Book Drunkard

“I am simply a 'book drunkard.' Books have the same irresistible temptation for me that liquor has for its devotee. I cannot withstand them.” ― L.M. Montgomery

THE GIRL IN THE PAINTING BY TEA COOPER

Publication DateMarch 9, 2021
Thomas Nelson
Paperback & eBook; 384 pages

Genre: Historical Fiction/Mystery

A young prodigy in need of family. A painting that shatters a woman’s peace. And a decades-old mystery demanding to be solved.

Australia, 1906

Orphan Jane Piper is nine years old when philanthropist siblings Michael and Elizabeth Quinn take her into their home to further her schooling. The Quinns are no strangers to hardship— having arrived in Australia as penniless immigrants, they now care for others as lost as they once were.

Despite Jane’s mysterious past, her remarkable aptitude for mathematics takes her far over the next seven years, and her relationship with Elizabeth and Michael flourishes as she plays an increasingly prominent part in their business.

But when Elizabeth reacts in terror to an exhibition at the local gallery, Jane realizes no one knows Elizabeth after all—not even Elizabeth herself. As the past and the present converge and Elizabeth’s grasp on reality loosens, Jane sets out to unravel Elizabeth’s story before it is too late.

From the gritty reality of the Australian goldfields to the grand institutions of Sydney, this compelling novel takes us on a mystery across continents and decades as both women finally discover a place to call home.

Deeply researched. Emotional. Atmospheric and alive. . . Tea Cooper transports the reader to a sweeping landscape of turn of the twentieth century Australia—from the raw realities of the Australian goldfields to the sophisticated institutions of Sydney—and does so with an expert pen. Combining characters that are wonderfully complex with a story spanning decades of their lives, The Girl in the Painting is a triumph of family, faith, and long-awaited forgiveness. I was swept away!” —Kristy Cambron, award-winning author of The Paris Dressmaker and the Hidden Masterpiece novels

AMAZON | BARNES AND NOBLE | INDIEBOUND

Tea is an award-winning Australian author of historical fiction. In a past life she was a teacher, a journalist, and a farmer. These days she haunts museums and indulges her passion for storytelling. She is the bestselling author of several novels, including The Horse Thief, The Cedar Cutter, The Currency Lass, The Naturalist’s Daughter, The Woman in the Green Dress, and The Girl in the Painting.

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Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, March 9
Guest Post at Novels Alive

Wednesday, March 10
Review at Crystal’s Library

Thursday, March 11
Review at Pursuing Stacie
Review at McCombs on Main

Friday, March 12
Review at Jessica Belmont

Monday, March 15
Review at Gwendalyn’s Books

Tuesday, March 16
Review at Bibliostatic
Excerpt at The Caffeinated Bibliophile

Wednesday, March 17
Review at the.b00kreader

Thursday, March 18
Review at Novels Alive
Review at Book Drunkard

Friday, March 19
Review at The Lit Bitch
Review at View from the Birdhouse

Saturday, March 20
Review at Nursebookie
Review at Reading is My Remedy

Monday, March 22
Review at Books, Cooks, Looks

Tuesday, March 23
Review at Heidi Reads

Wednesday, March 24
Review at Library of Clean Reads

Thursday, March 25
Review at Read Review Rejoice

Friday, March 26
Review at Hallie Reads

Saturday, March 27
Excerpt at Passages to the Past

Monday, March 29
Review at Bookworlder
Review at Jorie Loves A Story

Tuesday, March 30
Review at Rachelle Loves Books

Wednesday, March 31
Review at Little But Fierce Book Diary

Every time Kate Quinn writes a book I get excited and cross my fingers that it’s as great as her previous books. I went crazy for The Alice Network, and The Huntress left me smitten. Then came The Rose Code. It’s a magnificent 656 pages set during World War II that tells the story of three female code breakers at Bletchley Park. Friends, I read this one in three days and am convinced that if I didn’t have a job, I’d have read it in a single sitting. I can’t remember a book that punched me in gut, made me cry (twice), and had me gasping out loud like this one. I was utterly entranced and ensconced from the first page to the last. And, while there was certainly tragedy, there was also triumph and love and, of course, sisterhood. Happy publication day, Kate!

