Showing posts with label Katherine Reay. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Katherine Reay. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Fiction Book Review: Of Literature and Lattes by Katherine Reay

Book Description:
After fleeing her hometown three years earlier, Alyssa Harrison never planned to return. Then the Silicon Valley start-up she worked for collapsed and turned her world upside down. She is broke, under FBI investigation, and without a place to go. Having exhausted every option, she comes home to Winsome, Illinois, to regroup then move on as quickly as possible. Yet, as friends and family welcome her back, Alyssa begins to see a place for herself in this small Midwestern community.

Jeremy Mitchell moved from Seattle to Winsome to be near his daughter and to open the coffee shop he’s been dreaming of for years. Problem is, the business is bleeding money—and he’s not quite sure why. When he meets Alyssa, he senses an immediate connection, but what he needs most is someone to help him save his floundering business. After asking for her help, he wonders if something might grow between them—but forces beyond their control soon complicate their already complex lives, and the future they both hoped for is not at all what they anticipated.

With the help of Winsome’s small-town charm and quirky residents, Alyssa and Jeremy discover the beauty and romance of second chances.

My Review:
What a delight to return to Winsome, Illinois, the home of quirky folks and a cozy bookshop. In the previous novel, The Printed Letter Bookshop, we met Madeline who inherited her aunt's bookstore along with eccentric employees, Claire and Janet. The bookshop is running well when Janet's daughter, Alyssa, returns to Winsome. As much as she doesn't want to, she moves in with her mom. As Alyssa tries to come to grips with the mess called life, she meets Jeremy. He needs a friend and some good business advice. Reay's Of Literature and Lattes is another charming story of hurt, hope, and healing. I've enjoyed every one of her books. I look forward to the nod to literary references she sprinkles through her stories, as well as her lovable characters. A little bonus, her books have gorgeous covers. I hope she'll visit Winsome a third time. I'd love to catch up on more of the folks from this lovely town. I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Fiction Review: The Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay

Love, friendship, and family find a home at the Printed Letter Bookshop.

One of Madeline Cullen’s happiest childhood memories is of working with her Aunt Maddie in the quaint and cozy Printed Letter Bookshop. But by the time Madeline inherits the shop nearly twenty years later, family troubles and her own bitter losses have hardened her heart toward her once-treasured aunt—and the now struggling bookshop left in her care.

While Madeline intends to sell the shop as quickly as possible, the Printed Letter’s two employees have other ideas. Reeling from a recent divorce, Janet finds sanctuary within the books and within the decadent window displays she creates. Claire, though quieter than the acerbic Janet, feels equally drawn to the daily rhythms of the shop and its loyal clientele, finding a renewed purpose within its walls. When Madeline’s professional life takes an unexpected turn, and a handsome gardener upends all her preconceived notions, she questions her plans and her heart. She begins to envision a new path for herself and her aunt’s beloved shop—provided the women’s best combined efforts are not too little, too late.

My Review:
The Printed Letter Bookshop is a beautiful story of love, loss, misunderstanding, friendship, and joy. I'd love to have a bookshop like this one in my neighborhood. The store itself is an amazing character. The two ladies who work in the shop create the perfect tension to carry the story through to the end. I enjoyed watching Maddie grow into the person her aunt knew she could be. And I love the gardener. He's a sweetheart. Katherine Reay's books always captivate me, this one was no exception. She adds in so many wonderful literary references. This is definitely a story for book lovers. It would make a wonderful gift for the avid reader.
 I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Fiction Book Review: A Portrait of Emily Price by Katherine Reay

Book Description:
Art restorer Emily Price has never encountered anything she can’t fix—until she meets Ben, an Italian chef, who seems just right. But when Emily follows Ben home to Italy, she learns that his family is another matter . . .
Emily Price—fix-it girl extraordinaire and would-be artist—dreams of having a gallery show of her own. There is no time for distractions, especially not the ultimate distraction of falling in love.

