Multi-award-winning author Guy Vanderhaeghe’s eagerly awaited new novel is a dazzling follow up to his bestselling The Englishman’s Boy and The Last Crossing (a Canada Reads winner!).
A Good Man culminates what could be thought of as a trilogy of books set in the late nineteenth-century Canadian and American West, and it is a masterpiece. Vanderhaeghe skilfully weaves a rich tapestry of history with the turns of fortune of his most vividly and compellingly drawn cast of characters yet. Vanderhaeghe entwines breathtaking, intriguing, and richly described narratives that contain a compelling love story, a tale of revenge and violence, a spectacular battle scene, the story of an incident in Welsely’s past that threatens his relationship with Ada, and much, much more. While raising moral questions, this novel weaves the historical with the personal and stands as Vanderhaeghe’s most accomplished and brilliant novel to date. – Publishers Website
Although, I haven’t read the two earlier novels that pre-date this one. It is certainly a book that you can read by itself. I really enjoyed Guy’s writing style, it was a comfortable, relaxing read. It was a book that mellowed you out, made you comfortable where ever it was I read. It is one of those books that you can wind down from a long hectic day at work, certainly not one that will put you to sleep; but one that just mellows you out so you are able to enjoy it fully. At least it was for me, you may experience it differently.
Between the main characters brief stint in the Northwest Mounted Police, as well as others you will learn about; he is keeping a dreadful secret. One, that he thinks will end his career or at least his reputation. Determined to go on his own, he leaves Canada for the American West. When there he learns the tales of others who are rather unsavoury and out to get him, or others as the plot progresses.
Then of course there is a woman – Ada Tarr, married the town’s lawyer, who has a past of her own. Sitting Bull has a cameo in this novel as well, the portrayal is stunning to his own real-life description. The fighting/war scenes are of course a staple in this historical gem of a read. It does however, make you ask yourself some tough questions, whether you are a fan of Guy’s past works, or your first foray into his world, you certainly will not be disappointed.
Set in eighteenth-century Canada, this compelling new novel takes the reader deep into unexplored territory. Appearing only fleetingly in the historical record of the Hudson’s Bay Company are the Native women who lived at the company’s Prince of Wales Fort and served as companions to the European traders — and whose survival was bound, for better or worse, to the fortunes of those men.
Across more than two centuries, the mixed-blood woman Molly Norton, daughter of Governor Moses and personal favourite of the explorer Samuel Hearne, speaks to us from her dreams. As the story of her liaison with Hearne unfolds, we move toward its tragic consequences. When their small society is torn apart, Molly and the other women find themselves and their children abandoned by their British masters. Now — in one of history’s cruel ironies — they must fend for themselves in the harsh country from which their own ancestors sprang.
Unflinching, powerful and rich in moral ambiguity, Into the Heart of the Country explores a tragic meeting of cultures that still reverberates in the present day. – Publishers Website
Wow, what a book ! Set in the desolate and often mostly un-inhabited northern areas of Canada during the 18th century, Pauline takes us into the wilds of Northern Manitoba during the time the English and French came to search for animal pets, work and settle.
The Norton’s, in particular the head of the settlement for the Hudson’s Bay Company sits in almost ambiguity as the Governor of the Prince of Wales Fort. His family – a mix of English and Native people from the surrounding areas is uncommon as it was common to drink tea in Britain. His daughter Molly undeniably half-blood, unprepared, under-dressed, and forbidden to learn the skills her Mother has learnt from her ancestors.
She is fearful of her father, even more fearful of the harsh wilderness that is right outside. His tyrannical rule even spreads farther outside the desolation of the lands they trade furs. He doesn’t trust anyone, ever. Even more so as one of their Native acquaintances – Matonabbee; the head of the tribe that conducts business with the Governor from time to time.
At a time where Canada is being inhabited by people from Britain as well as France, this particular fort is forced to face the most dubious of forces. Where there is an almost certainty of being double crossed, promises made that are broken, or upheld amidst the harshest of circumstances.
How far would you go to protect, or destroy something that is in your way? How far would you go to get what you wanted? Is there anything you would do to get it and destroy the people in your way?
I was completely astonished in the way(s) that some people would do or say to get what they ultimately wanted. The harshness of the wilderness that surrounded these people, the wish and will to survive. Even now, in present day, the Native people of this country are still fighting for what they believe in. They were the ones that were here first, only to have their lands and beliefs as well as to be good people stripped away from them, then and now. This, is a story of not only tragedy, but of resilience, hope, love, and sadness.
I really enjoyed Pauline’s writing. The book does go from past to present in mostly Molly’s voice as the story unfolds; but also told from the perspective from other characters in the plot. All I could think of while reading this book was how people, not only the natives who suffered, but also the people who came to begin a new life in Canada among the harshest of circumstances, the people who taught them how to survive, at all costs, wasn’t enough for some.
Summer, 1978. Brezhnev sits like a stone in the Kremlin, Israel and Egypt are inching toward peace, and in the bustling, polyglot streets of Rome, strange new creatures have appeared: thousands of Soviet Jews who have escaped to freedom through a crack in the Iron Curtain. Among the thousands who have landed in Italy to secure visas for new lives in the West are the members of the Krasnansky family — three generations of Russian Jews.
There is Samuil, an old communist and Red Army veteran, who reluctantly leaves the country to which he has dedicated himself body and soul; Karl, his eldest son, a man eager to embrace the opportunities emigration affords; his younger son, Alec, a carefree playboy for whom life has always been a game; and Polina, Alec’s new wife, who has risked the most by breaking with her old family to join this new one. Together, they will spend six months in Rome — their way station and purgatory. They will immerse themselves in the carnival of emigration, an Italy rife with love affairs and ruthless hustles, with dislocation and nostalgia, with the promise and peril of a better life. In the unforgettable Krasnansky family, Bezmozgis has created an intimate portrait of a tumultuous era.
Written in precise, musical prose, The Free World is a stunning début novel, a heartfelt multigenerational saga of great historical scope and even greater human depth. Enlarging on the themes of aspiration and exile that infused his first collection, Natasha and Other Stories, The Free World establishes Bezmozgis as one of our most mature and accomplished storytellers. – Publishers Website
I wasn’t exactly sure when I received this book that I was going to like it, I don’t think anyone does right?
I wasn’t disappointed. David begins the story in 1978, when hoards of Soviets are leaving the country they have known all their lives to begin new. Where do they want to go? – America, Canada, anywhere where they wouldn’t have to be downtrodden. They want a better future for their families, to begin again after so much has happened.
