I enjoyed the tale - totally readable. The gripping prologue introduces the reader to the main protagonist, Gavin Cutter, an artist who stops painting...moreI enjoyed the tale - totally readable. The gripping prologue introduces the reader to the main protagonist, Gavin Cutter, an artist who stops painting to watch an old sailing ship, bent on self-destruction, sail apparently rudderless, onto a nearby reef.
Cutter, races across the dunes towards the ship. He is the first to board the stricken vessel, and is followed by a group of fishermen. The warm galley stove and burnt out soup pot both evoke eyrie thoughts of the ancient ship Mary Celeste as Cutter searches this ship for its absent crew. He finds only one living creature – a limping dog – that he rescues and takes home.
Of course, this lands the reader with a long list of questions which John Lindermuth's well drawn characters are left to answer. The following chapters do not disappoint. The answers come in as the bodies drop.
As usual for a J.R. Lindermuth book the characters, settings and dialogue all have an air of authenticity. His strong and believable plot kept me turning the pages right the way through to a satisfying conclusion. I rate this book 5 out of 5. (less)
The Unhewn Stone is a fantasy tale about a young man, Stefan Gessler who returns to the time of hi...more2nd September 2011
The Unhewn Stone by Wendy Laharnar
The Unhewn Stone is a fantasy tale about a young man, Stefan Gessler who returns to the time of his ancestors in the 14th Century. His primary task is to restore honour to his family name, destroyed by the William Tell legend, and secondly to learn how to change base metals into gold. Starting off as a callow youth, Stefan grows with the story to become an accomplished man.
Fantasy is not my preferred genre, but once I started this story I became drawn in to the plight of Stefan, as a modern young man, disfigured in looks, suffering from unrequited love, and bereft at the death of his dog. As the story progresses we venture into fantasy land, I continued to read, caught by the adventures of the 14th C. Stefan and his ancient family. One fascinating aspect is that Stefan retains his 21st C. outlook which at times contrasts sharply with those of his 14th C. cousins. I enjoyed his comparisons. I found the magical elements were written convincingly enough that I had no trouble suspending my disbelief.
Stefan remains very human with his faults, his sometimes overbearing attitude getting him into more trouble than necessary. He grows with the plot. He builds a good relationship with his distant cousin Rolf and various friends. The tale is sweetened by the love of Rolf and Eva Tell. It kept me reading as it bounded from one adventure after another with Stefan and Rolf fleeing their enemies, both human and spiritual in the various guises of a sibyl who is determined to steal Stefan's half of his orb and thus prevent him from returning to his own time.
The ending built up into a page turning climax that satisfied this reader.
Pillars of the Earth is an epic historical novel that completely absorbed my attention for days. Wonderful characters, terrific story I'd recommend to...morePillars of the Earth is an epic historical novel that completely absorbed my attention for days. Wonderful characters, terrific story I'd recommend to anyone. I felt bereft when I reached the end, I just wanted it to go on and on. that's the highest complitment I can pay any book. What did I learn? Everything I learned about Cathedral building, I learned from Pillars of the Earth. I also learned about the ingredients that made up a good book.(less)
‘Chickens, Mules and two old fools’ is the apt title of Victoria Twead’s, autobiographical novel about her...moreAdventures Galore Sent to amazon.com 24.04.10
‘Chickens, Mules and two old fools’ is the apt title of Victoria Twead’s, autobiographical novel about her and her husband Joe’s retirement in Andalucia, Spain. When Vicky first proposed it, Joe was not so sure. The bargain, wrung from a few anxious moments, was they would return to the colder climes of England in five year’s time if it didn’t work out.
I loved the light hearted, amusing atmosphere, the sense of adventure and of beating adversity as the couple moved from their safe, familiar home in Sussex to a broken down house in a village in southern Spain. They set about learning the language and getting to know the remarkable characters that now filled their lives. They populated the orchard with chicken, known as ‘the girls,’ as well as by their more unconventional names. The girls’ antics provided no end of amusement. I wondered what the villagers did for their eggs before The English came along.
Well written, the story flowed smoothly through house renovations and fiestas, beach days and jellyfish, processions and puddings. Peppered in among the text, the stamp sized illustrations added another interest. For those who like recipes with everything, you won’t be disappointed. Neatly ruled off from the main text are a host of Spanish recipes for you to try. I thoroughly enjoyed the read.
I give the book 5 stars for its entertainment value.
Here’s a good historical fiction. This one has a good gritty background set in the coal mining regions of Pennsylvania in the 1870s. Benjamin Yaeger,...more Here’s a good historical fiction. This one has a good gritty background set in the coal mining regions of Pennsylvania in the 1870s. Benjamin Yaeger, a police officer for the coal mining company is expected to follow orders, even when they go against the grain. In carrying out his job, he inevitably crosses the Irish. His biggest challenge comes when he falls in love with an Irish girl. This is a love story, I found the characters well formed, the background interesting and informative, and I thoroughly enjoyed the tale.
Beyond my Control – one man’s struggle with epilepsy, seizure surgery and beyond, says it all.
Until I read this book, I had no idea that such a condit...moreBeyond my Control – one man’s struggle with epilepsy, seizure surgery and beyond, says it all.
