Jack of Spades is a new novel by one of my favorite authors. Library Journal called it, "A great psychological noir novel...A tour de force." The mainJack of Spades is a new novel by one of my favorite authors. Library Journal called it, "A great psychological noir novel...A tour de force." The main character is Andrew J. Rush, an author who has sold his twenty-eight mystery novels for million of copies in nearly thirty countries and he has a top agent and published in New York. He lives in a small New Jersey town with his wife and three grown children and is noted for his philanthropy. But, Andrew is hiding a dark secret. Under the pseudonym "Jack of Spades," he writes another type of books--dark, violent, lurid, masochistic books that even his wife doesn't know about. He has gone to great lengths to ensure the publication of these books, even setting up an arrangement with another agent and publisher. These are novels that the refined Andrew Rush wouldn't be seen reading, let alone writing. He owns a huge estate called Mill Brook House that has been featured in decorating magazines. With his third bestseller in the 1990s he began to be compared to Stephen King, even called "The gentleman's Stephen King." One day his daughter was visiting and walked into his office and noticed a book on his desk written by a man named Jack of Spades and begins to ask questions. Even his wife didn't know he was writing them since he did so in the basement with the door locked. Rush receives a court summons from a local woman who has accused him of plagiarizing her own self-published fiction. He is so stunned and upset that he calls the courthouse and tries to ascertain who the woman is, but she will not give him the information. He calls his publisher and the man is able to find out the woman's name. He calls her, but she won't talk to him and when he lets it slip to his publisher, he is told not to try to contact her again and that the attorney for the published will handle things. Andrew becomes paranoid and attends the hearing even though he is advised not to. The woman has brought stacks of papers and notecards and becomes hysterical when the Judge rules in favor of Andrew. She has a breakdown and has to transferred to the hospital. Andrew begins drinking more and acting unusual, obsessed with the woman to the point that he disguises himself and goes to her home and breaks through a window. He discovers she has a collection of first editions signed by authors like Poe, Ambrose Bierce, and the novel Dracula signed by Bram Stoker. He takes the books and hides them with some of his books in the basement. While he is in the house, a large black cat watches him. He is so intrigued that he goes back a second time and takes more books. Meanwhile, his marriage is not going well and he suspects his wife of having an affair with a man she works with. He knows that the man often rides a bicycle to work and drives the route he would take and when he spots him, he runs over him only to discover it was a Japanese boy. He starts hallucinating and talking aloud to himself thinking jack of Spades is talking to him. Suddenly, his reputation, career, and family life all come under threat. The ending is certainly "noir." It is shocking and I read furiously to uncover the ending. I highly recommend this latest tale of suspense. ...more
**spoiler alert** This novel follows four previous novels by Beatrice Williams: Tiny Little Thing, The Secret Life of Violet Grant, and A Hundred Summ**spoiler alert** This novel follows four previous novels by Beatrice Williams: Tiny Little Thing, The Secret Life of Violet Grant, and A Hundred Summers. Her latest, Along the Infinite Sea, continues her excellence in writing. The story focuses on three Schuyler sisters who have problems, but Pepper's is world-class. The setting is Florida 1966. She has just finished fixing up a rare, vintage inky, black 1936 Special Roadster Mercedes and sells it at auction for three-hundred thousand dollars and the money is already in the bank. She is staying at The Breakers wondering about the buyer and realizing that she can now take care of the baby that she is carrying without worrying about the Senator, married father. Pepper loves the sun and is lying on the beach when a woman's voice says, "Good afternoon." Bolting upright, she sees a woman who looks a lot like Audrey Hepburn who continues to tell her she is the buyer of the Mercedes. Her name is Annabelle Dommerich and the protagonist of the story. She takes pepper under her wing and lets her stay at her beautiful Floridian home while she leaves to look for someone in her past. And what a past it is. Annabella's story takes place in Europe in the 1930s where she earns money giving cello lessons. She is hired by a German Nazi to give lessons to his daughter. She confesses to him that she is pregnant and he offers to marry her and take care of her and the baby. They marry the next day. She has a son who she names Florian and Herr von Kleist treats him as his own. The real father is a Jew she had met when she was only nineteen and living with her father and brother. She walks down to the