A blind girl in Paris, whose father is the locksmith for the Museum of Natural History and is responsible for squirreling away a large diamond for safA blind girl in Paris, whose father is the locksmith for the Museum of Natural History and is responsible for squirreling away a large diamond for safekeeping from the advancing Nazis. A gifted 14-year-old scientist-in-the-making in Germany, who is accepted into an elite unit of the Hitler Youth and advances his training in radio transmission at one of the special SS schools. A series of radio transmissions from the coastal town of Saint Malo in France binds them together and it is only a matter of time before they will meet.
This is the kind of rare novel in which the reader feels like he's delving deeper into the story in the same way one peels an onion--layer by layer--to get to the sweet heart of the piece. You'll wish it would never end....more
The perfect romance for someone like me (who generally doesn't enjoy romance)! Kelly's grasp of the historical verbiage of that time in England, togetThe perfect romance for someone like me (who generally doesn't enjoy romance)! Kelly's grasp of the historical verbiage of that time in England, together with delightful main characters (particularly Jim) made this a credible and engrossing read. I hated putting it down for bed and meals....more
The prose was stark like the setting, and yet beautiful. I almost gave it 5 stars because the author so masterfully peeled back the layers of the charThe prose was stark like the setting, and yet beautiful. I almost gave it 5 stars because the author so masterfully peeled back the layers of the characters' stories, revealing what brought them there to "witness" and bear witness to the horror of Auschwitz. It made me think again of the heaviness of my visit to another concentration camp--Mathausen--decades ago....more
I liked it and particularly appreciated all the history packed into it. However, the three (and sometimes more) different story lines made me feel asI liked it and particularly appreciated all the history packed into it. However, the three (and sometimes more) different story lines made me feel as if I were jumping around too much. I've read many thrillers before that took the same approach, but they somehow seemed to do it without losing the pacing. Given the premise of the book and my love of both history and thrillers, I shouldn't have been able to set it aside as much as I did.
That said, the author has a great believable main character in Omar and I can see that the series has strong potential. ...more
Two things stood out in this novel, besides the fact that it was well written.
First, the author certainly knows Meso-American culture and history. HavTwo things stood out in this novel, besides the fact that it was well written.
First, the author certainly knows Meso-American culture and history. Having read a couple of her other works set in the same general area and time, I wasn’t surprised, but I must say that her research here really shines. Her descriptions of dwellings, clothing, makeup, food, and rituals easily transported me into the world and story scripturally described by Moroni in the the book of Ether in the Book of Mormon. Some may argue about the need or even the propriety of fictionalizing scripture, but I, for one, have no problem distinguishing between a work of scripture and a work of fiction. Besides, the story of the daughter of Jared has everything a novelist dreams of: love, betrayal, secrecy, murder…and a happy ending (at least for the good guy). And that’s just the scriptural account!
This leads me to the second aspect of Moore’s work that stood out for me. In taking the brief outlines of a story provided in the eighth chapter of Ether, she wisely introduced a fictional sister of the “wicked” daughter of Jared–Naiva. Unlike her older sister, Asherah, Naiva is appalled at the idea of assassination, but isn’t sure enough of herself to argue. Indeed, she is so tied to her sister that when things become difficult and there appears to be an easy way out for her she somehow can’t force herself to take it, even though the reader is screaming for her to do so. (In fact, if there is a weakness to the novel, it is that the reason for that bond wasn’t established clearly and firmly enough early on in the story.) I didn’t like her decision at first, but had to admit later that it gave a certain complex depth to her character. (Also, the author no doubt felt tied to the chronology of the scriptural story with regard to the fate of Naiva’s nephew, Shez.)
Moore could have chosen to tell the story through Asherah’s point of view (with no fictional sister), showing the change in her character as the terrible decisions she makes lead to horrific results. That might have proven a more interesting approach. It would have been challenging, however, because she’s hard to like for much of the story.
I only wish the book had been longer. I would have loved even more detail about the plotting, their royal life, and so forth.
Regardless, I highly recommend Daughters of Jared....more
The voice of the main character, Sarah, captures you from the first page and is consistent throughout. Strong, feisty, funny and displaying a native iThe voice of the main character, Sarah, captures you from the first page and is consistent throughout. Strong, feisty, funny and displaying a native intelligence that shines despite her lack of schooling, she narrates a tale that is at times, grim and harrowing, yet at other times, charming to the point that you can't help but chuckle. And the romance, while easily predictable, becomes more and more real and deep long after vows have been spoken. Indeed, it is a rare pleasure to read a book with such a love and understanding between man and wife.
Having read "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society," I wasn't too pleased at first to see the book told in a format not too different from letters, for I found that other novel took me a good 100 pages before I really began to be sucked into the story. Nancy Turner succeeds magnificently in this Journal format, however, to the point that you almost begin to ignore the dates for each entry. The story flows and the pace never falters.
Some have compared this to "To Kill A Mockingbird," and I wouldn't disagree. Where that novel brought the injustices of the South to life through a unique voice and set of characters, this one illuminates the wild Arizona Territories in the decades prior to statehood and the kind of women who pioneered that land. ...more
Reunion is beautifully written, with some passages reading almost like poetry. That may seem strange for a novella focused on the events of World WarReunion is beautifully written, with some passages reading almost like poetry. That may seem strange for a novella focused on the events of World War II and its impact on two particular friends. In some ways, it reminded me of A Separate Peace. It was particularly nice, for a change, to get a feel for the German countryside and way of life in the years before Hitler's rise.
Still, I wish the author had chosen to lengthen the story, for the last third of the novella seemed to be a too-quick summary and it brought me up short. After dawdling in the description of pre-war Germany and particularly the lengthy build-up to the friendship between the sixteen-year-old Jewish boy, Hans, and the similarly aged Konradin, a Protestant son of a prominent Swabian family, I wasn't prepared for the quick shifts that followed.
In any case, for a story that gets at the heart of the tragedy of World War II without making the reader wallow in its evils, Reunion is well worth the short time required to read it....more
She's a very good writer, but organizationally, this novel moved all over the place and introduced a multitude of characters, some of which turned outShe's a very good writer, but organizationally, this novel moved all over the place and introduced a multitude of characters, some of which turned out to be important and many of which didn't. I almost had the feeling that she was forced to take a series that she'd envisioned and put it all into one stand-alone book....more