Reasons I like this book:

The three friends are all so unique and each brings something different to the story (and one is Canadian!! YAY!)

The addition of Prince Phillip of Greece (Yes, THAT Prince Phillip) was a great touch

Kate Quinn goes in depth with the coding aspect of the book and makes it incredibly interesting to learn about

The secondary characters are as fascinating as the mains and just as well developed

Rating: 5 exuberant stars

Book Quote: (no spoilers — I just wanted to share how utterly delectable words are when KQ puts them in a sentence) “So she had put away her black wool for wine-red silk that swished around her legs like sin incarnate and set out to net a second husband.”

Similar books you’ll enjoy: Resistance Women by Jennifer Chiaverini, The Lost Girls of Paris by Pam Jenoff

Thank you to HarperCollins Canada for a copy of this book. Views are my own.

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Tudor England is what got me interested in Historical Fiction and for years, I exclusively read English history. My interests have broadened, but every once in awhile I return to Henry and the Six, Elizabeth and Mary, and it feels like reconnecting with old friends. I have always had a soft spot for Amy Robsart and, frankly, despised her husband, Robert Dudley — I am not one of his fan girls. So, I was greatly intrigued to find a book where Amy was the main focus for a change. Nicola Cornick is so creative when it comes to recreating history and blending it with modern days through time travel and reincarnation. She does a really great job separating the two eras while still keeping both interesting. I really enjoy her books and will keep reading both past titles and anything new she writes.

Reasons I like this book:

Time-slip books are one of my absolute favourite genres

There is redemption of sorts for the wrongs of past lives which rounded out the story nicely

Great suspense; it kept me guessing up to the end

I loved the inclusion of a ghost

Rating: 4 stars

Book Quotes: “I met Robert Dudley on a night of moonlight, fire and gunpowder.” “A shiver tickled my spine like the ghosts of the past stirring again.”

Similar books you’ll enjoy: The Rose Garden by Susanna Kearsley, What the Wind Knows, Angie Harmon

Thank you to HarperCollins Canada for a copy of this book. Views are my own.

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The Last Story of Mina Lee is a wonderful mother/daughter tale, and so much more! It also tackles immigration and the disconnect that some first generation (in this case) Americans have with their immigrant parents. Margot is mostly embarrassed by her mother, Mina, and really doesn’t understand why she works all the time and won’t learn English. So, when she leaves Koreatown LA for Seattle to attend school, she doesn’t look back. It’s only when her mother dies under mysterious circumstances that Margot begins to unravel the story of a woman who she comes to know more in death than she ever did in life.

Reasons I like this book:

It’s very character driven

Mina and Margot each tell their story through their own voice

Very immersive writing — I felt “in” the places she was writing about

The mystery of Mina’s death brought a lot to the story

Book Quote: “Her daughter would never understand why she couldn’t make the time to learn a language that would never accept her—especially at her age now. What would be the point? She was in her sixties and couldn’t find a job anywhere except at a swap meet or at a restaurant in Koreatown. She didn’t know a single English language speaker except for her daughter, who only visited once per year. What was the point of learning a language that brought you into the fold of a world that didn’t want you? Did this world want her? No. It didn’t like the sound of her voice.”

Rating: 4 stars

Similar books you’ll enjoy: Shelter by Jung Yun, If You Leave Me by Crystal Hana Kim

Thank you to HarperCollins Canada for a copy of this book. Views are my own.

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Pretty Little Wife has great ratings and reviews on Goodreads, etc., and is a Staff Pick of the Month at Indigo. I had high hopes for a thrilling ride when I picked it up because it has all the things I’m looking for in a suspense novel. It really started out with a bang, however, the further I read, the more the story fizzled out for me and I really had to push myself to finish it. Maybe I’m tired of books about husbands who are stand up members of the community on the outside and trash humans in private and the trophy wives who know how horrible they are but have no proof. That being said, it’s Darby Kane’s debut novel and I will definitely pick up her next book.