ocean one night and finds a man bleeding. He has a boat moored off the coast, and she takes him there and uses her skills as a nurse learned in a convent to save his life. His name was Stefan and she falls desperately in love with him and he with her. He is working in a secret group of men who are trying to save Germany from the Nazis and disappears for awhile. That is the main reason she agrees to marry Von Kleist. All is well until Stefan reappears. They start meeting in Paris at the Ritz. Meanwhile, Pepper's exploits are unfurling in 1966 where the father of her baby has tracked her to remote coastal village in Georgia. He offers her money if he can have the child, but she refuses. Here, Annabella and pepper come together to face down the shadows of their complicated lives. The plot is complicated and the historical details taken from actual happenings. The author explains in he Historical Note that she had gotten the idea for the story from an article in the newspaper about a rare 1936 Mercedes 540K Special Roadster being discovered in a shed at an inn in Greenwich, Connecticut where she then lived. A German baroness had riven this extraordinary car around Europe in the years before the Second World War. Eventually, she fled to America with her car and when the car was discovered in 1989 it hadn't been touched in twenty years. Fully restored, the car sold at auction in 2012 for nearly twelve million dollars. The book was an intriguing read and opens up to the reader a dazzling world of secrets and sacrifices, midnight escapes, and a thrilling love story amidst the background of Europe at the height of World War Two. ...more
The setting for the novel in the Blossom Street series is Seattle where Libby Morgan is working in a law office and expecting to make partner. She hasThe setting for the novel in the Blossom Street series is Seattle where Libby Morgan is working in a law office and expecting to make partner. She has sacrificed everything for her career including friends, her marriage, and the chance at having children. When one of the partners, Hershel, calls her into the office, she fully expects the good news that she is going to become a partner, but nothing could have prepared her for the news she received. He starts off by saying that she had carried a "substantial load" of the work, and continues, "That's why this decision has been especially difficult". He continues to tell her that though she has put in more hours than anyone else,the problem was the lack of 'making rain' meaning she had not brought new clients into the firm. The action shifts to four months later and Libby has gained weight from consoling herself with ice cream. Her father suggested that she needed to network so when she goes to the gym she meets a woman named Robin who becomes her friend. Libby had devoted her life to work and suddenly remembers what else Hershel had told her: Get a life.
Robin takes Libby to a knitting shop called A Good Yarn where she meets the owner named Lydia and buys supplies to knit a baby's cap, having seen a sample and thinking it would be easy. She decides to donate them to Seattle General hospital for the preemies. When delivering them, she is struck with how helpless the preemies are and offers to volunteer. She meets Lydia's daughter Casey and friend Ava. One day at the hospital she is in the elevator with a doctor and the two girls get on. When they leave, he says to Libby, "One of those girls is pregnant".
This innocent comment will alter Libby's life as she meets the girl and ends up becoming the lonely girl's best friend. This will shape Libby's future in surprising and profound ways. She relishes the different, caring person she has become and starts a relationship with the doctor. But, when she decides to open her own law firm, old habits return and she becomes obsessed again with her work. Can she realize before it is too late that she is making the same mistake and get her life back on track? Read this delightful romantic novel to find out. ...more
Peter Lovesey is a master of crime fiction and his latest is testimony that he continues to be the best. This is the fifteenth book in the Peter DiamoPeter Lovesey is a master of crime fiction and his latest is testimony that he continues to be the best. This is the fifteenth book in the Peter Diamond series. The setting is Sussex, a small town on the south coast of England. The inciting force that initiates the action is the disappearance of an art teacher at a posh private girls' school. None of her students miss her boring lessons, especially since her replacement is a good-looking male teacher with a sporty car. When her name shows up on a police missing persons list, it is time for detective Peter Diamond to show up. His supervisor Chief Constable Georgina Dallymore requests he accompany her on a Home Office internal investigation. A Sussex detective gas been suspended for failing to link DNA evidence of a relative to a seven-year-old murder case. Diamond does not want to go, but can't refuse his superior officer. He becomes much more interested when he realizes that the suspended officer is an old friend.