But Chef Benito Vassallo’s relentless pursuit proves hard to resist. Visiting from Italy, Ben works to breathe new life into his aunt and uncle’s faded restaurant, Piccollo. Soon after their first meeting, he works to win Emily as well—inviting her into his world and into his heart.

Emily astonishes everyone when she accepts Ben’s proposal and follows him home. But instead of allowing the land, culture, and people of Monterello to transform her, Emily interferes with everyone and everything around her, alienating Ben’s tightly knit family. Only Ben’s father, Lucio, gives Emily the understanding she needs to lay down her guard. Soon, Emily’s life and art begin to blossom, and Italy’s beauty and rhythm take hold of her spirit.

Yet when she unearths long-buried family secrets, Emily wonders if she really fits into Ben’s world. Will the joys of Italy become just a memory, or will Emily share in the freedom and grace that her life with Ben has shown her are possible?

My Thoughts:
A Portrait of Emily Price is absolutely beautiful. First I love that Emily can repair most things. She's quite the handy woman. She's also more interested in taking care of her sister than she is herself. Ben's pretty perfect, unusual for a novel, but exactly like we need him to be in this story. When they go to Italy the descriptions are lovely. I wanted to sit on a hill with Emily and take it all in. And the food. I think I gained five pounds just from reading the yummy descriptions of pasta and breads. I've read all of Katherine Reay's books and this one is my favorite. It's hard to put into words what makes it so special. But for me I think part of it is the huge role family plays in the characters' lives and the beauty of grace and self-forgiveness that twines through the story. They say to read is to escape—this is the perfect diversion. I read an interview Katherine Reay did for Library Journal. She targets a younger generation, but I'm older and I loved this story. I received this book for free.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Book Review: The Bronte Plot by Katherine Reay

Book Description:
Lucy Alling makes a living selling rare books, often taking suspicious liberties to reach her goals. When her unorthodox methods are discovered, Lucy’s secret ruins her relationship with her boss and her boyfriend, James—leaving Lucy in a heap of hurt and trouble. Something has to change; she has to change.

In a sudden turn of events, James’s wealthy grandmother, Helen, hires Lucy as a consultant for a London literary and antiques excursion. Lucy reluctantly agrees and soon discovers Helen holds secrets of her own. In fact, Helen understands Lucy’s predicament better than anyone else.

As the two travel across England, Lucy benefits from Helen’s wisdom as Helen confronts ghosts from her own past. Everything comes to a head at Haworth, home of the Brontë sisters, where Lucy is reminded of the sisters’ beloved heroines who, with tenacity and resolution, endured—even in the midst of impossible circumstances.

Now Lucy must face her past in order to move forward. And while it may hold mistakes and regrets, she will prevail—if only she can step into the life that’s been waiting for her all along.

My Review:
In January, I have a habit of reading a literary novel I can savor as I snuggle into my home during winter. This year I chose Katherine Reay's latest novel. Filled with quirky and interesting characters, I enjoyed following Lucy's story across continents. I particularly liked the journey to England and the literary references. Katherine Reay knows how to write an entertaining story. If you're a fan of British television, you'll enjoy The Bronte Plot. Even though the characters are American, their journey across the pond makes for a wonderful story of love, forgiveness, and self-awareness.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Dear Mr. Knightly by Katherine Reay

It’s hard to believe this is Katherine Reay’s debut novel. Written as if she’s penned stories for a lifetime, Dear Mr. Knightley delights as it reveals a young woman’s journey into adulthood.

Through letters to her benefactor, Samantha is required to detail her life as she works through a graduate program at Medill School of Journalism. Along the way, Sam meets an array of quirky and interesting characters. I wanted to visit with the Muirs, a kind, older couple and have lunch with handsome, charming Alex Powell. Along with the fascinating characters, the honesty that pours on the pages from Samantha’s life pulls the reader in.  Katherine writes with humor, reality, sadness and triumph. If you love Jane Austen, Elizabeth Bennet, or Jane Eyre, you’ll enjoy this delightful modern tale.

Anyone who enjoys a tale of growing up and finding love will lose themselves in Dear Mr. Knightley. You may even wish you had a Mr. Knightley of your own.