The Takeaway Men, by Meryl Ain – 4 Star Review!

41lvceciJhL._SX321_BO1,204,203,200_Story Rating: ****
Cover Rating: A+

Let me start by saying that I *technically* give this book a 4.5 star rating. When I was first given an opportunity to receive a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review, I was ecstatic. History is one of my favorite things to learn about, and I’d done extensive research/reading on the holocaust. That desire for more knowledge had been stoked by The Diary of Anne Frank, which was one of my favorite books growing up. But this book? The Takeaway Men? It talks about what happened to Jewish (and Polish) families after the holocaust. I can’t think of any really great stories that talk about life after. Yes, I’ve read some nonfiction titles and while I enjoy those, it isn’t quite the same as getting lost in a story.

I have only a single complaint about the book. The beginning dragged a bit for me, although honestly, I can’t say why. I placed the book down and restarted twice because of this. But, about the second or third chapter, the story pulls you in and holds you  hostage. Again, I’m not sure why the beginning didn’t draw me in the same way, but it may just be a “me” thing.

The characters are well-developed, believable, and flawed. Anyone who has read my previous reviews knows I’m a sucker for humanly flawed characters – and Mrs. Meryl Ain delivered. I won’t go into details because I don’t want to spoil the book in any form. BUT she has her characters doing realistically “bad” things and yet, you can’t help but love them nonetheless. Ain has you feeling for all of them – side characters and primary alike. The entire neighborhood came alive before my eyes and I lost a few nights of sleep.

The underlying mystery adds to the plot. What happened to the twin’s parents during the Holocaust? It’s a constant “background plot” that keeps you reading in the hopes you’ll learn. Of course, I can’t say whether you find out or not, but I can say that I would definitely be interested in reading anything else the author writes in the future.

The cover is intriguing and gives you a realistic idea of what to expect inside the story. The cover receives my ultra-rare “A+” rating (given to, I think, only three other covers ever) because it fills me with a sense of bittersweet melancholy… yet somehow also gives me the sense of hope. This feeling the cover gives me (and gave me before I ever began reading) is exactly how the story feels when you’re reading it.

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Self Promo Sunday: Maryland – Patriots, Sailing and Ponies (Think You Know Your States, #4)

TYKYS04-Maryland

Think you know your states?
THINK AGAIN!

Did you know that the first cathedral in the United States was built in Maryland?

Or how about that Francis Scott Key wrote the national anthem while in Maryland?

Or that the first Workman’s Compensation laws were established in Maryland?

If you want to find out more interesting, little known, well known, strange, or unusual facts about Maryland, this book is a must read!

Sections include:
*General State Facts
*Facts By City
*Sports
*Animals
*Strange News
*Infamous Crimes
*Natural Disasters
*Most Popular Baby Names by Birth Year
*Population & Growth By Decade
*Famous Marylanders By Birth

Everything you’d ever want to know about Florida, and so much more! (Book contains mildly violent subject matter in certain sections. Recommended for ages 10+, but is great for all ages with parental assistance and guidance)

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Self Promo Sunday: West Virginia – Mountains, Coal, & Bridges (Think You Know Your States, #3)

TYKYS03-WestVirginia

Think you know your states?
THINK AGAIN!

Did you know that the first major land battle fought between union and confederate soldiers in the Civil War took place in West Virginia?

Or how about that West Virginia has the nation’s oldest state population

Or that the first federal women’s prison in the nation was opened in West Virginia during 1926?

If you want to find out more interesting, little known, well known, strange, or unusual facts about West Virginia, this book is a must read! Sections include:
*General State Facts
*Facts By City
*Sports
*Animals
*Strange News
*Infamous Crimes
*Natural Disasters
*Most Popular Baby Names by Birth Year
*Population & Growth By Decade
*Famous West Virginians By Birth

Everything you’d ever want to know about West Virginia, and so much more!

(Book contains mildly violent subject matter in certain sections. Recommended for ages 10+, but is great for all ages with parental assistance and guidance)

Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon with 12 Reviews!

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Self Promo Sunday: Wisconsin – Beer, Cheese, & Football (Think You Know Your States, #2)

TYKYS02-Wisconsin

Think you know your states?
THINK AGAIN!

Did you know that Wisconsin is home to around 20,000 miles of snowmobile trails?

Or how about that Wisconsin has the highest population of residents with Polish ancestry in the nation?

Or that Wisconsin has no toll roads?

If you want to find out more interesting, little known, well known, strange, or unusual facts about Wisconsin, this book is a must read!

Sections include:
*General State Facts
*Facts By City
*Sports
*Animals
*Strange News
*Infamous Crimes
*Natural Disasters
*Most Popular Baby Names by Birth Year *Population & Growth By Decade
*Famous Wisconsinites By Birth

Everything you’d ever want to know about Wisconsin, and so much more!

Also Check Out Think You Know Your States? Volume One – Florida: Lightning, Oranges, & Space Travel!!

(Book contains mildly violent subject matter in certain sections. Recommended for ages 10+, but is great for all ages with parental assistance and guidance)

Buy Now! 

Self Promo Sunday: Florida – Lightning, Oranges, & Space Travel (Think You Know Your States, #1)

TYKYS01-Florida

Think you know your states?
THINK AGAIN!

Did you know that Florida produces 40% of the ENTIRE WORLD’S orange juice supply?

Or how about that Florida isn’t actually the southernmost state geographically?

Or that Florida is the only state which is a peninsula?