Reasons I like this book:

I love the inclusion of a podcast. Very current

The ice cold main character, Lila, is well developed

Great chemistry between Lila and Ginny, the detective.

An unreliable narrator made for a nice change.

Book Quote: “People thought silence meant the absence of noise, and sometimes it did, but other times it screamed so loudly she had to fight not to cover her ears.”

Rating: 3 stars

Similar books you’ll enjoy: The Wives by Tarryn Fisher, The Girl from Widow Hills by Megan Miranda

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The Women of Chateau Lafayette by Stephanie Dray is, simply put, a tour de force! Reading a book (and, I expect, writing a book) with two timelines is hard enough sometimes but three eras, three women, and three wars?! I cannot imagine the hair pulling involved in getting it right. But boy, did she ever. There was never a time when I was reading about Adrienne, The Marquis de Lafayette’s wife, or New York socialite, Beatrice, or Marthe, the school teacher and artist, where I was confused about who I was reading. Several try writing this type of book, but few have ever done it as seamlessly as Stephanie has here.

Reasons I like this book:

French history — I will never get tired of reading it and it comes to dazzling life in this book

I love that the central theme, and what brings the three women together, is a place — Lafayette’s castle

Often, history only tells the story from the male point of view. Much more often, the women behind the men have as interesting a story and this book brings them to the forefront

The development of the fictional character, Marthe, is as strong as the two others and she became real to me

Book Quotes: “As my fingertips slipped over the gold hilt of the (sword) from America — a gift from a grateful new nation — I wished to stand and fight, wielding it in protection of everything and everyone I loved.” (Adrienne)

“How long we clasped each other under that tree, I couldn’t say, for the clock of the universe now ticked to the time of our beating hearts.” (Beatrice)

“I think that if I ever carved him, I’d use a hard wood, with rough cuts, leaving some bark to show the texture of the soul.” (Marthe)

Rating: 4.5 stars

Similar books you’ll enjoy: Mistress of the Revolution by Catherine Delors, The Alice Network by Kate Quinn

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Thank you Berkley Publishing Group and NetGalley for an ebook copy of this book. Thoughts are my own.

The War Widow (Also entitled Dead Man Switch in Australia and NZ) by Tara Moss is a historical mystery. Billie Walker’s father passes away and she heads back home to Sydney to take over his PI business, the perfect job for a someone as smart and absolutely full of gumption as she is.

This book is full of action. If you have a life beyond books, you’ll have a hard time finding a good time to put it down. I love Billie. She’s feisty — a characteristic much needed in a male dominated work environment. I enjoyed the fact that while this book is post WW2, which is extremely popular at the moment, it’s set in Sydney, Australia, giving it a different feel. To top everything off, the cover is GORGEOUS! Tara Moss is talented and lovely and I’m glad I read this book.

Reasons I like this book:

Tons of action

Engaging plot line

Strong female lead and a great cast of supporting characters

It’s the first in a series so more adventures to come

Book Quote: “Billie was hoping to get these two alive but was feeling rapidly less stuck on the idea.”

Rating: 3.5 stars

Similar books you’ll enjoy: Girl in Disguise by Greer Macallister, The Mystery of Mrs. Christie by Marie Benedict

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Thank you PENGUIN GROUP Dutton and NetGalley for an ebook copy of this book. Thoughts are my own.

In The Arctic Fury, Greer Macallister tells the story of Virginia, a young guide who is hired by a wealthy woman to find her husband’s missing expedition. It’s a tale told in two parts, alternating. One is Virginia and her team of twelve women heading to the Arctic in search of Captain John Franklin and his men. I really enjoyed reading about how her team came together and how she found each of the twelve women, searching for the unique qualities that would make them helpful to the search. The second aspect of the tale is what happened when Virginia returned and her subsequent murder trial. I absolutely LOVE the cover of this book. So often, I’m drawn in first by the cover so when I saw the author name, I was doubly happy. I’ll read anything by Greer Macallister. Release date is December 1st, so do yourself a favour and pick this one up ASAP. It’s the perfect winter read!

