Seeking Sarah by ReShonda Tate Billingsley

Seeking Sarah

 

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From the national bestselling and award-winning ReShonda Tate Billingsley comes this gripping and emotional exploration of the complex bond between mother and daughter.

From the time Brooke Green was seven years old, she has lived with the pain of losing her mother. Her father has done the best job he could in raising her, but a piece of her always felt empty. On the day of her father’s funeral, her grandmother breaks the shocking news: her mother, Sarah, is very much alive. She abandoned her family because she claimed she wasn’t fit for motherhood. After doing some research, Brooke discovers her mother is living in Atlanta, enjoying a great career…and a brand new family. Stunned, Brooke doesn’t know if she wants answers or revenge against the mother who abandoned her. When she meets Sarah’s husband, Tony, Brooke sees the perfect way to make her mother pay. But her plan for revenge just may leave everyone in danger, and end up costing Brooke more than she ever bargained for.

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Sometimes a book is hard to read. It is hard to digest. It is hard to not to take it personally and think objectively. And, then it is hard to write a review. That is how I feel about Seeking Sarah. I’d read a few pages and then would need to take a break. Read a few more pages and then take another break. This book could have easily been read in one sitting, but it took a few days because of that.

I rolled my eyes and angrily wiped the tears from my face. “There is nothing for you to say. Complicated or not, you don’t abandon your kid. End of story.” I gritted my teeth. “You have no idea what you’ve done to me.”

Folks will learn one way or the other the damage they create when they decide to abandon their child. I’m not saying what is done in this book is right, but I understand. Seeking Sarah will have you feeling some type of way and make you wonder about your own morals because you understand Brooke and her actions. Family ties, rejection, and revenge are the perfect ingredients for an interesting and emotional plot. ReShonda Tate Billingsley proves once again why she is so well-respected within the literary community and why so many readers love her. Well done, ReShonda!

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Review: Songbird by Piper Huguley, Deborah Fletcher Mello and Iris Bolling

Songbird

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Sparrow’s Song
Piper Huguley
In the hot summer of ‘68, recent graduate Sparrow Jones takes a job running the summer program at her family’s church hoping to save enough money to attend music school. Despite her mother’s objections, music is Sparrow’s ministry. Yet, as she throws herself into her work, she finds a different calling in little Carole and her stern father. Widower Master Sargent John Charles drops his little girl off at the church everyday, trusting them to take care his daughter while he works and maybe help her to regain her speech. When the feisty program director begins questioning his parenting skills, it takes all of his military disciplines to keep his temper and manners in check. Yet, the thought of her and the care she shows for his child makes the heart he thought he’d buried beat again. With the summer coming to an end, will Sparrow be able to fly away to her dreams of a music career or has her heart become entangled with a helpless little girl and her military father?

Lark St. Clair
Deborah Mello
Devastated by the death of her mother, Lark St. Clair must mend more than a broken heart. At odds with her own child, Lark is determined to honor the matriarch’s memory by repairing the rift between herself and her daughter, Dove. Revisiting history, the two embark on an emotional journey as Lark shares the story of finding herself through her music and discovering the love of her life with choir director, Martin Warren when love seemed elusive to her.

Dove’ Dream
Iris Bolling
Life should be a song worth singing. That’s what Dove Warren’s grandmother always instilled in her. With a voice to make grown men fall to their knees and the beauty to match, Dove has had her fill with singing. Until her grandmother shares a dream giving Dove the motivation to used her gift of music to spread the love.
Anthony Perry, a strong, caring man who lost his brothers to violence, vowed to give his mother at least one child who turned his back on the street life. As District Attorney of the City of Richmond, it never occurred to him that an angel falling into his arms could fill the empty recesses of his life.
Will Dove lose the man whose very presence fills her heart with song or will she have the chance to bring a dream of three generations to fruition?

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Anthologies are sometimes tricky to read because there are instances when the stories don’t connect with another and there is not a consistent theme. Another potential issue with anthologies is that the authors have such different writing styles that it is distracting. And, one last potential issue with reading an anthology is that one of the authors just isn’t as talented as the other contributors. Luckily, with Songbird none of the issues stated above were present!

Songbird is an excellent generational anthology told from three women’s point of view in hopes of understanding each other just a little bit better. I could take the time to break down each story, but just know they all are excellent. Over the course of the books, there is great advice on how to mend broken family bonds, on the importance of passing down stories from one generation to the next, and how love with the right person can turn deter your plans but enhance your life in unimaginable ways.

Piper, Deborah, and Iris are excellent storytellers on their own, and this collaboration is a perfect blend of their talents. Songbird is definitely worth a few hours of your time!

img_3373.jpgimg_0009-3.jpgimg_0012-2.jpgBuy a copy of Songbird here!

 

Review: Underneath It All by A.D.

Underneath It All

 

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Monica Sutton has spent most of her life detesting her reflection. Her best friends love her no matter what, but she just cannot see the woman they see in her. She finally decides to do something about the way she looks and discovers herself during the process. Her long time crush Keith returns home. They connect, but will a secret from her past hinder her future with him?

 

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“I have no intentions of us ending. I agreed to take things slow with you, but know that I’m all in this. My feelings for you are sincere.”

This was a great romance story, but more importantly, it was an important story about self-love. Monica is the girlfriend (or even you) in your tribe that has no idea how smart, strong, or beautiful she is even though everyone else does. Underneath It All is a very relatable story about sisterhood, overcoming self-esteem issues, and allowing love to find you instead of chasing it. A.D. is a new author to me and I was impressed by the story structure, character development, and the entire flow. I look forward to reading the other books in the series so I can learn more about Monica’s girlfriends!

 

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Buy Underneath It All here!!!