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HomeSchool Mom of 4The Hot Dry DesertAge: 25-34Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Charming Historical FictionOctober 17, 2017HomeSchool Mom of 4The Hot Dry DesertAge: 25-34Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Annie's Stories picks up where Grace's Pictures left off. Both are charming reads that take place on Ellis Island during the early 1900s. It's interesting to suddenly be pulled into the world of immigrants in New York over 100 years ago and, while admittedly it took me a few chapters to really get into the story, I had to know what was going to happen. Annie is an Irish lass who is a sweet girl. She has recently lost her father, a wonderful man who had the heart of a storyteller. and who left her only his wonderful stories--written down, unpublished, and hidden away in the secret compartment of a desk. A bit mysterious, yes?
During the time Annie's Stories takes place, the book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz has just been published and is taking New York City by storm. I love the way the author weaves what's going on in Annie's life into the Oz story. Like me, the books she reads (even the fiction ones) influence Annie's life and she relates them to things going on around her in the real world. There is a bit of mystery here, too, as Annie's father actually hid the stories he wrote before his death--hid them away even as he didn't hide away the little money he had saved. Annie's adorable love interest thinks the stories hold a grand secret... but do they really?
Janice GareyDecatur, GAAge: 55-65Gender: Female5 Stars Out Of 5A Book to TreasureFebruary 26, 2015Janice GareyDecatur, GAAge: 55-65Gender: FemaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Review Title: A Book to Treasure (review of Annies Stories by Cindy Thomson)
Reviewer: Janice S. Garey
Wow! What an amazing novel! It's full of history, intriguing characters, life struggles, and developing love. This book took me to a time and place I had never imagined. I got to see into the lives of immigrants and their struggles to begin new life in New York. I also learned about the Magdalene Laundry (Ireland) and other similar places that basically enslaved young ladies who were in bad situations. Some were held for their whole lives. This aspect of the book relates well toward creating compassion and support of all human trafficking victims during any time period.
Although a Christian novel, the main character has lost faith in God so it is not until the end, as Annie reflects back on what she has been through, that God is brought out as the caring one working behind the scenes to bring about good from evil. Annie went through difficulties to develop a heart of compassion for others in bad situations.
The literary references to The Wizard of Oz and other famous classics delights the reader. To gain an understanding and appreciation of what it would have been like when these new types of stories were first being published was priceless. Annie determines her goal to be to start a library for the young ladies who would not have access to books otherwise. She has great determination, but seemingly no resources.
A love story flows through the pages of the novel. It slowly develops through trials of character flaws, questionable integrity miscommunication, trust issues, and Annies tightrope walk between fierce independence and her perceived domination by men. A lot of deep soul searching goes on (along with a dose of practicality from The Hawk, the boarding house matron).
Thank you bookfun.org for giving me this book in exchange for reading it and posting my honest review. Thank you, also, to the author, Cindy Thomson, for writing this fine engaging novel.
ThereadmasterDavenport,IowaAge: 45-54Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5very goodJanuary 16, 2015ThereadmasterDavenport,IowaAge: 45-54Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5This was another great book by Cindy Thomson. Loved it. The characters were great, even the ones you were not sure if you we're going to like. I thought this was going to be about the Wizard of Oz at first and was glad when that was just a small side story.the real story was much better. Can't wait for the next book. I received a free copy from Bookfun.org for a fair and honest opinion.
wfnrenSt Cloud, FLAge: 55-65Gender: female4 Stars Out Of 5A good Christian Historical Fiction storyJanuary 10, 2015wfnrenSt Cloud, FLAge: 55-65Gender: femaleQuality: 4Value: 4Meets Expectations: 4I was looking forward to reading this book as The Wizard of Oz was one of my Mom's favorite movies, mine growing up and my daughter loves everything 'Wizard of Oz' to this day. The story had a slow start for me, this seems to happen to me sometimes but by the time I get to the end I find it hard to put the book down because the storyline gets really interesting. That is what happened with this book, it ended up with me wanting to quickly find out what would happened and found it hard to put the book down. This is a good story that shows how authors (Annie's father in this case) can bring a person back to the faith they thought they had lost, as was the case with Annie and Stephen. I can recommend this book to others who like Christian and/or Historical Fiction.
CherylAge: 45-54Gender: Female4 Stars Out Of 5A look into life in the early 1900sJanuary 8, 2015CherylAge: 45-54Gender: FemaleThis is the second book in the Ellis Island Series, taking place at the Hawkins House, the same boarding house as Graces Pictures (first book in the series.)
Annie Gallagher is an Irish immigrant coming to the states with something she treasuresthe childrens stories her father wrote for her. They represent her feelings of love, contentment, and most of all, home. Though she is reluctant to share them with others, they could provide all she is searching for.
The main characters, Annie and Stephen, are so vivid, flawed, and well developed. I also loved the feel for the times this story provided. Its interesting to learn of the immigrants struggles, and even the little nuances of the publishing world in the early 1900s that only these types of stories provide for those who didnt experience them.
With a fabulous setting, memorable characters, and references to the book, The Wizard of Oz, whats not to love? I recommend reading Graces Pictures first, but, even though some of the same characters from the first book are also in this one, this can be read as a stand-alone.