Saturday, June 28, 2014

Annie's Stories by Cindy Thomson

About the Book:

The year is 1901, the literary sensation The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is taking New York City by storm, and everyone wonders where the next great book will come from. But to Annie Gallagher, stories are more than entertainment—they’re a sweet reminder of her storyteller father. After his death, Annie fled Ireland for the land of dreams, finding work at Hawkins House.

But when a fellow boarder with something to hide is accused of misconduct and authorities threaten to shut down the boardinghouse, Annie fears she may lose her new friends, her housekeeping job . . . and her means of funding her dream: a memorial library to honor her father. Furthermore, the friendly postman shows a little too much interest in Annie—and in her father’s unpublished stories. In fact, he suspects these tales may hold a grand secret.

Though the postman’s intentions seem pure, Annie wants to share her father’s stories on her own terms. Determined to prove herself, Annie must forge her own path to aid her friend and create the future she’s always envisioned . . . where dreams really do come true.

My Thoughts:

Last year I read my first novel by Cindy Thomson, titled "Grace's Pictures", set near the turn of the century and focusing on the lives of young immigrants making a way in America. Even though I'm not a big fan of historical fiction, I did enjoy the book.

Cindy has a new release in her "Ellis Island" series, and this book focuses on changes in literature.  More specifically, children's literature.  Annie's father wrote stories just for her, involving woodland creatures and a hint of magic.  These stories are all she has of her father and her past as she makes her way across the ocean to America.

The horrors of Magdalene Laundry will send shivers through you as you read what Annie endured after her father's death and her family's betrayal.  Her life at Hawkins House as the housekeeper is a dream compared to that nightmare, but Annie still longs for more.

Her hope is to one day build a library in honor of her father's memory, and her copy of "The Wizard of Oz" is just a small start.   Can the overly engaging postman help in her endeavors, or is he only out for himself?  And what her of housing companions?  Who wants Annie's Stories for their own gain?

"Annie's Stories" is filled with authentic historical detail and rich characterization.  The suspense element got a bit tangled for me, but in the end it all made sense.  My thanks to my friends at Tyndale Publishing for my advance copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

If you enjoy historical fiction, then you'll find a gem of a story in "Annie's Stories".

Happy Reading!



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