thrilling, atmospheric, and immersive page-turner, this is it!

The book’s premise instantly intrigued me:
“At a gala party thrown by her parents, Evelyn Hardcastle will be killed. Again. She’s been murdered hundreds of times, and each day, Aiden Bishop is too late to save her. Doomed to repeat the same day over and over, Aiden’s only escape is to solve Evelyn Hardcastle’s murder and conquer the shadows of an enemy he struggles to even comprehend. But nothing and no one are quite what they seem.”

I’ve heard this book described as “Agatha Christie meets Groundhog Day/Inception,” and I’d agree, but it’s so ingeniously crafted that you really need to read it yourself. The dilapidated Georgian mansion surrounded by untamed, grim wilderness creates the perfect dark and mysterious atmosphere. From the beginning we are abruptly thrown into confusion, as the protagonist grapples with where he is, who he is, and what exactly is going on. We delve into a complex plot, guided by an ominous plague-masked man, and join Aiden in attempting to solve a murder to escape the time loop. Starting each day in a new body presents unique challenges, but each character holds secrets and keys to unlocking the perplexing puzzle. The twisted plot will have you guessing until the very end. The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is an exquisite, creepy, enthralling and mind-bending story that will keep you reading long past your bedtime.

This is certainly one of my top reads of 2018! It will be on sale September 18th in Canada. A huge thanks to Harper Collins Canada for giving me a first look at this!

Book Review | The Rain Watcher by Tatiana de Rosnay

rain watcherTatiana de Rosnay’s latest novel The Rain Watcher is a beautifully written, emotional, and atmospheric story.

Title: The Rain Watcher
Author: Tatiana de Rosnay
Genre: Fiction
Publication: October 23, 2018
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Rating: β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜†
Goodreads Synopsis

The beginning of this novel drew me in INSTANTLY – probably because of my absolute love of trees:

β€œI will start with the tree. Because everything begins, and ends, with the tree. The tree is the tallest one. It was planted way before the others. I’m not sure how old it is, exactly. Perhaps three or four hundred years old. It is ancient and powerful. It has weathered terrible storms, braced against unbridled winds. It is not afraid.
The tree is not like the others. It has its own rhythm. Spring starts later for it, while all the others are already blossoming. Come late April, the new oval leaves sprout slowly, on the top and middle branches only. Otherwise, it looks dead. Gnarled, gray, and withered. It likes to pretend to be dead. That’s how clever it is. Then, suddenly, like a huge explosion, all the buds flourish. The tree triumphs with its pale green crown.”

The Malegarde family arrives in Paris for a family celebration. Linden, a successful _Travel is never predictable. That's how adventure shows up._ (1).pngphotographer, has traveled from America to join his sister and parents in celebrating his father’s 70th birthday. As they begin their celebrations, the River Seine rises at an alarming rate each day, due to unprecedented rainfall. Family relationships are strained as drama unfolds amidst the flooding. Their holiday is certainly not going at all as anticipated. As the flooding worsens and wreaks havoc throughout Paris, complicated family dynamics and secrets come to light. Linden’s experience in present-day Paris conjures vivid memories of his past – often painful and emotional. The suspense of the family drama is perfectly paralleled with the dramatic natural disaster. As the Seine rises beyond its banks, the Malegarde family’s secrets and issues that have been held below surface begin to rise as well – demanding to be dealt with.

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The excerpts at the beginning of each chapter (above) add an air of mystery to the already building suspense. Why does everything start with the tree? Whose memories are we reliving? What do they have to do with the present day? She knows what she’s doing…

Tatiana de Rosnay certainly has a distinct style, expertly capturing the setting and atmosphere through vivid descriptions. Although you could describe this as a slow, emotional read, the events unfolded in such a way that kept me constantly wondering and anticipating. She also created realistic and well-developed characters. I just loved Linden as the protagonist! He had such a strong voice throughout the novel, and I felt increasingly connected to him as each part of his past was revealed. The scene with his father – near the end of the novel – had me in TEARS! Not one glistening tear in my eye, but SOBS!

_Travel is never predictable. That's how adventure shows up._ (2).pngThe Rain Watcher highlights how intricately places are connected to memories and emotions. We are transported to the gorgeous, idyllic settings of Paris and VΓ©nozan, which are contrasted with the dark memories attached to those places. It also shows how people are able to survive through challenging times, and accept one another, as well as oneself. And of course, this story is yet another testament to the power of nature. As much as we’d love to be able to control it (or anything else in life…) you just have to accept reality, mitigate the damage, and move on!

This is definitely not a light read, but if you love character-driven, emotional, atmospheric reads, I’d suggest waiting for a rainy day to snuggle up with a blanket, coffee/tea, and this beautiful novel.

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Thank you to NetGalley, St. Martin’s Press and Tatiana de Rosnay for a digital Advanced Readers Copy. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.