As Peter begins asking questions, he notices connections between the cold case and the missing art teacher. He wonders if the two mysteries could be connected. He discovers that a lot of people have gone missing in Sussex and this leads him and Dallymore into unchartered waters. The two have stumbled into a web of related crimes including hallucinogenic mushrooms. They had once been openly on sale, but had been declared class A drugs under the Misuse of Drugs Act. In 2005 the act had been tightened to include fresh mushrooms of the liberty cap variety. They were considered as dangerous as heroin and cocaine. When Peter finds a shed growing the mushrooms, he is hit over the head and suffers a concussion. But, he prevails and also solves the missing persons mystery. A definite five star novel. ...more
This latest 0ffshoot on Edgar Allan Poe focuses on Virginia, Poe's young bride. They were cousins and married when Virginia was only thirteen. The setThis latest 0ffshoot on Edgar Allan Poe focuses on Virginia, Poe's young bride. They were cousins and married when Virginia was only thirteen. The setting is New York City in 1845 and "The Raven" is all the rage. Francis Osgood trying to establish herself as a poet, marvels at Poe's meteoric rise to fame. She lives with relatives with her two children after her husband left her for other women. She has made a small success with her children's poems, but longs for recognition as a poet like Poe. She gets her wish when she attends a literary meeting where Poe is present and people are clamoring for him to recite his poem. When he begins, Frances is smitten with his dark, brooding looks. He comes to her and begins a flirtation that turns into an affair. Mrs. Poe befriends Frances to keep an eye on her husband.
Poe lives in near squalor with his aunt and his wife. The author paints her as clingy and desperate to hold on to her husband who has obviously fallen in love with Francis. Family and friends become aware of their interest in each other and Francis is torn between her love for Poe and her children's welfare. The novel is interesting in the variation of Poe's affection for another woman while his wife is dying. ...more
It amazes me that a mother and son who live in different states can consistently deliver these historically correct books that hold the reader's attenIt amazes me that a mother and son who live in different states can consistently deliver these historically correct books that hold the reader's attention to the final denouement. I especially enjoyed A Pattern of Lies because the action takes place during a period I am interested in, World War I. The book is a continuation of the Bess Crawford Mystery series and relates the story when an explosion at Ashton Powder Mill in 1916 killed more than a hundred men. Two years later, the tragic event is under investigation for murder even though it had originally been ruled an accident.
Bess Crawford, a friend of the Ashton family, arrives in Kent for a visit not realizing what is happening. She meets Mark, son of the Ashtons, and notices that the villagers are shunning them. One goes as far as to throw an egg at their car window. Much description is given here of the swale that the town was built around and the importance of the Canterbury Cathedral. She describes the beauty of the colored glass window that I have seen for myself. This familiarity of the area added immensely to the interest in the story. While staying at the manor house, she discovers a pillow that had been stuffed behind a chair and notices that the stitches seem to be ragged. Taking a pair of nail scissors, she unpicked the stitching and saw a picture of the white cliffs of Dover and written beneath: INVICTA, an ancient motto of Kent. She believes the Ashtons may be related to the royal family of Henry Eighth.
Bess is a nurse working in a hospital in London and goes back to care for injured men. She is assigned a room, but when she goes there, another girl is asleep in the bed. Bess goes to another room and learns later that someone had tried to kill the girl. She gets a message that Mr. Ashton has been arrested and tried to commit suicide in his cell. She asks for leave and returns to Cranbourne to check on Mr. Aston. She claims to be his cousin so the locals won't make more assumptions. She is shocked at the animosity directed at the family. One day while walking Nan , the family dog, a local woman accuses the dog of killing her chickens and files a complaint. The townspeople leave threatening notes and tried to start a fire at the house. Bess realizes she must find someone to help her clear their name. She learns the name of a man who used to work at the mill named Rollins and tries to locate him.
She finds the man and asks him to go back and tell his story to the authorities, but the man who had caused the fire tries to kill him and Bess inside the Canterbury Cathedral. He uses a silk scarf to choke her like the one he had used on the girl who had taken her room. She finally manages to wrest it away from him and hits him repeatedly over the head. with her umbrella. Thank goodness it rains a lot in England. Mr. Ashton's name is cleared and all ends well. This is the best Charles Todd book I have read and I give it a sound five stars.
