REVIEW: NO ONE KNOWS, BY J. T. ELLISON

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They were true soul mates, or so they believed. Childhood best friends, then sweethearts, and finally, husband and wife: They were Aubrey Trenton and Joshua Hamilton, forever connected.

Then their bond was severed by his disappearance one night, when the two were attending pre-wedding parties for friends in a local hotel.

Set in Nashville, the story told in No One Knows weaves together the history of these two, both before his disappearance and after. Her parents died when she was young, and she grew up mostly in foster care. He was emotionally smothered by his controlling mother, Daisy, but otherwise, his life seemed more normal. In the early years of their marriage, he was in medical school and then he was a young doctor. Their future had seemed wide open.

Alternate narratives spanned the Before years and continued for a five year period After…on the face of things, it was almost impossible to see anything but an unfortunate series of tragic events that led to that fateful night. But before the story ends, we come to learn a lot more. Stunned by how events ultimately played out, I could not stop turning pages, never knowing what would happen next. What sudden turn might change everything about what I thought I knew, and make it impossible to know who was more unreliable as a narrator: Josh or Aubrey? Or both.

Like a kaleidoscope that distorts events, revealing something different every time you turn it, the world we see through the eyes of Josh and Aubrey was a crazy one indeed. A book that I will not soon forget. 5 stars.

*** I received an e-ARC from the publisher via NetGalley.

CHASE AWAY THE BLUES WITH INTROS/TEASERS – “A FIREPROOF HOME FOR THE BRIDE”

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Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by Should Be Reading.

Here we are at Tuesday already, with Christmas just around the corner.  And no, I’m not featuring a Christmas book today, but another ARC:  A Fireproof Home for the Bride, by Amy Scheibe.

 

 

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Intro:  (Prologue – His Wonders to Perform – October 1952)

A hazy dawn broke over a small lean-to of weathered gray planks and multicolored leafy branches that had been meticulously assembled the day before, the work completed mostly between the morning chores and those dispatched in the afternoon.  Emmy looked up at the speckled yellow covering of boughs that she had carefully chosen from the row of shrubs and smaller trees that edged the barren late-autumn field of sheared cornstalks, their papery remains bent toward the earth, waiting for the punishment of the long Minnesota winter to grind them down into dust.

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Teaser:  At the crunch of rustled leaves in the distance, Ambrose moved from his squat into a creeping crawl, picking up his shotgun as he squinted into the piercing daylight.  A slight nod of his head brought her gaze level alongside of his. (p. 3).

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Amazon Blurb:  Emmeline Nelson and her sister Birdie grow up in the hard, cold rural Lutheran world of strict parents, strict milking times, and strict morals. Marriage is preordained, the groom practically predestined. Though it’s 1958, southern Minnesota did not see changing roles for women on the horizon. Caught in a time bubble between a world war and the ferment of the 1960’s, Emmy doesn’t see that she has any say in her life, any choices at all. Only when Emmy’s fiancé shows his true colors and forces himself on her does she find the courage to act—falling instead for a forbidden Catholic boy, a boy whose family seems warm and encouraging after the sere Nelson farm life. Not only moving to town and breaking free from her engagement but getting a job on the local newspaper begins to open Emmy’s eyes. She discovers that the KKK is not only active in the Midwest but that her family is involved, and her sense of the firm rules she grew up under—and their effect—changes completely. A FIREPROOF HOME FOR THE BRIDE has the charm of detail that will drop readers into its time and place: the home economics class lecture on cuts of meat, the group date to the diner, the small-town movie theater popcorn for a penny. It also has a love story—the wrong love giving way to the right—and most of all the pull of a great main character whose self-discovery sweeps the plot forward.

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What do you think?  Does it pique your curiosity?  Would you keep reading?

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