They first land in Italy, where the process of moving to a new country is started. They meet some characters who are doing the same thing. This family has gone through so much, as have the other people who are leaving their homeland for new places, people and things. As time goes on in Italy, they meet up with people they have known before, their stories as telling as their own – the sacrifices, the abuse, the hilarity of it all. Just attempting to get where they want to be, how long it will take them. They go on to find whatever normalcy they can. I too am from a family whose family has left the Ukraine for a better life. I wanted to read this book to perhaps get a glimpse into what my Grand Parents had to overcome to be able to come to Canada – for a better life, a new beginning.
I was impressed with how the book was written – with deep introspection into the life they had, with what they will experience in the future. The plans in place, the ones that aren’t. They take things as they come, fostering new friends, solidifying old ones as they wait for their Visa’s. Moving itself is a very stressful thing to do, but even moving from one country to another much more stressful. The author writes as if he is there in the middle of it, experiencing it as we all read along with him as he writes. As you could say – The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly all wrapped into one. I quite enjoyed it.
The Free World was a finalist in the 2011 Governor General’s Literary Awards, and was shortlisted for the 2011 Scotiabank Giller Prize.
“I am Moth, a girl from the lowest part of Chrystie Street, born to a slum-house mystic and the man who broke her heart.” So begins The Virgin Cure, a novel set in the tenements of lower Manhattan in the year 1871. As a young child, Moth’s father smiled, tipped his hat and walked away from his wife and daughter forever, and Moth has never stopped imagining that one day they may be reunited – despite knowing in her heart what he chose over them. Her hard mother is barely making a living with her fortune-telling, sometimes for well-heeled clients, yet Moth is all too aware of how she really pays the rent.
Life would be so much better, Moth knows, if fortune had gone the other way – if only she’d had the luxury of a good family and some station in life. The young Moth spends her days wandering the streets of her own and better neighbourhoods, imagining what days are like for the wealthy women whose grand yet forbidding gardens she slips through when no one’s looking. Yet every night Moth must return to the disease and grief-ridden tenements she calls home.
The summer Moth turns twelve, her mother puts a halt to her explorations by selling her boots to a local vendor, convinced that Moth was planning to run away. Wanting to make the most of her every asset, she also sells Moth to a wealthy woman as a servant, with no intention of ever seeing her again.
These betrayals lead Moth to the wild, murky world of the Bowery, filled with house-thieves, pickpockets, beggars, sideshow freaks and prostitutes, but also a locale frequented by New York’s social élite. Their patronage supports the shadowy undersphere, where businesses can flourish if they truly understand the importance of wealth and social standing – and of keeping secrets. In that world Moth meets Miss Everett, the owner of a brothel simply known as an “infant school.” There Moth finds the orderly solace she has always wanted, and begins to imagine herself embarking upon a new path.
Yet salvation does not come without its price: Miss Everett caters to gentlemen who pay dearly for companions who are “willing and clean,” and the most desirable of them all are young virgins like Moth. That’s not the worst of the situation, though. In a time and place where mysterious illnesses ravage those who haven’t been cautious, no matter their social station, diseased men yearn for a “virgin cure” – thinking that deflowering a “fresh maid” can heal the incurable and tainted.
Through the friendship of Dr. Sadie, a female physician who works to help young women like her, Moth learns to question and observe the world around her. Moth’s new friends are falling prey to fates both expected and forced upon them, yet she knows the law will not protect her, and that polite society ignores her. Still she dreams of answering to no one but herself. There’s a high price for such independence, though, and no one knows that better than a girl from Chrystie Street. – Publishers Website
I had read and adored Ami’s last book The Birth House and this one is no exception. A girl who is poor, wandering the streets until her Mother sells her to a wealthy woman to become a maid in her home. That is until Moth runs away because she is abused, and fears that she will be better off on the streets. The thieves, pickpockets, and prostitutes; until she meets a prostitute who is giving her a way out until at least she is old enough to be able to pay the madam back for everything she has provided for her.
In the meantime, she meets a female Doctor – Dr. Sadie, who helps young women like her. She takes Moth under her wing, gives her the tools so to speak that she needs to be able to grow up and become something other than what is in line for presently. Moth is given the safe haven of a place that she needs to grow up, to thrive, to learn, until it is time for her to find her own destiny. In a brothel or out in the world enjoying her life, on her own terms.
This book made me think of people today, how some things haven’t changed since those times long ago. Sure some problems are the same, but, our choices I hope would be different. Dr. Sadie isn’t thought of as just a woman. Now a days, she is thought of as a member of society as is every other female doctor. We are allowed to vote and state our opinions. Dr. Sadie, was in her time a person who was opening the way for women to be able to do what we now know as a right, an everyday occurrence. Ami shows us that we have come from a long line of strong women, who have paved the way to be able to enjoy the rights and freedoms that we now forget that we even have them and should pay homage to these women before us for these rights.
It just so happens, that Ami has a strong women in her family as well. You will learn more about it and the quirky little tidbits alongside the dialogue in the pages as you read. The customs and laws of the day she writes about. I really had to chuckle at some of them, as they were either hard to believe or just funny, but, true. So, if you are a historical fiction fan, and enjoy learning about some place, with a strong woman at the beginning of the 19th century, this is your book.
The Virgin Cure was chosen as the first book for the Chatelaine Book Club, where they discuss a new book every month. To keep track of the discussions, here is a link to the forum.
The Little Shadows revolves around three sisters in the world of vaudeville before and during the First World War. We follow the lives of all three in turn: Aurora, the eldest and most beautiful, who is sixteen when the book opens; thoughtful Clover, a year younger; and the youngest sister, joyous headstrong sprite Bella, who is thirteen. The girls, overseen by their fond but barely coping Mama, are forced to make their living as a singing act after the untimely death of their father. They begin with little besides youth and hope, but Marina Endicott’s genius is to show how the three girls slowly and steadily evolve into true artists even as they navigate their way to adulthood among a cast of extraordinary characters – some of them charming charlatans, some of them unpredictable eccentrics, and some of them just ordinary-seeming humans with magical gifts.
Using her gorgeous prose and extraordinary insight, Endicott lures us onto the brightly lit stage and then into the little shadows that lurk behind the curtain, and reveals how the art of vaudeville — in all its variety, madness, melodrama, hilarity and sorrow — echoes the art of life itself. - Publishers Website
I was immersed from the first page. I loved Marina’s one book I had read as well, which won me a Sony reader from the CBC Book Club that I love and adore so much ! Marina was nominated for the Giller Prize in 2010 for her novel – Good To A Fault, where one question stood out for me – Would you allow people who you didn’t know into your home while a loved one was in the hospital because they had no other place to go? I know now, it is quite difficult to say or no immediately, but, it is a valid question. Would you?.
