Natalie DeAngelo is grieving the loss of her two sons in a school shooting. Even after a year, she still finds herself the focus of far too much attention, and lives with her memories and her despair. Then she hears about a sanctuary for elephants in Thailand, and decides on a change of scenery for a year to help with her healing.
As soon as she arrives, Natalie is caught between the animosity of a fellow vet and the rampages of an injured elephant named Sophie. Everyone else sees the elephant as a danger, but Natalie knows she’s just hurt and scared. Natalie puts all her effort into healing Sophie’s body and mind—and hopes that she just might do some healing herself.
The Mourning Parade is a fascinating book focused on enigmatic animals. The setting is rich with detail, and so vivid you can almost smell the steamy climate. The elephants are just as much characters in the novel as Natalie is, and the bond between Natalie and Sophie is incredible. I loved this book. It was emotional, but healing and inspirational, too. Highly recommended!
Dawn Reno Langley loves to write novels, essays, poetry…she just loves to write. The Mourning Parade is her newest novel.
(Galley provided by Amberjack Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.)
Life in Boston in 1889 isn’t easy. Especially for two boys with no family and no home. Charles has been on his own for two years, living on the streets and resorting to petty crimes to stay alive. Aidan’s mother can’t stay sober, leaving him to provide for her and his sister. Together, he and Charles are better off than alone. But when a simple robbery goes bad, they have no choice but to leave the city if they are to escape arrest.
So they con their way onto the Boston Farm School, located a mile out in the Boston Harbor. But the superintendent is intent on keeping the bad element out of his school, so Charles and Aidan must keep their secrets, or risk expulsion and jail time. Soon their friendship starts to fall apart under the strain, as the truth becomes harder to hide.
The Island of Worthy Boys explores the harder side of life in Boston at the turn of the last century. It isn’t glitzy or glamorous, but hard and dangerous. The bond that grows between Charles and Aidan is strong and touching, and their experiences in the city are horrifying, but their friendship gives them something to fall back on as their lives take a dramatic change.
(Galley provided by She Writes Press via NetGalley.)