This is the best book yet in Sue Grafton's ABC series with Kinsey, a private detective who lives in a converted garage in Santa Teresa, California inThis is the best book yet in Sue Grafton's ABC series with Kinsey, a private detective who lives in a converted garage in Santa Teresa, California in 1989. The owner of the property and best friend has been noticing that his water bill is higher then usual and he has been rationing water because of the severe drought that is plaguing the area. Although Kinsey has a lot of money in the bank, she still wants to work and is delighted when a woman named Hallie Bettancourt asks her to locate her son she had when she was fifteen and gave up for adoption at her parents insistence. Hallie had just discovered that her son has been released from prison and she wants to take care of his needs. The woman offers five hundred dollars, but Kinsey asks her standard two hundred. She finds the information and contacts Hallie to give her the information and discovers that everything the woman had told her was false. To add insult to injury, one of the hundred dollar bills is one of the same bills wealthy Air Xanakis used two years ago to ransom a Turner painting from his ex wife who had pilfered it. The wife was hot-tempered and when she discovered her husband had cheated with her best friend, steals the extremely valuable painting her ex doesn't even realize he has. They had purchased an expensive house with all furnishing included and she had found the turner painting in the basement. Kinsey is irked that Hallie has taken advantage of her, but turns her attention to a banker's box holding a recently murdered private investigator's files that is sent to Kinsey. Secretly stashed in a false bottom is a padded mailer containing personal items: a small Bible, a red-bead rosary, a child's birthday card with four one-dollar bills, and a studio portrait of a little girl on her mother's lap. Falling out of one file folder is a piece of graph paper with lines of numbers-a code or cipher that, when broken, contains the names of six women. Kinsey finds out that one of the women dad committed suicide twenty-eight years ago. A second had sued a co-worker for harassment. The only link is Ned Lowe, husband of the dead woman. He was the target of the lawsuit. Kinsey wastes no time identifying this sociopath. The question is whether she can prove her case before she becomes his next victim. The sub plot of Harry's missing water is solves when he has a plumber come and finds someone has tapped onto his water line. The elderly couple next door is culpable. Kinsey had sneaked in one day and found the wheelchair bound man was up and walking around. She went to the courthouse and found the owner of the house and contacted them. They had the house up for sale, but had no knowledge that people were living there. She confronts the, but they say there is nothing she can do about it since they are elderly and poor. Not to be outdone, Kinsey contacts a bail bondsman she used to work with and they discover the couple are wanted for theft. They are the only people who can arrest them. Thus another problem solved. Sue Crafton has upped her game in writing this amazing thriller. Her ingenious of creating a fabulous book based on the letter x is a credit to her adeptness as a writer. This is one of the best books I have read this year. ...more
I am on a reading quest to read all of Margaret Maron's Deborah Knott Mystery series. So far I have read Shooting At Loons, Killer Market, Death's HalI am on a reading quest to read all of Margaret Maron's Deborah Knott Mystery series. So far I have read Shooting At Loons, Killer Market, Death's Half Acre, and Long Upon the Land. I have just finished Home Fires and it might be the best one yet. The series is about the Knott family of North Carolina. Deborah is a Circuit Court Judge at the start of a reelection campaign. Her father plans a picnic to kick off the start of her campaign with a pig smoked in a cooker, soft drinks iced in big garbage pails bought for this purpose, wooden tubs filled with lemonade, roasted pork slathered with a vinegar based sauce, hushpuppies, and slaw. During the celebration her nephew is arrested, with two friends, for desecrating a cemetery. When the same spray painted graffiti shows up at an African American church that's been torched, the young men are suspected of arson. Deborah is determined to help her nephew, but when two more black churches are burned, she is totally blindsided when two bodies are uncovered under one of the churches. Though Deborah is busy with her reelection and building a house at the back of her father's property, she is determined to help a member of her family.
The author does an incredible job of making the reader part of the action. She describes two inner voices for her protagonist, "the Preacher" and the "pragmatist" who seem to perch on her shoulder and compete for her main character's decisions. A foil is introduced with the local D. A. who is black, strict, and aloof to Deborah's openness. She routinely deals out harsher recommendations of punishment to the black men, while the judge is far more lenient. A case comes up in Deborah's court involving a black woman charged with writing two cold checks to a local department store. In offering her reason, she claims to have added up wrong and loaned her sister money for her son's glasses. Her sister was supposed to give her the money back but couldn't until she received a check for work she had done. She stated that her sister had the money now, but she needed to get it. Deborah asked where she lived and the woman said in Raleigh. Deborah asked if she had a car and when the woman said she did, Deborah told her to drive to Raleigh, pick up the money and return to court. After the afternoon recess, the Judge saw her sitting in the courtroom and asked if she had the money. She did and paid.
