In two world wars, intelligence and counterintelligence, prejudice, and self-sacrifice collide across two generations.
In 1942, Evie Farrow is used to life on Ocracoke Island, where every day is the same--until the German U-boats haunting their waters begin to wreak havoc. And when special agent Sterling Bertrand is washed ashore at Evie's inn, her life is turned upside down. While Sterling's injuries keep him inn-bound for weeks, making him even more anxious about the SS officer he's tracking, he becomes increasingly intrigued by Evie, who seems to be hiding secrets of her own.
Decades earlier, in 1914, Englishman Remington Culbreth arrives at the Ocracoke Inn for the summer, never expecting to fall in love with Louisa Adair, the innkeeper's daughter. But when war breaks out in Europe, their relationship is put in jeopardy and may not survive what lies ahead for them.
As the ripples from the Great War rock Evie and Sterling's lives in World War II, it seems yesterday's tides may sweep them all into danger again today.
First off, can we please stand for excellent Black and multiracial representation! I was so excited when I saw that this book centered on a Black/multiracial family in the two different eras presented. The author did a wonderful job of writing sensitively, especially since it’s a topic she has not encountered herself.
Second off, can we please stand for a beautiful time slip! I’m discovering how much I love time slip and this book is a reason why. When it would switch times, I was both disappointed to not figure out what happens to the first cast, but also excited to pick back up with the second cast—perfection. And the fact that I couldn’t see the complete picture of what was happening until the end—amazing.
The tension between characters was brilliant and kept me reading, waiting to see what drama might implode next. And Remington’s mother, if you’re out there, I will come and hunt you down. You are truly evil.
If any of you are Roseanna M. White fans, this book contains references to every one of her series, which is so fun and I had a blast finding and recognizing them all.
Yesterday’s Tides is a beautiful time slip that also sails perfectly into our time. Specifically the time that you will not regret using to read it.
After a summer of successful pirate-treasure hunting, Lady Emily Scofield and her friends must hide the unprecedented discoveries they've made, thanks to the betrayal of her own family. Horrified by her brother, who will stop at nothing to prove himself to their greedy father, Emily is forced to take a stand against her family--even if it means being cut off entirely.
Bram Sinclair, Earl of Telford, is fascinated with tales of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table--an interest he's kept mostly hidden for the last decade. But when a diary is unearthed on the islands that could lead to a secret artifact, Bram is the only one able to piece the legends together.
As Bram and Emily seek out the whereabouts of the hidden artifact, they must dodge her family and a team of archaeologists. In a race against time, it is up to them to decide what makes a hero worthy of legend. Is it fighting valiantly to claim the treasure . . . or sacrificing everything in the name of selfless love?
The thing I loved the most about this book was it’s handling of emotional abuse/trauma. At first, I wasn’t sure I was going to be pleased with it, especially since emotional abuse and trauma is a topic I’m passionate about.
The four trauma responses are fight, flight, freeze, and fawn. Emily displayed signs of the “fawn” trauma response, where she tries to get her abuser’s attention and may or may not submit to their demands in order to earn their approval.
At first, no one around her seemed to realize the problem with that. They simply praised Emily for having a good heart and for loving her enemies, instead of recognizing the situation was unsafe and that there were no healthy boundaries to protect her.
Throughout the story, however, that theory was debunked. Emily realized that she couldn’t save them, that she could only save herself. She could show mercy, but she also needed to protect herself. Her friends also seem to have gathered that. In some ways, I think that point could have been clearer, but overall, I think this book achieves that end beautifully.
The climax alone would have sold the entire book for me. It was an epic way to close both the book and this three-book treasure hunt on the isles.
The main character, Bram, has come so far from the beginning of Book 1. Take a look at my quote from my review of Book 2, To Treasure an Heiress.
“I’m very excited to see the dynamic between Telford and Emily play out, but especially between Emily and her family. It looks like it will be a golden opportunity to represent verbal and emotional abuse—a subject that is often not represented at all or represented very poorly making the survivors seem like wimps. And she did convince me to like Telford after how I hated him for how he treated Libby in the first book--I mean, he takes in stray animals and likes chocolate. There may be hope for him.”
All I can say is my hopes were fulfilled.
Worthy of Legend is worthy of your shelf. And your reading time. And your mind. And your heart.
When concert pianist Vivienne Mourdant's father dies, he leaves to her the care of an adult ward she knew nothing about. The woman is supposedly a patient at Hurstwell Asylum. The woman's portrait is shockingly familiar to Vivienne, so when the asylum claims she was never a patient there, Vivienne is compelled to discover what happened to the figure she remembers from childhood dreams.
