Friday, April 12, 2019

Book Review - Nothing Is Forgotten by Peter Golden

Book Synopsis
From the beloved author of Comeback Love and Wherever There Is Light, comes “a sweeping tale full of humor and heartbreak” (Karin Tanabe, author of The Diplomat’s Daughter) about the life-changing journey of a young man who travels from New Jersey to Khrushchev’s Russia and the beaches of Southern France to discover long-hidden secrets about his heritage.

In 1950s New Jersey, teacher Michael Daniels—or Misha Danielov to his doting Russian-Jewish grandmother—is at loose ends, until he becomes the host of a nightly underground radio show. Not only does the show become a local hit because of his running satires of USSR leader Nikita Khrushchev, but half a world away, it picks up listeners in a small Soviet city.

There, with rock and roll leaking in through bootlegged airwaves, Yulianna Kosoy—a war orphan in her mid-twenties—is sneaking American goods into the country with her boss, Der Schmuggler.

But just as Michael’s radio show is taking off, his grandmother is murdered. Why would anyone commit such an atrocity against such a warm, affable woman? She had always been secretive about her past and, as Michael discovers, guarded a shadowy ancestral history. In order to solve the mystery of who killed her, Michael sets out for Europe to learn where he—and his grandmother—really came from.

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Purchase Links

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My Review

Nothing is Forgotten begins in the late 1950's in South Orange, New Jersey.  Michael "Misha" Daniels is a teenager looking for direction in his life.  He begins working on a small radio show, which eventually becomes popular locally ... and overseas in Russia.  After his beloved grandmother is murdered at the family candy store in 1964, Misha travels overseas to find answers about her past -- from Germany to Russia to France, and eventually to Atlanta and Los Angeles.   His story intertwines with that of Yulianna "Yuli" Kosoy, a war orphan in Russia.


I was initially interested in reading this novel because of the time period -- most of the book takes place between 1964 - 1965.  I love historical fiction and retro pop culture, and my curiosity was piqued.


This is such a fascinating and complex book -- it is a love story, a family history, a mystery, and a spy thriller all at once.  It takes place in an everyday town in the late 1950's to mid-1960's, but also deals with the tragic history of the Holocaust and its effect on a family.


There are so many twists and turns in the novel -- just when I thought I had everything figured out something else happened.  I found this a really compelling book and basically read in all my spare time for a couple of days because I was so curious to see where the book would go next.


The writing is absolutely beautiful -- the descriptions are so vivid and the historical details are perfect.  I have not read Peter Golden's books before, but will certainly look for his other novels now.


I am very impressed with the sweep of the book.  The author captures Americana and 1960's life so well, with details about candy in the family shop, a girlfriend compared to a Barbie doll, and descriptions like "this nondescript street of Colonials with one-car garages and two-family houses, in a small New Jersey town" (p. 216).


Most of all the mystery of this book is one that kept me guessing as a reader.  It is fascinating because it covers so much ground, not just from America to Russia to France, but also a young Russian man who loves the Beatles, a CIA man who knew JFK, a surprising meeting with Picasso.


I have already promised to loan my copy of Nothing Is Forgotten to my best friend with the condition that we talk about it after he finishes reading.   This is a book you will want to share and discuss -- there are so many surprises waiting here.   Highly recommended!

Author Bio

Peter Golden is an award-winning journalist, novelist, biographer, and historian. He lives outside Albany, New York, with his wife and son. He is the acclaimed author of the novels Comeback Love, Wherever There Is Light, and Nothing Is Forgotten.

Book Spotlight and Giveaway - Flower Power Trip (Braxton Campus Mysteries) by James J. Cudney

Book Spotlight
At a masquerade ball to raise money for renovations to Memorial Library, Kellan finds a dead body dressed in a Dr. Evil costume.

Did one of Maggie’s sisters kill the annoying guest who’d been staying at the Roarke and Daughters Inn, or does the victim have a closer connection to someone else at Braxton College?

