#finishedreading last night. #unspeakable by #carolinepignat good story centered around young woman who survives the foundering in May 1914 of #rmsempressofireland in the #stlawrenceriver #bookstagram #bibliophile #books #historicalfiction #weekendreads #empressofireland #shipwreck #canadianfiction #reads

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Book Review: Unspeakable: Book 1

Unspeakable: Book 1Unspeakable: Book 1 by Caroline Pignat
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

I'd never heard of the RMS Empress of Ireland nor her foundering in the St Lawrence River in May 1914 that took with it 1012 souls, so this was not only an entertaining read it was also informative. Ellie Hardy was a good heroine to follow. She's young, fallen and shamed and enrolled in employment as a stewardess on the Empress by her maiden author aunt Geraldine. She's the window into what life was like on the ship and also what the horror the night it sank was. There's also the not small matter of her search for a man she fell in love with who also worked on the ship, Jim. I admit that I didn't really feel much for the romance with Jim though I liked him well enough. By the end of the story I was pulling a little more for Wyatt the journalist who was set to the task of getting Ellie's story.

Ellie's life had a dash of rich girl ship love angst of Rose from Titanic, a dollop of Tess of the D'ubervilles (perhaps her last name was Hardy as a nod. ;) ) and a sprinkling of Downton Abbey. It was all just enough to remind but none of these reminders were so heavy handed as to take over the story. One thing that did take me out of the story, on more than one occasion, were some phrase usages that felt far too modern day coming out of the mouths of the characters. It was a bit glaring at times but I read enough historical fiction that this isn't my first instance of that so it didn't ruin the entire story for me. Overall, I enjoyed the story & it was a very fast read that I would recommend. I fully intend on reading more about the Empress of Ireland story to learn more. If there's to be a book 2 of Ellie's adventures, I'll likely seek it out to read. 3.5 stars

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Book Review: Bradstreet Gate

Bradstreet Gate: A NovelBradstreet Gate: A Novel by Robin Kirman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

While there's truly beautiful prose here I felt overall disappointment. I wanted to "really like" it but I can only give this a nominal "like". This is the second book I've read this week with characters who are supposed to be friends but seem more like frienemies at the apex of their relationships. I oddly thought that the classmate murder mentioned in the book blurb would be a major factor in the plot but it was not and further did not really even seem central to what transpires between the main characters. I kept hoping until the last that it would at least be revealed who killed her and it was wasted hope. The ending was fairly abrupt but I'll admit that if I'd got the answer to the murder, I could have accepted it much more. I didn't at all mind that the characters weren't likable but I did have issue with the fact that I didn't find them all so compelling so as to make me really care to know more about them. Only two really were and the remainder, tedious. I'm not sure any of them really had enough actual character to sustain an entire book well. With that said, I'd likely read another by the author because some of the passages herein are the sort that will remain with me for a bit.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via LibraryThing in exchange for my honest review.

Coming July 2015

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it's not a proper memorial day #weekend without a #ginandtonic to toast the arrival of the summer season. as soon as the ice cubes are set, it's on! #bombaysapphire #drinks #cocktails #longweekend #gandt

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one of my long #weekendreads #AMurderOfMagpies by #judithflanders #books #bookstagram #novels #bibliophile #fiction #mystery #britishfiction #britfic #reading

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