The Girl from the Sugar Plantation by Sharon Maas

About the Book:

The Girl from the Sugar Plantation: A gripping and emotional family saga of love and secrets (The Quint Chronicles)

An unputdownable story about a woman in search of the truth, the man she falls in love with, and the devastation of the Second World War.
1934, Georgetown.

All her life, Mary Grace has wanted to know the truth about who her parents really are. As the mixed-race daughter of two white plantation owners, her childhood has been clouded by whispered rumours, and the circumstances of her birth have been kept a closely guarded secret…

Aunt Winnie is the only person Mary Grace can confide in. Feeling lost and lonely, her place in society uncertain, Mary Grace decides to forge her own path in the world. And she finds herself unexpectedly falling for charming and affluent Jock Campbell, a planter with revolutionary ideas.

But, with the onset of the Second World War, their lives will be changed forever. And Mary Grace and Jock will be faced with the hardest decision of all – to fight for freedom or to follow their hearts…

An utterly compelling and evocative story about the heart-breaking choices men and women had to make during a time of unimaginable change. Perfect for fans of The Secret Wife and Island of Secrets .

My Thoughts:

The Girl from the Sugar Plantation is a gripping and compelling read, where fact meet fiction and a wonderful story arises.

The plot is based on factual events, on the sugar plantations in Guyana and the life of the people at the time. Many of the characters are also real people, who made a difference or had an impact on the lives of people. The story is well written and brings out the emotions of the people in the story. It will draw you in and keep you hooked until the very end.

The reader has the pleasure of meeting Mary Grace, a strong willed girl who learns to believe that there is more to life than the one she leads on the sugar plantation. As the story progresses, we see her grow and blossom into a wonderful woman with a burning passion for life. We are exposed to the brutality of life, the concept of slaves and workers, the upper class society and a certain level of superiority based on color of the skin.  The author exposes us to the shocking truth and mindset of the people, and the ideas behind revolutions and changes. Jock is a strongly described character with an interesting mindset and a set goal in life. He is willing to sacrifice love for his goal.

The supporting characters in Mary Grace’s mother, her aunt, her cousins and the secrets they hold only seek to expose us to the reality of life and the people. The strength and unity, the confidence and pride they have for and in each other is inspiring. The impact of the Second World War on the world and lives of people is portrayed really well and it is sure that the reader will be able to experience an array of emotions.

The choices a person makes at different stages in life shapes their life and this is seen clearly through the decisions of the people in the book. This story will stay with you until the end and after, leaving behind a deeper impact and food for thought.

Book Review: I Am Not A Traitor by Y. I. LATZ

About the Book:

I am Not A Traitor

Henry Stein is a former Israeli Navy cook with a huge secret…

Dive into the story of an exciting espionage case that takes place in the most covert unit of the Israeli Defense Forces. Henry Stein, the 50-year-old veteran chef of the Israeli Navy’s submarine fleet is laid off from his job after thirty years. Due to his big secret, he cannot reveal this fact to anyone, not even to his wife.
A secret that is intertwined with a serious of international calamities

How does his secret relate to the murder of his grandmother in London thirty-five years ago, to the arrest of his backpacker daughter in Colombia, to his love affair with a sexy Korean-American who almost gets him killed, and to his longstanding personal relationship with the British MI6?
A compulsive page-turner full of courage, terror, and passion

Step by step, the secret life of the “innocent cook” is exposed. As he fights a war of survival opposite the CIA, MI6 and the Israeli Mossad, he is revealed as a courageous man who follows his heart, until the arrival of the inevitable moment when he must decide once and for all where his loyalty lies—with his country or with his homeland.

My Thoughts:

Set in Israel, this story follows the life of Henry Stein as he deals with the loss of his job and the events that unfold after. The reader is given a glimpse into the world of the Israeli Mossad and the working of the CIA and MI6. How are all these agencies involved? How is Henry Stein suddenly in the middle of all this?

All the above questions are answered as the reader progresses through the story. We meet Henry’s wife and child, explore his life and as time passes, we are shown glimpses of the person he really is as well as his past. So many secrets, so many lies, some told to protect loved ones, some for selfish reasons, the author strives to reveal them all one by one as the story progresses. Henry is fighting to prove his innocence without revealing well kept secrets, which are on the brink of being exposed.

A story with a decent plot there are elements to the story that will keep the reader hooked. However, there were a few parts of the story that seemed to drag on and didn’t sit well with me, as well as the introduction of some very random characters who didn’t seem to add much value to the plot. Overall though, this story is an interesting read, exposing a lot of what happens behind closed doors and how spies work. It also shows how countries work at large and loosely helps the reader understand a world otherwise not very well-known. It shows us what a person can do for the love of a country, for his loved ones and above all for himself as well. It brings out the courage required to hold true to a story and stand for what you think or know is right.

Book Review: My Evangeline by Heidi Radford Legg

About the Book:

My Evangeline by Heidi Radford Legg

When small town Acadian girl, Evangeline, 18, is faced with choosing between living out her late-mother’s unfinished dreams at her father’s insistence or following her own charted path that includes her summer boyfriend, the American Max, the magnitude of her decision weighs heavily. When she folds to her father’s pressure and moves to Montreal, she not only finds herself embroiled in political protests and losing Max, but begins to unravel a family secret her father was desperate to hide. My Evangeline, set in retro 1995, tells the story of a willful heroine, who with all her irreverent and rebellious undertones, is stopped in her tracks by duty. With a nod to Longfellow’s epic Evangeline who was faced with the same choice, we meet a contemporary heroine who begins her journey naïve and dutiful. And like the fabled heroine of old, she finds her inner strength once she realizes the casualty of her choices. Elements of magic realism permeate the story as she unravels the secret. She meets an owl, a panther and a raven that challenge her ability to reason as she sets out in search of her true spirit.

My Thoughts:

This story, set in 1995, follows a small town girl as she struggles to decide the path to take in life. On one side are her dreams and on the other are her father’s dreams for her. Torn between having to do what her father wants and her plans to join her boyfriend, Evangaline gives in and moves to Montreal. There she finds herself drawn into participating in political protests. The story shows us that any teenager, when brought up in a certain way with certain expectations, will always find ways to rebel.

Evangeline shows her emotions and expression through her art. Taken by her wonderful work, Sylvia tries to help her out. Evangeline also seems to live in two worlds, the real one, and the one where all the people seem to turn into animals. It seems to be the authors way of portraying how Evangeline thinks and showing us how it differs from many of us normally.

Slowly, our protagonist discovers that many people she meets in Montreal once knew her mother.As she embarks on a journey to try to discover more about her mother, her relationship with Max starts to face problems. All this, over the course of a year in her life, the author brings in some wonderful people for us to meet. The supporting characters like the heroine’s best friend and the people at home all add color and life to the story.

There are some comparisons/parallels drawn with the protagonists namesake from the poem. Even though I have not read the poem, and do not know much about it, it did not take away the beauty of this story for me. The simplicity of the language and the way the author has written the story makes it seem as though the words are just flowing together flawlessly.

This is a lovely story that consists all the elements of love, hurt, friendship and self-discovery. A brilliant mix, it tells us a wonderful tale that will definitely move the reader.