Saturday, 19 October 2013

Review: The Pieces We Keep by Kristina McMorris

In this richly emotional novel, acclaimed author Kristina McMorris evokes the depth of a mother’s bond with her child, and the power of personal histories to echo through generations.

Two years have done little to ease veterinarian Audra Hughes’s grief over her husband’s untimely death. Eager for a fresh start, Audra plans to leave Portland for a new job in Philadelphia. Her seven-year-old son, Jack, seems apprehensive about flying—but it’s just the beginning of an anxiety that grows to consume him.

As Jack’s fears continue to surface in recurring and violent nightmares, Audra hardly recognizes the introverted boy he has become. Desperate, she traces snippets of information unearthed in Jack’s dreams, leading her to Sean Malloy, a struggling US Army veteran wounded in Afghanistan. Together they unravel a mystery dating back to World War II, and uncover old family secrets that still have the strength to wound—and perhaps, at last, to heal.

Terri's Review

I received this ARC from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.  I was excited to request this book as I had previously read Bridge of Scarlett Leaves by McMorris and really enjoyed it

Finally!  I have found that elusive 5 star book that I have been looking for.  Although I have read a lot of good books of late they were missing the certain something to push it on to my 5 star shelf which remains surprisingly small.  My criteria is pretty simple.  If a book continues to "haunt" me after I have read the last page then it is worthy of 5 stars and this book did just that.

The story weaves itself back and forth between Audra's struggles in the present day with her son and the wartime love story of Vivian, Isaak, and Gene.  Like most books of this genre I was instantly hooked on the storyline of the past and the trials and tribulations of a love impacted by war.  For the first time however I was almost as equally drawn in the story of Audra in the present and her struggles to grieve and deals with her sons night terrors simultaneously.

I do not like to divulge too much of a plot so I will stick to how this story made me feel.  This was a haunting love story, both in the past and the present for very different reasons, which had multiple directions in which it could go.  For the first time in a long time I could not predict what would happen (for the most part) in Vivian's story and I liked that.  Audra's was a little more predictable however there was an aspect of her storyline which did not offer a concrete solution which I found made her story more realistic and believable.  I felt the pain and the heartache of both characters throughout the story.

At the end of the day I have to be honest with myself and admit that without doubt my favorite genre to read is historical fiction and added to that a story that occurs during wartime.  I tried to venture out to other genres and have enjoyed my time in their world however none stay with me as much as books of these types do.  Added to that is the incredibly easy writing style McMorris brings to the table and I was hooked from the very beginning.  I will now seek out her other works as I have yet to be disappointed.  I will also be purchasing the paperback copy of this novel upon its release so that I can have it for years to come.  I also know a few people that will be receiving this novel as a Christmas gift from me.

Thank you Kristina McMorris for taking me away to my favorite place for a couple of hours!

About the Author

KRISTINA MCMORRIS is the recipient of more than twenty national literary awards and a nominee for the prestigious RITA® Award. A host of weekly TV shows since age nine, including an Emmy® Award-winning program, she penned her debut novel, Letters from Home (Kensington Books, Avon/HarperCollins UK), based on inspiration from her grandparents' wartime courtship.

Always stemming from true personal and historical accounts, her novels have since included Bridge of Scarlet Leaves and The Pieces We Keep, and her novella "The Christmas Collector" was featured in the New York Times bestselling anthology A Winter Wonderland. Rights to Kristina's books have been sold to numerous foreign publishers, Readers Digest, Doubleday, the Literary Guild, and more.
Connect with Kristina




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