At Mailbox Monday, we encourage participants to not only share the books they received, but also to check out the books received by others. Each week, our team is sharing with you a few Books That Caught Our Eye from that week’s Mailbox Monday.
We’re glad to have Serena back sharing her picks this week. Now you get to share too!
We encourage you to share the books that caught your eye in the comments.
Churchill’s Secret Messenger, by Alan Hlad
found at The Book Connection
A riveting story of World War II and the courage of one young woman as she is drafted into Churchill’s overseas spy network, aiding the French Resistance behind enemy lines and working to liberate Nazi-occupied Paris…London, 1941: In a cramped bunker in Winston Churchill’s Cabinet War Rooms, underneath Westminster’s Treasury building, civilian women huddle at desks, typing up confidential documents and reports. Since her parents were killed in a bombing raid, Rose Teasdale has spent more hours than usual in Room 60, working double shifts, growing accustomed to the burnt scent of the Prime Minister’s cigars permeating the stale air. Winning the war is the only thing that matters, and she will gladly do her part. And when Rose’s fluency in French comes to the attention of Churchill himself, it brings a rare yet dangerous opportunity.
Rose is recruited for the Special Operations Executive, a secret British organization that conducts espionage in Nazi-occupied Europe. After weeks of grueling training, Rose parachutes into France with a new codename: Dragonfly. Posing as a cosmetics saleswoman in Paris, she ferries messages to and from the Resistance, knowing that the slightest misstep means capture or death.
Soon Rose is assigned to a new mission with Lazare Aron, a French Resistance fighter who has watched his beloved Paris become a shell of itself, with desolate streets and buildings draped in Swastikas. Since his parents were sent to a German work camp, Lazare has dedicated himself to the cause with the same fervor as Rose. Yet Rose’s very loyalty brings risks as she undertakes a high-stakes prison raid, and discovers how much she may have to sacrifice to justify Churchill’s faith in her . . .
“I tend to enjoy these historical mysteries on the spy network that helped the Resistance”
The House Is on Fire, by Rachel Beanland
The author of Florence Adler Swims Forever returns with a masterful work of historical fiction about an incendiary tragedy that shocked a young nation and tore apart a community in a single night—told from the perspectives of four people whose actions during the inferno changed the course of history.
Richmond, Virginia 1811. It’s the height of the winter social season. The General Assembly is in session, and many of Virginia’s gentleman planters, along with their wives and children, have made the long and arduous journey to the capital in hopes of whiling away the darkest days of the year. At the city’s only theater, the Charleston-based Placide & Green Company puts on two plays a night to meet the demand of a populace that’s done looking for enlightenment in a church.
On the night after Christmas, the theater is packed with more than six hundred holiday revelers. In the third-floor boxes, sits newly widowed Sally Henry Campbell, who is glad for any opportunity to relive the happy times she shared with her husband. One floor away, in the colored gallery, Cecily Patterson doesn’t give a whit about the play but is grateful for a four-hour reprieve from a life that has recently gone from bad to worse. Backstage, young stagehand Jack Gibson hopes that, if he can impress the theater’s managers, he’ll be offered a permanent job with the company. And on the other side of town, blacksmith Gilbert Hunt dreams of one day being able to bring his wife to the theater, but he’ll have to buy her freedom first.
When the theater goes up in flames in the middle of the performance, Sally, Cecily, Jack, and Gilbert make a series of split-second decisions that will not only affect their own lives but those of countless others. And in the days following the fire, as news of the disaster spreads across the United States, the paths of these four people will become forever intertwined.
Based on the true story of Richmond’s theater fire, The House Is on Fire offers proof that sometimes, in the midst of great tragedy, we are offered our most precious—and fleeting—chances at redemption.
“I didn’t know about this event, sounds like good American historical fiction”
Beauty and the Alchemist (The Alchemical Tales Book 1) by Elle Hartford
found at Carstairs Considers
In this magical mix-up of fairy tales and murder, Little Red Riding Hood solves the mystery at the heart of Beauty and the Beast . . .
What does it take to overcome a curse?
Traveling alchemist Red settles into life as a shopkeeper in rural Belville and expects to focus on her potions. But crime stops for no woman. Neither does Red’s friend, police officer Thorn! When a beastly criminal escapes to a nearby abandoned castle and is found murdered, Thorn immediately suspects Luca, a meek-mannered bookseller-not to mention Red’s best friend.