So, The Little Shadows follows three young sisters on their voyage to stardom to vaudeville traveling circuit with their Mother, after their father has passed away. This is their only means of securing money to be able to live, or to have a home to go back to. Since their mother was in the circuit years ago, she meets friends and uses her past connections to get the girls work. Traveling from coast to coast and to the USA for gigs. it is hard work; going from town to town where there is a theatre, auditioning, finding a place to stay that isn’t too expensive. Along the way, friends and foes also grace the stages of these places. Some are friendly, some are only out for themselves.
There was one particular character that I prayed would show his face again, man I disliked him so much ! I was so upset at how he treated everyone that he came into contact with. When you read the book, tell me in the comments who you thought it was after you are finished reading it. I am curious to see who it was you thought I was talking about.
Marina transported me back to WWI into the circuit that this and many other families have traveled. The people made famous from doing the circuit. The last show where everyone would possibly go their ways here and there. The backstabbing that occurred between players and the managers of the theaters.
I still have dreams about the book, vividly imaginative, it will stay with you, or at least I wold hope so. Marina does an absolutely magnificent job of re-creating the backdrop of the book. I loved the girls’ Mother, who like me is a single mother who is striving for a better life for her children, against the odds. Doing everything she can and then some to make their dream a reality. If you are a fan of Historical Fiction, this will be the book for you, like I had stated previously, I had the imagery of the whole book in my head as I read. Even dreaming about it wasn’t so bad either !
Good To A Fault also won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best Book, Canada and the Caribbean.
Descended from Melusina, the river goddess, Jacquetta always has had the gift of second sight. As a child visiting her uncle, she met his prisoner, Joan of Arc, and saw her own power reflected in the young woman accused of witchcraft. They share the mystery of the tarot card of the wheel of fortune before Joan is taken to a horrific death at the hands of the English rulers of France. Jacquetta understands the danger for a woman who dares to dream. Jacquetta is married to the Duke of Bedford, English regent of France, and he introduces her to a mysterious world of learning and alchemy. Her only friend in the great household is the duke’s squire Richard Woodville, who is at her side when the duke’s death leaves her a wealthy young widow. The two become lovers and marry in secret, returning to England to serve at the court of the young King Henry VI, where Jacquetta becomes a close and loyal friend to his new queen.
The Woodville’s soon achieve a place at the very heart of the Lancaster court, though Jacquetta can sense the growing threat from the people of England and the danger of royal rivals. Not even their courage and loyalty can keep the House of Lancaster on the throne. Henry the king slides into a mysterious sleep; Margaret the queen turns to untrustworthy favorites for help; and Richard, Duke of York, threatens to overturn the kingdom for his rival dynasty.
Jacquetta fights for her king, her queen, and for her daughter Elizabeth for whom Jacquetta can sense an extraordinary and unexpected future: a change of fortune, the throne of England, and the white rose of York. A sweeping, powerful story rich in passion and legend and drawing on years of research, The Lady of the Rivers tells the story of the real-life mother of the white queen. – Publishers Website
I really enjoyed this book. This is Philippa’s third book in the Cousins War series, which I have read all three fiction books up until now. The White Queen is about Elizabeth, Jaquetta’s Daughter; The Red Queen was about Lady Margaret Beaufort who happened to be Mother to Henry VII; and this latest book who is about Jaquetta, how she was married off to the Duke of Bedford when she was young. Jaquetta had eventually married the love of her life Edward Woodville too much displeasure and threats from court saying that if she married him she would be left penniless – and her dowry from her first husband taken away because Edward had no standing or royal bloodline.
She was also taught from a young age that she may have magical powers; it is when she is accused as a witch that things take a dramatic turn. Between the war of the Cousins, there is nothing but treachery, war, long absences away from her only true love, their children, and not knowing what to expect in the future. I quite enjoyed this book more than the previous The Red Queen, it was much easier to understand, I was more engrossed in this book, the characters I identified with more as their strength to survive was clear through the people they befriended, the people they held alliances with ( Henry the King’s Wife at the time was only interested in becoming Queen when her husband fell into a deep sleep and to quash her enemies) Lancaster vs. York, Good vs. Evil.
Even now as I think about all three books, I still have no idea who will ultimately prevail, but bloodshed will once again be spilt. I am looking forward to the next novel in the series.
I have come across some negative reviews of this book on goodreads – about how the information is dumbed down because her audience is already set up for her, I don’t believe that. Possibly she did leave out some of the magic,etc, but I do not feel that it had taken away from the plot or storyline whatsoever. Sure, I did feel as if there should have been perhaps more about the magic part, because she talks about it much more in The White Queen, but, ultimately, I don’t feel it had taken anything away from the novel. She was writing about Jacquetta, not her daughter. It was more about the love story between her and her husband and the sacrifices they had to make during that tumultuous time between England / France and all the children they had with one another.
“Hearts are broken,” Lillian Dyson carefully underlined in a book. “Sweet relationships are dead.”
But now Lillian herself is dead. Found among the bleeding hearts and lilacs of Clara Morrow’s garden in Three Pines, shattering the celebrations of Clara’s solo show at the famed Musée in Montreal. Chief Inspector Gamache, the head of homicide at the Sûreté du Québec, is called to the tiny Quebec village and there he finds the art world gathered, and with it a world of shading and nuance, a world of shadow and light. Where nothing is as it seems. Behind every smile there lurks a sneer. Inside every sweet relationship there hides a broken heart. And even when facts are slowly exposed, it is no longer clear to Gamache and his team if what they’ve found is the truth, or simply a trick of the light. – Publishers Website
I was/am so blown away by Louise’s writing. With this being my first foray into the land of Louise Penny’s Detective Gamache’s Mystery/Thriller series, I was certainly not disappointed in the least. She makes you so comfortable as you are sitting there engaged in the realm of the book – Three Pines. The local celebrities, some famous, some just local ones as Clara has come back from Montreal from her very first art show which received rave reviews. It is as if you are sitting in the local café eating a pastry and a café au lait, enjoying the people watching from afar.
The morning after is something else entirely – A woman’s body is found in her garden bed of bleeding hearts. When Chief Inspector Gamache arrives to see the scene and the guests that have inhabited this small sleepy town ( the art scene usual suspects) nothing is at is seems. As Clara and many others in the book have found out, they are also shocked about who this woman was, the history behind the woman, the relationship this woman has with the visitors – as well as Clara and her husband. Is it simply a Trick of The Light?
I loved the pace at which she puts you at ease immediately – not too slow, not too fast. She sets a comfortable rhythm, then as you have gotten comfortable, it is as if she literally rips the chair or rug out from under you – into this world of unknown, until the last word read; you are left out of breath, wondering, waiting for the next opportunity to be entrenched in her web of mystery, like an addict needing that next fix. I don’t think I have ever been so entranced in a mystery / thriller like this in a long time. But, I only found this out lately, I cannot wait until I have the chance to read her other work that has been previously published, and of course when the next one will be out in the world so I can devour it just as fast as I did this one.
