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Posted August 20, 2012
I was pulled in from the first sentence, "Laura Kingsley Austin was Jean Harlow beautiful." I loved the writing. You can read the sample and see what I mean. This is not a time period that I normally read about, but I thought it was well done. There are just enough historical details to get the feeling of when it is taking place. I really felt for Laura in this story. As a mother, I can't imagine anything worse than losing a child in any way. There are plenty of surprising twists on the way to finding Todd that keep you reading. This is a great read and I recommend it.
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Posted September 19, 2012
I've always been fascinated with the Roaring 20's. In fact, if I believed in reincarnation, I'd believe that I had lived before in that era. I love the clothes, the excitement of Prohibition days, and the times alive with headlines of gangsters and tommy guns! Carol Tibaldi brings the Roaring 20's alive in her book "Willow Pond" with all its details and with a kidnapping to boot!
Her characters are drawn with such specifics that I easily fell into suspended belief. Virginia, the red-hot mama of her own speakeasy is brash and ballsy as she takes it upon herself to search out the whereabouts of little Todd her kidnapped grand nephew. Her fearlessness is so indicative of the times and is a great breath of fresh air to women who are looking for a feminist ideal. She's my favorite character in this novel. I loved her beauty and panache! Great characterization!
Other main characters such as Erich and Laura, the star struck lovers--journalist and mother of missing little Todd, respectively, are both sympathetic and darlings of the book. Their love affair is not over-done, but is realistic and believable within the context of the story. It's very entertaining and keeps the action moving along as they investigate leads to Todd's kidnapper.
I loved one of the villians! Great choice of a kidnapping story that nearly dwelt behind the scenes and stole the show in my mind. This was a genius way of keeping me reading. I couldn't wait to find out more about baby Todd's actual circumstances, and how they were going to find him.
"Willow Pond" is a wonderful book told with a great hand by Carol Tibaldi. She doesn't disappoint!
The Roaring 20's comes alive with this story told in the flavor of the Lindburg kidnapping. I highly suggest it to my readers of all genre. Slip into something comfortable for this good read! And, I also suggest getting it in paperback...the cover is gorgeous and great for your library collection since Carol is writing her sequel!
Posted August 26, 2012
Step back into the 20's and embark on a journey that will take you on a wild goose chase through speakeasies, across the ocean and well over a years time. Willow Pond is about finding the truth, fighting through heartache and learning to forgive and start again. I enjoyed this novel and rate it 3.5 stars.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 22, 2012
4.5 stars... I did not expect to love this book but I did! For me a good
plot goes along way; I tend to not get to overly picky on the details,
and I was very impressed with Carol Tibaldis style. However, there were
a few minor things I should mention. A few parts were a little confusing
to me and I had to re-read, and there were a few times that an action
from a character did not seem to make a lot of sense, or felt
unnecessary (as in should have been deleted). But again, I thought the
storyline she created was definitely original and entertaining. I liked
the vivid descriptions and felt like I was inside the story from the
very beginning. I would love to read more from this author in the future
and think she has great potential.
Posted August 20, 2012
A novel filled with plenty of mystery and intrigue. As the heroine Laura
experiences every womans worst nightmare: her young son is kidnapped. If
that were not bad enough, the police cannot be counted on to be any sort
of help, so it is up to Laura (with the help of the handsome reporter
Eric), to try and find her son on her own. But it will not be easy, and
it is even worse when the kidnapper might be someone close to her.
Author Carol Tibaldi carries the reader along at a pace that will keep
you turning the pages to find out what happens next. Fans of Historical
or contemporary suspense-thrillers who are looking for something new and
addicting are sure to love it.
Posted August 19, 2012
Willow Pond by Carol Tibaldi has all the elements one could hope for
from a great novel…a mystery, secrets, lawlessness, a certain sense of
helplessness, romance, danger...you name it. On one hand I think Ms.
Tibaldi should be commended for taking on such an ambitious undertaking
of the multiple storylines in a historical setting. But as they say, the
devil is in the details, and more than once I found myself forgetting
that this story was supposed to be set 80-90 years ago, as much of it
felt just a little too current. I can not exactly put my finger on why,
as there were plenty of descriptions suitable for the time period. Maybe
it was the dialogue…I don’t know. However, even with that it did not
make me dislike the novel any…I thought it was a fairly good read and I
Posted August 17, 2012
This book was fabulous, a real breath of fresh air! What lovely prose
and vivid atmosphere Carol Tibaldi wove into this fascinating novel!
