Publisher: AmazonCrossing

Review: An American Princess: The Many Lives of Allene Tew by Annejet van der Zijl, Michele Hutchison

Posted June 4, 2018 by Lily B in Reviews / 10 Comments

Review: An American Princess: The Many Lives of Allene Tew by Annejet van der Zijl, Michele HutchisonAn American Princess: The Many Lives of Allene Tew by Annejet van der Zijl, Michele Hutchison
Series: standalone
Published by AmazonCrossing on May 1, 2018
Genres: Non-Fiction, Biography
Pages: 234
Format: Hardcover
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Rating: 3.5 Stars

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The true story of a girl from the wilderness settlements of a burgeoning new America who became one of the most privileged figures of the Gilded Age.
Born to a pioneering family in Upstate New York in the late 1800s, Allene Tew was beautiful, impetuous, and frustrated by the confines of her small hometown. At eighteen, she met Tod Hostetter at a local dance, having no idea that the mercurial charmer she would impulsively wed was heir to one of the wealthiest families in America. But when he died twelve years later, Allene packed her bags for New York City. Never once did she look back.
From the vantage point of the American upper class, Allene embodied the tumultuous Gilded Age. Over the course of four more marriages, she weathered personal tragedies during World War I and the catastrophic financial reversals of the crash of 1929. From the castles and châteaus of Europe, she witnessed the Russian Revolution and became a princess. And from the hopes of a young girl from Jamestown, New York, Allene Tew would become the epitome of both a pursuer and survivor of the American Dream.

An American Princess tells the story of a woman named Allene Tew and how far she had come from being a young girl from Jamestown, what she had lived through in life and her ultimate demise.

The book definitely reads more like a nonfiction, biography, so the pace of the book did vary and we were hit with a ton of historical information based on the era that Allene had lived through. There were definitely some dry areas at the beginning and it took me a while to get into the book, but I enjoyed it when the book started to pick up and become more interesting once we got to the war bits.

Allene had lived through a lot, as far as her love life went. In this book, we learn a lot about Allene love life, her husbands, what they did, and what ultimately brought an end to that relationship. Allene was married about five times, 2 times because of her looks, 2 times because of her money and 1 time due to the fact that there was actual love.

As a whole I never really felt like we got to know Allene. This book was well written, probably very historically accurate, but very much about the love life of Allene and her husband more over just Allene. I wanted to know about the woman as a person and what she had done in life to become such a historical figure over just who she married, what her husband did, and why that ended.

Despite that, I felt for Allene when she lost both of her children in World War but for some reason I never felt like her character truly grieved over losing her offsprings, or at least it was not an impression I got from the book.

But goodness this woman went through a lot when it came to husbands and she had five of them, so her marriages in general bought her some happiness, some heartache, and a lot of money. She was even pegged as a gold digger of her time.

Overall, as my second nonfiction, ever… I did enjoy this. The writing was good. But, I wish it was a bit more.

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Review: Winter in Wonderland by J.S. Drangsholt, Tara F. Chace

Posted December 15, 2017 by Lily B in Reviews / 14 Comments

Review:  Winter in Wonderland by J.S. Drangsholt, Tara F. ChaceWinter in Wonderland by J.S. Drangsholt, Tara F. Chace
Series: Ingrid Winter Misadventure #2
Published by AmazonCrossing on February 1st 2018
Genres: Womens Fiction
Pages: 234
Format: Kindle Edition
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Rating: 3.5 Stars

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Professor Ingrid Winter seems to have it all. But she can’t help feeling like everything’s crumbling around her—just like the roof on her family home.
Now she and her husband are on the hook for repairs they can barely afford, and lack of funds means her husband must cancel his dream trip to Italy. Their three daughters are growing up too fast, her latest batch of students are more disaffected than ever, and there’s no one that she’s not disappointing. To top it all off, Mr. and Mrs. Perfect have moved in right next door.
Overwhelmed and anxious, Ingrid’s ready to take a hike. And the whole family, including Gramps, is coming along. A staycation in the mountains of Norway may be just what the Winters need. But will tromping through nature help Ingrid find the right path or send her deeper into the woods?

Ingrid Winters is a professor that seems to have it all, until things starts to fall apart around her.

Now Ingrid and her husband are on the fence because of the repairs they can barely afford on their home, and has put a wedge into her husband’s dream vacation to Italy. Her latest batch of students at the university are distracted and disinterested and to top everything off, a new couple Mr and Mrs Perfect move in next door.

This was….

I don’t know how to rate this book.

Ingrid was… An interesting character enough. I know people rated this book poorly in the past because they found Ingrid not very related, and a very unlikable character. I actually did not complete hate her. To me, she seemed real, and very much someone I can relate to. Motherhood isn’t perfect and neither is marriage, we get caught up in things we should not and we deal with things differently, sometimes with just the heat of the moment. I think because of translation, there was probably a bit of cultural disconnect, or people don’t feel comfortable admitting that there is a part of us in someone like Ingrid.

Ingrid wasn’t perfect. She got frustrated with her husband because of the roof incident and him not being able to work on it and she had every right to, especially when he decided to take the project on himself instead of paying for the contractor. There was a definite strain on their relationship to the point where Ingrid was questioning rather the two are going to get a divorce, but their marriage prevailed when both parties realized their short comings and maybe there was some truth in how Ingrid felt about the situation.

The story is simple and basically follows Ingrid as she navigates her life, parenting, and marriage. It’s not always pretty, there is strain, she ignores her middle child at some point because of the amount of stress she is already under. What I mean by ignores is that she forgot about her middle child’s play in school while she tried to deal with the fact that their house has a hole in the roof, her husband refusing to acknowledge the fact that the neighbor who promised to help, isn’t, the school is giving her problems because her rating is low among the teachers, her youngest child is being bullied in school and the list goes on. People did not like that, I found it realistic, especially when you take into the account everything that was going around Ingrid. We all want to be the perfect mothers, but we are also humans and I found her short comings very human, even if they are not favorably viewed and frowned upon.

Overall, I found this a quick read. There is a lot going on at the same time not much happens because the whole book is just about Ingrid navigating her life. There are cultural differences that get lost on anyone not living in the same part of the world.

Also, there is a bit of rambling, but that could be part of how it was translated.

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