Book Reviews: Reminders of Him, Under the Whispering Door & Black Cake

Reminders of Him by Colleen Hoover

Goodreads blurb: After serving five years in prison for a tragic mistake, Kenna Rowan returns to the town where it all went wrong, hoping to reunite with her four-year-old daughter. But the bridges Kenna burned are proving impossible to rebuild. Everyone in her daughter’s life is determined to shut Kenna out, no matter how hard she works to prove herself.

The only person who hasn’t closed the door on her completely is Ledger Ward, a local bar owner and one of the few remaining links to Kenna’s daughter. But if anyone were to discover how Ledger is slowly becoming an important part of Kenna’s life, both would risk losing the trust of everyone important to them.

The two form a connection despite the pressure surrounding them, but as their romance grows, so does the risk. Kenna must find a way to absolve the mistakes of her past in order to build a future out of hope and healing.

My take: 4.5 out of 5. This book wrecked me. Raw and emotional and soo many tears. I also read this on a plane and it was a bit embarrassing how openly crying i was whilst reading it. Talk about difficult choices. A total Sophie’s choice of a book, but it is handled in the most beautiful way, even if it is a bit predictable at times. Loved the characters and After reading It ends with us last year and this now, I am a Colleen fan ,especially when I need a little cry.

Under the Whispering Door by TJ Klune

Goodreads blurb: When a reaper comes to collect Wallace Price from his own funeral, Wallace suspects he really might be dead. Instead of leading him directly to the afterlife, the reaper takes him to a small village. On the outskirts, off the path through the woods, tucked between mountains, is a particular tea shop, run by a man named Hugo. Hugo is the tea shop’s owner to locals and the ferryman to souls who need to cross over.

But Wallace isn’t ready to abandon the life he barely lived. With Hugo’s help he finally starts to learn about all the things he missed in life.

When the Manager, a curious and powerful being, arrives at the tea shop and gives Wallace one week to cross over, Wallace sets about living a lifetime in seven day

My take: 3.5 out of 5. This is a really good book. It is heartfelt and sweet and brings up so many life questions. My star ratings became a matter of expectations. I absolutely adored House in the Cerulean Sea and was so excited about this book. And it is really good and a beautiful story, it just seemed way to similar to House for me. Very similar transformation, which I liked but it felt a bit repetitive. I think it might also be that its the same audiobook narrator which made it even more similar to me. Nevertheless TJ Klune’s books are the ones one should go to when you need to feel better about humanity and bring up your home level.

Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson

Goodreads blurb: We can’t choose what we inherit. But can we choose who we become?
In present-day California, Eleanor Bennett’s death leaves behind a puzzling inheritance for her two children, Byron and Benny: a traditional Caribbean black cake, made from a family recipe with a long history, and a voice recording. In her message, Eleanor shares a tumultuous story about a headstrong young swimmer who escapes her island home under suspicion of murder. The heartbreaking tale Eleanor unfolds, the secrets she still holds back, and the mystery of a long-lost child, challenge everything the siblings thought they knew about their lineage, and themselves. Can Byron and Benny reclaim their once-close relationship, piece together Eleanor’s true history, and fulfill her final request to “share the black cake when the time is right”? Will their mother’s revelations bring them back together or leave them feeling more lost than ever? Charmaine Wilkerson’s debut novel is a story of how the inheritance of betrayals, secrets, memories, and even names, can shape relationships and history. Deeply evocative and beautifully written, Black Cake is an extraordinary journey through the life of a family changed forever by the choices of its matriarch.

My take: 4.5 out of 5. This is an excellent, beautifully written book. I love a good intergenerational family drama, and this is an exceptional example of one. There is so much to unpack and the time jumps make the exploration of the story so much better. Highly recommend.

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