All her life, Sara Gallagher has wondered about her birth parents. As an adopted child with two sisters who were born naturally to her parents, Sara did not have an ideal home life. The question of why she was given up for adoption has always haunted her. Finally, she is ready to take steps and to find closure.
But some questions are better left unanswered.
After months of research, Sara locates her birth mother–only to be met with horror and rejection. Then she discovers the devastating truth: Her mother was the only victim ever to escape a killer who has been hunting women every summer for decades. But Sara soon realizes the only thing worse than finding out about her father is him finding out about her.
What if murder is in your blood?
Never Knowing is a complex and compelling portrayal of one woman’s quest to understand herself, her origins, and her family. That is, if she can survive. . . . – Publishers Website
I really loved this book!! If you are a fan of mysteries/thrillers then this is the book for you. I had read this during the summer months when the weather was anything but comfortable. There have been many things that I have dealt with, so my apologies for posting this later than I normally would. So, Chevy Stevens is a new to me author, but I am such a fan of how she writes…This book nearly made the hair stand up on my neck. Almost, but no.
Sara is being stalked. She doesn’t know by who or why. It could be because of her past. Her mother was raped and she was the product of that rape. Now as an adult, she has her life nearly complete, ready to get married to her soul mate. She may be over reacting, but when things start to get out of control, she has no choice but to go and get help. The thing is…it isn’t really who she thought it was…or is it ?!?
This is the perfect book to read on one of those days where you are stuck in the house, nothing is on TV and you just have to have your fix of something thrilling, mysterious, something that isn’t on TV or you have already watched 2-3 times already..you know the saying 57 channels and nothing on. It just so happens that Chevy is a fellow Canadian as well, but she lives in the US. I am for sure going to go and find her earlier novel – Still Missing.
Since the Halloween season is done with, you are now free to not think about ghosts and goblins at your door while reading this !
The highly anticipated follow-up to Peter Behrens’ Governor General’s Literary Award-winning novel, The Law of Dreams.
The O’Briens follows the family from The Law of Dreams two generations later: Joe O’Brien is coming of age in a new century in remote Pontiac County, Quebec, with his two brothers and two sisters by his side. Their father has abandoned the family and died in the South African war; their frail mother has remarried the abusive and lecherous Mick Heaney. Joe and his siblings escape the poverty and violence of the Pontiac, but as Joe travels the continent, building a business and a bright young family with his wife, Iseult, he is never quite able to leave his past behind.
Told from the perspectives of Joe, Iseult, and their children and spanning the construction of the Canadian railroad as well as both world wars, this is a majestic novel that mirrors the scope and sweep of what Wilfrid Laurier calls “Canada’s Century.” Tragic, romantic, and as vivid as the novel that preceded it, The O’Briens is an epic of great heart, imagination, and narrative force. – Publishers Website
I absolutely loved this book! Set in a desolate part of the country where the family is poor, the mother abused by her second husband, the sons go off and start their adult lives. Joe, being the ambitious one that he is starts off at starting his business at home doing things to keep his family afloat. Then goes off and starts in the railway business. As time goes on, he encounters such human debilitating sacrifices – the stillborn birth of his first child in the Rocky Mountains of Canada, Marriage, War, Love and Loss where his brother doesn’t come back as himself, the second world war, where it touches him yet again with his own children as he is a prominent member of the City of Montreal.
I loved the way the author weaved the families circumstances from the beginning to the modern-day 1940′s where it is as if Peter has his breaking point where he goes off on one of his so-called ‘business meetings’ ; what it does to each family member. The feelings evoked reading this will not only touch your heart but your soul as well. Nearing the end of the book, I cried as the family has been hit with the most fervent blow – the prodigal son returning home from war…..I will leave it at that. If you go and get this book, you will know what I mean, I don’t want to give it all away, it isn’t the point.
This is the follow-up to the best-selling novel The Law of Dreams that Peter has published previously which won the Governor’s General Award. I haven’t read the first book, but would love to see how everything in the 2nd novel loose ends work their way out, but the 2nd is absolutely a stand alone novel if you haven’t also read the first book.
The second novel in the Ava Lee series launched under Anansi’s new crime fiction imprint, Spiderline
In The Disciple of Las Vegas, Uncle and Ava are hired by Tommy Ordonez, the richest man in the Philippines, to recover $50 million in a land swindle that took place in Canada and involves his brother. The Filipino billionaire’s reputation is on the line, and his family is on the brink of disaster.
Ava tracks the missing funds from Canada to San Francisco to accounts in Costa Rica owned by the Moneida, a First Nations band that owns and operates The River, an online poker web site. Ava uncovers an illegal online gambling ring, and follows the trail to Las Vegas. There, she confronts one of the greatest poker players in the world, David “The Disciple” Douglas, and his partner, Jeremy Ashton. Meanwhile, Jackie Leung, an old target of Uncle’s and Ava’s, has made it rich. He wants revenge, and he’s going after Ava to get it.
Will Ava save Ordonez’s family and reputation? Or will Jackie Leung get to her first?-Publishers Website
If you haven’t already read the first book in this thriller of all thrillers, I want you to go and get the first book like NOW ! Ava is back and with a vengenace. Her Uncle has her on yet another case of embezzlement that goes from Canada to Moneida, Costa Rica, to Las Vegas where she not only finds what she is looking for, but has some unfinished business as well. Will she be found from a previous case? Will that person exact his revenge on her? In book two, you will not only find that, but some back history that Ian seemlessly intregrates into this lush story of the criminal underworld, the shady dealings, money, prestige, revenge and Ava encountering something she hasn’t gotten in a long time. Here is my previous review of The Water Rat of Wanchai, the first installment of Ava Lee. The third book is titled The Wild Beasts of Wuhan and fingers crossed will be available in February 2012 !
Alek and Deryn are on the last leg of their round-the-world quest to end World War I, reclaim Alek’s throne as prince of Austria, and finally fall in love. The first two objectives are complicated by the fact that their ship, the Leviathan, continues to detour farther away from the heart of the war (and crown). And the love thing would be a lot easier if Alek knew Deryn was a girl. (She has to pose as a boy in order to serve in the British Air Service.) And if they weren’t technically enemies.
The tension thickens as the Leviathan steams toward New York City with a homicidal lunatic on board: secrets suddenly unravel, characters reappear, and nothing is as it seems in this thunderous conclusion to Scott Westerfeld’s brilliant trilogy. – Publishers Website
Well, this is the third and last book in the Leviathan Trilogy. As soon as the book arrived, I absolutely could not keep my hands off the book. Immediately, I tore open the envelope and sat down to start reading. I was anxious almost to the point of an anxiety attack just to find out what actually happened to Alek and Deryn. Was Deryn’s ultra super secret found out by Alek?!? Was he upset?
