Best Year of our Lives, a Book Review

The Best Year of our Lives by Phil Andrews I just finished reading “The Best Year of Our Lives: Growing up in the 1970s” by Phil Andrews. It is a semi-autobiographical book that I’m never sure I’m going to like. This one, however, was one of the best! As a writer and editor, I am very impressed with this debut novel. I wasn’t sure I was going to like the book when I first started it because it is very British and there were things in the story that I didn’t understand. However, the exceptional quality of the writing and the excellent characterizations kept my interest. The story is set in 1976, two years after I got married. I remember the time well, although from an American instead of British viewpoint. I actually found those differences interesting and entertaining. The music was different – except for the megastars like Bowie and the Stones – but I remember cassette players, widely flared jeans… Read more

Book Review: The Governor’s Daughter

by Jerri Hines This book is set at the beginning of the Revolutionary War and tells the story of a young woman whose father is the British governor of South Carolina. He sends her to England for her safety where a whole lot of bad things happen to her, she returns to South Carolina where even more bad things happen to her, after which she returns to England where she suffers even more bad things. That’s about it as far as the plot goes. Here are the reasons I gave it one star: 1. There are numerous typos, incorrect words used, missing words and incomprehensible sentences. At one point I started a new chapter and quickly realized the text on the first page was a direct copy/paste of the last page of the previous chapter. 2. There is a lot of explicit violence. I can’t remember ever reading a historical romance with this much, and kind of, violence. A maniac… Read more

Book Review: Inheritance – A Psychological Suspense Thriller

by Thomas Wymark — Mystery, Psychological Suspense Review by Susan L Stewart “Inheritance: It was hers from the beginning” is not the kind of book I normally read, but the first line of the synopsis sounded interesting enough to give it a try: “Somewhere deep in her mind Christine Marsden is witnessing the murder of young girls. And now she has urges to hurt her own children.” Wow! To say I couldn’t put it down once I started is a cliché, but true. This story, told in first person by the main character, is the riveting account of how her life falls apart after being mugged and receiving two brain injuries. The horrifying nightmares of sexually assaulting and murdering young girls, visions of people not there, voices telling her to hurt people – including her children – and blackouts during which she does things she has no memory of, almost push her permanently over the edge to insanity, but she refuses to give… Read more