Book Review Tuesday: The Last Pilgrim by Noelle Granger, Pretty Evil New England #truecrime @SueColetta, Magical Whispers #Poetry @BalroopShado

Warm and cozy window seat with cushions and a opened book, light through vintage shutters, rustic style home decor. Small cat on window seat, along with coffee cup by pillow, Words Book Review Tuesday superimposed over image

I missed doing a Book Review Tuesday last week. Hubby and I have started a new remodeling project so my reading time took a hit. Today, however, I’ve got some great books to share. Two are based on historic accounts and actual events, the third is a soothing and mesmerizing book of poetry. Take a look . . .

Book cover for The Last Pilgrim by Noelle Granger shoes girl in colonial dress standing on shore looking to clipper ship at seaThe Last Pilgrim
by Noelle Granger

The Last Pilgrim is an amazingly researched historical novel detailing the life of Mary Allerton Cushman, the last survivor from the Mayflower. Mary was four years old when she arrived at the Plymouth Colony. She lived to be 88, dying in 1699. During her lengthy life she experienced the hardships, upheaval, and struggle to survive in a new land. Her growth from curious, wayward child to strong, intelligent woman takes the reader on a remarkable journey populated by historical figures and events.

The author delves into multiple issues ranging from political disputes, relations with neighboring tribes, even religious disagreements. Everyday life is presented in such engrossing detail it’s easy to lose track of time as Granger immerses her readers in a world all but unfathomable today. Her passion for those she has undertaken to write about, along her meticulous research, shines through in every passage. I found myself reluctant to stop reading at night when sleep called.

Close up of a 19th century woman from nose to chest, with blood splatter over imagePretty Evil New England: True Stories of Violent Vixens and Murderous Matriarchs
by Sue Coletta

In Pretty Evil New England, author Sue Coletta takes a look at five 19th century female serial killers and their victims, including how these women—all who moved within genteel society without arousing suspicion—perpetrated their crimes. In some cases, the killers were highly respected individuals and often times, the victims were members of their own family. Coletta’s meticulous research provides detailed backgrounds of each killer, along with glimpses into the disturbed workings of their mind and how each sought to justify their actions. There is insanity, narcissism, and heartless manipulation, among other twisted motivations. I found Coletta’s explanations of how female serial killers differ from their male counterparts surprisingly eye-opening.

The book is divided into sections, each devoted to a particular killer and her victims. But it isn’t just the actual crimes Coletta focuses on. She also shows us how each woman was apprehended, then places the reader in the courtroom for an in depth look at her trial, and the outcome. The subject matter, while grim in nature, is in no way gruesome to read, and Coletta’s manner of delivery is thoroughly engrossing, the writing flawless. I highly recommend Pretty Evil New England to fans of true crime, AND crime fiction and suspense novels. The author held me spellbound from cover to cover and I finished this book in two days.

I received an ARC of this book for an honest review.
I give Pretty Evil New England 5 Stars!

Pre-Order from Amazon (Releases November 1)
Genre: Biographies of Serial Killers > History of New England U.S.

Book cover for Magical Whispers shows waterfall tumbling over rocksMagical Whispers
by Balroop Singh

This beautiful collection of poems focuses mostly on elements of nature, offering stunning verses that speak to heart. The author uses words like a paintbrush, conjuring images that seep with tranquility, ebbing like a gentle tide into the spirit and mind. Spend time with each exquisite verse. These are poems to absorb and savor. Poetry is personal and touches each in a different manner. Verses resonate differently with each individual, but I have no doubt there is something mesmerizing for each in this collection that varies in tone from serene, to mystical, to thoroughly enchanting. Those that particularly resonated with me included Life is much More, Magic, A Concert, and A Moon Fairy (among others). I am frequently in awe of this poet’s skill with weaving words on a loom. If you love words…if you love deftly layered verse, this collection is not to be missed.

Genre: Poetry

I give Magical Whispers 5 Stars!

Thanks for joining me today. This will be my last Book Review Tuesday for quite some time, as I plan to go dark during the month of November to concentrate on NaNoWriMo. I’ll still pop in on Story Empire, as I have responsibilities there, but otherwise you won’t see me online much, if at all. I’ll miss everyone but hope you’ll understand my need to focus on my WIP—I really MUST get it done! Hopefully, when I resurface in December, I’ll be sharing the wonderful news that I met my 50K goal and finished the thing 🙂

I do have a guest scheduled this Thursday and hope you’ll return to chat and wish him well.

70 thoughts on “Book Review Tuesday: The Last Pilgrim by Noelle Granger, Pretty Evil New England #truecrime @SueColetta, Magical Whispers #Poetry @BalroopShado

  1. I hope your house project is going smoothly for you!

    Great reviews, Mae. I enjoyed Balroop’s collection too. The other two are on my reading list and I’m eager to read them.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I should finish The Last Pilgrim tomorrow. I skimmed past your review, Mae, because I try not to be influenced by others. I’ll double back and see how we compared after I post my review.