Until I read this book, I had no idea that such a condition existed. I knew, of course, about epilepsy, but not that it could take such an aggressive stand. In his book, McCallum shares deeply private moments of his life, battling against this disease. I can only stand back and admire how he and his wife Lisa coped. In spite of the pain, the depression, the uncertainty of every day, and the shame he felt at his unruly behaviour, Ross still comes out with a sense of humour. I had to laugh when he compared himself to Basil Fawlty – a great description, and I could see it all. The one thing I wanted to take up with him was his sense of shame. He should never have felt that. He was not to blame.
I found the book informative. At the end of it, I felt as though I had really learned something important. It could happen to any of us. I was surprised how long it took after surgery for him to get his life back. I can only imagine how devastating it must have been day after day wondering if it had all been worthwhile. I feel privileged that his book Beyond my Control allowed me to share a few moments of his battle
Keep Healthy, Ross, and may you have a long, happy life to make up for the time you’ve lost.
HANNAH FORD, an under-cover cop, takes a surveillance job in Draper’s Wharf. The small town on the banks of the Parramatta River in Australia has link...moreHANNAH FORD, an under-cover cop, takes a surveillance job in Draper’s Wharf. The small town on the banks of the Parramatta River in Australia has links to the drug trade, so the latest whisper goes. Her brief: to observe, report, and locate its source.
When she arrives, the town is in shock after the rape and murder of its local barmaid. Hannah, a rape survivor, could pull out, but she needs this job to prove her competence to return to the streets and full duties.
Threaded through the main story, is Hannah’s own account of guilt and rage born of her husband’s death, her rape and degradation that followed. In working to find the source of drugs in Draper’s Wharf, the line between her case and the murder enquiry is fading fast. Can she hack it, or is her worst nightmare about to be re-enacted, as she becomes their next target.
(Short listed for the Genre Fiction Award by New Holland Publisher 2007)
If you enjoy crime fiction/murder mystery, you'll love this one. A detective with a conscience, a woman's betrayal and a powerful businessman with a s...moreIf you enjoy crime fiction/murder mystery, you'll love this one. A detective with a conscience, a woman's betrayal and a powerful businessman with a sinister secret are just some of the characters in this tale set around Cornwall in the 1970s. Five stars, I hear you ask? Well, I did write it myself, so you will have to be judge.(less)
Carole Sutton's Review of Sons of Avalon, Merlin’s Prophecy
I have never been a follower of Arthurian legends and folklore, but this book intrigued me....moreCarole Sutton's Review of Sons of Avalon, Merlin’s Prophecy
I have never been a follower of Arthurian legends and folklore, but this book intrigued me. For a start, I loved the story of its conception, Merlin whispering to the author in the night to write his story, what a wonderful little tale in itself. Next, the striking artwork of the cover, the hawk’s eyes and the reflection of the boy, drew me onwards.
The first chapter and the dramatic entry of the infant Merlin, and his recovery by the elderly couple who brought him up to the age of six was a brilliant start. I became a little lost at one stage when Merlin’s age changed but the time he was living in did not. I would have liked to have seen more depth to Merlin’s childhood and learnt how he obtained his knowledge.
The story is exciting and cleanly written, the characters well defined. I had no trouble recognising any one of the boys as the story unfolded. The differences between the King Ambrosius and Uther his brother were very well marked. I enjoyed the friction between Merlin and Uther, which at times lightened the scene with brief comedy.
Dee Marie has succeeded in creating a terrific atmosphere of early Britain. I feel sodden by the English rain, sense the awe at Stonehenge, hear the jangle of armour, the clash of steel, and smell the blood of battles. I see the rugged Cornish coast from Tintagel and the loneliness of Bodmin Moor. A good read if ever there was one, and this is just the first book. Well done, Dee, I look forward to the next one
It is a long time since I have read a book written specifically for children. I started this one with caution expecting i...moreThe Time Cavern, Todd Fonseca.
It is a long time since I have read a book written specifically for children. I started this one with caution expecting it to be juvenile and perhaps a bit boring. Not a bit of it! I thoroughly enjoyed it.
The main story of the adventures of ten-year-old Aaron, and his new friend, a girl called Jake, tested my knowledge of science and astronomy. The putting together of the clues was cleverly done. I loved the idea that the kids went out and did their own research. I found the relationship between the parents and the two children refreshing. Under a caring parental voice, the children learnt their life lessons, as in chores that have to be done, and tolerance with those of differing viewpoints to mention just a few.
Aaron and Jake’s colourful adventure in opening up the secrets of the hidden cavern held plenty suspense and surprise, and the ending, though satisfying, made me wonder if there was more to come. Truly, a good read. Now, I’ll pass it on to my ten-year-old granddaughter. I’m sure she will enjoy it just as much as I did. (less)
Normally I don't like experimental writing, butI found myself gripped by this book. i t was so unusual I had to read to the end to understand it. I lo...moreNormally I don't like experimental writing, butI found myself gripped by this book. i t was so unusual I had to read to the end to understand it. I loved it(less)
“I really enjoyed the read. Once I'd started I was compelled to finish it. The time frames, present and past, flowed smoothly into each other througho...more“I really enjoyed the read. Once I'd started I was compelled to finish it. The time frames, present and past, flowed smoothly into each other throughout. The story had all the right ingredients with action, love, murder, pathos. The circus characters. both animal and human were well drawn. My sympathies were all with Rosie. Jacob, the hero of the piece was believable and I became lost in the story. I'd recomend it to anyone."(less)