Heart-wrenching #Reads I won’t soon forget #BookReviews


Photo by Anni Roenkae on Pexels.com

I’ve been in an introspective mood for the last while and my reading choices reflect that frame of mind. Heart-wrenching, soul-searching stories sure to haunt your thoughts.

The first two are Amazon Prime reads- think library. You can ‘borrow’ books from their store and return them when you’re done. I joined Prime for free shipping, but quickly took advantage of their movie and television section, and now the book borrowing… Amazon rules, don’t they?

An unforgettable novel by Kristina McMorris, inspired by a stunning piece of history.

2 CHILDREN FOR SALE

The sign is a last resort. It sits on a farmhouse porch in 1931, but could be found anywhere in an era of breadlines, bank runs and broken dreams. It could have been written by any mother facing impossible choices.

For struggling reporter Ellis Reed, the gut-wrenching scene evokes memories of his family’s dark past. He snaps a photograph of the children, not meant for publication. But when it leads to his big break, the consequences are more devastating than he ever imagined.

Inspired by an actual newspaper photograph that stunned the nation, Sold on a Monday is a powerful novel of love, redemption, and the unexpected paths that bring us home.

Photo by MART PRODUCTION on Pexels.com

My Review

Set in the Great Depression, Sold on a Monday is the gut-wrenching story of a parent’s desperation to see her children fed and cared for, and the reporter who got it wrong but couldn’t let the story go until he got it right.

Ellis Reed is a small-time reporter looking for a big break when he stumbles upon a destitute family while waiting for a photo for the society section of the newspaper who’d hired him. His compassion for the two kids sitting on the doorstep of a dilapidated house with a sign saying Kids of Sale propped in front of them drove him to take the shot. He had no intention of monetizing their circumstances, but when the photo accidentally ended up in front of his boss, he was forced into creating a story for a family he’d never met.

Compounding that lie, the photo gets destroyed right before the story goes to press and Ellis has to race back to the ramshackle town to take another one. Except, that family has moved on. What is he going to do?

When a young girl comes up to his car with a bouquet of wilting flowers for him to buy, fate once again steps in and Elis seizes the opportunity to use the girl and her brother in the new picture- he even manages to find the same sign lying in a pile of scrap wood. Satisfied with the results, and with the mother’s somewhat hesitant approval, Ellis races back in time to make the paper and figures that’s the end of that. Instead, it’s the beginning of a horrifying tale that needs to be read to be believed.

This story is based on a real newspaper photo that captured a nation’s attention- a must-read!


On Blackberry Island, friendship, love and forgiveness are as constant as the ocean waves, if only you can make room in your heart for hope.

Michelle Sanderson may appear to be a strong, independent woman, but on the inside, she’s still the wounded girl who fled home years ago. A young army vet, Michelle returns to the quaint Blackberry Island Inn to claim her inheritance and recover from the perils of war. Instead, she finds the owner’s suite occupied by the last person she wants to see.

Carly Williams and Michelle were once inseparable, until a shocking betrayal destroyed their friendship. And now Carly is implicated in the financial disaster lurking behind the inn’s cheerful veneer.

Single mother Carly has weathered rumors, lies and secrets for a lifetime, and is finally starting to move forward with love and life. But if the Blackberry Island Inn goes under, Carly and her daughter will go with it.

To save their livelihoods, Carly and Michelle will undertake a turbulent truce. It’ll take more than a successful season to move beyond their devastating past, but with a little luck and a beautiful summer, they may just rediscover the friendship of a lifetime.

Photo by Richard Dacker on Pexels.com

My Review

Michelle Sanderson returns to Blackberry Island from a ten-year tour of duty a changed woman. The things she’s been through, and the injuries sustained haunt her days and keep her up at night. On top of that, the inn she owns has been transformed into a kitschy money pit, and her once-best-friend-now-enemy is running the place. Pain and anger rule her tongue and hurtful, hateful words are exchanged- ones that aren’t easy to overcome.

Truthfully, Carly has done a good job keeping the inn going, especially after the mess Michelle’s mother left behind when she died. A double delinquent mortgage, unpaid bills, and shoddy repairs are just a few of the problems facing the new owner. Like it or not, Michelle needs Carly- and a never-ending supply of vodka to dull the misery wouldn’t hurt either.

Michelle is a proud, stubborn woman who’s had more than her share of hard knocks, starting back when her father ran out on the family with Carly’s mother, leaving Michelle the inn and a whole lot of resentment. She runs away to join the military and finds a place within the organized regimen that eases her anxiety. Until a fateful trip beyond the gates ends with her shooting a man down and taking a bullet to the hip. Filled with turmoil, Michelle returns home expecting safety to recover and instead finds life went on without her.

I had a lot of empathy for both women in this story. Their parents had a lot to answer for, but sins of the past don’t have to rule the future if forgiveness is in the hearts of those wronged.


Moving on has never been harder—or so perfectly unpredictable…

Peyton Prescott would give anything for the carefree life she knew before breast cancer changed everything. But instead of using her second chance to move forward, she’s stuck promoting the memoir her brother convinced her to write, thus reliving the very battle she wants to forget. If she hopes her European book tour will allow her to enjoy revisiting her favorite travel-writing destinations, she’s wrong: her PR whiz is too consumed with his own goals to consider her needs.

Mitch Mathis has relied on discipline to achieve his goals, and with his new firm’s success riding on Peyton’s book launch, he must keep her on task. They’re here for business, not pleasure. And Mitch won’t let unbridled desire harm his professional reputation—not again.

