14 April 2020

What I Read in March

Hey y'all,

March was a strange month adjusting to our new normal so I didn't spend a whole lot of time reading and with my commute and all driving really ending in the middle of the month I don't even have an audiobook to add to the list. It also didn't help that I decided on two pretty heavy books this month that had me in tears so I rounded out the end of the month with a bit of romance fluff. Here's the four books I read in March.

Cilka's Journey

In this follow-up to The Tattooist of Auschwitz, the author tells the story, based on a true one, of a woman who survives Auschwitz, only to find herself locked away again.
Cilka's Journey: A Novel (Tattooist of Auschwitz Book 2) by [Heather Morris]Cilka Klein is 18 years old when Auschwitz-Birkenau is liberated by Soviet soldiers. But Cilka is one of the many women who is sentenced to a labor camp on charges of having helped the Nazis--with no consideration of the circumstances Cilka and women like her found themselves in as they struggled to survive. Once at the Vorkuta gulag in Sibera, where she is to serve her 15-year sentence, Cilka uses her wits, charm, and beauty to survive.

I loved the Tattooist of Auschwitz last year (it was actually my book club's pick for March this year) and was intrigued to hear that the author was going to continue the story with Cilka's journey. This story was heartbreaking and full of hope like the Tattooist of Auschwitz as Cilka journeys from the Nazi controlled concentration camp to Siberia to work at a work-camp due to her "collaboration" with the Nazis (really being raped and trying to survive). If you enjoyed the first book, I would recommend this book as a follow-up. It is different as Morris did not interview Cilka personally but rather interviewed others who knew her and those that lived in the Soviet work camps. I had not heard much about Soviet work camps until this story so it was again a different perspective of the WWII historical fiction that is popular right now. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

Before and After

From the 1920s to 1950, Georgia Tann ran a black-market baby business at the Tennessee Children's Home Society in Memphis. She offered up more than 5,000 orphans tailored to the wish lists of eager parents--hiding the fact that many weren't orphans at all, but stolen sons and daughters of poor families, desperate single mothers, and women told in maternity wards that their babies had died.
Before and After: The Incredible Real-Life Stories of Orphans Who Survived the Tennessee Children's Home SocietyThe publication of Lisa Wingate's novel Before We Were Yours brought new awareness of Tann's lucrative career in child trafficking. Adoptees who knew little about their pasts gained insight into the startling facts behind their family histories. Encouraged by their contact with Wingate and award-winning journalist Judy Christie, who documented the stories of fifteen adoptees in this book, many determined Tann survivors set out to trace their roots and find their birth families.
Before and After includes moving and sometimes shocking accounts of the ways in which adoptees were separated from their first families. Often raised as only children, many have joyfully reunited with siblings in the final decades of their lives. In Before and After, Wingate and Christie tell of first meetings that are all the sweeter and more intense for time missed and of families from very different social backgrounds reaching out to embrace better-late-than-never brothers, sisters, and cousins. In a poignant culmination of art meeting life, long-silent victims of the tragically corrupt system return to Memphis with Wingate and Christie to reclaim their stories at a Tennessee Children's Home Society reunion . . . with extraordinary results.

Another follow-up book which requires tissues. I was appalled reading Before We Were Yours last year and learning about the Tennessee Children's Home Society for the first time. I am so glad that the adoption process has changed drastically over the last 50 years to prevent such a tragedy from happening again. I literally cried in almost every chapter of this book as those that were in the home or connected to Georgia Tann tell their stories. Stories of abandonment, being stolen, miscommunication, and more. My heart breaks for all the families affected by the TCHS and the children buried in Memphis who lost their lives in the home most likely due to neglect and lack of care. I am glad that some have found the truth and some version of closure through this story and the reunion and I hope for those still searching, the records can be found and they can be connected with their birth families. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

Good Luck Charm

36977659. sy475 Lilah isn't sure what hurt worse: the day Ethan left her to focus on his hockey career, or the day he came back eight years later. He might think they can pick up just where they left off, but she's no longer that same girl and never wants to be again.
Ethan Kane wants his glory days back. And that includes having Lilah by his side. With her, he was magic. They were magic. All he has to do is make her see that.
Just when Lilah might finally be ready to let him in, though, she finds out their reunion has nothing to do with her and everything to do with his game. But Ethan's already lost her once, and even if it costs him his career, he'll do anything to keep from losing her again.

