Monthly Reading Inventory: February

by - February 28, 2017

February has been a busy month, but I did manage to read two books. Both would be considered historical fiction/romance, and I found myself totally immersed in both and had to make myself stop reading in order to get a good night's sleep. In the case of the second book, I actually dreamed about it and had what us bookworms like to call a book hangover once I finished it. Keep reading for my reviews.

From a Paris Balcony is the story of Sarah West, a curator for a Boston art museum, as she tries to get her life back on track in the wake of her parents' deaths and her divorce. Sarah decides to go to Paris to uncover the truth about her ancestor, Louisa's death. The book switches between present day and the mid-1890s, and is told from the perspective of both Sarah and Louisa, whose lives seem to parallel each other at least romantically. In the end, Sarah does learn the truth about Louisa's death and finds herself in a new relationship with artist, Laurent Chartier. I was left wanting more in terms of that relationship and felt like the book ended too soon in that regard, but otherwise I highly recommend.

Historic romance is probably my favorite genre, and The Memory of Us is one of the best books I've read in that genre in a long time. This is a love story if ever there was one. Julianne Westcott and Kyle McCarthy meet while Julianne is secretly visiting her twin brother who's been institutionalized since birth. They fall in love but think they can't be together because Kyle is studying to be a Catholic priest, but when Kyle's father falls deathly ill and Julianne nurses him until he dies, Kyle realizes he's meant to be with her. There's just one problem: Julianne's family disapproves of their relationship. They get married in secret and start a life together but war and a terrible accident rips them apart. Twenty years later, they're reunited. In her debut novel, Camille Di Maio beautifully blends memory with present day. I had to make myself put this one down to sleep and found myself counting down the hours until work ended and I would get to pick it back up. It's that good. Seriously. If you haven't added it to your reading list, you should.

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