March Wrap Up

March is finally over. It has been one of the longest, craziest months that I have ever experienced. I hope everyone has been happy and healthy. This month has been a decent reading month, even though I didn’t stick to my tbr. I did find a new favorite so it was worth the mood reading.

Synopsis:

Upstate New York, 1982. Viv Delaney wants to move to New York City, and to help pay for it she takes a job as the night clerk at the Sun Down Motel in Fell, New York. But something isnʼt right at the motel, something haunting and scary.

Upstate New York, 2017. Carly Kirk has never been able to let go of the story of her aunt Viv, who mysteriously disappeared from the Sun Down before she was born. She decides to move to Fell and visit the motel, where she quickly learns that nothing has changed since 1982. And she soon finds herself ensnared in the same mysteries that claimed her aunt.

After reading The Familiar Dark I wanted to read more thrillers. I have always loved thrillers, but I had gotten away from reading them. I saw this everywhere on Instagram and it is worth the hype. I hit a few spots that dragged, but it was still great.

My Rating: 4/5

My Full Review: https://readinginthewildwood.com/2020/03/23/the-sun-down-motel-by-simone-st-james-review/

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Synopsis:

2000. Bright, ambitious, and yearning for adulthood, fifteen-year-old Vanessa Wye becomes entangled in an affair with Jacob Strane, her magnetic and guileful forty-two-year-old English teacher.

2017. Amid the rising wave of allegations against powerful men, a reckoning is coming due. Strane has been accused of sexual abuse by a former student, who reaches out to Vanessa, and now Vanessa suddenly finds herself facing an impossible choice: remain silent, firm in the belief that her teenage self willingly engaged in this relationship, or redefine herself and the events of her past. But how can Vanessa reject her first love, the man who fundamentally transformed her and has been a persistent presence in her life? Is it possible that the man she loved as a teenager–and who professed to worship only her–may be far different from what she has always believed?

Alternating between Vanessa’s present and her past, My Dark Vanessa juxtaposes memory and trauma with the breathless excitement of a teenage girl discovering the power her own body can wield. Thought-provoking and impossible to put down, this is a masterful portrayal of troubled adolescence and its repercussions that raises vital questions about agency, consent, complicity, and victimhood. Written with the haunting intimacy of The Girls and the creeping intensity of Room, My Dark Vanessa is an era-defining novel that brilliantly captures and reflects the shifting cultural mores transforming our relationships and society itself.

I am so glad I read this. My Dark Vanessa is all I can think about. I have a major book hangover because of it. It is definitely a new favorite.

My Rating: 5/5. I would give it more if I could.

My Full Review: https://readinginthewildwood.com/2020/03/25/my-dark-vanessa-by-kate-elizabeth-russell/

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Synopsis:

All cemeteries are history made tangible. Each neatly laid out plot, each lichen-dotted headstone, each lovingly crafted monument, is a representation of a personal history. While each cemetery has its own collection of stories to tell, Bonaventure Cemetery has more stories than most. For more than 150 years, citizens of Savannah have buried their loved ones at Bonaventure Cemetery. Among its grounds, monuments bearing the names of such famous people as Johnny Mercer lie alongside markers bearing names of those known only to their family. Bonaventure s stately beauty seems the perfect setting for a cemetery. Historic Bonaventure Cemetery illustrates the development of Bonaventure as a Victorian-style cemetery and the
transformation from a private estate to a public cemetery. Historic Bonaventure Cemetery, the first book solely about Bonaventure, includes images of Bonaventure and Greenwich the two plantations that became Bonaventure and provides information about the people and the monuments there.”

This is a great quick way to learn about the Bonaventure Cemetery. The pictures are beautiful. Learning the story of the land before it was a cemetery was interesting as well.

My Rating: 5/5

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The Familiar Dark|Amy Engel

Synopsis:

Sometimes the answers are worse than the questions. Sometimes it’s better not to know.

Set in the poorest part of the Missouri Ozarks, in a small town with big secrets, The Familiar Dark opens with a murder. Eve Taggert, desperate with grief over losing her daughter, takes it upon herself to find out the truth about what happened. Eve is no stranger to the dark side of life, having been raised by a hard-edged mother whose lessons Eve tried not to pass on to her own daughter. But Eve may need her mother’s cruel brand of strength if she’s going to face the reality about her daughter’s death and about her own true nature. Her quest for justice takes her from the seedy underbelly of town to the quiet woods and, most frighteningly, back to her mother’s trailer for a final lesson.

The Familiar Dark is a story about the bonds of family—women doing the best they can for their daughters in dire circumstances—as well as a story about how even the darkest and most terrifying of places can provide the comfort of home.

I was gifted a copy to review in exchange for my honest opinion. I was so happy to jump back into thrillers. The Familiar Dark was gritty and dark. I loved it.

My Rating: 5/5

My Full Review: https://readinginthewildwood.com/2020/03/07/the-familiar-dark-by-amy-engel/

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Audiobooks

The Shadow of the Wind|Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Synopsis:

Barcelona, 1945—just after the war, a great world city lies in shadow, nursing its wounds, and a boy named Daniel awakes on his eleventh birthday to find that he can no longer remember his mother’s face. To console his only child, Daniel’s widowed father, an antiquarian book dealer, initiates him into the secret of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, a library tended by Barcelona’s guild of rare-book dealers as a repository for books forgotten by the world, waiting for someone who will care about them again. Daniel’s father coaxes him to choose a volume from the spiraling labyrinth of shelves, one that, it is said, will have a special meaning for him. And Daniel so loves the novel he selects, The Shadow of the Wind by one Julian Carax, that he sets out to find the rest of Carax’s work. To his shock, he discovers that someone has been systematically destroying every copy of every book this author has written. In fact, he may have the last one in existence. Before Daniel knows it his seemingly innocent quest has opened a door into one of Barcelona’s darkest secrets, an epic story of murder, magic, madness and doomed love. And before long he realizes that if he doesn’t find out the truth about Julian Carax, he and those closest to him will suffer horribly.

Wow! What a wild ride this book was. This month’s Modern Mrs. Darcy Challenge was to “read a book recommendation from a source you trust.” So I asked my friend Karter. He truly knows my taste. This book had so many plot twists that I felt like I needed to take notes. There were the smallest details that ended up being big details in the end. And of course I teared up at the end. Thanks for a great recommendation, Karter!

My Rating: 5/5

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Wuthering Heights (Seasons Edition -- Winter)|Emily Bronte
Wuthering Heights Seasons Edition

Synopsis:

In the classic Wuthering Heights Catherine is forced to choose between passionate, tortured gypsy Heathcliff and gentle, well-bred Edgar Linton. Catherine surrenders to the expectations of her class and sets off a domino effect with lasting consequences. As Heathcliff’s bitterness and vengeance at his betrayal are visited upon the next generation, their innocent heirs must struggle to escape the legacy of the lovers tortured past.

At the first of the year I set the goal to read more classics. In my mind I pictured most of the classics to be just romance novels. Boy was I wrong. I have jumped into the world of classics and I have not been disappointed. The Bronte Sisters are brilliant. And let me just tell you this edition of Wuthering Heights is stunning in person.

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March was a successful month. I read some awesome books and visited a some great bookish places. Let me know in the comments if you read any new favorites this month. Also, tell me your favorite classic because I am always looking for a new one to check out.

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