The enchantment of magical childhood dreams. Happiness is achieved when all the pieces of life's puzzle are put together and the picture is complete.The enchantment of magical childhood dreams. Happiness is achieved when all the pieces of life's puzzle are put together and the picture is complete. In THE SECRET GARDEN, damaged souls are repaired and nourished until they flourish like the reborn blooms in the secret garden place. My mother and I both loved the book and the two film versions. ...more
"The Dragons of Chiril", by Donita K. Paul, is a delightfully descriptive fantasy adventure. The dragons are wonderfully written and given distinctive"The Dragons of Chiril", by Donita K. Paul, is a delightfully descriptive fantasy adventure. The dragons are wonderfully written and given distinctive abilities and appearances. My favorite character was the giant parrot Beccaroon, whose somewhat stern demeanor thinly disguised his great loving heart. After the disappearance of her father, a renowned sculptor, young Tipper is left to care for her seemingly befuddled mother and their family home. She is aided by her guardian and advisor, Beccaroon. As the years pass, managing to keep hearth and home together becomes increasingly difficult. Tipper sells pieces of her father's art in order provide for her mother and keep their home from being lost. When her father reappears under mysterious circumstances, Tipper learns that she must recover three special sculptures from the works which had been sold. If the statues cannot be brought back together, her father will vanish forever. Thus begins the journey of Tipper and an odd assortment of comrades and dragons, banded together on a vital quest which will save her father's life. Each traveler on the journey learns much about themselves, and they also come to an enlightened understanding of each other. While some elements of the story line are resolved, the ending is left open to make room for the next entry in the series. The explanatory information in the appendix/glossary at the end of the book would have been much more helpful as a preface. Overall, however, I enjoyed the dragons very much!
Review copy provided at no charge by WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group ...more
"Crossing the Continent" proves to be a fascinating, fateful journey for young Rheauna, known as "Nana". Author Michael Tremblay sends his girl heroin"Crossing the Continent" proves to be a fascinating, fateful journey for young Rheauna, known as "Nana". Author Michael Tremblay sends his girl heroine on an epic train trip across the Canadian countryside of the early 1900's as she rides to reunite with the mother who had abandoned her five years ago. Leaving behind her grandparents and their farm, Nana's trek entails three stops, and at each stop, Nana meets a different and disarming relative. Taking it all in, both what she can comprehend, and that which she can only contemplate, Nana eventually reaches her destination as a quite different girl than the one who first boarded the train. What she has left behind is not lost to her, and she gains much through her travels. Sometimes you have to let something go so that it can return to you in its own time and in its own way. "Crossing the Continent" is the first in Michael Tremblay's series of "Crossings" novels, providing the story and character origins of his acclaimed "Chronicles of the Plateau Mont-Royal".
As I began to read "Margaret from Maine", by author Joseph Monninger, the fluidity of the story line and the immediacy of the characters quickly drewAs I began to read "Margaret from Maine", by author Joseph Monninger, the fluidity of the story line and the immediacy of the characters quickly drew me in. Before I knew it, I had finished the book, but I didn't feel finished with the characters--I wanted to read more. I wanted to know what the future held for these people whose loneliness led them to each other. Margaret Kennedy's husband, Tom, was considered a war hero. His personal sacrifice to save a comrade had left him in a vegetative state. His body lived, but the spirit of the man had long ago left his physical shell. We meet Tom in the first chapter of the book, and experience the horrible moment which changed the lives of all the Kennedys forever. Tom never got to know his young son, Gordon, and Margaret took over the running of their dairy farm with the assistance of Tom's father, Ben. Six years after Tom was wounded, Margaret receives an invitation to attend the Washington, DC signing of a bill to improve care for comatose veterans. Margaret would be escorted to DC by Charlie King, a member of the diplomatic core with whom she had conversed by phone. Charlie is himself a veteran, assigned to desk duty after losing part of one leg due to a battle wound. When Charlie and Margaret meet, there is an immediate and intense attraction of both body and soul. The trip to DC becomes an extended romantic interlude, one that is unexpected and irresistible despite the undercurrent of conflict. Margaret never expected to be with any man other than her husband, but Charlie is warm and courtly, and his attention to her is like sustenance for her too-long-deprived female sensibilities. Charlie is smitten, and he knows it. Margaret is the woman he has waited for his entire life, but how to make her see it? Two good people, who have lived dutiful lives, now have a chance for true love and happiness, or do they? Charlie is about to leave the States for a diplomatic post in Africa. Margaret has the huge responsibility of caring for her family and overseeing the running of the dairy farm. She's still married to a man who has been spiritually dead for six years, and as long as his body still breathes in the care facility, she is bound to him as his wife. Will the love between Charlie and Margaret be lost, or will their fates somehow become intertwined? Joseph Monninger has created a compelling and touching romance with characters for whom you root for to find a happy ending. Happiness comes and goes sometimes in unexpected, random surges, but we must all be prepared to grab that happiness and hold on when it finally comes our way.
Author Chris Bohjalian's unique talents as a storyteller propel readers through the harrowing adventure of a teen girl's journey of survival after a dAuthor Chris Bohjalian's unique talents as a storyteller propel readers through the harrowing adventure of a teen girl's journey of survival after a devastating nuclear incident decimates the life she has known. Emily Shepard's parents both worked for a nuclear power plant in Vermont. Her father was in charge of the plant, and when a nuclear meltdown occurs, both of her parents were killed, and her father was blamed for the disaster. Knowing that she must flee to escape the hatred directed toward her dead parents, Emily goes on the run, inventing a new identity for herself and living each day as best she can. The everyday realities of her new life are rough, raw, and dangerous. Seeking something to cling to in her hellish existence, she remembers the poems of Emily Dickinson. She finds herself in the role of protector of Cameron, a nine-year old boy also without a home. Real friendships are rare, and trust is an even more precious commodity. Physical health and mental well-being are often frequently threatened. Is there such a thing as a safe haven? Is there anyone left who really cares? This story is told in first-person, and Emily's voice will haunt you long after you read the last page.
The remote Northern Canada locale of "Road Ends" adds much to the emotional bleakness felt by its characters. Author Mary Lawson sets her story line iThe remote Northern Canada locale of "Road Ends" adds much to the emotional bleakness felt by its characters. Author Mary Lawson sets her story line in the fictional small town of Struan in the era of the late 1960's. Meg Cartwright has been a lifelong caregiver to a male-dominated family, with her often dream-state mother the only other female in the bunch. Her father prefers the sanctuary of the study to being involved in his own family's wants and needs. Finally, Meg can bear it no more, and she boldly moves to England to work and live an independent life. London offers many surprises, including an unexpected romance with her coworker Andrew. In her absence, her home and family are going to pieces, broken and scattered, and hopelessly lost without Meg. Eventually, she must return to Struan, and once there she is again sucked into the vortex of endless care-giving. Her family situation has always been one of clearly marked lines for Meg--she either makes the sacrifice to stay, or she chooses to extricate herself once-and-for-all from the clinging tentacles of her parents and siblings. For someone like Meg, there is no in-between. What will be her irrevocable decision? For anyone like me who made the decision to stay, much of this story will ring true.