Wednesday, March 06, 2013

THE CROOKED BRANCH by Jeanine Cummins

I have to tell you, the answers to this question was one of the most interesting ones I've ever gotten! You all have some VERY COOL stories about ancestors! I loved reading each and every one of them! However, random.org chose  
Carly H as the winner for The Crooked Branch!  
Carly, please email me  (stephanieelliot[at]gmail.com) your full name/address so I can get your book to you! And thanks everyone for participating. I have just as much fun reading these as I do blogging about books!




The Crooked Branch by Jeanine Cummins came out this week and while I just got a copy of it yesterday, I was anxious to share it with you all right away. One of the reasons I wanted to share it with you is because I read Jeanine’s memoir, A Rip In Heaven a long time ago, and it was one that I have remembered for many, many years. It is a true-crime story and not only was it a fascinating story, I remembered Jeanine’s writing to be compelling and she drew me in with her words. I can only imagine how her fiction will be!

And turns out, I’m already thrilled with The Crooked Branch because I’ve snuck in two chapters. This story is about a woman who seems to have it all, until she has a difficult first birth. Then, she seems to lose a little bit of herself -- and her mind -- in the process of motherhood. She finds the diary of her great-grandmother and discovers that mental illness may just run in the family. She also uncovers a family murder within the pages of the diary, so there’s a lot of drama and high tension that I’m looking forward to in The Crooked Branch.

Here's a snippet (don't you love that word?) from the back of the book:

After the birth of her daughter Emma, the usually resilient Majella finds herself feeling isolated and exhausted. Then, at her childhood home in Queens, Majella discovers the diary of her maternal ancestor Ginny—and is shocked to read a story of murder in her family history.

With the famine upon her, Ginny Doyle fled from Ireland to America, but not all of her family made it. What happened during those harrowing years, and why does Ginny call herself a killer? Is Majella genetically fated to be a bad mother, despite the fierce tenderness she feels for her baby? Determined to uncover the truth of her heritage and her own identity, Majella sets out to explore Ginny’s past—and discovers surprising truths about her family and ultimately, herself.

So, it turns out that this appears to be a "read-one-story-get-one-free" where you will dive into Majella's story and Ginny's story, both equally exciting and tension-filled!

If you’d like to enter to win a copy of The Crooked Branch, leave a comment here telling us something interesting about an ancestor of yours. Something interesting about my mother’s ancestors – they used to make moonshine! Hahah! That is the truth too!

Also, check out Jeanine's A Rip In Heaven if you are interested in memoir and true-crime stories -- I'm telling you, this is a book that I wasn't able to put down -- it was a shocking book that had me on the edge of my seat and I'm expecting great things from The Crooked Branch as well!

The fine print you should probably read if you want to enter this giveaway if you've never played the Booking with Manic game before! : 

If you're new to Booking with Manic, thank you for stopping by! We love new readers! Some notes - If you're entering to win a book, please leave a comment on this post and use an identifying name when commenting. It's usually a great idea to include an email, which I will never give out to anyone else. You can only enter once please. You'll need to check back here in a few days to see if you've won the book -- I will either list the winner in a new post OR highlight the winner's name at the top of this post, or tell you where you can find the winner's name at the top of this post. I do NOT personally contact the winners. It is YOUR responsibility to come back to see if you've won. Most books are supplied directly through publishers, publicists and the authors. Winners will receive books directly from the publisher or author within 3 weeks from the time you provide me with your address, unless I send you the book (sometimes I will). Sorry, but we can only ship to U.S. and Canada so if you're from another country, thank you for coming by to read and discover new authors, but we can't send you a book. Any questions on how I run the blog or suggestions on who you would like to see featured, please email me at stephanieelliot[at]gmail.com. Thank you for your support!


40 comments:

Melissa said...

I don't know many stories about my ancestors from way back when. I do know that my late great-grandma on my dad's side once brought a dog on a city bus and told the driver that the dog was blind and she was his eyes. The driver thought it was so funny that he let her bring the dog on the bus.

Melissa A from CLC

DaphneSFL said...

The most interesting thing I know is that my dad is a descendant of Sitting Bull.

TaraUB said...

My grandpa hit a baseball from Ferdinand, Indiana to St. Louis, MO. He happened to hit a home run just a a train was going by behind the field and it flew into on of the cars. The train was headed to St. Louis. This would have been pre-1950.

jdstec said...

The Dalton gang (the inept outlaws that tried to rob 2 bank in the same day in Mo)are my ancestors. That didn't work out too well for them, by the way.

Ally said...

My husband has all the crazy family stories. He is Greek and his father was born in Egypt. Greek tradition says that the oldest son of the oldest son should have the paternal grandfather's name. His dad should have been called Basilli, but his other grandfather stole him from the hospital and had him baptized with his name instead.

Emma S. said...

Well, I was adopted at 6 months old, so I don't know much about my birth family, except the adoption agency said it is most likely my birth mother was only 15 or 16 years old when she had me. As for my "real" family, my paternal grandfather fought in WWII in India. He always tanned easily, so the natives thought he was a native, despite being of German descent.

absolutahnie said...

my paternal grandfather left his fhome & family at 14 and took a boat to argentina, worked in a coal mine for one day and hated it so much he hopped on a boat to new york.he spoke no english, to boot.
this boggles my mind -14 years old, doesn't speak the language and starts a new life in a foreign country all on his own. would NEVER happen in today's world!

CAnative said...

Wow this is a hard one for me. I can't think of any stories right now. There must be something but nothing comes to mind.

Nicole

Melissa said...