After reading the book, then re-reading the description, I feel like the
synopsis does not do it justice. Not that it is bad, just that there is
so much more to this book that you really have to read in order to
experience…from the relationships between the main character Laura and
her aunt Virginia (quite the personality!), to her conflict with her
shady ex-husband Todd, the romance with newspaper reporter Erich, all
set against the enticing backdrop of the Prohibition and all that goes
with it. Plus, the twists you do not see coming. This book was a
wonderful experience and should not be missed
Posted August 15, 2012
A complex and riveting story – I read and enjoy a wide variety of
novels, and two of my favorite genres are historical romance, and
thriller/suspense. But it is rare that I find a book that covers both
those angles, the way that Willow Pond by Carol Tibaldi did. I have
found that so many plots have become overused, formulaic, and downright
repetitive. This was NOT the case with Willow Pond. Not only was the
writing excellent, I found the plot to be original and kept me guessing
until the end. It was rich with layers of emotions and events, ranging
from the banter of Laura and Virginia , to the gut wrenching pain of
losing a son, and her insecurities about a new love interest. I was
glued to my kindle until it was over and thoroughly enjoyed the ride.
Recommend to fans of almost any genre as almost anyone will find
something in this book that they will like.
Posted July 29, 2012
Laura Austin has just successfully left his philandering husband when a mother’s worst dream happens. Her son is kidnapped while at his father’s home of Willow Pond. Laura is sure that Phillip is behind it because his movie career is waning and there’s nothing like a hot story to bring him back. She never even considers the other people in her life.
In the Roaring Twenties in New York where flappers abound and dirty deeds are blamed on the mob, the police are duds where investigation is concerned and, when the man they’ve just discovered was part of the deed ends up with a bullet in the head they’re stuck. Laura’s aunt Virginia has mob connections through her speak-easys and her lavish salon called Baccanel. Does she has have what it will take to help Laura find her son? Or – is she in on it? Never!
This first novel is a gem. The descriptions of clothing, vehicles and saloons are dead on. The characters know all the local language from the era and the plot unfolds really well. Ms. Tibaldi has done an excellent job of keeping us on the edge while waiting for Todd to be found. If he is, that is.
Posted July 16, 2012
This is one of those books that simply describing the plot and what happens doesn’t do it justice. You really have to experience it for yourself to understand just how different and wonderful this story is. I admit that just reading the description I was intrigued, but not totally hooked, and I’m really glad I gave it a chance! I was surprisingly impressed with the multi-layered plot that Ms. Tibaldi managed to work together in a way that captured me and wouldn’t let me go until the conclusion. Showing the story from the different points of view really enhanced my overall connection to the plot and the characters. And I have to add that for a debut author, Ms. Tibaldi avoids many of the common pitfalls many new authors succumb to. She keeps the pace moving, avoids unnecessary ‘info dumps’ and tedious backstory, and presented a polished, professional product that could sit proudly on any bookstore in America. This book is a gem and one that I’m happy I had a chance to read, and hope others do too!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 16, 2012
Loved it, loved it! Read start to finish without stopping. The story instantly takes you back to another time where we meet the fascinating cast of Willow Pond. I won’t re-hash the whole plot, just say that I thought the story flowed well and I thought all the characters were really believable and perfectly described. I felt like I was watching a movie in my head as I read along, and think it SHOULD be made into a movie! I almost think that the book needed to be longer in order to really explore all the different angles and subplots that weaved in and out of this complex tale. I just wish we could have seen more of certain elements...specifically the relationship with Erich and Laura, and I wish we could have felt Laura’s struggle a little more, because sometimes she came off as detached and cold. But taken as a whole, with the settings, the writing, the plot, and the characters that stayed with me after I finished reading, I have to give this book 5 stars because it really was one of the better books I’d read in a while, and I know I’ll want to re-read it again someday.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 16, 2012
Willow Pond by Carol Tibaldi is a complex tale of suspense, intrigue, mystery, romance, and danger. Set in the Prohibition era, the plot revolves around the kidnapping of a young boy named Todd, and his mother, Laura’s, attempt to find him. Along the way there are twists and turns that keep the reader wondering what is really going on, and who really kidnapped Todd and why. There were so many great things about this book that I adored– I loved Ms. Tibaldi’s writing and felt an easy connection with each of the characters. I enjoyed the scenery, but at times wish there would have been more details. The characters were great, and probably the strongest point of the story. The plot, while it kept my interest and I just had to find out what happened next, was well-executed for the most part, but there were a few parts that I thought could have used some improvement (or cutting). But this was a unique story that I really enjoyed reading, and if this author ever writes any more in this genre I’ll happily read it!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 1, 2012
Willow Pond by Carol Tibaldi is one of those books that you don’t want to put down until you have reached the very end (you have been warned!) Right off the bat we are transported back in to time and thrust into a mystery…who kidnapped Laura Austin’s son? The twists keep coming, and the writing was really clear and coherent. The relationships between the characters (especially Laura and her Aunt) were believable and felt authentic. I thought it was very easy to get lost in this story, and although there were a few minor editing things, it didn’t lessen my enjoyment of this novel any. I definitely recommend this to anyone who wants a fast paced read that is interesting and takes you to another era.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 1, 2012
