Friday, March 1, 2013

Book Review: “Yesterday’s Sun” by Amanda Brooke

Yesterday's SunYesterday’s Sun Amanda Brooke
Published: February 12, 2013
ISBN-10: 0062131834
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Source: TLC Book Tours
Highly Recommended

Summary (from the back of the book): Newlyweds Holly and Tom have just moved into an old manor house in the English countryside.  With the renovations on their new home underway, Tom hesitantly brings up the idea of having a baby.  Holly halfheartedly agrees to start a family once things settle down, despite her own fraught childhood.

While Tom’s away on business, one of the contractors discovers a carved wooden box containing a crystal orb and brass fittings, which Holly realizes must somehow fit into the stone sundial in the overgrown garden.  But what she has just reconstructed is a moondial, an ancient Aztec artifact installed by the estate’s original owner.

At each full moon, through the power of the moondial, Holly can see into the future—one that holds Tom cradling their baby daughter, Libby, and mourning Holly’s death in childbirth.  The moondial is offering her a desperate choice: give Tom the baby he has always wanted and sacrifice her own life, or save herself and erase the life of the daughter she has grown to love over the course of these visions.

Thoughts on Content (4.0 / 5.0): I don’t recall ever reading a similar book as far as storylines go, but the gist of the story—what a mother would do for her child—is as old as time.  That alone made this a worthwhile book for me.  Holly’s transformation from reluctantly agreeing to a child to falling in love with her daughter is utterly realistic (so much so that I couldn’t bear to read this book without reading the end first…no matter how it ended, I had to be prepared!).  There are other facets of this story that also ring true—Holly and Tom’s relationship, Holly’s recovery from her own unhappy childhood, and her growing friendship with an elderly townswoman, Jocelyn.

What didn’t ring true for me was the whole aspect of the Aztec artifact.  Given the storyline, I was willing to suspend disbelief and accept the supernatural aspect of it all.  But going the way of the the cliched Aztec doom and gloom was just a bit too much for me.  I would rather Brooke had glossed over the origins of the orb, rather than go into the old Aztec detail.

Thoughts on Style (5.0 / 5.0):
I don’t know if this is Brooke’s first book, but she is clearly a gifted writer.  I was drawn in immediately. While I personally cannot relate to Holly’s sad childhood, I could easily feel her pain and how she was torn about whether or not she would have a child and then whether or not she could sacrifice her own life for this child.  Descriptively, this book is a winner.  When it comes to any kind of supernatural phenomenon, I think it must be hard to describe it realistically (because, you know, it isn’t realistic), but Brooke succeeds here as well.

This book is also very well paced and it builds up to nice crescendo.  If I had had more self-control and not read the end first, I don’t think I would have predicted how this story would have concluded.  There is more I could say about that, but I would hate to spoil it for anyone!

My Thoughts (4.5 / 5.0): You probably have guessed by now that I loved this book.  Admittedly, the mommy gene probably played into the appeal for me, but even so, I found it to be a great read.  My only complaint, as I’ve mentioned before, is the Aztec aspect.  It could have Celtic, or African, or even Incan and it would not have bothered me—or at least not as much—but having it Aztec just cheapened things in my eyes.

tlc tour host

Need a second opinion?  Check out these stops on the tour:

Tuesday, February 12th: A Patchwork of Books
Monday, February 18th: Luxury Reading
Wednesday, February 20th: Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers
Thursday, February 21st: Excellent Library
Monday, February 25th: Speaking of Books
Tuesday, February 26th: Kritters Ramblings
Wednesday, February 27th: Tiffany’s Bookshelf
Thursday, February 28th: Giraffe Days
Monday, March 4th: Good Girl Gone Redneck

This review is part of a blog tour by TLC Book Tours.  I received a copy of the book to read and review.  I received no other compensation and all opinions are mine, and mine alone.

AFFILIATE LINK: Purchase this book at Amazon.

3 comments:

  1. Sounds interesting, I had not heard of this book, but I'll put it on my library wishlist!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm glad you loved this book (in spite of the Aztec thing ...)!

    Thanks for being a part of the tour.

    ReplyDelete