As Kellan helps school president Ursula bury a secret from her past and discover the identity of her stalker, he unexpectedly encounters a missing member of his family. Everything seems to trace back to the Stoddards: a new family who recently moved in.

Between the murder, a special flower exhibit and strange postcards arriving each week, Kellan can’t decide which mystery in his life should take priority. But unfortunately, the biggest one of all has yet to be exposed – and when it is, Kellan won’t know what hit him.

Author Bio
James is my given name, but most folks call me Jay. I live in New York City, grew up on Long Island, and graduated from Moravian College with a degree in English literature. I spent fifteen years building a technology career in the retail, sports, media, and entertainment industries. I enjoyed my job, but a passion for books and stories had been missing for far too long. I’m a voracious reader in my favorite genres (thriller, suspense, contemporary, mystery, and historical fiction), as books transport me to a different world where I can immerse myself in so many fantastic cultures and places. I’m an avid genealogist who hopes to visit all the German, Scottish, Irish, and British villages my ancestors emigrated from in the 18th and 19th centuries. I frequently blog and publish book reviews on everything I read at ThisIsMyTruthNow via WordPress.

Writing has been a part of my life as much as my heart, my mind, and my body. I decided to pursue my passion by dusting off the creativity inside my head and drafting outlines for several novels. I quickly realized I was back in my element growing happier and more excited with life each day. My goal in writing is to connect with readers who want to be part of great stories and who enjoy interacting with authors. To get a strong picture of who I am, check out my author website or my blog. It’s full of humor and eccentricity, sharing connections with everyone I follow—all in the hope of building a network of friends across the world. When I completed the first book, Watching Glass Shatter, I knew I’d stumbled upon my passion again, suddenly dreaming up characters, plots, and settings all day long. I chose my second novel, Father Figure, through a poll on my blog where I let everyone vote for their favorite plot and character summaries. It is with my third book, Academic Curveball,, the first in the Braxton Campus Mysteries, where I immersed myself in a college campus full of so much activity, I could hardly stop thinking about new murder scenes or character relationships to finish writing the current story. Come join in the fun!

List of Books & Blog
Watching Glass Shatter (October 2017)
Father Figure (April 2018)

Braxton Campus Mysteries
Academic Curveball – #1 (October 2018)
Broken Heart Attack – #2 (November 2018)
Flower Power Trip – #3 (Early 2019)

Websites & Blog

Social Media Links

Purchase Link – Amazon

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Book Spotlight - Murder at the Marina (A Kelly Jackson Mystery) by Janet Finsilver

Book Synopsis
She’s got to solve this—or her friends are sunk . . .

Kelly Jackson, manager of the Redwood Cove Bed and Breakfast, is fond of the Doblinsky brothers, Ivan and Rudy, members of the Silver Sentinels, a crew of crime-solving senior citizens in their Northern California seaside hamlet. After she discovers a jewel-encrusted dagger—with what appears to be dried blood on the blade—on their fishing boat, they share their family history with Kelly, and she learns that the knife may be part of a set from their long-ago childhood in Russia. Its sudden reappearance is eerie, but the mystery grows much more serious when a body is found on the boat. The victim was staying at Kelly’s inn, in town for a Russian Heritage Festival, and some of the organizers were clearly harboring some bitterness. But the story behind this murder seems as layered as a nesting doll—and Kelly’s feeling completely at sea .

Author Bio
Janet Finsilver is the USA TODAY bestselling author of the Kelly Jackson mystery series. She worked in education for many years as a teacher, a program administrator, and a workshop presenter. Janet majored in English and earned a Master’s Degree in Education. She loves animals and has two dogs–Kylie and Ellie. Janet has ridden western style since she was a child and was a member of the National Ski Patrol. One of the highlights of her life was touching whales in the San Ignacio Lagoon. MURDER AT REDWOOD COVE, her debut mystery, was released on October 13, 2015. Her second book, MURDER AT THE MANSION, was released on June 7, 2016. Book 3, MURDER AT THE FORTUNE TELLER’S TABLE was released on March 14, 2017.

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Purchase LinksAmazon  – B&NKoboGoogle Play