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Friday, July 18, 2014

Annie's Stories by Cindy Thomson

Cindy Thomson is a new to me author that has published her second book in the Ellis Island series called Annie's Stories.   I have yet to read her first book in the series, Grace's Pictures, but I'm eagerly looking forward to reading that one too.  Below you can read the back of the book description, see a short video by the author and read my review.  So take a look and see you think about this new-to-me author.

From the Back of the Book:
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is taking New York City by storm, but for Irish immigrant Annie Gallagher, the book is more than mere entertainment.  It's a sweet reminder of her father, a traveling Irish storyteller.  After his death, with only a dream and his handwritten stories, Annie flees to America, finding work and friendship at a boardinghouse in the heart of the city.
     Just as Annie is settling into her new life, a friendly postman begins to show a particular interest in her--and in her father's unpublished writing.  He suspects the tales may hold a grand secret.  But Annie isn't sure she wants to risk sharing her last remnants of home with the world.  More trouble brews when authorities make accusations against a fellow boarder and threaten to shut down Hawkins House, jeopardizing everything Annie holds dear.
     Facing obstacles on all sides, Annie must forge her own path to aid her friend and build a new home to call her own.

My Review:
I was delightfully surprised by this new-to-me author, Cindy Thomson.  I really enjoyed her writing style, and I was able to read the book in 3 days which is quite an accomplishment with two little kids running around.  The story transports you in time to an age when things were quite different for the modern society.  I loved reading all the history, especially the inclusion of the Wonderful Wizard of Oz.  It makes me want to pick that book up and read it since I only ever saw the movie version.  I also loved all the detail about Ireland since that is the land of my ancestry, and I have the red hair to prove it. The story does include some unsavory topics such as reformatories for girls of ill repute who faced some abuse by the ones claiming to help them.  So I would caution giving this book to a minor to read.
As far as the characters, I enjoyed Annie's character.  She had so much to overcome and deal with in her life.  It was easy for me to identify with her love for literature that she had learned from her father.  Stephen Adams on the other hand seems a little lost to say the least, and his character was frustrating at times.  He has a good heart, but not much common sense.
The overall story was very interesting and I'm looking forward to picking up the first book in this series.  Cindy Thomson is definitely an author I'll be looking for when I'm deciding on books to read.  Her thoughts flowed well and the story was very enjoyable.  I would recommend reading the books in order since Grace does appear in this second book and details of her life are shared that would be more meaningful if I had already read the first book.

**I received this book free from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

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