The Book Mark

Books that make the grade.

Tag Archives: Salt to Sea

Four for the New Year


Happy New Year Everyone!!! I am glad to be back and able to share with you what I have been reading lately. Honestly, I expected to read many books post surgery but found it took me a long time to be able to concentrate again. However, in the past several weeks I have been catching up. I’d like to share some of the titles that I have found interesting.


Currently, I am reading Mercer Girls (B) by Libbie Hawker. As the Civil War rages on in the east a somewhat new city in the West, Seattle is struggling to establish itself. The population consists of mostly men who’d like to be able to find a respectable woman to marry, start a family and build a home. A S Mercer calls Seattle home. Based on the true story, Mercer Girls retells how one man establishes a program to bring marriageable young women to his city with the hope of providing opportunity to both men and women to meet someone they can begin a family with. Once again historical fiction delivers an informative story that might otherwise have gone untold.


Continuing in the same genre, The Muse (A) by Jessie Burton spans two time periods. In the 1930s, just before the onset of WWII, Spain underwent it’s own war. A wealthy Jewish family flees to Spain hoping to secure them safely out of the way of Hitler. While there, their artistic daughter falls in love with a rebel who inspires her to masterful artistry. Then 30 years later, a young man who has no idea of its history inherits one of her paintings. As the tale unfolds the painting tells the story of love won and lost both in the past and the present. I found this book extremely well done and it kept me interested till the very last page.


The following book was a Christmas gift. I have read everything written by Joshilyn Jackson and The Opposite of Everyone (A) did not disappoint. Paula Vauss may have had a very dysfunctional life as a child. Surviving her childhood has empowered Paula to become a dynamite lawyer fighting unfairness and abuse. One day her past comes back to her delivering to her siblings she was unaware existed. Her fight becomes real and personal now as she addresses her demons and creates a life she never expected. As always, she writes an extremely well done page-turner.


Last but not least, a genre that is not my usual. Salt to Sea (A) by Ruta Sepetys is a Young Adult (YA) historical fiction novel that once again introduced me to an historical event I was unaware of. As thousands of Prussians are fleeing through German to safety they constantly risk their lives from Russian soldiers who are determined to kill them all. Salt to Sea has four main characters who each share their story. Ultimately, they all board the ship Wilhelm Gustloff thinking they are safe. They are not. As historical events unravel, Salt to Sea proves to be not just a YA story but one for everyone to read.


I encourage you to try any of the above books to help you pass the cold winter days. For me, they were equally entertaining and fun reads and the best way to begin a new year.