Monday, December 2, 2013

Sharp Objects

Reporter Camille Preaker goes back to her hometown of Wind Gap to investigate the murder of one little girl and the disappearance of another.  She stays in her childhood home with her mother, stepfather and half-sister, Amma.  Missing is little sister Marian who died as a child. Camille has a contentious relationship with her mother and almost no connection with the rest of the family. On this journey she will come to know her half-sister better although what she discovers will unsettle her. Camille also manages to unearth the murderer’s true identity while busy unwrapping the dark layers of her past.

The author writes about deeply disturbed characters as if she knows them intimately. This is a very dark story that will keep you riveted.

Monday, September 23, 2013

The Distant Hours by Kate Morton

A long lost letter puts Edie Burchill on a path to discovering her mother’s secret past. During World War II Edie’s mother, Meredith, is one of scores of children shipped to the countryside to escape Hitler’s bombing of London.  There she is taken in by Raymond Blythe and his three daughters at Milderhurst Castle.

The eldest daughters, Percy and Saffy, are twins from Raymond’s first marriage. Youngest daughter Juniper, from his second, inherited the literary talent of her father, a renowned author, but also suffers from a bit of his madness. When Juniper’s fiancĂ© abandons her, her tenuous grasp of reality further unravels. Juniper’s sisters try their best to protect and care for their little sister.

When Edie is invited to write an introduction to the 50th anniversary edition of  Raymond Blythe’s famous novel, The True History of the Mud Man, she visits Milderhurst Castle to interview the Blythe sisters. Along the way she will uncover the true story behind the masterpiece, a host of other family secrets and a deeper understanding of her mother. Kate Morton’s mysterious Gothic tale, reminiscent of a Daphne du Maurier novel, will keep you enthralled until the end.




Saturday, September 7, 2013

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson

Retired Major Ernest Pettigrew lives in a small village in England. He is a widower who has led a dull life since his wife's passing. He strikes up a friendship with Mrs. Jasmina Ali from Pakistan. His friendship with Mrs. Ali soon becomes the talk of the village. His son doesn't approve nor do his friends. Will Major Pettigrew live his life as he sees fit or will he bow to family and societal pressure? 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Margot by Jillian Cantor

Everyone who’s read The Diary of A Young Girl by Anne Frank knows that Anne and her sister, Margot, died of typhus in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.
But what if Margot didn’t die?
What if she somehow survived and immigrated to Philadelphia?
What if she continued to hide?
That’s the premise of Jillian Cantor’s new novel. It’s 1959, after Anne’s diary has been published, and the movie has been made. Margot has changed herself into Margie Franklin, a Christian from Poland. She works for a law firm, where she pines for her Jewish boss as they take on a Jewish discrimination case. But she really is still in hiding, in her tiny studio apartment, secretly keeping Sabboth and wearing sweaters in the heat of summer to hide her numbered tattoo.
A quiet, thoughtful novel that will get you thinking not only about all the "what-ifs" but I bet after reading it you will go back and want to read "Diary of a Young Girl" by Anne Frank like I did!

FOLLY BEACH by Dorthea Benton Frank

 I had the good fortune this past spring to spend a couple of days on Folly Beach, South Carolina, so of course when this book crossed my desk I was intrigued. I was expecting a total beach read and it was that but with an added dose of historical fiction thrown in which is always a good thing for me!
“Folly Beach” by Dorothea Benton Frank,  alternates between telling the story of Cate Cooper, a recent widow, who returns to her childhood home on Folly Beach to find out who she really always was meant to be and the true story of Dorothy and Du Bose Heyward, who co-wrote “Porgy and Bess” with George Gershwin.  Both stories play out while the characters stay in the “Porgy House” at Folly Beach and that is what weaves the stories together.
If you are looking for a light beach read with an added touch of history,  “Folly Beach” is perfect for you!

HEFT by Liz Moore


“Arthur Opp is heartbreaking. A 58-year old former professor of literature, he weighs 550 lbs., hasn’t left his Brooklyn apartment in years and is acutely attuned to both the painful and analgesic dimensions of his self-imposed solitude. Kel Keller, a handsome and popular high school athlete whose mother drinks too much to take care of him or even herself, faces his own wrenching struggles. The pair, apparently connected only by a slender thread, at first seem unlikely as co-narrators and protagonists of this novel, but they both become genuine heroes as their separate journeys through loneliness finally intersect. Though Moore’s narrative is often deeply sad, it is never maudlin. She writes with compassion and emotional insight but resists sentimentality, briskly moving her plot forward, building suspense and empathy. Most impressive is her ability to thoroughly inhabit the minds of Arthur and Kel; these are robust, complex characters to champion, not pity. The single word of the title is obviously a reference to Arthur’s morbid obesity, but it also alludes to the weight of true feelings and the courage needed to confront them. Heft leads to hope.” (People Magazine )

My daughter recommended this book to me and it IS a great read! I couldn’t do a better job than the reviewer above who sums this book up to perfection.

Give this captivating story a chance…you won’t be disappointed!

Holy Orders: A Quirke Novel by Benjamin Black


     Dr. Quirke , pathologist, amateur detective, lover of brandy, brooder, and compelling character in several Benjamin Black (pen name of Man Booker Award winner novelist John Banville) novels is again asked by Dublin's Chief Inspector to go 'round with him to interview the possible suspects in a murder investigation. And so the plot quickly unfolds.  Eventually, the murder is solved in a plot driven by the involvement of Phoebe, Quirke's daughter, as she becomes involved with the sister of the victim, as well as, the connections to the well loved parish priest, who is being shipped off to Africa, and the frightening, neighboring gypsy/tinker campers.  In addition, to the vivid character descriptions of the story, the setting of 1950's Ireland contains intense foreboding, especially when the rains are only briefly interrupted by sunshine.