Books March 2023


Read, Read, Read

"Books are the plane, and the train, and the road. They are the destination, and the journey. They are home."- Anna Quindlen

March is upon us. We are blissfully excited because spring is around the corner.  The seasons are a blessing, fresh, different and always thrilling.  The world slowly comes alive, flowers start to sprout and the cycle of life begins anew. 

I have read several books since the beginning of 2023. These are a few of them.  I tend to read historical fiction and beachy reads.  If I love an author's storytelling, I will devour all of her books. 

 My Latest Favorites

For Readers Who Loved The Nightingale 

The Paris Seamstress - Natasha Lester

A French seamstress.  A British spy. An American heiress. One destiny that begins in war-torn France. 

This is an unforgettable novel about WWII spanning generations, across the pond and so much more. The tale is told with two main characters starting with Estella Bissette, a young seamstress, 1940, fleeing Paris to New York as the Germans advance.  And the second character, Fabienne Bissette, 2015, attends a Met gala featuring her grandmothers, Estella's,  fashion who is now a legend in the industry.  Think Coco Chanel. 

The story unfolds and captivates the reader. The mystery, fashion industry development and methods of survival during WWI are intertwined.  In the present, Fabienne learns about the heartache, courage and strength of her grandmother.  Which, in turn, spurs her on to achieve more with her life. 

A beautifully written book.  If you love fashion, history, intrigue, mystery and entanglements this is your moment.  I could not put it down and am now reading her other books.  A sensation. 

"Be brave. Love well and fiercely. Be the woman I always knew you could be."  - Natasha Lester - The Paris Seamstress


A New Classic Novel

The Whalebone Theatre - Joanna Quinn

A Whale.  Whalebones.  Theatre. Childhood.  Adults. Spies. WWII.

A masterpiece historical fiction novel which captivates and keeps the pages turning.  The writing is superb, imaginative, and descriptive with well-drawn characters.  The story reminds me of an ocean wave that slowly rises, reaches the peak, and then races towards the finale.  In short, the first half of the book, builds the story like aging fine wine. The second half takes hold of your imagination and crashes into the shore.  

The tale begins in 1928 with three children, Cristabel, Flossie, and Digby the heir to Chilcombe manor.  They find a dead whale on the shores English Chanel and eventually move the bones to higher ground and build a theatre.  As children they were left to their own devices to create, play, and enjoy the outdoors.  It reminded me of my own childhood, where we were free until dinnertime to do as we pleased. The whalebone theatre for these three children was a path to escape the stepparents and the trials and tribulations of their childhood.  

Of course, they eventually grow up and and the second half begins as British secret agents in Nazi-occupied France.  The playacting of yesteryear now becomes a dangerous game.  This is a memorable novel with unique writing styles throughout.  A novel that will not be forgotten. 

"When she stands in its ribcage, she recalls how she had once placed her hands on the outside of its body, and now she is inside its body, in the space created by its absent life." - The Whalebone Theatre - Joanna Quinn


Beach Read - Wedding Fiasco - Entertaining

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

Sometimes, we readers, need a break from richly drawn historical fiction books.  Sometimes we need a light comedy that makes us laugh.  Sometimes we need The Unhoneymooners.   This cocktail is filled with hilarious moments surrounding the wedding of the century.  The main character, Olive Torres, is a jinxed twin to the perfect sister, Ami, who is getting married. 

Weddings, ironically or sadly, have social media requirements and are over the top extravaganzas. After all, everyone thinks they are the Kardashians. Many have heard how weddings must occur at destination locales, bridesmaids pay for everything, bachelorette parties are in another state, bridal showers have the bride wear white, and the final wedding trappings are all color coated.  Whew, makes my head spin.  To top it off, costs are ungodly outrageous.  This spicy novel reminds one that anything can and may go wrong.  Think the movie Bridesmaids (2011).

Olive is called the unlucky twin who lost her job, a little overweight, and grumpy.  On the day of the wedding, she is sucked into a tight bridesmaid dress and can barely breathe. To top it off, her nemesis, Ethan Thomas, will be at the wedding.  Whereas, her sister, champion extraordinaire, has planned the wedding of the century and in this case without spending a fortune.  Along with an over the top honeymoon destination in Maui, Hawaii.   

Ami has figured out how to have the Instagram, social media wedding with all the trappings.  Her savvy business skills have garnered everything cheaply that is required for the society splash on social media.  Yet, was the low-cost shrimp fresh?  Luckily, Olive and Ethan were both vegetarian. 

The wedding from hell commences. The outcome is delightfully entertaining.   You will chuckle and laugh. 

"You don't get to choose the circumstances. That's the point of luck: it happens when and where it happens." - Christina Lauren, The Unhoneymooners

There you have it. Those that read religiously are interesting and knowledge about life.   Enjoy my March 2023 picks.  

" A reader lives a thousand live before he dies.... The man you never reads lives only one." - George R. R. Martin

That's a Wrap!

Until Next Time,
Kim Hardwick


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