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Saturday, August 16, 2014

Annie's Stories by Cindy Thomson

 Read first chapter excerpt here

The year is 1901, the literary sensation The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is taking New York City by storm, and everyone wonders where the next great book will come from. But to Annie Gallagher, stories are more than entertainment—they’re a sweet reminder of her storyteller father. After his death, Annie fled Ireland for the land of dreams, finding work at Hawkins House.

But when a fellow boarder with something to hide is accused of misconduct and authorities threaten to shut down the boardinghouse, Annie fears she may lose her new friends, her housekeeping job . . . and her means of funding her dream: a memorial library to honor her father. Furthermore, the friendly postman shows a little too much interest in Annie—and in her father’s unpublished stories. In fact, he suspects these tales may hold a grand secret.

Though the postman’s intentions seem pure, Annie wants to share her father’s stories on her own terms. Determined to prove herself, Annie must forge her own path to aid her friend and create the future she’s always envisioned . . . where dreams really do come true.

Annie's Stories is Cindy Thomson's second novel in the Ellis Island series, following the release of Grace's Pictures. I have not read Grace's Pictures yet, so I can confidently say that it is not necessary to read them in order. Grace is in this second novel, but a reader is perfectly able to understand what is going on without reading the first book. I do think, however, Annie's Stories would be a welcome read to those who connected with Grace and her beau in Grace's Pictures because they are included in the second novel. Annie's Stories has an interesting and spell binding plot, and it includes both the internal struggle in Annie as she tries to reconcile the hurt in her past, the love of seemingly distant God, and the biblical truths in her deceased father's stories, as well as the plot against one of the other boarders. While there is certainly a lot going on in this novel, I was still able to connect with the story, particularly the honest emotions that Annie was dealing with. I enjoyed seeing both her and Stephen struggle and then grow as people (and Christians) as they surrendered their pain and bitterness to God and trusted Him. The characters in this novel were well written and easy to connect with as a reader. I liked seeing how they interacted with one another and as they learned from their past mistakes. Overall, I would highly recommend this novel, and I look forward to going back and reading Grace's Pictures now!

I received this novel from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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