Did they argue, among other things that were happening on the ship that has traversed the skies all over the world? Among some very identifiable characters, you also have the talented art work from Keith Thompson that actually accentuates the book perfectly. If I didn’t love the series so much I would mount some of the artwork and hang it on my walls or at least my son’s walls. Nick, loves Deryn’s colourful way of expressing herself. He finished Leviathan back in March when he was in Kentucky at camp. So when he came home, it was “Bum Rag” this and “Barking Spiders” that.
So like I had said, I flew through the book at a breakneck pace, with the last few pages remained…Would Alek and Deryn have feelings for one another and live happily after you ask?!? Well, if I told you..then well I would have to kill you, I don’t give out those secrets, you will just have to read the fabulous ending to end all endings. Trust me, if you loved the first two books, you will love this one and literally ache for more…My reviews of Leviathan and Behemoth can be accessed by clinking the links. And so, if you have waited for all three books to be able to read them all at once get reading !
Alan Cumming (The Good Wife) does an absolutely fabulous job of the audio book, so if you are a fan of audiobooks, it doesn’t disappoint !
High in their mountain covens, red witches pray to the Goddess, protecting the Witchlands by throwing the bones and foretelling the future.
It’s all a fake.
At least, that’s what Ryder thinks. He doubts the witches really deserve their tithes—one quarter of all the crops his village can produce. And even if they can predict the future, what danger is there to foretell, now that his people’s old enemy, the Baen, has been defeated?
But when a terrifying new magic threatens both his village and the coven, Ryder must face the beautiful and silent witch who holds all the secrets. Everything he’s ever believed about witches, the Baen, magic and about himself will change, when he discovers that the prophecies he’s always scorned—
I liked this book, let me just say that right off the bat. I was skeptical at first. The first time I had started to read the book, I put it down (and nearly abandoned it). I’m usually not a fan of witch/zombie type books, but this one was interesting.
I like the premise of a teenager/adult wanting to leave his home for the sea, or at least that is where he wants to be. But when his father dies, he is pretty much forced to stay and be the man of the house so to speak. Then, the unimaginable happens – his mother foresees the future, the town/village they live in is attacked by some sort of fierce magic powers, his family has to go to safety, he needs to find a way to keep them safe. He meets a young man not much older than he is, they have different ideals based on their upbringing, but they are twins in a sense. This is where the adventure begins.
I believe that there are three books in this series by Simon and Schuster’s Imprint Atheneum Books for Young Readers. I liked the writing of Lena, I hope to read the other books in this series. I hope in the next 2 books that there is more of the same if not better in terms of the plot and storyline ( no pressure honest!) And of course of where the main characters finally carry out in this tale.
It’s winter break in Ascension, Maine. The snow is falling and everything looks pristine and peaceful. But not all is as it seems…
Between cozy traditions and parties with her friends, Emily loves the holidays. And this year’s even better–the guy she’s been into for months is finally noticing her. But Em knows if she starts things with him, there’s no turning back. Because his girlfriend is Em’s best friend.
On the other side of town, Chase is having problems of his own. The stress of his home life is starting to take its toll, and his social life is unraveling. But that’s nothing compared to what’s really haunting him. Chase has done something cruel…something the perfect guy he pretends to be would never do. And it’s only a matter of time before he’s exposed.
In Ascension, mistakes can be deadly. And three girls—three beautiful, mysterious girls—are here to choose who will pay. – Publishers Website
I wanted to like this book, like I want to like all books, I just didn’t have it in me. This is yet another Teen Fiction book from Simon and Schuster’s Imprint Simon Pulse that I had received. It is one of those sensationalized books with tawdry details about what the teens are doing in a particular town. Please don’t get me wrong, I love chic lit like the next female…This one for me wasn’t one I would recommend.
For one thing, I can’t recommend a book that is about one girl stealing another girls boyfriend. I do have high morals and values in life. For me issues like this are important to me – not just books, but everywhere – tv, movies, etc. For me, it gives teens in this age group ideas, that they can use in life. Then you hear it in the newspaper, on the evening news. What happens then, other teenagers get ideas to do the same thing. Sorry this should be a separate blog post all together, but, I feel it has to be addressed.
It isn’t anything against the author, she had an idea and it got published. I congratulate her on her success, which it is. That is why I am so picky about young adult titles in general. I don’t want to promote a book that gives in my mind ideas could be used in life that would hurt others. The writing is good, the author has 2 other books coming out in the series of three books. I am just giving you the information, should you choose to buy it, go for it, check it out for yourself, but I will not be asking for the other books in the series.
It could be possible that I am going way overboard on this topic / book. I feel strongly about it. Not that the world is full of rainbows and flowers, which it isn’t, I just don’t think that we need to be giving young adults more ideas than what they already have to inflict hurt or pain on someone else. And I may be totally off the mark about how the book is being marketed, so my apologies if I am wrong.
There 2 other books coming out in the series – 1- Fury, 2 – Envy, 3- Eternity I am not sure the release dates of the others in the series, check the publisher’s website, or Elizabeth’s site or blog for more information.
I loved this book !! Even from the description on the back page, it is THAT intriguing !! After reading it, I am speechless, it was that darn good.
Since it is a young adult title from Simon and Schuster, it will appeal to an older audience as well. We have a teenager who is coming to terms with the death of 2 of her good friends, she moves away, and more incidents of odd happenings follow her. She has no memory of the accident, but, as time goes by, she begins to piece things together…She is shocked, scared and doesn’t know what to do. Until she meets a boy in her new high school who she falls for, but he has his secrets as well.
As time goes by, they are inseparable. At the end of this book (I believe there are 2 other books being written in the series) There are more questions than answers. Some of the answers have been taken care of, the most serious ones…haven’t.
Michelle is a supremely talented writer, I hope that when book 2 comes out, that talent is still here ready and waiting to thrill me like the first book did. I do get overly critical of young adult books, because of the content. However, with this book, I threw that out with abandon and absolutely loved this book !! It has all the facets of a thrill ride you will not soon forget. So, go and get this book !!Make sure you check out the books trailer below – AMAZING !
What sane woman would consider becoming any man’s ninth wife?
Bess Gray is a thirty-five-year-old folklorist and amateur martial artist living in Washington, DC. Just as she’s about to give up all hope of marriage, she meets Rory, a charming Irish musician, and they fall in love.
But Rory is a man with a secret, which he confesses to Bess when he asks for her hand: He’s been married eight times before.