The book is a blend of the old south country comfort and New South sophistication. The reader feels at home with the vivid descriptions of the location, customs, food, and love of family. A solid five stars. ...more
Sand Sharks is the fifteenth book in the Margaret Maron's A Deborah Knott Mystery series and the sixth I have read. The series' protagonist is Judge DSand Sharks is the fifteenth book in the Margaret Maron's A Deborah Knott Mystery series and the sixth I have read. The series' protagonist is Judge Deborah Knott who lives in Colleton County, North Carolina with her husband Dwight and stepson Cal. A conference for the North Carolina district court judges couldn't come soon enough for her to relieve the pressure of being a new wife and mom. The conference takes place at Wrightsville and lying beneath the hot summer sun and reconnecting with old friends over delicious seafood dinners in nearby Wilmington sooths her disposition. That is until she finds a dead body on the beach one night when she stumbles on the strangled corpse of one her colleagues. Even though Dwight always tells her he is the one to investigate and she should stay out of trouble, she begins her own quiet skulking.
A subplot involves a fellow judge who had an affair with a paralegal in his office. His wife Rosemary finds out and threatens to divorce him, take half his assets, ask for alimony, and generally make his life miserable. Even though Dave told Rosemary he was skipping the conference, he is there when Rosemary arrives with Deborah. He manages to have her appear on their balcony together so everyone can see them and constitute condonation, the implied pardon of an offense as if the act had not been committed. When she later catches him in their condo while she is supposed to be out shopping with a redheaded bimbo, she is finally finished. Divorce on!
Maron utilizes an interesting technique when she has Deborah listen to two sides of an issue in the form of a pragmatist and a preacher who metaphorically perch on her shoulder and give advice. She is trying to solve the murder of Judge Jeffreys and discovers Judge Fitzhume was the last person to see him alive. She meets the local sheriff Edwards and begins to work with him. Deborah takes a trip to Wilmington to shop and notices a window display of posters depicting marine life. One catches her eye titled: "Land Sharks" with cartoon drawings of various sharks rendered into courtroom scenes with each type of shark taking on lawyer-like aspects exaggerated for comic effect. She meets a woman named Blankenthrope and begins a conversation with her over lunch. She mentions that most people assume she is the heiress and says that is why she was so upset when she was out with Allan Stancil and he stuck her for dinner when they had stopped an ATM on the way over and he got three-hundred dollars and went to the restroom and never came back. Deborah asks what time it was and the answer is nine-thirty. Now, she is on the hunt for evidence against him, When she, Fitz and two other women are almost run over by a car, she realizes she is in over her head.
Read this great book to find out what happens. Five stars....more
The setting is North Carolina south of Raleigh where Deborah Knott is Judge of Colleton County. Her father owns over two thousand acres, but family-owThe setting is North Carolina south of Raleigh where Deborah Knott is Judge of Colleton County. Her father owns over two thousand acres, but family-owned farms are starting to give way to shoddy housing developments and discontent begins to affect the inhabitants. A controversial woman commissioner is found dead in the bathroom of her home with a bullet to the head. Deborah's husband, Sheriff's Deputy Dwight Bryant, investigates the death that at first is thought to be a suicide. But the autopsy results call her death a homicide. Now, anyone who had a relationship with her is questioned, including her ex husband.
A flashback tells the story of a plane that had crashed over the town with millions of dollars on board. Deborah's father is walking his property one day when he happens on a leather satchel containing what appears to be diamonds. He takes them to a jeweler to find out if they are real and his daughter sees him there and wonders where he could have gotten them. She also has a secret about her past and how she got the position of Judge. Her father had a secret on the person who appointed judgeships and Deborah certainly doesn't want that was how she was appointed. So, there are a lot of secrets in Colleton County.
In searching the commissioner's house a flash drive is found inside an elaborate doll house that contains incriminating information on practically everyone in town. They just need to discover her pass word. Before it can be figured out, her daughter is also found murdered. Someone will apparently take any steps to prevent the truth coming out. And it is up to Dwight and his fellow policemen to discover the truth.
