Saturday, January 9, 2016

The View from Prince Street and a Giveaway!

Happy Saturday!  On this day (January 9) in 1493 Christopher Columbus discovered "mermaids" aka manatees in the Caribbean waters during his first transatlantic voyage.  In 1861 Mississippi became the second state to secede from the Union (leading up to the Civil War).  In 1922 Ernest Hemingway rents his first Paris apartment and in 2007 Steve Jobs introduced the first iPhone! These are just a few of the events that have happened on this day in history.  

The View from Prince Street by Mary Ellen Taylor is a part of the Alexandria series.  Dr. Rae McDonald lives in her family home in Alexandria, Virginia.  The home has been in her family over two hundred years.  Rae is a clinical psychologist and runs her practice out of her house.  Some call her a matchmaker (but not Rae).  Rae gave away a baby when she was sixteen years old (as a result of the death of her sister) and despite her academic achievements and a good career, Rae has not really moved on with her life.  She is still emotionally in the same place she was sixteen years ago. 

Lisa Smyth is a wet plate photographer (a very old method of taking pictures).  She found a bellows camera when she was a teenager at Shire Architectural Salvage Yard and has been entranced with it since.  Lisa usually travels around the country (taking photographs), but her Aunt Amelia suffered an accident.  Amelia suffered a broken hip and also has advanced dementia.  Lisa is getting her settled into an assisted living facility and visiting her everyday with Amelia’s dog, Charlie.  Lisa was in an accident sixteen years ago.  Her best friend, Jennifer died in the auto accident. Lisa was drunk at the time (so was Jennifer).  Lisa’s aunt helped her get into AA (after the accident).   It is a constant battle for Lisa (because of the guilt she feels).  She has never recovered from the accident (emotionally) and still needs to make amends to two people.

Margaret McCrae loves history.  When Margaret and her business partner, Addie Morgan were clearing (they run Shire Architectural Salvage) out hearth stones at Rae McDonald’s she came across a witch bottle.  This is the third witch bottle they have found. One for each of the founding families (Smyth, Goodwin, and McDonald).  Margaret would love to do more research into the McDonald family.  Rae is reluctant (she avoids the past) until she gets a message from her biological child.  We get to go on a journey into the past to see how the families began and how they are still connected to this day. 

The View from Prince Street was a very good book.  I was drawn in right away and just kept reading.  I liked how the past and present were twined together.  I did not read the first book in the Alexandria series, but it did not hinder my reading (nor enjoyment) of this novel.  I will, though, be reading it as soon as I have room in my schedule (as well as Mary Ellen Taylor’s other books).  The View from Prince Street has some great characters and a beautiful setting.  I liked how the characters developed during the book.  It was enjoyable how the writer included the past (their family history) and related it to the present.  I give The View from Prince Street 5 out of 5 stars (which means I loved it).  There were no slow or boring parts.  The book had a nice pace and is very well written.  I will definitely be reading more books by Mary Ellen Taylor.

At the Corner of King Street is the first book in the Alexandria Series. Other books by Mary Ellen Taylor that you might enjoy (and tie in with the Alexandria Series) are The Union Street Bakery and Sweet Expectations.  I received a complimentary copy of The View from Prince Street from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Publisher is allowing me to give away one copy of The View from Prince Street.  To enter please leave a comment below along with your email address (so I can contact you if you win). Since it is a print copy, you need to have a U.S. address.  You must also be 18 years or older in order to win.  It is not a requirement, but I would love it if you would consider becoming a follower of my blog (right hand side).  The contest will be open for one week (until 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, January 16. Good luck!

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!  I am currently reading A Scone to Die For by H. Y. Hanna.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

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