Shocked, Bess embarks on a quest she feels she must undertake before she can give him an answer. With her bickering grandparents (married sixty-five years), her gay neighbor (himself a mystery), a shar-pei named Stella, and a mannequin named Peace, Bess sets out on a cross-country journey—unbeknownst to Rory—to seek out and question the wives who came before. What she discovers about her own past is far more than she bargained for.
The Ninth Wife is a smart, funny, eye-opening tale of love, marriage, and the power of stories to unlock the true meaning of home and family. – Publishers Website
This book interested me from just the title. As I read the back of the book to peek at what was inside, I was curious. I wasn’t disappointed. Funny, The back story of a girl who meets her prince charming, albeit it will be HIS ninth trip down the aisle, his story unfolds with what happens in each of those marriages, what he learned, as well as what he wants to avoid in the future. Now, a serious question(s) for all of you. Would you have reservations about dating someone who has had that many failed attempts at marriage? Would you run for cover, or would you listen to what they had to say, then make your decision? Would he be in your opinion too impulsive for you? I won’t ruin the ending for you, but it was a good read, filled with laughter, seriousness, love and forgiveness.
Sweethearts since childhood, Ellie Hogan and her husband, John, are content on their farm in Ireland—until John, a soldier for the Irish Republican Army, receives an injury that leaves him unable to work. Forced to take drastic measures in order to survive, Ellie does what so many Irish women in the 1920s have done and sails across a vast ocean to New York City to work as a maid for a wealthy socialite.
Once there, Ellie is introduced to a world of opulence and sophistication, tempted by the allure of grand parties and fine clothes, money and mansions . . . and by the attentions of a charming suitor who can give her everything. Yet her heart remains with her husband back home. And now she faces the most difficult choice she will ever have to make: a new life in a new country full of hope and promise, or return to a life of cruel poverty . . . and love. – Publishers Website
From page one, it is clearly clear that Kate has talent. From the first beginnings in Ireland to the big city of New York, she delves into important issues that still plague us in the 21st century – love, hope, forgiveness, money, as well as a few others that you can imagine. She slowly guides you into the early 1900′s when war is raging, her husband is injured, they need a way to make money to be able to keep their house and land. She discovers that she can travel to America to become a servant. She is conflicted as she leaves her country to a brand new place in the world. But, as she gets used to her new surroundings, she is torn – America or Ireland, Her Husband back home – A new man in her life. Would she give up her life in Ireland for one in America that is filled with opulence and security? I won’t tell you how it ended, but it is clear that she will be quite happy with whatever she is doing. I really enjoyed this novel.
A mysterious jewel holds the key to a life-changing secret, in this breathtaking tale of love and art, betrayal and redemption.
When she decides to auction her remarkable jewelry collection, Nina Revskaya, once a great star of the Bolshoi Ballet, believes she has finally drawn a curtain on her past. Instead, the former ballerina finds herself overwhelmed by memories of her homeland and of the events, both glorious and heartbreaking, that changed the course of her life half a century ago.
It was in Russia that she discovered the magic of the theater; that she fell in love with the poet Viktor Elsin; that she and her dearest companions—Gersh, a brilliant composer, and the exquisite Vera, Nina’s closest friend—became victims of Stalinist aggression. And it was in Russia that a terrible discovery incited a deadly act of betrayal—and an ingenious escape that led Nina to the West and eventually to Boston.
Nina has kept her secrets for half a lifetime. But two people will not let the past rest: Drew Brooks, an inquisitive young associate at a Boston auction house, and Grigori Solodin, a professor of Russian who believes that a unique set of jewels may hold the key to his own ambiguous past. Together these unlikely partners begin to unravel a mystery surrounding a love letter, a poem, and a necklace of unknown provenance, setting in motion a series of revelations that will have life-altering consequences for them all.
Interweaving past and present, Moscow and New England, the backstage tumult of the dance world and the transformative power of art, Daphne Kalotay’s luminous first novel—a literary page-turner of the highest order—captures the uncertainty and terror of individuals powerless to withstand the forces of history, while affirming that even in times of great strife, the human spirit reaches for beauty and grace, forgiveness and transcendence – Publishers Website
Being Ukrainian, I do have somewhat of an affinity to some not all things Russian/ Ukrainian, when I read the synopsis for this book, it really intrigued me. Not just because it is Russian, but because of the time when Stalin was head of the country, the things that happened to the country and its people.
Nina’s reluctance to tell what happened during this time long ago, what eventually happened to her husband and her friends during this time. Which is just as painful as the pain she feels in her body from years and years of dancing and training, while becoming one of the more famous dancers you could say that were coming out of Russia at the time. It is her jewellery that she is auctioning off before she becomes any more ill in her advancing age.
The jewellery also has some sort of hold on another person in Boston – Grigori Solodin. Whom Nine doesn’t know, but she will – it will all come out, but is she ready to discuss it? Does time heal all wounds? Will she have the strength to accept the past and to come to terms with it? Will she be able to forgive finally?
In the waning days of the Ottoman Empire, a young Orthodox Jewish woman in the holy city of Jerusalem is expected to marry and produce many sons to help hasten the Messiah’s arrival.
While the feisty Esther Kaminsky understands her obligations, her artistic talent inspires her to secretly explore worlds outside her religion, to dream of studying in Paris—and to believe that God has a special destiny for her. When tragedy strikes her family, Esther views it as a warning from an angry God and suppresses her desires in order to become an obedient “Jerusalem maiden.”
But when a surprising opportunity forces itself on to her preordained path, Esther finds her beliefs clashing dangerously with the passions she has staved off her entire life—forcing her to confront the most difficult and damning question of all: To whom must she be true, God or herself? - Publishers Website
When I received the email for this book, I was intrigued by not only the title, but what the book description said. When I finally started to read it, I was mesmerized by the tale of history, the wanting to do something that was out-of-bounds for women at the time. Esther wanted to do her own thing, not be bound by what society or what her family expected her to do. She eventually did what was best, but during that time, she experienced some things that she thought she wouldn’t ever have imagined. Her love of art, family, history, and the eventual outcome of the book had me thinking about things. Would you go against what your family wanted for you? Would you give everything up that you have to gain independence, happiness? Would there be a way of compromising to achieve a little bit of everything? I imagine it would be individualized for everyone, but would the cost of attempting to achieve it be worth it?
“A masterful, hilarious picaresque that keeps company with the best of Charles Portis and Mark Twain . . . a relentlessly absorbing feat of novelistic art.” — Wells Tower
Hermann Kermit Warm is going to die. Eli and Charlie Sisters can be counted on for that. Though Eli has never shared his brother’s penchant for whiskey and killing, he’s never known anything else. On the road to Warm’s gold-mining claim outside San Francisco — and from the back of his long-suffering one-eyed horse — Eli struggles to make sense of his life without abandoning the job he’s sworn to do.