Red knows that there’s more to the castle-and the murder-than meets the eye. But as she rushes to prove Luca’s innocence, she’s beset by a not-dead-yet ghost, a beautiful and ill-tempered suspect, and a horde of mysterious mist creatures that terrify the town. Oh, and then there’s the series of lost books that hold the key to the castle’s curse! If Red and her friends can’t find the books and solve the mystery, Luca might not be the only one in trouble. But in idyllic Belville, appearances can be deceiving. Red will need all of her alchemical prowess and all the help she can get in order to uncover the truth behind this twisted tale.
“I really do like ‘Beauty and the Beast” retellings and this tale, with lost books, sounds like a good twist. Plus, I love the cover.”
Must Love Flowers by Debbie Macomber
found at Bookfan.
Two women at different stages of life find themselves on a journey of renewal after undergoing hardships in this uplifting novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Debbie Macomber.
“Wise, warm, witty, and charmingly full of hope, this story celebrates the surprising and unexpected ways that family, friendship, and love can lift us up.”–Kristin Hannah, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Nightingale
Joan Sample is not living the life she expected. Now a widow and an empty-nester, she has become by her own admission something of a recluse. But after another birthday spent alone, she is finally inclined to listen to her sister, who has been begging Joan to reengage with the world. With her support, Joan gathers the courage to take some long-awaited steps: hiring someone to tame her overgrown garden, joining a grief support group, and even renting out a room to a local college student. Before long Joan is starting to feel a little like herself again.
Across town, Maggie Herbert works mornings as a barista, tending to impatient customers before rushing to afternoon nursing classes. She’s been living with her alcoholic father, ducking his temperamental outbursts and struggling to pay the household bills. But her circumstances brighten when she finds a room for rent in Joan’s home. In the unexpected warmth of her new situation, Maggie finds a glimmer of hope for a better life. But will Maggie’s budding attraction to one of her favorite customers ruin the harmony she’s only recently found with Joan? Meanwhile, what is Joan to make of the mysterious landscaper who’s been revitalizing her garden–a man who seems to harbor a past loss of his own?
As Maggie and Joan confront unfamiliar life choices, they find themselves leaning on each other in surprising ways–discovering in the process that “family” is often just another word for love in all its forms.
“I love flowers – This cover definitely caught my eye!”
Fire Rush by Jacqueline Crooks
at Sam Still Reading.
Love changes everything in Fire Rush, the unforgettable novel about Black womanhood chosen as a Top 10 New Novel in 2023 by the Observer
He takes my hand, pulls me to him. ‘This is our dancing time.’
‘Wrought with an incredible precision and a musicality which carries every sentence’ Caleb Azumah Nelson, author of Open Water
Yamaye lives for the weekend, when she can go raving with her friends at The Crypt, an underground club in the industrial town on the outskirts of London where she was born and raised. A young woman unsure of her future, the sound is her guide – a chance to discover who she really is in the rhythms of those smoke-filled nights. In the dance-hall darkness, dub is the music of her soul, her friendships, her ancestry.
But everything changes when she meets Moose, the man she falls deeply in love with, and who offers her the chance of freedom and escape.
When their relationship is brutally cut short, Yamaye goes on a dramatic journey of transformation that takes her first to Bristol – where she is caught up in a criminal gang and the police riots sweeping the country – and then to Jamaica, where past and present collide with explosive consequences.
“This looks like a fantastic read and I love the cover.”
The Rachel Incident by Caroline O’Donoghue
at Book Dilettante.
Where would I start, and how would it even make sense? How could you understand the year in Shandon Street unless you were there, with us, living it?Rachel Murray is twenty-one years old, platonically infatuated with her housemate James, and less-than-platonically infatuated with her enigmatic, married English professor Dr Byrne. Over the course of a year, as Rachel and James’s lives become more and more deeply entwined with those of Dr Byrne and his perfect wife Deenie, tensions rise, and a shocking secret threatens everything they hold dear.
The Rachel Incident is a sharp, poignant, and beautifully told story of losing and finding yourself and the lengths we will go to for those we love.
“This just sounds dramatic and interesting. And I love stories set in Ireland.”
What books caught your eye this week?