The Red Hen has been online for a year now. Where has the time gone? Mostly to inventory, book listings, and marketing any way I can get it. The first few years of any business are rocky, and that has held true for the Red Hen- I'm still not where I want to be in terms of sales, but traffic is good, and I am slowly building my brand and growing awareness of the Red Hen in Hannibal. I celebrated my first year with a game of Hide and Seek in downtown Hannibal- you may have found one of the eleven hens I hid in some of my favorite places. I plan to play Hide and Seek every March, adding a hen for every year the Red Hen is still running. It's been a wild ride so far, and I'm looking forward to the next game!
I recently finished an ARC of City Mouse I received. I actually read it through a rather hectic move of my own and found so much to relate to with the stress of moving, adjusting to a new home, the mayhem of setting everything up and changing driving patterns to and from work and school, and the stress of having new neighbors and the feeling of being back in high school with introducing yourself and hoping they let you sit at their table.
Jessica and Aaron have moved from the big city to the suburbs, a place Jessica never wanted to be- she likes the hustle and bustle of the city, and not having a long commute, but their apartment is being outgrown by their family, and real estate in the city is at a premium, and Aaron is seeking greener pastures (or at least a yard for the kids to play in). Jessica is surprised, however, by the neighbors and friends she meets. It's a competitive neighborhood, though, and Jessica is the only working mom (btdt). When she is invited to a mom's only weekend, she sees it as a chance to bond with her new mom friends. What she gets is a pile of surprises, some good, some not so good, and some new big decisions to make.
This is the book I was looking for- it has a great voice, great pace, and so much to relate to and be able to say "I've been there". The characters are well developed and dimensioned, at times likable and frustrating, and I find myself wanting to pick it up again and re-read it, even after only a few days. This book doesn't release until June, so you'll be waiting a while. It's worth the wait.
This review is for The Baker's Secret by Stephen Kiernan. I received an advanced reader's copy for review.
This is an excellent WW2 historical fiction. We see the experiences of a small village in the north of France, starting with the Nazi occupation as flash backs, and to the setting just before D-Day, which the villagers witness. Emmanuelle is the town baker, tasked with providing baguettes for the occupying officers, and secretly mixing straw into her loaves to make the batches larger so that she can provide for those in need in her village, either with bread or her bargaining abilities and freedom of movement. The story is a realistic and stark depiction of Nazi occupation and what those under occupation went through in a part of the war that is known primarily for that one final battle. It shows us yet another viewpoint of a chapter of history that is at once studied and forgotten, and reminds us of the depths to which people can go, as well as the heights, to make sure that those they care for are protected.
I love historical fiction, and this is one of many new releases I can add to my list of recommendations for historical fiction readers.