December Book Reviews

So many books, so little time! I am an avid reader and love to share recommendations with fellow readers. My choice in books tend to vary by my mood but some of my favorites are mystery, suspense, and thriller. Check back each month for new reviews. I would love your recommendations so please drop them in the comments!

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A Bend in the Stars – Rachel Barenbaum

Synopsis: Set in Russia in 1914 and the solar eclipse, A Bend in the Stars tells the story of Miri Abramov and her brother, Vanya. War is looming in Germany and life under the Czar, in Russia, for the Jewish people is becoming increasingly difficult. Faced with an impossible choice, they make a place to escape, along with Miri’s fiance, Vanya.

But before they can act, war breaks out, separating the family. Miri is forced to take on a dangerous journey in order to reunited with her brother and fiance, who are seeking out an American scientist who is capturing the eclipse.

This book is beautifully written. I found myself engrossed from beginning to end. I found myself reading more slowly in order the savor it. The story is action-packed from beginning to end. Miri is a fascinating and relatable character, overcoming incredible odds to pursue her passion for medicine. The plight of Russian Jews is sensitively and accurately depicted. I highly recommend this book.

Oliver Loving: A Novel – Stefan Merrill Block

Synopsis: A story of grief and love, Oliver Loving tells the story of a Texas town shattered by tragedy, leaving young Oliver in a coma for ten years. The story explores the effects of the event on Oliver’s family as each tries to cope with what happened to him as well as an unrequited love interest, Rebekkah Sterling. The family is given new hope for Oliver’s recovery thanks to new tests. But this also serves to bring back the pain of the past.

Beautifully written prose tell an incredibly emotional story that really captures the reader. The exploration of how each family member, Oliver’s father, mother, and brother, has managed to cope with this life altering tragedy makes this a compelling read.

The Keeper of Lost Things – Ruth Hogan

Synopsis: After losing a keepsake from his fiance forty years ago, Anthony Peardew becomes a keeper of lost things. He picks up the lost, the misplaced, the dropped and seeks to return them to their owners. At the end of his life, he bequeaths this mission to his assistant Laura, along with his house.

Lonely and recovering from a divorce, Laura moves into the mansion and discovers new friends in her neighbor’s daughter, Sunshine, and a gardener, Freddy. Both assist her in honoring Anthony’s mission: returning lost items to their owners.

This is a warm and witty read that had me laughing out loud in parts. The story has just enough twists and turns to keep the reader engaged. The back story of a character named Eunice was artfully threaded through the narrative. It’s wonderfully engaging read.

The Red Tent – Anita Diamant

Synopsis: Told from the perspective of Jacob’s only daughter, Dinah, The Red Tent is a re-imagining of biblical story of the tribe of Jacob. Dinah tells of life in her father’s camp and growing up under the watchful eye of her mother and the other women in the camp, her coming of age and joining the sisterhood of the red tent. It is a story of love, loss, and overcoming difficult circumstances as Dinah passes from childhood to adulthood.

This is a book I pull out to re-read at this time every year. A character who is barely a footnote in biblical text to brought to life. Anita Diamant’s story of the women in Jacob’s tribe, their sisterhood, and support of each other is wonderfully captivating. This story is a wonderfully familiar old friend.

Enter for a chance to win The House on Maple Street

There’s still time to enter the Goodreads giveaway of The House on Maple Street. Enter for your chance to win 1 of 100 Kindle edition copies. Full rules, terms, and conditions are available on at The giveaway closes December 5th.

13 Comments on “December Book Reviews”

  1. Thanks so much for these book recommendations! I’ll have to see if my library has them and place holds. They look like excellent, intriguing choices.

  2. What a great list! I haven’t read much lately so I need to check these out! Thanks so much for sharing!

  3. That’s a pretty great looking list.
    I really need to get back into reading. Maybe I can start with one of these books!

  4. I love reading and have to say that I loved all your suggestions! I’ll definitely put some of them in my Christmas gift list for myself! Lol

  5. This is such a good list. It steers clear of fantasy and sappy romance which are not usually my cup of tea. The stories seem deep and intriguing. Good ideas for my 2020 TBR pile.

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