DeWitt spins a violent, lustful, hung-over and humorous odyssey through the underworld of the 1850s frontier. Doffing his hat to the classic Western, he then transforms it into a comic tour-de-force with an unforgettable narrative voice that captures all the absurdity, melancholy, and grit of the West — and of these two brothers, bound to each other by blood and scars and love.
Film rights have been sold to actor John C. Reilly’s production company in a major deal, with Reilly to play one of the brothers. – Publishers Website
Are you up for one laugh out loud hilarious novel? If you are, this is your book. Have you seen those oldish spaghetti western movies, where they do the absolute silliest things? I started reading this skeptical at first, but as I read, well, the book got better and better to the point I was laughing out loud and shaking my head at the antics these two brothers get into. One, nearly is the angel in the posse because the other brother is the evil one, wanting to get the job done and collect his money. As the trip to assassinate someone goes on and the side trips they take, you nearly wonder as I did while reading it, would they even get to their destination to even carry it out ?
Well, I’m not going to tell you how it ends, because that would be just plain mean. So, if you’re a fan of the spaghetti westerns that sometimes still play on TV then this is the book for you.
It was recently listed for The Man Booker Prize. He is also Canadian.
Pam Jenoff, whose first novel, The Kommandant’s Girl, was a Quill Award finalist, a Book Sense pick, and a finalist for the ALA Sophie Brody Award, joins the Doubleday list with a suspenseful story of love and betrayal set during the Holocaust. An ambitious novel that spans decades and continents, The Things We Cherished tells the story of Charlotte Gold and Jack Harrington, two fiercely independent attorneys who find themselves slowly falling for one another while working to defend the brother of a Holocaust hero against allegations of World War II–era war crimes.
The defendant, wealthy financier Roger Dykmans, mysteriously refuses to help in his own defense, revealing only that proof of his innocence lies within an intricate timepiece last seen in Nazi Germany. As the narrative moves from Philadelphia to Germany, Poland, and Italy, we are given glimpses of the lives that the anniversary clock has touched over the past century, and learn about the love affair that turned a brother into a traitor.
Rich in historical detail, Jenoff’s astonishing new work is a testament to true love under the worst of circumstances. – Publishers Website
I have read and adored Pam’s work before,when I read Almost Home this one is another winner. The many decades that encompasses WWII, something happens to brothers – one disappears, and the other flourishes to present day where he is charged with war crimes. He refuses to aid in his defense; Charlotte Gold and her ex-fiancees brother are enlisted to find out the truth to hopefully have the man exonerated. Sounds easier than it looks by far.
I was really engrossed into the plot lines and sub plots as the novel sped along in my hands. Near the end, I was puzzled at one part where one character appears, but cannot for the life of me figure out why she is there; until of course at the end. The book was seamless up until that point, I thought it rather abrupt, but it did made perfect sense in the end. I did shed a few tears at the end of this novel. It’s literary, not chick lit, so be ready. It was good.
How much of yourself exists in your characters ? Occasionally I hear my own voice a little…Marmee’s thoughts on war, Hanna Heath’s description of working to glimpse the past before the genie fogs it over again, Bethia’s love of the landscape and avidity for learning…When Anna describes her boys in year of Wonders, most of it was about my own young son…
With so many differences in terms of the books you have written, what is it about the subject matter that appeals to you to write a novel about it/ on the subject matter ? – The books are set in different times and different places, but the themes are fairly constant, I think: how are people changed by catastrophe/ What does faith do for people, what does it do to people?
What was it that made you or persuaded you to write novels after being a journalist for so long ? - I wanted to have a baby, and the kind of mother I wanted to be wasn’t all that compatible with the kind of journalist I wanted to be…so I took a chance on a career change, and, happily, it has worked out… so far.
Who are your favorite authors? What have they instilled in you? – Too long of a list to enumerate. But I would say Mary Renault’s fiction set in the ancient world is a model for what I try to do. Marilynne Robinson’s books, Home and Gilead also have been inspirational. And Jane Austen, of course…
If you were to die, what would you like to come back as, and why? – An osprey–they have it all–the gift of flight, waterfront real estate, an endless summer and a nice family life.
I am wondering how Caleb would see this world now, do you think he would like it? - I think he would love the access to information and lament our irresponsible treatment of our environment.
Is there a historical figure you most identify with? Why? – No, but I would like to be Rachel Carson or Harriet Beecher Stowe, and write a book that changed the world for the better.
Are there and phrases you use/overuse? - Dessicated. Gnarled.
Besides you talent for writing, what other talent(s) do you have/ wish you had? I wish I could sing, and I wish I could speak at least six languages.
What is your idea of perfect happiness ? - In nature, with family (including the dog of course) by water, with something scrumptious to eat and someone telling a hilarious story.
What in your mind is considered the most over-rated virtue? – If it is a virtue, then it can’t be overrated. We need all the virtue we can have in this rather un-virtuous world.
Thank you so much Geraldine for such great answers to the questions I asked ! I hope everyone enjoys them as well.
A richly imagined new novel from the author of the New York Times bestseller, People of the Book.
Once again, Geraldine Brooks takes a remarkable shard of history and brings it to vivid life. In 1665, a young man from Martha’s Vineyard became the first Native American to graduate from Harvard College. Upon this slender factual scaffold, Brooks has created a luminous tale of love and faith, magic and adventure.
The narrator of Caleb’s Crossing is Bethia Mayfield, growing up in the tiny settlement of Great Harbor amid a small band of pioneers and Puritans. Restless and curious, she yearns after an education that is closed to her by her sex. As often as she can, she slips away to explore the island’s glistening beaches and observe its native Wampanoag inhabitants. At twelve, she encounters Caleb, the young son of a chieftain, and the two forge a tentative secret friendship that draws each into the alien world of the other. Bethia’s minister father tries to convert the Wampanoag, awakening the wrath of the tribe’s shaman, against whose magic he must test his own beliefs. One of his projects becomes the education of Caleb, and a year later, Caleb is in Cambridge, studying Latin and Greek among the colonial elite. There, Bethia finds herself reluctantly indentured as a housekeeper and can closely observe Caleb’s crossing of cultures.
Like Brooks’s beloved narrator Anna in Year of Wonders, Bethia proves an emotionally irresistible guide to the wilds of Martha’s Vineyard and the intimate spaces of the human heart. Evocative and utterly absorbing, Caleb’s Crossing further establishes Brooks’s place as one of our most acclaimed novelists. - Publishers Website
I fell in love with Geraldine’s work when I read People of The Book a while back now, and have just loved this one just as much. From the Great Harbour back in the 17th century, which is now known as Martha’s Vineyard; she weaves the story around a young man who just happens to be one of the first native Indians to be accepted into Harvard/ Cambridge Universities respectively.
