Penny For Our Thoughts

Traveling Sisters Book Reviews. Join us on our adventures through the books we read

Lindsay’s Thoughts

An insightful and harrowing look into wartime years told through the eyes of a child.

Ludwig is the narrator of this story which spans from the year of his birth in 1934 to present day in reflection. Ludwig takes the reader through the devastation of the wartime years where his family was ripped apart as his father left to handle his Nazi duties. Ludwigs mother fends for her six children barely surviving on the rations provided and the scarce letters she receives from her husband.

Ludwig was a brilliant main character – I adored him! The author did a phenomenal job having him navigate the plot. Ludwig is a charming, clever, endearing, special boy who finds comfort in nature and joy in pleasing his mother.

The intensity of the family bond, especially the mother-son bond, within this heart warming and heart breaking novel is palpable. It hit me in the heart many times and had me feeling extreme emotions for Ludwig. His innocence and loyalty was so touching.

As with any WWII novel, there are many devastating scenes and situations. The author clearly but respectfully showed the varying levels of loss and destitution among families and communities in wartime years. Everyone did what they had to do to survive. Some had connections to make things “easier”.

I did have a stronger connection to the first half of the book. I found some of the details became too long winded and drawn out after the halfway point. My interest wavered slightly but I remained invested and curious to see how Ludwig’s story would conclude.

This book is based on the authors father, Ludwig, who told his children about his childhood. This is his family story. Knowing this reality behind the words made this novel even more impactful for me.

Thank you to the publisher for sending me a review copy!

Howdy Friends!! I did it again and have changed the name of our blog!! I am still keeping the same domain name and just trying out the new name for now. I am taking a spin on Penny’s name and the saying Penny for your thoughts and using Penny for our Thoughts. What do you think?

Brenda’s thoughts

After hooking up with Adam using an online dating app, Wren believes she has made a meaningful, powerful connection with him. Three months later, Adam vanishes, ghosting Wren and deleting all his contact information, his Torch profile, and disconnecting his cell phone. Secrets, buried pasts, identity, and vengeance are explored as Wren tries to figure out who Adam is. The search for Adam forces Wren to confront her childhood and her father, who insisted his family live off the grid.

Things I liked

I liked Wren, she is engaging, intelligent, and witty, and I was drawn into her life and wanted to know about her buried past. Her actions and motivation were convincing enough to root for her.

“But the truth is, you can’t hide from yourself. No matter how hard you try.” ~Wren

Second-person narration is used as Wren talks to Adam. While this can be off-putting for some readers, I like the use of it.

Things I didn’t like as much.

The story’s climax was too drawn out, and it lost some tension and suspense to the story, and I started to lose patience with it. The ending is rewarding, and I am glad I held in there for it.

Lindsay’s thoughts

Thank you Lisa Unger! This was the book I needed to get me out of my reading slump! A gripping and unputdownable psychological thriller.

A popular advice columnist with a dark history.

I was engrossed by this fast-paced, unique, thrilling and suspenseful story from start to finish – it hooked me right away and didn’t let up! I loved the main character, Wren. There were so many unique and fascinating layers to her backstory that kept me curious and fully invested throughout.

Flashbacks were a brilliant addition and highly intriguing piece to this storyline. They kept the pace quick and added an intense amount of suspense and tension to the plot. I couldn’t read this fast enough!

I am a huge fan of this author and this has now moved its way up to the top of my list of her novels. I highly recommend and can’t wait to see what she comes out with next!

We received copies from the publisher on Edelweiss

Hot Dang!!! Wiley Cash is one fantastic storyteller, and I have loved all his books. He has changed things up a bit by adding a crime and mystery with When Ghosts Come Home and delivers us a gem of a tender, compassionate heart-tugging story about family, love, loss, community, duty, justice, and racial divides.

What I loved

The sense of time and place created in the story
A rare hero with 63- year-old Sheriff Winston Barnes who is trying to find out who abandoned a cargo plane at a local airfield and killed a man whose body is found nearby.
Easy to read, compelling, suspenseful story with many layers to it
The memorable and shocking ending I am sure no one would see coming and left me questioning whether I like what happened or not.

I highly recommend it!!

I received a copy from the publisher on EW.

Howdy Friends! I took an unintentional break, and I didn’t realize it’s been over a month since my last post. My reason for this unintentional break is this little sweetie.

Penny is now 15 weeks old, and even though she is adorable and we love her to pieces, she has been a bit more of a challenge than I expected. I have been spending quite a bit of time with her learning how to communicate and training her through sign language and positive reinforcement. We knew adding a deaf border collie to our family would add some interesting dynamics for us and that it has. I have to admit a little more than we expected. I was prepared for the challenge of her being deaf, a border collie in the city, but I thought somehow her being deaf would balance out some of that physical energy a border collie needs with more mental energy. While that has not been the case, Penny has more physical and mental energy than I even imagine. Her being deaf has not slowed her down at all. She learns bad behavior as fast as the good. We struggle a bit correcting the bad, so she understands the behavior we want, and we all can get frustrated, especially Penny. The problem comes with getting her attention and reinforcing the good, so she understands.