If you want to find out more interesting, little known, well known, strange, or unusual facts about Florida, this book is a must read!

Sections include:
*General State Facts
*Facts By City
*Sports
*Animals
*Strange News
*Infamous Crimes
*Natural Disasters
*Most Popular Baby Names by Birth Year
*Population & Growth By Decade
*Famous Floridians By Birth

Everything you’d ever want to know about Arizona, and so much more! (Book contains mildly violent subject matter in certain sections. Recommended for ages 10+, but is great for all ages with parental assistance and guidance)

Buy Now!

LIVE NOW! Think You Know Your States? Volume 10 – Montana: Elk, Cowboys, & Glacier National Park

41HIXSK+aIL.jpgThink you know your states?
THINK AGAIN!

Did you know that the Montana Yogo Sapphire is the only North American gem to be included in the Crown Jewels of England

Or how about that Montana’s average state population density is only six people per square mile?

Or that the largest migratory elk herd in the nation calls Montana its home?

If you want to find out more interesting, little known, well known, strange, or unusual facts about Montana, this book is a must read!

Sections include:
*General State Facts
*Facts By City
*Sports
*Animals
*Strange News
*Infamous Crimes
*Natural Disasters
*Most Popular Baby Names by Birth Year
*Population & Growth By Decade
*Famous Montanans By Birth

Everything you’d ever want to know about Montana, and so much more! Want to learn about other states? Make sure you check out the other ‘Think You Know Your States?’ books! States currently covered include Florida, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Maryland, Arizona, Idaho, Mississippi, South Dakota, and Indiana!

(Book contains mildly violent subject matter in certain sections. Recommended for ages 10+, but is great for all ages with parental assistance and guidance)

This book is also available on Kindle Unlimited!

—>Purchase Here <—

With this tenth volume, we’ve now covered 1/5th of the United States! Check out this fun map of all the places we’ve covered so far!

map

Other Volumes in the ‘Think You Know Your States?’ Series:

High Heels & Beetle Crushes Publication Day Push!

High Heels & Beetle Crushers

High Heels & Beetle Crushers

High Heels Cover

A compelling memoir of post-war Britain. Jackie Skingley grew up with limited career choices but joining the Women’s Royal Army Corps offered her a different life, living and working in a military world, against the backdrop of the Cold War. Packed full of stories reflecting the changing sexual attitudes prior to the arrival of the pill and the sexual revolution of the mid 60s, Skingley’s memoir denotes a shift in the political and social fabric of the era. Follow her relationships with the men in her life from finding her first true love, which through a cruel act of fate was denied her, to embarking on a path of recovery.

Purchase Links

Amazon UK   /   Amazon US

Author Bio

High Heels Jackie web2 png 14.04.2019For Jackie Skingley, adventure has been her quest since childhood. Life with the British army allowed Jackie to live all over the world and gain huge appreciation for different cultures and customs. Since 1999, Jackie and her husband have lived in the Charente region of South West France where Reiki, jewellery making, painting and mosaics, as well as writing keep her fully occupied. Member of the Charente Creative Writing Group, mother and grandmother.

Twitter   /   Facebook

Giveaway to Win 2 x Paperback copies of High Heels & Beetle Crushers (Open UK / US Only)

*Terms and Conditions –UK & USA entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.
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Black Elk Speaks by John G. Neihardt – 5 Star Review!

download (4).jpgStory Rating: ****
Cover Rating: A

Wow… this book includes a heavy dose of spiritualism with strong biographical overtones regarding the life of Black Elk and the history of the Lakota people. The book is gripping, inspirational, and offers insight that I haven’t often seen in other historical texts based around native peoples. Even if you were not to have the same spiritual beliefs as depicted in the book, there is much you can take away from it – and come away a better person. Spiritual beliefs aside, this is a must-read for anyone interested in American history or Native American studies.

The cover is eye-catching and accurately depicts what readers should expect to find within the book.

Purchase on Amazon

Walking with Grandfather by Joseph M. Marshall III – 5 Star Review!

download (3).jpgStory Rating: *****
Cover Rating: A

This is a wonderful story that shares the wisdom of Lakota elders, offering insight into the tribe’s beliefs and customers. The stories are relatable to daily life and offer a bounty of wisdom for the average person – you don’t have to be of native ancestry to enjoy the poignant pictures painted in the legends or the insight of the accompanying text. I discovered this book during a “journey of self,” and I highly recommend it to anyone seeking to better themselves.

The cover is both eye-catching and offers an accurate description of what readers should expect to find within it’s pages.

Purchase on Amazon

Morning’s Journey by Kim Iverson Headlee (Dragon’s Dove Chronicles, #2) – 5 Star Review!

downloadStory Rating: *****
Cover Rating: A

It’s rare for me to say the second book was better than the first, but if this second volume isn’t better, it’s equal in all rights. Morning’s Journey is an intense, historical rendering that left me begging for more. I lost many nights of sleep amidst the heartache, joy, devastation, battles, love, lust, and a thousand other feelings or moments this book has to offer. Headlee is an amazing story-teller. Her creation of characters is so raw, honest, and real. I literally had to force myself to read this review before jumping into the final volume of this series, because I MUST find out what happens. The book, over 400 pages, took me only two days to finish, if that says how enthralled I’ve been.

The cover is eye-catching and cohesive with the other volumes of this series. It offers an accurate depiction of the story found inside it’s pages.

Purchase on Amazon