The characters are just as inviting and diverse as the landscape and politics that surround the area. I loved Bethia, the way she asserts herself in a world that doesn’t yet accept women’s opinions or views on how just about anything is done, except for the household. It was based on a real person, Caleb is the one who is fictionalized in the novel, but the background story is true as you will see when you open the pages. Emotional, Gifted, Interesting, as well as inquisitive; this book will have you clammering for the rest of her work for sure.
I do have a Q and A I will post after my review, so just go back to the main page of the blog. I loved the answers to her questions!
From the day in 1907 that eleven-year-old Riley Purefoy meets Nadine Waveney, he takes in the difference between their two families — his, working class; hers, posh and artistic — and vows to make himself worthy of the lovely Nadine’s affections.
Nadine’s mother has other ideas for her daughter. Though she tolerates Riley as a young boy, nearly a decade later she attempts to stop the budding romance between the two teenagers. Angry and humiliated, Riley enlists at the nearest recruiting station, and reports for training the very next day.
While Riley and his commanding officer, Peter Locke, fight for their country and their survival in the trenches of Flanders, their loved ones await their return. Peter’s wife, Julia, undertakes a daily ritual to prepare for her beloved husband’s homecoming. Peter’s cousin Rose, with all hope of marriage marching off to war, becomes a nurse at the nearby Queen’s Hospital.
Nadine and Riley’s bond is tested by a terrible injury, and even more so by the ambitious yet imperfect rehabilitation that follows.
Moving between Ypres, London and Paris, My Dear I Wanted to Tell You is a stunning First World War epic of love, war and sacrifice. - Publishers Website
This book had me thinking throughout all of it to myself, What would I have done in this instance? The love between two people is a strong bond that at least I think should be one that is unbreakable in a situation such as this where the two have grown up with each other, one not knowing how the other feels; at least until they are older and have the courage to tell one another and find out it is mutual. Such a wonderful surprise!
As the story weaves itself through London, Paris, and Flanders during WWI, it nearly brought me to tears how this man who has loved this woman since they have been children give his one and only thing that he loved and adored up, because of a horrific injury while fighting in the trenches. Does he change his mind? Does she give up ? Does their long love survive the trials and tribulations of the time period? Well, I know since I have read the book, but if you really want to know, then pick up a copy and start, you will thank me in the end. My goodness, go and check out her website to see who she is related to and famous people around her…a literal cornucopia of literary and other famous people, places and things !
In a Balkan country mending from years of conflict, Natalia, a young doctor, arrives on a mission of mercy at an orphanage by the sea.
By the time she and her lifelong friend Zóra begin to inoculate the children there, she feels age-old superstitions and secrets gathering everywhere around her. Secrets her outwardly cheerful hosts have chosen not to tell her.
Secrets involving the strange family digging for something in the surrounding vineyards. Secrets hidden in the landscape itself.
But Natalia is also confronting a private, hurtful mystery of her own: the inexplicable circumstances surrounding her beloved grandfather’s recent death. After telling her grandmother that he was on his way to meet Natalia, he instead set off for a ramshackle settlement none of their family had ever heard of and died there alone. A famed physician, her grandfather must have known that he was too ill to travel. Why he left home becomes a riddle Natalia is compelled to unravel.
Grief struck and searching for clues to her grandfather’s final state of mind, she turns to the stories he told her when she was a child. On their weekly trips to the zoo he would read to her from a worn copy of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book, which he carried with him everywhere; later, he told her stories of his own encounters over many years with “the deathless man,” a vagabond who claimed to be immortal and appeared never to age.
But the most extraordinary story of all is the one her grandfather never told her, the one Natalia must discover for herself. One winter during the Second World War, his childhood village was snowbound, cut off even from the encroaching German invaders but haunted by another, fierce presence: a tiger who comes ever closer under cover of darkness. “These stories,” Natalia comes to understand, “run like secret rivers through all the other stories” of her grandfather’s life. And it is ultimately within these rich, luminous narratives that she will find the answer she is looking for. – Publishers Website
I really enjoyed this book. I originally had gotten it because it was on the long list for the Orange Prize. I was immediately absorbed into the story within a story within a story. Starting with the death of her grandfather, the grief, pain and questions why he went away from his home to die was the first questions on her mind. As she travels between her job as a Doctor and locating her grandfathers belongings where he died is just at the tip of the iceberg. Written with the grace and style of someone who is not only learned but talented, Tea does it effortlessly, and get this she is only in her mid 20′s and it is her first novel. I cannot begin to even wait for her latest, I want it here already. This is the book that did win the 2011 Orange Prize for Fiction. She is the youngest winner of that prize ever !!
A radiant debut collection from Canada’s freshest new voice in fiction.
Up Up Up heralds the arrival of a writer of astonishing range, compassion and acuity. In this taut collection of twenty short, sharp stories Julie Booker grabs the reins from writers like Lydia Millet and Miranda July and takes off at full speed, and in directions all her own.
A pair of plus-sized friends make tracks for a kayaking trip in Alaska. A woman vacations with her parents at a Texas trailer park, wondering why she can’t meet a man. A worldly member of a tour group selects sacrifices from among the most cherished belongings of her fellow travellers. A young man dreams of rescuing an abusive friend’s girlfriend — and of having her for himself. Through these deceptively simple storylines, Booker reminds us of the power of words to enlighten and move us — but most of all, to delight us. Her writing is a revelation — wildly whimsical and yet razor-sharp, highly unusual and yet prompting gasps of recognition on every page. Reader, prepare to meet your new favourite writer. – Publishers Website
I really loved this book of short stories. Julie’s fiction is one of those rare things. Although short in stature, they contain large immeasurable acts of life. Sure, they all may be mundane to some, she weaves the stories effortlessly, entangling you into the plot, until she is ready to let you go. They leave you thinking what would I have done in such a situation? Would I have done exactly that? Would I have done something differently? Other than that she also gives you some laugh out loud moments especially in the first of the stories Geology in Motion where two women who are overweight travel to Alaska for a once in a lifetime trip with 2 girlfriends. From the odd and somewhat quirky owner of the B and B they stay in, to the trip in kayaks to view glaciers up close…she evokes this comedic trip between 2 women who are attempting to do something different, life changing, at least in their own lives. IF you are in the mood for some short fiction, go and get this one. Like I stated earlier, it is good. I cannot wait to see some of her longer fiction, she had promised me on twitter that if I wanted to read it she would write it. Julie, this is your challenge if you choose to accept …