We all love to walk, so getting exercise is not a problem, but she is not fully vaccinated yet, so we worry about taking her places for walks.

The challenges we have are a few, but the best thing is how she has created those interesting dynamics for us, and I love the time we all spend with Penny. I love that she brings back great memories of our beloved Phoenix, who we all miss so much. It reminds us that while she is more of a challenge than expected, we will make great memories with her!

Don’t let this goofiness foul you. Yes she is goofy but sleeping isn’t something she likes to do!! LOL. We have a Penny pen for her and I must say it’s pretty sweet space in the house but Penny does not agree. She doesn’t like to stay in there by herself. We are trying to get her to nap in there on her own and that has been a long process. She is pretty much beside me when I am in the kitchen but she will not stay in there without barking and she has a high pitched bark. I didn’t think deaf dogs would bark that much but she sure does.

Back to reading

I have read 6 books in September and it was a good month for me. I loved three of them and do want to write reviews for them. I have taken notes on them and hope to find the time to pull a review together for them. It takes me so long to do that and I find myself avoiding writing them. I really need to come up with a format that takes less time to write them. I hope to share a review with you all soon.

What’s up with Lindsay

Lindsay has been reading and reviewing her books, but I have been neglectful of posting them. Sometimes because I haven’t written my review yet and I like to post them together. She is reading slower than usual due to life getting in the way.

Reading your blogs

I have been trying to pop on my feed and see what you all have been up to and are reading when I have a couple moments. Reading blog post is one of my favorite things to do when it comes to blogging and I hope to be able to get back to reading and liking your posts soon.

As always I appreciated all my friends who read and like my posts. It’s always nice to see you dropped by a post and said hi with a like!!!

Be well and take care friends!!!

Brenda

Bookish Kit Pick: For Your Own Good by Samantha Downing @SMARIEDOWNING

September 1, 2021


Howdy, Friends!! It’s Back to school time, and we have our September book pick For Your Own Good by Samantha Downing with the best teacher ever, Mr. Crutcher. You will wish you had him as a teacher!!! 

Norma and my Mom have created three bookish theme kits to match For Your Own Good and have added some fun homemade bookish goodies. Instead of discussion questions, I have added a personality quiz to the kit that I thought fit the book. Post to come with the quiz!! Not only is this a great back-to-school theme, but it’s also a great back-to-the-office theme. You won’t think about those coffee pods or milk the same way again, and you might be switching to tea!!!

Visit Norma’s Etsy shop to find our bookish kits. Click here

Grab your cup (I suggest drinking tea) and meet this year’s teacher of the year, Mr. Crutcher, in this exciting, fun, comical academic thriller. 

Book Sleeve kit

What in the book sleeve kit

Our kindle bookish kit

What is in the kindle kit

Our book marker pouch kit

What’s in the book mark pouch kit

Visit Norma’s Etsy shop to find our bookish kits. Click here

Use SISTERS20 at checkout for 20% off

Howdy friends!!! Today I want to introduce you to a new member of our blog. She doesn’t write reviews, but she makes for some adorable photos!!!

Meet Penny!! She is my youngest new best friend and hopefully my reading sister!!! We got her from my brother/sister-in-law, whose dogs had a litter of border collies puppies. Penny is deaf, and we thought she would make the perfect match for my son and our family.

I thought I would share my love of books with Penny, and this is the look she gave me!! I am sure she was saying to me, “Is that a treat?” It is for me and I think she thought so too! Even though she thought she had a new chew toy I didn’t let her chew my book. LOL

Penny is keeping us a little busy with her cuteness and naughtiness so I am going to do a quick review for The Invisible Woman by Erika Robuck

What the book is about

The Invisible Woman is based on the remarkable true story of World War II heroine/spy Virginia Hall who helped liberate a nation.  She is disguised as an old woman with a limp and invisible to the Nazis while she handles the wireless transmissions and airdrops that bring supplies, food, and weapons to the area she is working in. Projected to survive for six weeks, she is far from invisible, and she defies her odds and becomes one of the most respected spies. Virginia is haunted every day by the betrayal that devastated her first operation and is out to avenge the brave people she lost.

What I thought

In real life, Virginia mainly stayed invisible. A lot about her is unknown. I thought Erika Robuck did a great job weaving fiction with facts and shining a light on Virginia and the brave, resourceful women and men involved in the resistance.  Erika Robuck creates a compelling and engaging portrait of Virginia with a realistic, vulnerable and strong side. Virginia is a complex character to connect with because she is tough, guarded, and distant like I would imagine her in real life. It didn’t entirely give me the emotional pull I was hoping for, and at times I did lose focus while reading. However, I love the different storyline here that focused on something a little different than I have read before and with an empowering woman like Virginia Hall! I highly recommend it!!

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