The longer she lingers in the deep shadows and forgotten towers at Hurstwell, the fuzzier the line between sanity and madness becomes. She hears music no one else does, receives strange missives with rose petals between the pages, and untangles far more than is safe for her to know. But can she uncover the truth about the mysterious woman she seeks? And is there anyone at Hurstwell she can trust with her suspicions?
I have never had the privilege of reading a Joanna Davidson Politano book, but she’s been on my to-be-read list for a while. So when my library got this one in, I pounced on it immediately.
It was nothing at all like I’d imagined.
This book is a mind trip hidden in a pink flowery cover. The best comparison I’ve got is if you’ve seen the Marvel show Moon Knight, specifically episode four. I hit this certain point where I was like, Is she actually just making this all up and believing it’s true? Did any of this ever happen? Can I trust any of these people? Is this real? Am I real? That was the best thing about this book to me.
This is one of the most solid books I’ve read in Christian fiction when it comes to mental health, in the same category as Coral by Sara Ella. The author sensitively portrays a spectrum of mental illnesses, as well as the pros and cons of mental care in the Victorian era.
Round it out with a vibrant character voice, a unique writing style, the right dash of mystery, and a very subtle romance, and there you have The Lost Melody.
The Lost Melody may look pink and flowery, but there’s a lot more lost between those pages.
Aven Norgaard understands courage. Orphaned within an Irish workhouse, then widowed at just nineteen, she voyaged to America where she was wooed and wed by Thor Norgaard, a Deaf man in rural Appalachia. That the Lord saw her along the winding journey and that Aven now carries Thor’s child are blessings beyond measure. Yet while Thor holds her heart, it is his younger brother and rival who haunts her memories. Haakon—whose selfish choices shattered her trust in him.
Having fled the Norgaard orchard after trying to take Aven as his own, Haakon sails on the North Atlantic ice trade, where his soul is plagued with regrets that distance cannot heal. Not even the beautiful Norwegian woman he’s pursued can ease the torment. When the winds bear him home after four years away, Haakon finds the family on the brink of tragedy. A decades-old feud with the neighboring farm has wrenched them into the fiercest confrontation on Blackbird Mountain since the Civil War. Haakon’s cunning and strength hold the power to seal many fates, including Thor’s—which is already imperiled due to a grave illness brought to him at the first prick of warfare.
Now Haakon faces the hardest choice of his life. One that shapes a battlefield where pride must be broken enough to be restored, and where a prodigal son may finally know the healing peace of surrender and the boundless gift of forgiveness. And when it comes to the woman he left behind in Norway, he just might discover that while his heart belongs to a daughter of the north, she’s been awaiting him on shores more distant than the land he’s fighting for.
This was the story I never thought I wanted.
The story ties in very neatly and cohesively with the first book. But I wasn’t sure just how I felt about Haakon being back and being a major player in this story (which speaks volumes to how well she developed him in the first book). If you’ve read Sons of Blackbird Mountain, the first book in the series, you know that he did a super spoiler-y thing at the end and has generally been a bit of a pain before. (Although not without his reasons.)
I was very curious to see just how his forgiveness arc would go. Forgiveness arcs, in my opinion, are one of those things that are done very well or very horribly. Joanne Bischof aced it. They didn’t all drop everything just because Haakon was back. In fact, by the end of the story, the ones he’d hurt the most (Aven and Thor) still struggled with him. Haakon had to make good on his promise, to show he truly was changed, before they would trust him--as it should be. Even though the characters chose to forgive right away, trust didn’t come right away. That’s a missing ingredient in a lot of forgiveness arcs.
This book handles a lot of sensitive subjects very well, much as its predecessor did. This book sensitively handles topics such as drug use, alcoholism, and domestic abuse. It also sports a very diverse cast, more diverse than most anything else I’ve seen in Christian fiction, including a Black family and a Deaf protagonist. Rather than dealing with an initial romance, this story focuses on the challenges that come after.
The inclusion of Kristji was very interesting, considering she has a huge bearing on the plot—even is pictured on the front cover!—but only appears in one, perhaps two chapters. It was an interesting cliché-bender.
And that spoiler-y death at the end! I’ve got to admit, that got me. I have not read that much of a tearjerker death scene in a while.
Daughters of Northern Shores follows in the footsteps of its predecessor, charting courses that are rarely trod in Christian fiction.
Hi there! Rachel again. Check out this section for book reviews and cover reveals of some of my favorites!