I grabbed this book at the library the day before it shut down when I was browsing the romance section. I have previously read Meet Cute last summer by Hunting so I thought this would be another great read. It’s a quick romance about two former high school sweethearts that reconnect when Ethan is traded back to Minnesota for what could be the end of his NHL career. They both deal with a lot of insecurities in their relationship but it ended sweetly. ⭐⭐⭐/5

Chasing Cinderella - Ravenels #6

44285731Railway magnate Tom Severin is wealthy and powerful enough to satisfy any desire as soon as it arises. Anything—or anyone—is his for the asking. It should be simple to find the perfect wife—and from his first glimpse of Lady Cassandra Ravenel, he’s determined to have her. But the beautiful and quick-witted Cassandra is equally determined to marry for love—the one thing he can’t give.
Severin is the most compelling and attractive man Cassandra has ever met, even if his heart is frozen. But she has no interest in living in the fast-paced world of a ruthless man who always plays to win.
When a newfound enemy nearly destroys Cassandra’s reputation, Severin seizes the opportunity he’s been waiting for. As always, he gets what he wants—or does he? There’s one lesson Tom Severin has yet to learn from his new bride: Never underestimate a Ravenel.

I love the Ravenels series that spins off from the Wallflowers series also by Lisa Kleypas. This is the final book of the series I believe that begins with Cassandra and Tom meeting at Cassandra twin, Pandora's wedding. I love that Cassandra is very strong in her beliefs and will not simply marry to marry. It was a fun end to the series. ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

I'm linking up with Jana and Steph
Life According to Steph
Also, since I have been blogging more I thought I would give you a heads up of what I will be posting the rest of the week:
Wednesday - Quarantine meals. I will be sharing what I have been eating since we are on week five of social distancing. These are all simple meals with pantry staples.
Thursday - NC Apartment Tour v.2 - my living room and coat closet. I shared my dining room last Thursday.
Friday - Five on Friday. Five favorites from this week.

What did you read in March?

*This post contains affiliate links which means I make a small percentage if you purchase through my links. Thanks for your support!


  1. Nice reading month, but yeah, those first two sound like emotional reads for sure!!!


  2. I didnt spend a lot of time reading either haha. I have a copy of good luck charm and really should get to it!

  3. I generally am bad at finishing romance books, but I always meant to get around to Meet Cute.
    I'm posting quarantine meals each week too. It's amazing how much time we all have to cook now.

  4. Good luck charm looks cute and has been on my to be read list. Glad you liked it.

  5. I don'y usually like WWII historical fiction, but I loved The Tattooist of Auschwitz (I mean, as much as one can love such a depressing story), and immediately added this one next. I'm glad to hear this follow-up was just as strong as the Tattooist.

  6. i'm so sad the ravenals is over :( i LOVED chasing cassandra. so good.

  7. I always love reading your reviews. I find them super helpful! I haven't read any of these yet!

  8. Just the synopsis of Before and After broke my heart.

  9. I felt The Tattooist of Auschwitz was so powerful, so I will definitely be reading Cilka's Journey.
    Wow. I know nothing about the TCHS, and your review of Before and After sounds heartbreaking.

  10. I'm super interested in Cilka's Journey. I read the Tattoist a while ago, but of course it still lingers in my mind. Enjoy your month, and take care of you and yours :)

  11. Before We Were Yours broke my heart and I am not in the habit of having my heart broken time after time, but now I need to read Before and After because I want to hear more true-life stories about this dark adoption agency. I am also adding The Tattooist of Auschwitz to my TBR since your mention of Cilka's Journey reminded me that I had been wanting to add it after hearing it was hopeful despite the atrocious circumstances

    Here are my March reads, if interested: https://elle-alice.blogspot.com/2020/03/march-book-reviews.html


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