Under the Light of the Italian Moon by Jennifer Anton
Goodreads blurb: A promise keeps them apart until WW2 threatens to destroy their love forever. Fonzaso Italy, between two wars. Nina Argenta doesn’t want the traditional life of a rural Italian woman. The daughter of a strong-willed midwife, she is determined to define her own destiny. But when her brother emigrates to America, she promises her mother to never leave. When childhood friend Pietro Pante briefly returns to their mountain town, passion between them ignites while Mussolini forces political tensions to rise. Just as their romance deepens, Pietro must leave again for work in the coal mines of America. Nina is torn between joining him and her commitment to Italy and her mother. As Mussolini’s fascists throw the country into chaos and Hitler’s Nazis terrorise their town, each day becomes a struggle to survive greater atrocities. A future with Pietro seems impossible when they lose contact and Nina’s dreams of a life together are threatened by Nazi occupation and an enemy she must face alone… A gripping historical fiction novel, based on a true story and heartbreaking real events.Spanning over two decades, Under the Light of the Italian Moon is an epic, emotional and triumphant tale of one woman’s incredible resilience during the rise of fascism and Italy’s collapse into WWII.
My take: 4 out of 5. I love a good historical novel especially WWII ones, and even more when it deals with women’s lives during it. I’ve done plenty of reviews here. This book can join the category in the the standard of a great one. I really enjoyed the characters and the small town characterizations in the story. It was raw, real and engaging. You felt the characters plight. Also the fact that it is a real life story just made me love it even more. I loved how they highlight untold stories, of those who stay behind, and especially the unsung heroes at war – the women who hold everything together in the meantime.
There was a lot of female empowerment in the book, which I am a big fan of. Especially I liked how the context of war lent itself to questions on the nature of women vs men and their impact in leadership. Very relevant for todays world. Here are some of my favorite quotes:
- It was Mary who gave birth to eternity and redemption. The strength of the world is in its women
- It’s a circle women create, men destroy. We feed the beasts.
- War is to man what maternity is to a woman\
My parting pondering thought: the whole long distance marriage left me with so many questions. Crazy how such need and family ties can make a crazy preposition like that seem normal.
Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert
Goodreads blurb: Chloe Brown is a chronically ill computer geek with a goal, a plan, and a list. After almost—but not quite—dying, she’s come up with seven directives to help her “Get a Life”, and she’s already completed the first: finally moving out of her glamorous family’s mansion. The next items?
• Enjoy a drunken night out.
• Ride a motorcycle.
• Go camping.
• Have meaningless but thoroughly enjoyable sex.
• Travel the world with nothing but hand luggage.
• And… do something bad.
But it’s not easy being bad, even when you’ve written step-by-step guidelines on how to do it correctly. What Chloe needs is a teacher, and she knows just the man for the job. Redford ‘Red’ Morgan is a handyman with tattoos, a motorcycle, and more sex appeal than ten-thousand Hollywood heartthrobs. He’s also an artist who paints at night and hides his work in the light of day, which Chloe knows because she spies on him occasionally. Just the teeniest, tiniest bit. But when she enlists Red in her mission to rebel, she learns things about him that no spy session could teach her. Like why he clearly resents Chloe’s wealthy background. And why he never shows his art to anyone. And what really lies beneath his rough exterior…
my take: 3.5 out of 5. I read this book in a day at its one of those easy to read addictive finds that are a great light escape. It is a cute story. I love that the character has a chronic disease – having suffered from chronic pain, I really responded to having that reflected in the book. In general I loved the story and all the implications. However the only thing that was a bit weird is that it looks like a cute chick lit book but its really more of a romance. ITs kind of weird that you have the really cute story and then very harlequin style narrative, but if you take that away its a light cute chick lit book.
To Sir Phillip with Love by Julia Quinn
Goodreads blurb: Sir Phillip knew from his correspondence with his dead wife’s distant cousin that Eloise Bridgerton was a spinster, and so he’d proposed, figuring that she’d be homely and unassuming, and more than a little desperate for an offer of marriage. Except . . . she wasn’t. The beautiful woman on his doorstep was anything but quiet, and when she stopped talking long enough to close her mouth, all he wanted to do was kiss her… Eloise Bridgerton couldn’t marry a man she had never met! But then she started thinking… and wondering… and before she knew it, she was in a hired carriage in the middle of the night, on her way to meet the man she hoped might be her perfect match. Except… he wasn’t. Her perfect husband wouldn’t be so moody and ill-mannered. And he certainly should have mentioned that he had two young – and decidedly unruly – children, as much in need of a mother as Phillip is in need of a wife.
My take: 2.5 out of 5. I think i might need to take a Bridgerton break for a bit because the score keeps coming down for each subsequent book. I thought this would be great because Eloise is such a great character. Nonetheless there were two things wrong with this book – 1. reading epilogue 2 of the previous book kind of ruined this as I already know what was going to happen. The epilogue occurs (SPOILER ALERT) in the wedding of Phillip and Eloise therefore the will they wont they tension is gone. However, if you take into effect that you kind of know always the main characters are going to be together in this book, the second issue is that i really didn’t feel for their courtship at all. They should have shown more of the letters to see why they came together. A nice continuation of the story just not as engaging at all as the others.