The Boy With Blue Trousers

The Boy With Blue Trousers by Carol Jones. Head of Zeus, 2019. 432 pages. ****

It's 1856, on the Pearl River Delta in China, and Little Cat is tired of picking leaves for the ungrateful silk worms. She'd rather be "trading punches with her brother, listening to gossip in the girls' house or daydreaming under the nammu trees." Each member of her family has a role to play and a job to do to keep the family silk business and the family fed. Little Cat and her twin Second Brother were friends with Young Wu, the son of the wealthy landowner, who held their future in his hands. Second Brother decides the only way to acquire more land for his family is to travel to New Gold Mountain in Australia and prospect for gold. Much to the chagrin of Little Cat, Second Brother gains the support of the Mo elders who guarantee money for his passage. Little Cat finds herself in the position of having to flee her hometown and pleads with Second Brother to take her with him.

It's 1856, in Robetown, South Australia, and Violet Hartley is governess to the children of a wealthy family. Violet has fled from her home to South Australia under questionable circumstances. She's young, beautiful, and on the lookout for a wealthy husband. When one of the children in her charge dies and she is dismissed from her position without references or money, she begs to accompany two hundred Celestials on a perilous journey to the goldfields.

Carol Jones has written an historical fiction novel about the hardships of survival in the mid 1850s in China and South Australia. Women were at the mercy of the men in their family and marriages were arranged more for acquiring wealth and stability than for love. Little Cat and Violet's paths cross on their journey to the goldfields and their lives will never be the same. I thoroughly enjoyed this harrowing tale and look forward to more from Jones.

Discussion questions available https://caroljonesauthor.com

I received an ecopy for a review and to participate in a blog tour.

Carol Jones was born in Brisbane, Australia, but has lived most of her life in Melbourne. She has taught English and Drama in secondary schools before working as an editor of children's magazines. Jones has been a full-time author since 1999. The Concubine's Child is her first novel for adults.

#historicalfiction #theboywithbluetrousers @caroljonesauthor


The Book Charmer

The Book Charmer (Dove Pond Series, Book 1) by Karen Hawkins. New York: Gallery Books, 2019. 344 pages. ****

Sarah Dove, the librarian in the southern town of Dove Pond, North Carolina, and talks to books and they talk to her. The Dove girls all have special gifts and Sarah's is to place every book in the hands of the perfect reader. Sometimes, before the reader wants or needs the book. Sarah is the seventh Dove daughter and history has proven that when this happens, good things come to Dove Pond. The town has become depressed since many businesses have moved out and taken jobs with them. When the books start whispering that something out of the ordinary is happening, Sarah starts looking for signs and is hopeful when the flowers in the town square change color. After the death of her sister Grace Wheeler moves in with her niece and aging foster mother and Sarah is convinced that Grace is the one to save the town. Grace, however, tells anyone who will listen that she is there for one year and moving on as soon as Mama G's memory improves.

As a retired librarian, I was drawn right into this book. Talking books? Absolutely! From the very beginning, I can picture this story as a Hallmark movie. Grace asks Sarah, "You don't really believe in ghosts, do you?" Sarah replies that she believes in "possibilities." That's what this book is all about---possibilities!! Dove Pond could be any small town, anywhere. Grace is disconnected from life and Sarah is hyper connected to her small town living. This is a poignant story about love, acceptance, and the need for friends. I received it as one of the Whimsical Wing Book Club Books and I am so glad that I did. I look forward to the next book in this series.

From Karen's bio on her webpage... New York Times and USA Today best-selling author Karen Hawkins is known for her wonderfully humorous and emotion-tugging historical and contemporary romances. The author of over 30 novels, Karen writes for a living between shopping for shoes, playing around on Facebook and Pinterest, looking for fun items for Hawkins Manor, and napping, although usually not at the same time. Sometimes, for fun, she takes Instagram pictures of her two rescue dogs, Sadie and Teke, and posts them online.

Yeah, she's a wild one.

Karen lives in snowy Massachusetts, with her husband, aka Hot Cop, and her two dogs. Her children are both out of college and have become productive, non-violent members of society. Karen writes six to eight hours a day when not obsessively reading research books on Regency-era Scotland, snacking on chocolate, or looking out the windows of her house and thinking about gardening. Her hobbies include sculpting, oil painting, playing badminton, and -- ok, ok, she doesn't have any hobbies, but if she did, she's sure they'd be something refined and fascinating.

For a list of the other books read so far, visit Whimsical Wings Book Club

#thebookcharmer #whimsicalwingsbookclub #beehivebookclub


2019 Monthly Color Challenge - November

November - Black Eyed Susan (Yellow)

This month's pattern is available at Patterns by Jen 

I don't have many choices with this month's color. This combination seems to have to have a lot of gold in it. 


I love how the polka dots pop!

Pip reminded me that "it's always sunny in Nona's world" so this block is one of her favorite's!

Checkout this month's bloggers:

Patterns By Jen

Kathy's Kwilts and more
Tuning My heart Quilts
The Quilted Diary
Everyone Deserves a Quilt

#2019MonthlyColorChallenge #novemberblock #blackeyedsusanblock