    Liked by 4 people

    • I’m a fan of historical fiction (certain time periods), but even for those who aren’t, I think The Last Pilgrim would be enthralling. I learned so much and found it compelling–Mary’s life was amazing.

      I’m glad you’re engrossed in Pretty Evil New England. I’m usually a little freaky about true crime books, but I was spellbound. The time period during which it was set made it so unique, Sue outdid herself with this book!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. What a great group of reads! Pretty Evil is already on my TBR and The Last Pilgrim sounds so compelling. I haven’t read any true historical fiction in awhile but lately I’ve seen a few reviews that make me want to rectify that.

    Liked by 2 people

    • So glad to hear Pretty Evil New England is on your TBR, Tessa. It’s a fantastic book. I was especially intrigued because of the time period.

      I always enjoy good historical fiction and found The Last Pilgrim exceptional. It’s amazing what the early settlers endured.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Wow, three great reviews for three books I suspect are equally great! I’m already planning to read Pretty Evil New England, even though I’m not usually drawn to true crime, because a) I think Sue Coletta’s style will make it easier to read and b) crimes from generations ago are somehow a step or two removed from our lives in a way that helps prevent nightmares. Your excellent review has convinced me I’ll be engrossed in her retelling of these events.

    And now, I want to read The Last Pilgrim, too. Like you, I know very few details about this period in history, and am interested in finding out more.

    And I already have Balroop’s book on my Kindle. I love poetry and should pull it up to the top. After all, it’s easy to fit poems in here and there, between longer books. They usually make excellent diversions.

    Great post today, Mae. Thanks for letting us know how you felt about each of these books! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Marcia, I think you would enjoy all three of these. Balroop’s poetry is so soothing and beautiful. Noelle’s book is compellingly told, and such an eye-opener as to what the early settlers had to endure.

      And I’m like you when it comes to true crime. I loved Sue’s book for exactly the reasons you mentioned–her writing and ability to suck me in with each page. I also feel having these crimes occur in an older century makes them seem more removed. I’m fascinated by the late 19th century and early 20th century, so this book was an excellent fit for me.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. I’ve pre-ordered Sue’s book and am waiting for it to come out:) All three books sound fabulous. I like historical fiction. You learn about the time period while you enjoy the story. And poetry makes language shine. Great reviews, as always. And hope in December, you have a book finished.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Judi! ❤️ If you don’t want to wait, I could send you the download link for the pdf. It doesn’t transfer to a Kindle due to all the photographs and design features, so you’d have to read with Adobe Acrobat or other pdf reader. That’s the one drawback of ARCs for true crime.

      Liked by 1 person

    • So glad you’ve got Sue’s book on pre-order. I know you’ll be glued to the pages, Judi.
      Balroop definitely makes language shine with her book of poetry, and Noelle put the early settlers and the Massachusetts Bay Colony under a microscope with The Last Pilgrim. Like you, I love historical fiction because it’s an education, as well as being entertaining!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you for a heart-warming review of Magical Whispers Mae, I love your words that exude love for poetry… “ebbing like a gentle tide into the spirit and mind.” Wow… I am humbled by your choice of words! Poetry is meant to reach the heart and the soul.
    Thanks for recommending The Last Pilgrim and Pretty Evil, your reviews are inspiring.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed my review of Magical Whispers, Balroop (and the other reviews, too). Your poetry always speaks to my soul, heart, and mind. I can feel your passion for words in each poem. Your love of the form (poetry) always shines through.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Excellent reviews of these three great books. Sometimes historical novel tends to be dry when working the facts into the novel. It’s good that The Last Pilgrim adds colors to these people’s lives. I know Balroop’s poetry is lovely. Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Thank you for the wonderful review, MC! I’m so glad you liked it. It’s the first book I actually cried over while writing some of the chapters. I did get really invested in the characters. And now you’ve given me two MORE books to read!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Noelle, I can thoroughly understand why you became invested in the characters. You brought them and the time in which they lived so vividly to life. I now have a new and deep appreciation for early settlers. You really wrote a spectacular book!

      And, as always, I love adding to TBRs, LOL!


  9. I thoroughly enjoyed Noelle’s The Last Pilgrim and Balroop’s Magical Whispers. I haven’t read Sue’s book, but she is the leading authority on grisly serial killers. Lol. Her book sounds fascinating! Thanks for the great recommendation. 🙂


  10. Pingback: Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Christmas Book Fair – #Romance Linda Bradley, #Paranormal Mae Clair, #Western Sandra Cox, #Stories/Poetry M.J. Mallon, #Poetry Miriam Hurdle | Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

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