April 2017 Review | Just the Right Book! | Secrets of a Charmed Life by Susan Meissner


Just the Right Book! is different than the other book subscriptions I’m reviewing this year in that a real life person actually picks a book out just for me – as opposed to picking out one book to go to all subscribers.

There are numerous subscriptions to choose from. I choose a 12-month softcover subscription, which cost me $240 and I filled out a fairly long and involved profile to indicate what genres, authors, etc. I’m interested in. You can read my past Just the Book! reviews to see how this subscription has worked out for me overall.

Secrets of a Charmed Life by Susan Meissner book coverThe April book was Secrets of a Charmed Life by Susan Meissner. This is not something I’d heard of and is likely something I would not have picked up on my own. I’m glad these folks sent it to me though, because I ended up really love it.

The story is that of two sisters, Emmy and Julia, who are young girls during the Nazi’s attack on London. They, along with all other London children, are evacuated from the city and are taken up by an older woman and her sister, who has an accident-related disability that prevents her from caring for herself. The home they live in is called Thistle House and it’s amazing.

I was ready for the book to just be about their amazing adventures in this house, but instead the girls soon ran away from the home and each got separated from everyone and everything they’d ever known – including each other. The book is the story of one sister searching for the other and trying to accept the loss and grieve it without knowing what really happened to her.

This book was well on its way to a nine out of ten rating but then the author did that thing where in the last twenty or so pages she just started rapidly wrapping everything up into a neat little package. If you like all your questions answered then you’ll like it. I do like to have questions answered bu not at the expense of being taken out of what had been a well-paced story.

That said, this was definitely out of my normal wheelhouse and I liked it quite a bit. I already have a few people in mind to lend it to.

Rating: 8/10 

Recommended for: Fans of historical fiction; WW II buffs; literary fiction lovers; people who want stories about sisters; people who want stories about mothers; people who likely annoyingly tied up books.

Does it pass the Bechdel–Wallace test? Yes

Author of color / main character of color / female author / female main character: N / N / Y / Y

Note: So far, 100% of the books I’ve received from this subscription have been written by women and 0% of them have been written by authors of color.

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2 thoughts on “April 2017 Review | Just the Right Book! | Secrets of a Charmed Life by Susan Meissner

  1. Thanks for all the reviews on “Just the Right Book”. I have been subscribing to a book box that was similar in that you fill out the profile and are HOPEFULLY sent books that are specific to you and your interests. While none of the books I received really “wow’d” me I enjoyed them but am unfortunately having to cancel to a price hike and HORRIBLE customer service. Just the Right Book sounds like it might be my next try.

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