A funny case of two neighbor women fighting comes before Deborah. They each claim the other one started it. It involved a chicken that had been killed by the neighbor's dog. In trying to determine who was to blame she had each one tell their side of the fight. The woman who owned the chicken claimed that it could not have flown over the fence into the yard of the owner of the dog where it was killed because she had the feathers clipped. She shows a picture of the hen and Deborah rules in her favor. After the case is settled she turns to the defense attorney and asks if he had a pet chicken when he was growing up. He relies, "A white silkie. Her name was Blossom. You?" Deborah replies, " A Rhode Island Red named Maisie Lou."
This is another great book by Margaret Maron filled with characters and descriptions of the people of North Carolina where she herself grew up.
Shooting At Loons is the third book in a Deborah Knott Mystery series by Margaret Maron following Bootlegger's Daughter and Southern Discomfort. Her fShooting At Loons is the third book in a Deborah Knott Mystery series by Margaret Maron following Bootlegger's Daughter and Southern Discomfort. Her first novel won the Edgar, Agatha, Anthony, and Macavity awards for 1992. The Indianapolis News noted that a Deborah is "more than just a mystery; it is a portrait of a place." This is so true of Shooting At Loons which takes place North Carolina's lush Crystal Coast, where expensive yachts ride at anchor and fishermen make them living off fishing. In such a disparate community there is certain to be disagreements and this novel thoroughly explores them.
Deborah is asked to sit in for a hospitalized judge in Beaufort, and she agrees, hoping to spend a restful week at her cousin's nearby Harkers Island cottage. Deborah asks a local boy named Guthrie to take her out on his skiff to hunt for clams. Guthrie suddenly scowls and points to another skiff and says, "What's Andy up to out here? He wouldn't take clams off'n Hes Hadley's lease." Deborah realizes that she doesn't understand island etiquette, but has seen short tempers flare over the dumbest things. Some had even escalated in fist fights , warning shots , and even feuds that lasted for two or three generations. Guthrie poles over to Andy's boat and they see his body lying face down in the shallow water. Deborah tells Guthrie to go call the police as she prepares to hold the body until the crime scene can be secured.
Soon news spreads and people start talking about Andy and who might have cause to shoot him. The entire island knew that Andy had started the Alliance and he used to be on the Marine Fisheries Commission. He was opposed to the sports fishermen from upstate coming in and trying to take over the fishing. He calls them "dingbatters": weekenders and land developers who view the coast as their personal playground.
When they get back to Harkers Island, they both have to make out a statement for the police. She realizes that the isolated area is as endangered as the loons and sea turtles. But, her life takes a sudden upswing when she meets a game warden who is looking for loon poachers. They become lovers and her life is much better until a second murder occurs and a man from her past becomes a suspect.
This is a wonderful novel that not only captures the reader's admiration, but also enlightens about the environment, local traditions, and the changing times that threaten the Crystal Coast. ...more
Long Upon the Land is my first experience of reading Margaret Maron and I soon realized that I had once again started at the end of a series. In thisLong Upon the Land is my first experience of reading Margaret Maron and I soon realized that I had once again started at the end of a series. In this case, I smiled because I still have more books to enjoy. I not only gave a rating of five stars, but went back to the library and checked out ten more. The setting is North Carolina, a state I know well. The inciting force for the plot happens at the opening where a dead body has been found on Judge Deborah Knott's farm where she lives with her father. He had driven out to check his property lines when he finds a man bludgeoned to death. Deborah's husband, Sheriff's Deputy Dwight Bryant, uncovers hostility between Deborah's father and the dead man over land once belonging to the man's family. In a sub plot, Deborah's brother gives her a cigarette lighter that had belonged to her mother for her birthday. On inspecting it, she notices an inscription that rekindles questions she has harbored about her parent's marriage. She has always wondered how the daughter of a wealthy attorney could have married a widowed man with eight children to raise by bootlegging moonshine. Now, she is determined to find the answer that might lie in the name found on the ring: Walter Raynesford McIntyre. She travels to the military base where her mother had worked and finds someone who remembers her. He tells her a story about a girl who had loved a soldier who was black. She was afraid to go against public opinion and ended the relationship. Walter knew her mother loved her father, but was afraid of his background. The man said he had learned from the friend's doomed relationship to follow your heart. Deborah realizes that is what her mother had done and her parents' marriage had endured and thrived. The title of the book comes from Exodus 20:12: "Honor your father and your mother , so that thy days may be long upon the land." The novel is excellent is describing family relationships and her style is perceptive, witty, and thoughtful. I will, obviously, be reading ten more books by this author. ...more