RCR Says: “Once in a while in Philadelphia serves as a cannily clear view onto a small but boisterous pocket of suburban America.”
RCR Says: “The storyline encourages readers to reflect on the many issues of post-war society, and to think about how far America has come since then, as well as the many ways in which racism and hate crimes are still a problem in our communities.”
RCR Says: “Full of action and suspense, Winds of Hope and Change is an exhilarating novel that will inspire readers to stay cool in the face of danger and to stand up for the causes they believe in.”
Authors: Myers and Reed
RCR Says: “Life & Spice: Vita e Spezie is an inviting story about food, family, and the healing power of love.”
RCR Says: “The Silent Contact tells the emotional story of a family torn apart while also touching on larger societal issues.”
RCR Says: “LaPoma paints a gritty picture of struggling young adults, living moment to moment, overwhelmed by adulthood.”
*This review is for the revised edition of Symphony of Sorrow and Joy. To read our thoughts on the original novel, released 2017, click here.
★★★ Symphony of Sorrow and Joy by Bridget McGowan is an easy-read romance novel about Rachel Trent and Nicholas Keating. The novel begins with Rachel, heartbroken from her lack of fulfilling love in her life and recently failed relationship. Every guy she meets ends up leaving her. Rachel happens to fall in the snow, and is helped to her feet by a handsome gentleman. This man is Nicholas Keating, a famous violin player. As the two grow closer, she is skeptical of him and unsure how long he will be around. Although Nicholas’ talent in music, his Welsh accent, and his caring attitude are attractive to Rachel, she struggles to let go of the insecurity around his long term commitment. The two fall in love quickly, and within a span of a couple months, are meeting one another’s family and exchanging “I love you”. Jean, Nicholas’ sister, does not approve of the two’s romance and does her best to make sure Rachel knows it. Rachel takes on Jean, choosing to confront her about her dislike, and the two are able to have it resolved. As both Nicholas and Rachel’s romance deepens, and Rachel’s trust in Nicholas and his commitment to the long term begins to build. The two engage and marry.
Bridget McGowan offers a solid romance story, but the story lacks depth. The love between Nicholas and Rachel is cute and fun, but the amount of emotional baggage from both characters is breezed over or quickly resolved. Also, the change in character POV is sudden; the book starts out with eighty pages of Rachel in first person, and without warning, switches to Nicholas at the start of a new section. The story then inconsistently flip-flops between the two for the rest of the novel. Nicholas’ sections do not add any background information or any thrill, but rather confusion as to why his POV is included. Overall, this story is well-paced and captures the difficulty of falling in love after many failed attempts and broken hearts.
To purchase a copy of the book, click here to find it on Amazon.
RCR Says: “Because The Day After, whose title refers to an event that occurs on the day after the monumental 2016 election, touches on so many relevant political and sociological happenings that influenced the United States—and the world at large—over the last forty-plus years, its narrative scope is undeniably wide.”