From the second I read this book’s description I knew I needed to have it: Suspense, mystery, romance, intrigue, all set against the backdrop of a 1930’s speakeasy. Awesome!!! And I am happy to report I was not disappointed one bit!! Carol Tibaldi’s writing style is smooth and easy to follow, and she paints a vivid and colorful picture of New York in the 30’s. I felt transported into the lives of characters as they try to unravel the mystery behind the kidnapping of Laura’s son, Todd. The author did a fabulous job of building the tension in the story, especially between Laura and her aunt Virginia, and with the frustration of an incompetent police force that makes one mistake after another. It just shows how differently things were done back then, and gives great insight into the life of a woman in the 30’s and the mind of a mother who has lost her son. I read this whole book in 2 nights and enjoyed every bit of it. Highly recommend to fans of thrillers/mysteries/romance/historical fiction.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 1, 2012
There were many things I positively loved about this book, and a few that left me feeling that I wanted a bit more. I loved the setting of this story and felt that the plot was definitely engaging and extremely well-written. I loved the attention to detail and the nuance that, for me, really breathed life into the story. I genuinely cared for each of the characters and felt that they were three-dimensional and fleshed out. I loved that they didn’t fall into the same shallow stereotypes I seem to see so often in books in the thriller/mystery genre. There were times, however, that I felt too removed from the story, and didn’t feel the amount of emotion that, for me, is necessary to really fall into a book. This had more to do with the characters’ reactions to situations (mainly the mother, Laura) and her plight over her son, which, for me, could have used more depth. As a mother, I couldn’t imagine living my life if my child was missing, but I do understand that everyone deals and copes in their own way. I’m not saying that it is right or wrong, just for me it was a bit of a disconnect because I couldn’t relate with the character as much. With that said, “Willow Pond” was a fabulous read that I enjoyed immensely and I already loaned my copy to my sister and told her she had to read it!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 1, 2012
Wow! Really good!
I didn’t really know what to expect with this book other than what I read from the description, but I must say I was pleasantly surprised! I really liked Ms. Tibaldi’s “voice” as the author of this “historical” novel. That is something that cannot be taught (in my opinion), and although I thought there were a few places that needed tightening or more detail (specifically the time period setting – I would have liked to see more there), Ms. Tibaldi is obviously a gifted storyteller with a knack for weaving an intriguing and complex plot, one that kept me tuned in anxiously awaiting the conclusion. I was happy with the ending and would be interested in further works from this author.
Posted June 1, 2012
Even though this premise isn’t exactly what one would consider “original” in a crime novel (a kidnapping), the story as a whole --complete with gangsters, a bootlegging aunt of the MC, a fledgling romance between mother and newsman creates a wholly different type of book, one that feels refreshing and new, yet still maintains the comforting feel of a familiar old friend. I love reading books set in the “anything but here” world (history, paranormals, foreign, etc…), but the thing that I noticed about this book was that it felt current… a little “too current” like sometimes I was reading in the present day, not decades ago. I gotta say though that I loved the personalities of Laura and Virginia, and thought the author did a really great job of pacing the chapters and the book so that it moved at a good pace. Not too fast, not too slow. I would definitely recommend this book to my friends.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 1, 2012
It took me a bit to lose myself in this book, as there was a lot happening and a lot of characters to meet right off the bat. But once I got my bearings I found myself totally and blissfully immersed in the complex and entertaining storyline. Ms. Tibaldi has a real gift for making each scene feel real and authentic, and the characters were all really believable. Normally in books I can find places where the dialogue sounds stilted or fake but that wasn’t the case here. I was captivated wondering who kidnapped laura’s son Todd from her actor husband (who seems to care more about appearances than his missing son), and loved the details that made me feel like I was in another time and place. If you like crime stories, women’s lit, and historical pieces then you will love this book. I did.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 1, 2012
I was hooked literally from the first sentence: “Laura Kingsley Austin was Jean Harlow beautiful.” What a great opening line that does so much in so few words! I already pictured the character perfectly and felt an immediate sense of being transported into another time and place. Tibaldi does a fabulous job of “showing” the story instead of “telling” – providing the reader with enough details on the era to remind us of where and when we are, while allowing the story to unfold at a natural, brisk pace. I have to admit I am a huge fan of the short chapters as it keeps me rapidly turning the pages for “just a little bit more”…and before I know it, I’m done! I liked the romance between Erich and Laura, but felt it took a backstage to the other relationships in this book, mainly the one between Laura and Virginia (which was great!) And Laura and her ex-husband Phillip, the famous movie star and father of her missing son. If you like a story with mystery, twists, unexpected surprises and a riveting plot, then this is one you definitely don’t want to miss!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 1, 2012
Willow Pond is the first book I’ve read by author Carol Tibaldi, and I suspect it won’t be the last. On many levels it was fabulous and very well-written, yet was not without its flaws (but what book is perfect?) I found the romance between Laura and Erich to be too convenient, and wish it hadn’t been part of the story. But I loved the dynamic between Laura and her aunt Virginia, and even with her jerk ex, Phillip. The story had much going for it in terms of suspense, danger, and unpredictable plot twists. I suppose everyone loves a good romance story, but for me the real star of the show was non-romantic relationships. I will say that I did enjoy the ending, and thought the plot execution was smooth with a satisfying conclusion.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.