Reasons I like this book:

Strong female cast

Seamless blending of fiction and history

Inspiring characters

Courtroom drama!

Book quote: “They started in such ambitious optimism..which are the luckier? The ones who came back or the ones who didn’t?”

Rating: 3.5 stars

Similar books you’ll enjoy: Impatient With Desire by Gabrielle Burton, The Broken Lands: A Novel of Arctic Disaster by Robert Edric

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Thank you to Sourcebooks and NetGalley for an e-book copy. Thoughts are my own.

I’ve read more teen books this year than I have ever. As a teen I read mostly classics and whatever trashy novel I could steal from my mom. I’m glad I picked this one up, thanks to one of my book besties, because it was really great! The protagonist in the story is an atheist and goes to a Catholic school where he meets a great group of friends who bring him into their club, Heretics Anonymous. They are an interesting cast of characters — a Catholic girl who likes to challenge the rules, a gay Jewish kid, super smart Max, and Eden who believes in multiple gods. Michael is a bit of a screw up which he proves over and over again at school and at home. Dialogue was funny, characters were endearing, and though the book was heavy on theology at times, it wasn’t preachy.

Reasons I like this book:

Diverse cast

It’s funny

Real problems teens are confronted with in school each day

Excellent cover

Book quotes: “My heart stops for a second. I hadn’t even considered Lucy might be drinking. It seemed like one of those things she wouldn’t do, though I know Catholic Jesus can’t have much problem with alcohol since his blood’s made out of it.”

———-

“Do you — do you think Lucy’s hot?”

Max looks confused. “Compared to who?”

There’s a bead of sweat running down my back. It tickles. “I don’t know. Compared to anyone.”

“You can’t compare one thing to every other thing. That’s not how comparisons work.”

“Compared to whoever you want,” I say. “Who do you think is hot?”

“Marie Curie.”

“What?”

“She won two Nobel Prizes. In two different categories. She’s perfect.”

“Max, she’s dead.”

Max looks offended. You asked who I thought was hot. She’s hot. Was hot.”

“Fine,” I sigh. “So, do you think Lucy’s hot or not?”

He considers this. “Her hair’s kind of messy–“

Rating: 4 stars

Similar books you’ll enjoy: This is Kind of an Epic Love Story by Kheryn Callender, The Field Guide to the North American Teenager by Ben Philippe

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As the title suggests, before Wallis Simpson there was someone else whom Edward, Prince of Wales, was involved with. Her name was Thelma Morgan, the sister of Gloria Morgan Vanderbilt. Because I wasn’t familiar with her story and how she factored into the prince’s life, I was eager to learn about her. Unfortunately, her story fell completely flat for me. I’m not sure if she was purposely written as a droll, sort of uninteresting character because she was that way in life, but I just did not care about her one way or the other. I was much more interested in Gloria’s story. That being said, the book was well written and I care enough to finish and see how Wallis swept into Edward and Thelma’s relationship and turning his head towards her. This is Bryn Turnbull’s first novel and I will definitely be reading what she publishes next.

Reasons I liked this book:

Extra info on a subject I’ve always found fascinating.

Dual timeline format, both told by Thelma.

Gorgeous cover!

Who doesn’t love a bit of royal intrigue?

Book quote: “Thelma watched the prince with interest. He was younger than she expected; she knew he was in his thirties, but the prince looked almost boyish, his expression youthful yet weary at the same time. She was surprised at his height: she had imagined him tall, as she pictured all public figures, but he was just a shade taller than Thelma and exceedingly slim. Exceptionally handsome, too: impeccable and fine featured, his hand darting, almost compulsively, to his bow tie as he spoke.”

Rating: 3 stars

Similar books you might enjoy: Wallis, a Novel by Anne Edwards, The Golden Prince by Rebecca Dean.

Thank you Mira/HarperCollins Canada for a copy of this book. Thoughts are my own.

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