Book Reviews: Anatomy, When We Were Yours & Sparring Partners

Anatomy: A Love Story by Dana Schwartz

Goodreads blurb: Edinburgh, 1817. Hazel Sinnett is a lady who wants to be a surgeon more than she wants to marry. Jack Currer is a resurrection man who’s just trying to survive in a city where it’s too easy to die. When the two of them have a chance encounter outside the Edinburgh Anatomist’s Society, Hazel thinks nothing of it at first. But after she gets kicked out of renowned surgeon Dr. Beecham’s lectures for being the wrong gender, she realizes that her new acquaintance might be more helpful than she first thought. Because Hazel has made a deal with Dr. Beecham: if she can pass the medical examination on her own, the university will allow her to enroll. Without official lessons, though, Hazel will need more than just her books – she’ll need bodies to study, corpses to dissect. Lucky that she’s made the acquaintance of someone who digs them up for a living, then. But Jack has his own problems: strange men have been seen skulking around cemeteries, his friends are disappearing off the streets. Hazel and Jack work together to uncover the secrets buried not just in unmarked graves, but in the very heart of Edinburgh society.A gothic tale full of mystery and romance about a willful female surgeon, a resurrection man who sells bodies for a living, and the buried secrets they must uncover together.

My take: 4.5 out of 5. I have to accept I was hesitant about this book. I shouldn’t have. It works beautifully and I was thoroughly engaged in Hazel’s world and how ahead of her times she was. It is a YA book but it is still wonderful read for adults and I was very engaged by it. I, however, was not on board as to the ending and the cliffhanger and it really makes me want to read immortality, but so far net galley hasn’t given me an ARC so I might have to wait until March when it comes out. I am not ok with book cliffhangs (i am mildly ok in shows but not even).

Before we were Yours by Lisa Wingate

Goodreads blurb: Memphis, 1939. Twelve-year-old Rill Foss and her four younger siblings live a magical life aboard their family’s Mississippi River shantyboat. But when their father must rush their mother to the hospital one stormy night, Rill is left in charge—until strangers arrive in force. Wrenched from all that is familiar and thrown into a Tennessee Children’s Home Society orphanage, the Foss children are assured that they will soon be returned to their parents—but they quickly realize the dark truth. At the mercy of the facility’s cruel director, Rill fights to keep her sisters and brother together in a world of danger and uncertainty. Aiken, South Carolina, present day. Born into wealth and privilege, Avery Stafford seems to have it all: a successful career as a federal prosecutor, a handsome fiancé, and a lavish wedding on the horizon. But when Avery returns home to help her father weather a health crisis, a chance encounter leaves her with uncomfortable questions and compels her to take a journey through her family’s long-hidden history, on a path that will ultimately lead either to devastation or to redemption. Based on one of America’s most notorious real-life scandals—in which Georgia Tann, director of a Memphis-based adoption organization, kidnapped and sold poor children to wealthy families all over the country—Lisa Wingate’s riveting, wrenching, and ultimately uplifting tale reminds us how, even though the paths we take can lead to many places, the heart never forgets where we belong.

my take: 5 out of 5. I downloaded two books from the library from Lisa Wingate, this and The Book of Lost Friends. I started with Lost Friends, and was not engaged so i left it to the side and was about to do the same with this one. What a mistake that would have been. This book is really good, and as much as I kept thinking I knew where the story was going, a new little tweek was presented instead. Sad history turning beautiful is always great to see and the two intertwining storylines filled my heart with happiness.

Sparring Partners by John Grisham

Goodreads blurb: In his first collection of novellas, law is a common thread, but America’s favorite storyteller has several surprises in store.
“Homecoming” takes us back to Ford County, the fictional setting of many of John Grisham’s unforgettable stories. Jake Brigance is back, but he’s not in the courtroom. He’s called upon to help an old friend, Mack Stafford, a former lawyer in Clanton, who three years earlier became a local legend when he stole money from his clients, divorced his wife, filed for bankruptcy, and left his family in the middle of the night, never to be heard from again—until now. Now Mack is back, and he’s leaning on his old pals, Jake and Harry Rex, to help him return. His homecoming does not go as planned.
In “Strawberry Moon,” we meet Cody Wallace, a young death row inmate only three hours away from execution. His lawyers can’t save him, the courts slam the door, and the governor says no to a last-minute request for clemency. As the clock winds down, Cody has one final request.
The “Sparring Part
ners” are the Malloy brothers, Kirk and Rusty, two successful young lawyers who inherited a once prosperous firm when its founder, their father, was sent to prison. Kirk and Rusty loathe each other, and speak to each other only when necessary. As the firm disintegrates, the resulting fiasco falls into the lap of Diantha Bradshaw, the only person the partners trust. Can she save the Malloys, or does she take a stand for the first time in her career and try to save herself?
By turns suspenseful, hilarious, powerful, and moving, these are three of the greatest stories John Grisham has ever told. 

my take: 3 out of 5. turns out John Grisham in short story form is not as exiting as John Grisham in full novel form. Although the stories were interested all three left me wanting more at the end. I felt like the ending the author was giving us satisfied his way of looking at the story but it did not satisfy me as a reader. I went into this purely on author and although it was a satisfactory audiobook read whilst driving, i will not be telling you you need to go out and get a copy to read. In order of preference, I definitely liked Sparring Partners the most, Diantha is a badass. Then it would have to be Homecoming and lastly Strawberry Moon.

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