So I Write

A blog all about books, writing, baking, and life as a woman in her twenties

Hello! I know I have been very absent lately, and I really apologize for that. The past few weeks have been really crazy with final exams and projects, and I have been so focused on them that I honestly have not even had time to think about blogging. However, I am finally done now!! I actually graduate two days from now, and I could not be more excited. So, now I will actually be able to focus on blogging and writing and everything else I love to do, starting with sharing about my featured releases for the month of May!

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Lizzy and Jane couldn’t be further from Jane Austen’s famous sisters for whom they are named.

Elizabeth left her family’s home in Seattle fifteen years ago to pursue her lifelong dream—chefing her own restaurant in New York City. Jane stayed behind to raise a family. Estranged since their mother’s death many years ago, the circumstances of their lives are about to bring them together once again.

Known for her absolute command of her culinary domain, Elizabeth’s gifts in the kitchen have begun to elude her. And patrons and reviewers are noticing. In need of some rest and an opportunity to recover her passion for cooking, Elizabeth jumps at the excuse to rush to her sister’s bedside when Jane is diagnosed with cancer. After all, Elizabeth did the same for their mother. Perhaps this time, it will make a difference.

As Elizabeth pours her renewed energy into her burgeoning interest in Nick, Jane’s handsome coworker, her life begins to evolve from the singular pursuit of her own dream into the beautiful world of family, food, literature, and love that was shattered when she and Jane lost their mother. Will she stay and become Lizzy to her sister’s Jane—and Elizabeth to Nick’s Mr. Darcy—or will she return to the life she has worked so hard to create?

Lizzy and Jane by Katherine Reay

Elizabeth (Lizzy) has spent her entire adult life running from her family and the pain of her past, instead focusing on her gift—her love—of working wonders in the kitchen. But when she loses her “zing,” she takes a vacation to visit her family, and everything changes. While she and her sister Jane have never gotten along, Elizabeth finds herself caring for Jane as she goes through chemotherapy, and this forces Elizabeth to take stock of her life. As she spends time cooking for Jane, and in their “dystopian library,” she can’t help but wonder if what she’s been chasing after hasn’t been what she truly wants all along.

I have found myself completely broken and very challenged at the hands of this novel. Lizzy and Jane will make you reevaluate your life, bring tears to your eyes, and wreck your heart, in the best way possible. I am now completely inspired to change the way I look at life, the way I live my own—and to one day be able to write something even half as meaningful.

As I went through this journey with Lizzy, I couldn’t help but reevaluate my life right along with her. Not only that but watching her help Jane fight through her battle with cancer gave me a whole new perception of what that is like. The raw, real emotion that is felt and experienced over the course of this book was so touching, so understandable, such a true picture of what familial struggles and the fight against cancer are like; I think Katherine captured that perfectly. There wasn’t a “everything will work out,” “happily ever after” sheen on this novel, and that authenticity is just one of the aspects of this novel that made it my favorite of Katherine’s I’ve ever read.

If you’ve ever had a sister, known someone who’s fought cancer, or ever loved food and/or cooking—or Jane Austen—Lizzy and Jane is the perfect read for you.

Rating: 5 bookshelves

Recommend? YES!

All credit for the italicized synopsis goes to Katherine Reay and Thomas Nelson Publishing.

Sometimes we’re allowed to glimpse the beauty within the brokenness…

Savannah Barrington has always found solace at her parents’ lake house in the Berkshires, and it’s the place that she runs to when her husband of over twenty years leaves her. Though her world is shaken, and the future uncertain, she finds hope through an old woman’s wisdom, a little girl’s laughter, and a man who’s willing to risk his own heart to prove to Savannah that she is worthy of love.

But soon Savannah is given a challenge she can’t run away from: Forgiving the unforgivable. Amidst the ancient gardens and musty bookstores of the small town she’s sought refuge in, she must reconcile with the grief that haunts her, the God pursuing her, and the wounds of the past that might be healed after all.

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Happy April! I cannot believe we’re already this far into 2019, I feel like it was just Christmas! But I’m excited about it because that means graduation is getting ever closer! Today, I am bringing back something that I used to do on my old blog, and that is talking about the new book releases that are coming out for the month. My featured releases are the top six books (or less than that depending on the month) that are being released by authors whose books I often read and love, and are books that I highly recommend even though I most likely haven’t read them yet. Then, I have other releases by other authors that I have heard of and often enjoy as well, but are not ones I can recommend with as much confidence, though I do still recommend you giving them a shot. So, let’s get to it!

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In 1918 England, Lieutenant Colin Mabry spends his days decoding messages for M18 after suffering injuries at the front. When he receives an urgent summons by carrier pigeon from Jewel Reyer—a woman who saved his life and whom he believed to be dead—he can only hope he’ll regain the courage he lost on the front lines as he’s driven back into war-torn France.

But Jewel isn’t the one waiting for him in Paris. Instead, it is a stranger who claims to be her half-sister, Johanna, who works at a dovecote for French Army Intelligence. She found Jewel’s diary and believes her sister is alive and in the custody of a German agent. With spies everywhere, Colin is at first skeptical of Johanna, but as they travel across France and Spain, a tentative trust grows.

That trust is quickly put to the test, however, when their pursuit leads them straight into the midst of a treacherous plot and their search for answers quickly turns into a battle for their lives.

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Happy Friday! I cannot believe it’s already the weekend again. Normally I would be really glad, but this weekend it’s a little bittersweet because my boyfriend Bryce will be gone on a youth retreat. Though I suppose that will be good for me so that I actually get more homework done rather than spending the whole weekend with him like I typically do.

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