Light From a Distant Star - Mary McGarry Morris ★★★

I have been torn between giving Light From a Distant Star by Mary McGarry Morris ★★★ or ★★★★.  Since I am uncertain, I will have to go with the lesser of the stars. I do admit, it was a good book and it held my attention, however it seemed like it dragged on.  I want to point out that there were to many "events" that took place that really didn't need to be included in the book in the first place. They just seemed pointless and didn't have any significance to the story. I felt that they were just page fillers. Finally (after half the book) you get to the point that you've been waiting for and it drags on. Nellie tells both her parents about what she knows and they don't believe her, or won't believe her. A good man ends up being punished for another mans act, and its not until AFTER everything that the truth finally comes out. A little to late.
I was rooting for Max the whole time. I feel that he was just a troubled man who was trying to turn things around. Although, he is now long gone and out of the picture, I still hope the best for him.


The Thirteenth Tale - Diane Setterfield ★★

I wanted to like this book. I read the reviews before I nominated it as one of our book club picks and it seemed like an enjoyable read. Unfortunately, I had to give The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield only two stars. The biggest reason I marked it down was because of the detail. Don't get me wrong...every book should have detail. Otherwise, we wouldn't be able to create the fictional world and/or characters in our minds. Yet, this book just had WAY too much description. It took nearly two pages to describe a burnt down house.
There was so much description that I tended to get lost in what I was reading. I consider myself to be a very good reader. I'm fairly quick and I understand what goes on even if I were to skim the pages...but during the Thirteenth Tale, I caught myself having to go back and re-read what I read just to understand it. I also recall at least three times that I couldn't even decipher which narrator was telling the story. As much as I tried (I had to finish it for book club!) I just couldn't get into it. I think it was around chapter on page 280 (of 406) that I started to finally get into it. I don't know if it was because it got interesting, or because I saw that the end was near.
Then there comes the plot twist that didn't leave me in shock. It wasn't a scene stealing, "OMG" moment. To me, it was no surprise and almost expected. The Postscript section, although probably for some readers was needed as a point of closer, left me feeling that it wasn't really needed. Or at least it could have been better...like :::SPOILER ALERT!!!:::::

some freak mix up at the hospital and Margaret's twin, never really died at birth. Now that would of been a shocker and a jaw dropping end to an otherwise not very captivating (in my opinion) book.
Diane Setterfield also makes a ton of references to Jane Eyre, which is somewhat ironic only because this reminded me of a Jane Eyre story as it was a hard read. I thought Jane Eyre was a hard read only because of the early language. At least Jane Eyre was easier to follow because I didn't have to re-read details and details about Jane and Rochester just to get their story. I only had to look up definitions.

So again, as much as I would want to give The Thirteenth Tale at least 4 stars...I am sad to say that it was a two star book.