The story opens as England declares itself at war with Germany. The WWII setting is what initially appealed to me, England, France, Poland but Scent oThe story opens as England declares itself at war with Germany. The WWII setting is what initially appealed to me, England, France, Poland but Scent of Triumph is actually more sweeping family drama and one woman's determination to provide and care for her remaining family after facing great tragedy.
Danielle is a fiercely determined, clever, hard-working, resilient woman and I admired that about her but I didn't always feel an emotional connection with her. I'm not sure how to explain it, it might be that I wasn't quite so enamored once Danielle was living in Los Angeles. Despite tragic losses she seemed so cool and removed and focused, I actually felt the distance but when Danielle was immersed in creating a perfume she came alive to me.
I thought parts of the story were a little predictable and I'll also be honest and say I found the ending disingenuous. Despite these points there was much to love.
I loved Danielle's mother-in-law Sophia and her small but significant, and lasting part, her courage really touched me. I liked Jon, and Jon and Danielle together, it was so frustratingly obvious they were meant for each other and I wanted to shake both of them for the misunderstandings.
I loved the artistry, history and tradition of perfumery, I felt Danielle's love for the creative process, the trial and error composition and design of a new perfume. I loved Moran's descriptions of the Bretancourt family perfumery gardens in Grasse, so beautiful I want to visit. I loved how Moran's writing appealed to my senses, I could smell what she was describing, my mouth actually watered at the "sweet, buttery scent of the boulangerie in Grasse where they bought croissants ..." and the perfume aspect gave the book a very sensual feel.
"She waved blotter strips of paper under her nose, then made notes in her journal. Too much bergamot in this one, too tart; no depth in this one; bring forward the orange blossom in another."
"She inhaled again, going farther, detecting the bouquet of jasmine and rose, rich and silky, entwined with a spicy note of carnation, adding verve and vitality, robust brilliance. It needs a splash of complexity here, a sprig of basil there, an accent of clove."
Overall, Scent of Triumph was a little different from what I was expecting but a lovely, entertaining read.
Cover: cover fairy worked on this one ... it's beautiful! ...more
I fell in love with Jennifer Scoullar's writing after inhaling Currawong Creek in 2013 and Billabong Bend in 2014, she has a beautiful way with wordsI fell in love with Jennifer Scoullar's writing after inhaling Currawong Creek in 2013 and Billabong Bend in 2014, she has a beautiful way with words and her love for the natural world sings.
The beauty and diversity of the region, rainforest to reef, the sugar cane fields and hand-in-hand, the challenges of protecting our reef and marine animals from ignorance, age-old traditions, outdated and often dangerous farming practices. I'm passionate about reef protection so you might have guessed I was cheering Zoe on for actively driving the wheels of change.
Turtle Reef has an interesting bunch of characters, an intriguing mystery, a splash of romance (but the circumstances surrounding it are just a tad weird) but for me, the stars of the show were the animals.
I liked Zoe and Quinn's younger brother Josh and his special affinity with animals was particularly endearing but I loved the dolphins, especially Kane, Echo and Mirrhi, the turtles, Einstein the hammer octopus and the Arabian mare Aisha. I loved learning about the female octopus, seagrass mapping and the principles of operant conditioning and and I got teary over the dugong and Einstein ... animals undo me.
Turtle Reef was a particularly special read for me, Kiawa and the Reef Centre bringing with it nostalgic memories of my visits to Bargara and Mon Repos Conservation Centre and more recently Lady Elliot Island (southern tip of the Great Barrier Reef) the highly protected "green zone" sanctuary for marine and other wildlife.
I wonder where Jennifer Scoullar is taking us next? ... can't wait!...more
4.5 stars I thought Still Alice was brilliant, it affected me deeply and when I saw Inside the O'Brien's was about Huntington's Disease I had to read i4.5 stars I thought Still Alice was brilliant, it affected me deeply and when I saw Inside the O'Brien's was about Huntington's Disease I had to read it.
Towards the end of my nursing training, a friend and housemate faced the nightmare of Huntington's Disease when her father was diagnosed. She was one of ten children. I lost touch with her when she moved away physically and emotionally but her family has often been in my thoughts and over the years as I've belatedly come across funeral notices for her father and 3 siblings my heart aches that I didn't try harder.
Once again Lisa Genova writes what she knows with great heart. I'd almost say head and heart is trademark Lisa Genova. And maybe I'd add in humour and hope because despite the evil bastard that is Huntington's Disease, Genova's message in this fatal hereditary neurodegenerative disease is ultimately one of hope.
The O'Brien's are an Irish Catholic family in Boston. 44 year old police officer Joe, his wife Rosie and their four adult children, Patrick, JJ, Meghan, and Katie. Inside the O'Briens is so much more than Huntington's Disease, it's an ordinary family making extraordinary decisions, facing something with extraordinary courage. It's about hopes and dreams, coming together in adversity and in celebration, life, love, faith, laughs, flaws, weaknesses, pain, loss, guilt, happiness, suffering, joy; all the ordinary things that make a family. It truly is about ... a million other things that have nothing to do with HD.
Thoughts running through my head ...
a 50/50 chance ... beyond terrifying. could I live "at risk" or would I want to know?
ignoring it, accepting it, denying it, worrying it to death wouldn't make the 50/50 any less or more ... it is what it is, regardless.
the dread and fear would eat me up, making me 100% miserable. That's not living.
I'd have to know
"We're going to learn how to live and die with HD from you, Dad" *sob* what a horrific disease. HD really is an evil monster
I admire Joe's approach to HD "Stay in the Fight ... Stay in the Pose"
I keep thinking about another book I've read about this disease, Eternal on the Water by Joseph Monninger ... I cried buckets, I understood the choice made. That story has stayed with me over the years.
Inside the O'Briens is education and awareness gently wrapped in humour and heart. ...more
Leaving Home packs a big emotional punch for such a small package. Three short pieces on the theme of leaving home in one way or another. At just 1hrLeaving Home packs a big emotional punch for such a small package. Three short pieces on the theme of leaving home in one way or another. At just 1hr and 25mins, it's a super quick listen beautifully narrated by the author.
Weights and Measures: opens with "The loudest sound in the world is the absence of a child." This could not be more true. Parents grieving the loss of their child, there is no worse pain. I was in tears for much of this story, the loss of my daughter forever changed me. I thought the symbolism of growing from or being reduced by loss, interesting but with or without it, the pain resonated.
Jodi Picoult's letter to her son as he left home for college was beautiful and very touching ... I shed a few more tears. She recalls his arrival in the world, her love, fears, hopes and dreams for him, advice and life lessons. You raise a child to send them off into the world but I don't think I was quite so brave when my youngest son moved out of home.
Ritz: the story of a mother who runs away from home takes a vacation on her own, told from the perspective of her 15 year old daughter. I understood the overwhelmed, unappreciated feeling, wanting to escape responsibilities but the way this mother just upped and left was not a 'vacation' it was a little cruel. Everyone needs 'me' time and yes the family coped with her unplanned absence but for me the end didn't justify the means. And the father mentioned things that had me thinking there was more going on but the length of the story prevented exploration of it. ...more