Anna, a woman who is lying her way through her marriage and relationship with her lover, is laying plans to meet another man, Joe. This man, with baggage of his own, desires to make Anna his prize. Neither of them is looking for a commitment–they have their own supposed committed relationships. Neither of them wants more than a night together, but they both feel the pull that is trying to keep them from ever separating. Anna’s life as a television host, and celebrity in her own right, serves to fascinate him in a way he can’t explain. Her life in Lebanon is one she herself can’t fully explain as she faces the end of what was supposed to be their only night together.
Masks, by Nataly Restokian, details the life of Anna, a highly successful young woman who has managed to make a name for herself in the world despite the challenges she faced growing up. She is outspoken, loved by all who watch her on television, still lacking something in her life. As hard as she has worked and as much as she wants to maintain her lifestyle, Anna can’t help but feel that all of her success has left her empty. Restokian is a masterful storyteller and manages to make Anna relatable and draws the reader into Anna’s fascinating life.
The main character’s history with her family is integral to her success–and her struggle. It is easy to see why Anna fights so hard to make a difference and to make her name synonymous with achievement. Readers will appreciate the description of her youth and her parents’ treatment of her. Many can relate to the sermons she receives from her overbearing mother and the difference Anna’s parents make between her and her sister.
Restokian’s book begins as a torrid romance and soon turns into a touching account of Anna’s past and how the decisions made by both her and her family lead her down a new path–one that she never saw herself needing. I assumed by the tone of the first few pages that Masks would be similar to other romance plots I have read. However, it was soon evident that Restokian took a different tone. The author does not use vulgarity to describe intimate scenes. Instead, she tastefully details touching and loving scenes between Anna and Joe.
I listened to the audiobook version of Masks. The narration is well-done and makes for an easy listening experience. Narrator, Nicole Rene, is adept at tone, making appropriate changes in dialogue delivery, and bringing the reader into the story-line.
Restokian’s work goes far beyond a romance. It speaks loudly and clearly about women’s rights, honor, and determination. Anna, the main character, stands boldly as both a victim of society and an example of survival and triumph. Masks is a must for anyone looking for a romance with an intellectual and poignant message. I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.
Listening Length: 7 hrs 48 minutes | ASIN: B07YVM9TQW
Genevieve Delany doesn’t have the easiest of lives. Nestled in the Tennessee hills, she resides in her family’s cabin virtually alone, attending high school, and alternately checking on and being checked on by her mother’s troubled brother, John. Gen, as she is called by her small family, finds herself overcome with any and every emotion possible for a young girl her age. From her newly discovered feelings for Kenneth, the son of Sevierville’s doctor, to her fascination with the moving stars that dance above Locust Ridge, to the night terrors that have begun to plague her, Gen is dealing with more than any one girl should ever face.
The Stars of Locust Ridge, by Craig Moody, is a mesmerizing tale of a young Tennessee girl caught up in a madness she cannot explain and isn’t sure she wants to fully understand. Genevieve is wise beyond her years but at the same time, she is terribly naive and impulsive. Raising herself and depending on occasional comfort from her uncle, who has his own set of issues to face, she remains confused about the way her teenage life is changing and has as many questions about her feelings as she does about her own background. Unanswered questions seem to be the focal point of Moody’s work.
I flew through Moody’s book and allowed my sleep to be preempted by the tragic turns of Genevieve’s life. There are so many things I want to expound upon, but I won’t spoil Moody’s work for readers. I will say this–Moody begins the book with numerous loose ends that the reader sees flying about like so many fall leaves in a whirlwind. They all seem to be related, but the reader doesn’t see how they could possibly ever connect. The true beauty of Gen’s story is that they, indeed, are connected and tie together neatly and into one fantastically written gift by the book’s end.
I am not sure I can say that Moody’s work isn’t completely realistic fiction. The way Moody presents Gen and her feelings about her supernatural encounters, the reader is left wondering, if not hoping, there might actually be life out there beyond our planet. I can honestly say that Gen’s humble life and her innocent outlook on her close encounters leaves me with a feeling much different from any other book I have ever read on the topic. The way Moody intertwines her tragic life with the notion of extraterrestrial beings is unique and captivating.
I could write for days on the treasure that is The Stars of Locust Ridge. Craig Moody, a new author for me, has skyrocketed to the top of my list of favorites. At just under 250 pages, it is a quick read with charming characters and a truly engaging plot that will leave you guessing to the very end. Nothing is more satisfying than trying to outguess yourself as you read, and Craig Moody succeeds in providing readers with just that type of reading experience.
Pages: 244 | ASIN: B07KSXPGJK