Tuesday, May 22, 2018

The Weaver’s Daughter by Sarah Ladd (TLC Tour Review and GIVEAWAY!)

Set in Regency England, a war is brewing between mill owners and weavers in a small village.  The weavers want to continue their traditional role of making cloth but are threatened by the introduction of machinery by the mill owners that will take away their jobs.  With their way of life that has been passed down through the centuries threatened, will the weavers take drastic actions to save it?

Kate Dearborne belongs to a reigning weaver family.  After the mill owner’s grandson, Henry Stockton, returns from war, Kate keeps finding herself encountering him everywhere she goes.  She’s been raised to believe that mill owners and their families are evil, but Henry Stockton seems to care about his workers more than his Grandfather. Kate feels she can help him to see the evil of the conditions of the mill.  Will these two unlikely friends become more than friends?

I enjoyed this novel.  I liked so many different aspects of it.  I like how it looked at how mechanization changed the way work had been done for centuries, but that it wasn’t necessarily a bad thing.  I like how the book looked at how this affected families and relationships as well.  The Weaver’s Daughter also had moments where Henry Stockton must deal with his memories of serving in combat against the French. This is a subject that Jane Austen wouldn’t touch.  It was also interesting how he had to meld back into society after being the military for so long.  I loved the characters and setting, and I liked the Romeo and Juliet type relationship between Kate and Henry.   
Favorite Quotes:

“Sometimes I barely recognize him.  In years past he would sit with me for hours and talk on any subject, serious or frivolous, it didn’t matter.  Now he clutches every thought so close to his chest.  He used to be an open book.  Not it seems as if his time on the Peninsula robbed him of some piece of his soul.”

“Everyone makes mistakes in their life.  It is how you respond to them and learn from them that matters.”

“Her soul felt at rest, for now she knew the true power of love, the unbending strength of loyalty, and the eternal beauty of forgiveness.”

Overall, The Weaver’s Daughter is a great regency book with a stellar romance, great characters and a fascinating look at how mechanization affected traditional workers.

Book Source:  E-book copy as part of the TLC Book Tour.  Thank-you!  For more stops on the tour, check out this link.


One lucky winner will receive a copy of The Weaver's Daughter by Sarah Ladd. If you would like to win this book, please leave a comment on what interests you about this book. Have you ever read any novels set in the Regency period?  If so, which ones did you enjoy or not enjoy?

As part of your comment, you must include an email address. If I can't find a way to contact you I will draw another winner.

For an additional entry, blog about this giveaway or post it on your sidebar. Provide a link to this post in your comment.

I will be using random.org (or a Monte Carlo simulation in excel) to pick the winners from the comments.

This contest is only open to addresses in the United States.

The deadline for entry is midnight on Friday June 1st!

Please make sure to check the week of June 4th to see if you are a winner. I send emails to the winner, but lately I've been put in their "junk mail" folder instead of their inbox.

Good luck!

The Giver by Lois Lowry

As a fan of dystopian fiction, I’ve been meaning to read The Giver for years.  When it was published in 1993, I was fifteen and had already moved on to adult fiction so I missed this book.  I purchased this book a couple of years ago and finally moved it to the top of my “to read” pile after I saw it on the PBS Great American Read list.

Set at some point in the future, Jonas lives in an ideal world where there is no hunger, no abuse, and no war.  Everyone has a set path in life that is decided at a ceremony when you turn twelve years old.  At the ceremony, Jonas is given the assignment of becoming “The Receiver” and learning from “The Giver” the memories that must be held to protect the entire community. As Jonas learns more, he begins to feel in a way he has never been allowed to feel before, but he learns that there are also bad feelings to go along with the good.  What will Jonas do with his new knowledge?

This book really disturbed me.  It was really well written.  The world seemed ideal and calming until you got to the end and saw what was underneath it all to allow this scenario.  To think that feelings are gone can lead to a very disturbing world.  I literally have not been able to stop thinking about this book since I finished it.  I thought the ending was ambiguous, but perfect the way it was (for discussion the ending check out the spoiler section.)  Are the next three books in the series worth it or is it better to stop at this one perfect book?  What was the movie like?  Did it stay true to the book?


The ending is very ambiguous.  What do you think happened?  I really think that Jonas and Gabriel were having a suicide sled ride or were hallucinating from hypothermia.  When I saw this was a quartet of books though, it made me think that maybe Jonas lives on.  What will happen to his town now that Jonas the receiver is gone?  Will the Giver have to work on someone new?  

Jonas’s Dad was the most disturbing part of the book to me. To be so nurturing and caring to infants, but to have lost all sense of emotion that you can put a child to sleep / death for being the smaller of two twins or not sleeping through the night is horrifying.


Favorite Quote:

“His childhood, his friendships, his carefree sense of security – all of these things seemed to be slipping away.”

Overall, The Giver is a modern classic that is not to be missed.

Book Source:  I purchased this a few years ago while back to school shopping a few years ago.  My husband read it and loved it, but I didn’t pick it up until this month when I saw it on The Great American Read list.

The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom

This short book packs a punch, I don’t think I’ve cried so much reading a book for quite a while.  I think my husband Ben was sure something was wrong with me as I finished it up and had to keep running to the bathroom for a tissue! 

Eddie is an elderly maintenance worker at a beachside amusement park.  On his 83rd birthday, a tragic accident happens at the park and Eddie dies trying to save a child.  Did he save her?   Eddie questions everyone he sees in heaven to determine the child’s fate and he also meets five people who had a hand in his earthly path and explain his existence.  

As Eddie talks to each of the people, he learns more about his life and about how it was tied together with so many other people’s stories.  He gets closure on what happened to him during World War II and about his difficult relationship with his father.  It also explores the great love he had for his late wife, Marguerite.

This book reminded me so much of one of my all-time favorite movies – It’s a Wonderful Life.  Eddie feels like he is a failure, but he learns when he enters heaven that his life has impacted more than he ever realized.  I really liked the overall message as it’s something I’ve always thought – even what you consider a small action could be a large action to someone else!

This book was the May selection for the Flicks Book and Movie Club, aka Rogue.  Although it deals with the afterlife, it strangely doesn’t really talk much about Christianity.  We had some interesting discussion on the book, but sadly half hadn’t read it yet so the discussion was curtailed.

Favorite Quotes:

“This is the story about a man named Eddie and it begins at the end, with Eddie dying it the sun.  It might seem strange to start a story with an ending.  But all endings are also beginnings.  We just don’t know it at the time.”

“No story sits by itself.”

“Young men go to war.  Sometimes because they have to, sometimes because they want to.  Always, they feel they are supposed to. This comes from the sad, layered stories of life, which over the centuries have seen courage confused with picking up arms, and cowardice confused with laying them down.”

“Things that happen before you are born still affect you.”

“And in that line now was a whiskered old man, with a linen cap and a crooked nose, who waited in a place called the Stardust Band Shell to share his part of the secret of heaven:  that each affects the other and the other affects the next, and the world is full of stories, but the stories are all one.”

Overall, The Five People You Meet in Heaven is a good book that makes you think about your own life and how you have impacted people.  Eddie didn’t have the perfect life, but his life was important and tied into so many other lives. 

Book Source:  The Kewaunee Public Library