Thoughts on Books (#25): THE NIGHT SHIFT • THE RESTING PLACE • INSOMNIA

“And after winter folweth grene May.” ― Geoffrey Chaucer


The Night Shift
The Night Shift by Alex Finlay
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Twisty, suspenseful, and hooked me from the start. I enjoyed trying to figure out how the past and present crimes tied together. This was one of those books that I couldn’t wait to get back to reading when real life forced me to put it down! Borrowed from the library.


The Resting Place
The Resting Place by Camilla Sten
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Chilling! THE RESTING PLACE is creepy-good quiet horror. I enjoyed the cold, atmospheric setting of the isolated estate that the protagonist inherits. What disturbing family secrets are buried there? The twists were delicious and disturbing! Borrowed from the library.


Insomnia
Insomnia by Sarah Pinborough
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I know this book has gotten a lot of buzz, but it was a miss for me — slow, repetitive & underwhelming ending. I’m still holding out hope for another Behind Her Eyes! Borrowed from the library.

☆ Click on the book title to read the synopsis on Goodreads ☆

Thoughts on Books (#24): RECITATIF • THE ACCOMPLICE • VLADIMIR

“February, when the days of winter seem endless and no amount of wistful recollecting can bring back any air of summer.” ― Shirley Jackson


Recitatif: A Story
Recitatif: A Story by Toni Morrison
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This short story is brilliantly written! Two characters, Twyla and Roberta, one black, one white, but which is which? And what about Maggie? The reader is left to decide. At only 40 pages, this story really packs a punch. Highly recommended. Borrowed from the library.


The Accomplice
The Accomplice by Lisa Lutz
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I read the first half, then skimmed the second. While this book had an intriguing start, the constant timeline jumps, abrupt POV changes (even within the same paragraph), and numerous unappealing characters made me lose interest. I remember reading The Passenger six years ago and enjoying it, but I found The Accomplice to be underwhelming. Borrowed from the library.


Vladimir
Vladimir by Julia May Jonas
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This is a difficult book to rate, but I think it will land at 2 stars. The more I think about it, the less I like it, so there’s that. VLADIMIR wasn’t at all what I was expecting. With the blurb and title, I assumed it would be a suspenseful homage to LOLITA with the roles reversed. Nope. Instead, we got lots of meandering thoughts from an unnamed narrator. Little dialogue, unfortunately. I never quite understood or was convinced of her fixation with Vladimir. Weird ending. BOTM selection.

OF WOMEN AND SALT by Gabriela Garcia


Publisher: Flatiron Books
Release Date: March 30, 2021

I’m torn over this book. I feel like OF WOMEN AND SALT paints a distressing and realistic picture of immigration to the US, particularly what it’s like for women from Latin America entering the country illegally. I would call it a timely novel, though detention centers, family separation, and deportation have been going on for many years.

My issue with this book was its lack of a strong plot. This has been mentioned in other reviews, but it’s more a collection of short stories, some very compelling and others not so much. The novel alternates between several different time periods (not chronologically) and POVs from different generations of women from a Cuban/Cuban American family. It also includes the story of a mother and daughter from El Salvador, whom I loved the most.

This was a short novel, and with the choppy nature of the chapters I felt like the story was missing something that would have tied everything together. There were also characters I wish had been fleshed out more, like Maria Isabel who worked in a cigar factory in 1860s Cuba. I wanted to know more about her life.

OF WOMEN AND SALT is a heartbreaking book that explores mother/daughter bonds, loss, survival, and desperate choices. I just wish it had been more cohesive. — 𝓓𝓲𝓪𝓷𝓪

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book (ARC) from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

MR. ROCHESTER by Sarah Shoemaker


Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Release Date: March 20, 2018
Source: Review copy from NetGalley
Rating: ★★★★½


A deft and irresistible retelling of Charlotte Brontë’s beloved classic Jane Eyre – from the point of view of the dashing, mysterious Mr. Rochester himself. For 170 years, Edward Fairfax Rochester has stood as one of literature’s most complex and captivating romantic heroes. Sometimes cruel, sometimes tender, Jane Eyre’s mercurial master at Thornfield Hall has mesmerized, beguiled, and, yes, baffled fans of Charlotte Brontë’s masterpiece for generations. But his own story has never been told.

We first meet this brilliant, tormented hero as a motherless boy roaming Thornfield’s lonely corridors. On the morning of Edward’s eighth birthday, his father issues a decree: He is to be sent away to get an education, exiled from all he ever loved. Young Edward’s journey will take him across working-class England and the decadence of continental Europe before he lands on the warm, languid shores of faraway Jamaica, where his inheritance lies.

That island, however, holds secrets of its own, and Edward soon grows entangled in morally dubious business dealings and a passionate, whirlwind love affair with the town’s ravishing heiress, Bertha Antoinetta Mason. Eventually, in the wake of a devastating betrayal, Edward must return to England with his increasingly unstable wife to take over as master of Thornfield. And it is there, on a twilight ride, that he meets the stubborn, plain young governess who will steal his heart and teach him how to love again.

Mr. Rochester is a sweeping coming-of-age story and a stirring tale of adventure, romance, and deceit. Faithful in every particular to Brontë’s original yet full of unexpected twists and riveting behind-the-scenes drama, this novel will completely, deliciously, and forever change how we read and remember Jane Eyre.


I spent my summer with Mr. Edward Rochester, and it was lovely. I received an eBook copy from the publisher through NetGalley, though I listened to most of it on audio from the library. (Wonderful narration by Simon Shepherd!)

MR. ROCHESTER is an engrossing tale about Jane Eyre’s Gothic hero, a re-imagining from his point of view, but mostly about his life leading up to Jane. The writing is gorgeous, and I feel like it is complementary to the original.

Edward is sent away to school at a young age, away from Thornfield Hall, the home he dearly loves. His father then sends him to Jamaica to take over the family’s business holdings there, where he meets Bertha Mason, his first wife. The story of Bertha’s life and madness, and the effect it had on Edward was fascinating. Eventually he returns to England where he meets Jane, and from there we hear his side of their love story.

This is a well-written piece of historical fiction, and I greatly enjoyed the author’s vision of Mr. Rochester, and seeing how his turbulent past shaped the man he became.

— 𝓓𝓲𝓪𝓷𝓪