It was always rumored my great grandmother escaped from her village with her son on her back and had to scale a wall in order to get out.

-tmd636

Juliet Farmer said...

nothing to be proud of, but my grandfather on my dad's side was in the kkk. :(

Mary Jo Burke said...

My great grandfather mined gold in Colorado. He found a nugget and had it made into a ring for my great grandmother.

Katie said...

My great grandpa's family owned a boarding house in Indiana and John Dillinger and his gang came through and asked to rent a room but they made them sleep on the porch so they would not get in trouble if the police came around :).

Kimberly Pearlman said...

I've been told that on my dads side we're descendants of Erik the Red (a horrible viking in most accounts). Oh joy! LOL

Kimmi said...

My great-grandmother was a moonshiner too. She did it to support her family when my great-grandfather went to jail for trying to start a union in his mine.

Jessica said...

I really don't know anything about my ancestors.

Thanks!
-Jessica M
walkingcorpse11@hotmail.com

Bridget T. said...

According to a cousin, my dad picked up a hitchhiker while driving a car from Oklahoma to California, and turns out he was a serial killer. Could be an urban legend, don't remember my dad ever telling me this.

Iambtinrb

Leslie Carmack said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
LeslieGC said...

Ok, I have never thought about it before but I do not know anything interesting or otherwise about my ancestors...that kind of makes me sad!

ncsuloges said...

Dang it!!! Moonshine was going to be mine!!! Well my sister and I always thought it was weird that neither mom nor dad would tell us much about our ancestors. We would ask where we came from and they would always answer, "America." There has got to be something sketchy they are covering up! haha

Bridget O'Neill said...

My great grandfather worked until he was in his 90s, ate bacon every morning for breakfast, and lived until he was 101. He lived in a nursing home with his older sister, who lived until she was 106 years old!!!
I was also told that one of my ancestors was Buffalo Bill.

Bev V said...

My grandfather served in WWI by teaching the gunners how to aim the big guns using trig and other math functions

Margie said...

My paternal grandfather was a shipbuilder in Norway.

betsy_blixt said...

I honestly don't know much about my ancestors. But this has made me want to talk to my mom.

equinn726 said...

My grandparents got to ride in Walt Disney's private plane once.

Tanya Quilts in CO said...

My great grandmother's father tried to sell her after her mother died when she was two years old...

Nanette said...

My grandfather's brother disappeared when he was a kid. They never found him or found out what happened to him. Can you imagine?!?

These books sound REALLY good. I may have to order the first one cuz it sounds really interesting. Mental illness runs in my family.

Thanks for being AWESOME, Manic!

XOXO Nan

Megan said...

My grandfather worked on a government project that my grandmother to this day still won't tell us what it was!
Eloise peaches

Charlotte Lynn said...

My great grandmother passed away when my grandfather was very young. My great grandfather then remarried and the new wife was not so amazing. My grandfather then took on responsiblilty of his 2 younger siblings until they both got married and were able to be on their own.

Kim W. said...

Don't know anything really interesting about my ancestors...no one around anymore to ask. But we are Irish so there must be some crazy drink-related incidents that were kept from us kids ;-)

Anonymous said...

This sounds fantastic. Being of Irish descent, any story that traces back to Ireland in any way always fascinates me. Most of my relatives came over during the potato famine. The only interesting ancestry story I can think of is that my paternal grandmother's family, the McCormick's settled and helped found what is now Indianapolis. Also, my parents went back to Ireland a few years back and randomly asked around in County Claire if there were any Clossey's still living there. They were directed to a widow farmer, Cloughsey. She was incredibly friendly and gave them a copy of her late husband's mass card. He was a dead-ringer (no pun intended) for my grandfather! Very freaky!

~Colbey J

Reese78 said...

This book sounds so good!We're kind of a boring bunch so I guess the best I've got is that my great, great grandpa set up the first Methodist church in the state of Ohio.

Books & Reviews said...

My mother and my fathers side fought against each other in the Mexican revolution. Which might explain why they never got along to well. Lol!

Carly said...

One of my ancestors was banished from England and sent to Australia as punishment for stealing hair pieces.

Carly H

ErinG said...

I've never really dug into my ancestry, so nothing interesting to report! This book sounds amazing though!

Susan @ The Book Bag said...

Nothing real exciting. We do have our family tree done and it's goes back about 11 generations to when my family came over from England in the 1600's. Mindboggling! Also a little closer, I remember as a young child, sitting on my grandma's lap, putting the plugs in the switchboard to connect people's phone calls.

your invisible pixie said...

my grandparents owned a party rental company and rented to a lot of big oscar-type parties back in the day

Caroline31 said...

one of my ancestors was one of the founding members who built and funded the field house at Butler University. No one knew this till my dad received a letter from the University two christmas's ago asking him to come to the ceremony honoring the 50 men.

Hailey said...

My last name is Fish and the Fishes founded Mystic, Connecticut.

I'm pretty sure I'm related to the REAL Hannibal Lector. Albert Fish but his real name is Hamilton Fish and that is a big name in my family.

One of my great great great great grandfathers James Dean Fish bankrupted Ulysses S. Grant.

One of the women in my family (Claire Denison) was married to Mark Twain.

Kelleyc said...

Hhmmmm, nothing interesting that I know of! But having great grandparents from Ireland on one side and Italy on the other, I'm sure there's some interestting tidbits that I just don't know about!!

Becki*** said...

Believe it or not, one of my great or great great Grandmas on the prairie in Iowa, actually had one of those mythical Indian visits where they arrive, walk in and look around. She offered them her best quilt which they took, smiled thanks and left.