Ok, I know I JUST posted mini reviews yesterday, but I had two more that were written and ready to go that I wanted to include this week. I feel like anything more than three reviews in a post is just too much, so I figured it would be safer to do a continuation of sorts today and show you all how productive I was over my vacation. Well, I was productive in my reading; I didn’t write or schedule ahead one single post aside from yesterday’s. The books I’m featuring today are both adult fiction but, otherwise, couldn’t be farther apart in likeness. The first is a novel of southern domestic drama and the second is a family saga of sorts that leans in the domestic thriller and suspense genres. Both books were highly enjoyable and I can’t recommend them emphatically enough!
Book Title: If The Creek Don’t Rise
Author: Leah Weiss
Genres: Historical Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Domestic Drama
Pub Date: 08/08/17
In a North Carolina mountain town filled with moonshine and rotten husbands, Sadie Blue is only the latest girl to face a dead-end future at the mercy of a dangerous drunk. She’s been married to Roy Tupkin for fifteen days, and she knows now that she should have listened to the folks who said he was trouble. But when a stranger sweeps in and knocks the world off-kilter for everyone in town, Sadie begins to think there might be more to life than being Roy’s wife.
I absolutely LOVED this novel! I know it won’t be for everyone, but being a female from the Deep South who adores character studies that manage to become the plot itself made this the perfect read for me! The unique form of dialogue and slow building tension worked well in my humble opinion; the broken dialect reflected the time period’s lack of value for women and the dark struggle that many have endured at the hands of a violent drunk. The story was very straight forward; there isn’t much sense of mystery or suspense in the natural sense, but I found that the tension building between Roy and Sadie really catapulted the story forward and gripped me for the entirety of the narrative. Oh, and that ending? I thought it was brilliant. I must be the odd ball out, as I felt there was complete closure to the story and nothing was really left hanging. Highly recommended for those who enjoy deep characterization of rough folks in a historical fiction setting that feels as if it could have been written in today’s time.
Book Title: Working Fire
Author: Emily Bleeker
Genres: Domestic Drama, Psychological Thriller, Suspense Fiction
Pub Date: 08/29/17
Ellie Brown thought she’d finally escaped her stifling hometown of Broadlands, Illinois; med school was supposed to be her ticket out. But when her father has a stroke, she must return home to share his care with her older sister, Amelia, who’s busy with her own family. Working as a paramedic, Ellie’s days are monotonous, driving an ambulance through streets she’d hoped never to see again.
Until a 911 dispatch changes everything. The address: her sister’s house. Rushing to the scene, Ellie discovers that Amelia and her husband, Steve, have been shot in a home invasion. After Amelia is rushed to the hospital, Ellie tries to make sense of the tragedy. But what really happened inside her sister’s house becomes less and less clear. As Amelia hangs on in critical condition, Ellie uncovers dark revelations about her family’s past that challenge her beliefs about those closest to her…and force her to question where her devotions truly lie.
The reason we readers continue to come back for these family centered sagas is for one thing-SECRETS. Whether an author proclaims that their book contains a giant secret, a bunch of little secrets, or something in between, I can’t help but immediately becoming drawn to said book. We all love a story that makes us feel
normal less dysfunctional, and WORKING FIRE was just that story. Were all the components and character choices realistic? No, but I think if every story was 100% realistic we wouldn’t have enjoyable fiction that grabs us and makes us feel things (even if those things are “WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’RE DOING PEOPLE?!”). I did find myself yelling at the sisters a few times, but overall this was such an enjoyable, binge-worthy read; I can’t imagine anyone getting to the end without becoming a little riled up. Bleeker has consistently published books that I enjoy; each one tends to be a little different than the last, so I always know I’m picking up something fresh. WORKING FIRE was no different and I’m pleased as punch to state that once again, she’s crafted a wholly enjoyable tale that was equal parts gripping, tense, and emotional. Highly recommended for readers looking for a fast pace with a focus on family drama and secrets, because BOY are there some whoppers here!
*Many thanks to the publishers for providing my copies via NetGalley!