When frustrated expectations and attraction throw the tour into chaos, it challenges everything Mitch and Peyton believe about themselves, life, and love, forcing these opposites to consider whether they can embrace the change they need to grow.

Photo by Chait Goli on Pexels.com

My Review

A breast cancer survivor, Peyton Prescott would like to forget the whole horrifying episode and move on with her jet-setting social media career, but instead she’s trapped, reliving the physical and mental toll over and over again while promoting the memoir her devoted brother talked her into writing during the ordeal.

She’d walk away, except half the proceeds are going toward cancer research, and the handsome PR whiz, who’s joining her on the tour, is counting on its success to cement his fledgling company in the cut-throat industry.

This is one woman’s journey to self-healing through a journey fraught with land mines waiting to tug her under. An emotional, heart-tugging read worthy of the re-read shelf!


Do you like emotional stories now and then? Have you read anything from these authors? Let’s chat…

44 thoughts on “Heart-wrenching #Reads I won’t soon forget #BookReviews

  1. Thanks for these interesting recommendations, Jacquie! In this periode of time i think one can only have an introspective mood. Have a nice week! xx Michael

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Maybe that’s what’s doing it, Michael. It’s been a weird couple of years.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. 😉 So true, Jacquie! Have a nice week! xx Michael

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Sophie @BewareOfTheReader January 24, 2022 — 2:46 am

    I have wanted to read Sold on a Monday for a long time.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. This look like incredibly moving reads. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Jacquie 💕🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you’d enjoy them, Harmony.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I enjoyed reading Barefoot Season. The other books sounds good, too. Thanks for sharing, Jacquie.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I had forgotten reading Barefoot Season when it first came out, but am glad I picked it up for a reread 🙂

      Like

  5. These all look emotional. Great reviews, Jacquie.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Fantastic reviews, Jacquie! “Sold On A Monday” is a MUST-READ for me. I love stories set in the depression era and someday, I am going to write my parents’ story. Thank you for sharing. I’m off to grab this one!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My grandma was born in 1925, just ahead of the depression. Though she lived in Canada, she said they still felt the effects of the bad crops and job losses here.
      I hope we never see that era again.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you for sharing your reviews, Jacquie. I like realistic emotional reads, and the great depression era fascinates me because of the stories my father used to share. I’ll be heading to Amazon soon!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We complain now at the cost of milk, imagine what it was like then! Well worth the read, Gwen.

      Like

  8. Talk about emotional reads – you’re on a roll, Jacquie. That first one would break my heart, but I’m curious about it since it’s based on a real photo.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The author shows the real photo at the end of the story- so sad!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. All three books belong to my favorite genre – realism and emotion pull me immediately. Thanks for sharing your lovely reviews Jacquie.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They tug at the heart, Balroop, and suit the gray skies we’ve been having lately.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. These all sound heart wrenching, Jacquie, but Sold on a Monday really captured my thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Great Depression was hard for so many. I can’t imagine being forced to abandon my child so she can eat 😦

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It makes me go cold just thinking about it, Jacquie. And we are seeing very hard times again now.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Great reviews, Jacquie. These stories sound like not getting involved in them would be impossible. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They made me count my blessings, John, that’s for sure!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ll bet. Thanks again.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. petespringerauthor January 24, 2022 — 2:58 pm

    I appreciated your comments about being more introspective, Jacquie. I find myself doing that all the time lately and wonder if it’s a symptom of aging or the pandemic. All of the books you reviewed sound interesting, but Children for Sale is probably the one I want to read the most.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Could be both, Pete. The pandemic has certainly woken me up to the fragility of life.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. That first–Sold on a Monday–is heart-wrenching. I wouldn’t even be able to read it. I was happy for your review so I’d know kinda how it turned out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I feel for the kids, but even more for their mother forced into such a horrible decision.

      Like

  14. D.L. Finn, Author January 24, 2022 — 7:00 pm

    They all sound good Jacquie. Sold on a Monday already hurts my heart just from the review.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And in many countries it still happens today.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. The first book reminds me of my girlfriend, Jacquie! As you said, the choices could have happened to any mother. My friend is an orphan. After her father died, her mother couldn’t take care of her and her brother. I can’t remember exactly, but her mom placed her in an orphanage and her brother elsewhere. Her mom got a job working as a live-in maid. It could have been worse!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw, that’s sad. Were they able to stay in contact then?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I can’t quite remember what happened to the brother. My friend and her mom stayed in touch. The orphanage is in another island, not part of Hong Kong. I imagine the mom had time off and went to see her. She is my college friend. She left the orphanage when she turned 18 and went to college. I think her mom saved up for her. My friend is a happy go lucky person. She and I stay in touch through WhatsApp.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I’m glad they didn’t lose their connection. Maybe the son will search your friend and his mom out one day.

          Like

  16. Jacquie, I’m smiling at your Amazon haul and these all look fantastic and emotional! The first one particularly sounds something I would like to read. At the moment I’m reading a Now and Then novel but this year I’ve also been heading back to time of Rumi as well as the Cultural Revolution of China in the 1960s!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ooh, those sound like heavy topics! I look forward to reading your thoughts on the books.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Congratulations to these fine authors. Thanks, Jacquie for sharing your thoughts. “Sold On A Monday” is going onto my toppling TBR pile. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s well worth adding to your list, Mark.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Wonderful recommendations, Jacquie

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Toni. I’ve been reading some powerful books lately.

      Liked by 1 person

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