In this book,Connelly introduces a new main character,Jack McEvoy. Jack is a crime-beat reporter for the Rock Mountain News in Colorado. His twin brotIn this book,Connelly introduces a new main character,Jack McEvoy. Jack is a crime-beat reporter for the Rock Mountain News in Colorado. His twin brother is a cop who is supposed to have committed suicide. Jack thinks he was murdered. He finds some other cases of cops who were ruled suicides, but were really murdered. The investigation leads to the trail of a serial killer.
FBI agent Rachel Walling gets involved in the investigation and they end up having an affair, which turns out to be career suicide for her. The killer escapes and she is banished to the Dakotas.
Of course in typical Connelly fashion, Jack is a loner. He is attracted to Rachel, but would never make a move until she did. Another really great Connelly book. I'm looking forward to read his next Jack McEvoy book....more
Wow! This book was so much more than I expected it to be. I thought it might be sort of a fluff piece about lifelong friends. It has been compared toWow! This book was so much more than I expected it to be. I thought it might be sort of a fluff piece about lifelong friends. It has been compared to the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, but I think it is better than that. It reminded me more of The Women's Room, although not as strident.
This book tells the story of five women who meet in the park on Wednesday mornings while their children play. They discover that several of them have an interest in writing and begin critiquing each others' work. It grabs you from the first page. If there is any flaw in the book it is that there is a lot of foreshadowing until the various secrets are finally revealed. Each of the women has some sort of secret, of course. I prefer a little more straightforward storytelling, but it does keep you reading.
The women Clayton writes about seem based in reality. Four of the women are in solid marriages with loving, supportive husbands,a nice change from the typical woman-as-victim in a marriage plot we usually get. Since the book is set in the late 1960's, they begin to learn about and understand the women's movement and the civil rights movement. What happens at the end with the woman who has a bad marriage is the only part of the book that doesn't ring true. It's hard to believe that the husband would not be pushing for a divorce.
I hope the author will write a sequel and give us more details about the women's lives and what happens as their children grow up. She gives a capsule version of their futures at the end, but we could read more. I'm glad she didn't make this book longer, but a sequel would be great....more
WOW! I love this author and this character! This book was written in 1992 and introduced Connelly's character, Police Detective Harry Bosch. As the boWOW! I love this author and this character! This book was written in 1992 and introduced Connelly's character, Police Detective Harry Bosch. As the book opens we are dropped into the middle of Harry's life. The series does not begin with Harry's first day on the job as a detective. He has had an interesting police career before we meet him. We learn details about his past as the story progresses, without all the annoying foreshadowing that is so overused today. It is like meeting a new friend and learning about their past as you get to know them.
There are a lot of twists and turns in the story and you don't know where it is going until you get there. Connelly weaves the Vietnam War into the story in an interesting way. I wonder if Connelly intended Harry to be a series character or he planned to use him for only this book, but he ended up taking on a life of his own.
From the police procedural in the book, you might think that Connelly was a former police officer or attorney, but he is a former journalist who covered the crime beat. One of Harry's contacts in the books is a crime reporter.
I was on a trip and had purchased a different book to read on the plane on the way home, but couldn't wait to read it. One day at Target, I quickly loI was on a trip and had purchased a different book to read on the plane on the way home, but couldn't wait to read it. One day at Target, I quickly looked for another book and am thrilled that I chose this one.
It is a love story, not a romance novel, written by a man. He wanted to write on the Romeo and Juliet theme so he wrote about a Chinese boy and a Japanese girl during WWII. The girl and her family are sent to an internment camp. I've read other popular books about this period, but there is always a murder that the Japanese are suspected of and we are never told much about life in the camp. Jamie Ford, who is Chinese, takes us into the internment camp, although he stresses that this is not a political book, it is a love story.
I started the book at the hotel the night before we were to fly home and found it difficult to put down. I finished the last two or three chapters on the plane and still ended up with nothing to read on the trip. I seldom cry when I am reading a book, but I cried at the end of this one. Read it if you get a chance. It is worth the effort if you like great stories....more
"The Glass Castle" has been compared to Frank McCourt's "Angela's Ashes." I think it is a more important book. McCourt's book described his life of po"The Glass Castle" has been compared to Frank McCourt's "Angela's Ashes." I think it is a more important book. McCourt's book described his life of poverty as a child growing up in Ireland. As a young adult he came to America and made a better life for himself. It allows us all to feel good about the opportunities for the oppressed immigrants who come to "the Land of Opportunity."
Walls and her brother and sister are white American children who grow up in the Land of Opportunity in the worst poverty imaginable. In both books the father is an alcoholic who makes little attempt to provide for his family. McCourt's mother made an effort to take care of her family. Walls' mother hid her total lack of care for her children behind a bogus philosophy of child rearing.
That the four children in Walls family grew into responsible adults with no help from their parents is a testament to the resilence of the human spirit and to Walls' ingenuity. We all had dirty, smelly, ragged children in our classes. If you have wondered what happened to them, read this book. There is an old saying that living well is the best revenge. Walls has her revenge in spades!
Once you start this book, it is difficult to put it down so don't start it unless you have time to read. Walls writes in short chapters which I love. ...more
This novel is not quite what I thought it was going to be from the title. The book starts in Spruce Harbor, Maine in 2011 with Molly, a 17-year-old foThis novel is not quite what I thought it was going to be from the title. The book starts in Spruce Harbor, Maine in 2011 with Molly, a 17-year-old foster child. Since she has not been well accepted at school, she has adopted a Goth persona. Since Molly has no money, she tries to steal a copy of her favorite book, "Jane Eyre," from the local library. When she is caught, she is sentenced to 50 hours of community service.
Molly ends up helping an elderly woman, Vivian Daly, clean out her attic. Since Mrs. Daly lives in a large old home, Molly assumes that she grew up in a loving family. As they get acquainted Molly learns that when she was 9 years old Vivian, an Irish immigrant, was one of the orphans who was moved from the slums of the east coast to the Midwest on the orphan train, a real train that ran from 1854 to 1929. Can you imagine anything worse than losing your parents, being put on a train ride that lasted for several days, then being herded like cattle into a large meeting room where prospective adoptive parents looked you over and decided whether or not they were going to provide a home for you? The adoptive parents might treat you well or they might treat you like a slave. In fact, the whole adoption process reminded me of the slave auctions portrayed in books and movies.
The rest of the book goes back and forth between Vivian's story beginning in 1929 through her young adulthood and Molly's story in 2011. Normally I hate books where the chapters go back and forth between characters and time periods, but Kline handles the transitions so well that it is a good fit for this book.
I picked up this book at a bookstore because it looked like an interesting read, then it was selected as one of the books for a book discussion group. I made the mistake of starting to read it one night when I was trying to go to sleep. I immediately got into the story and wanted to read the entire book that night. I finally fell asleep, but read the rest of the book the next day. Don't start it unless you have ample time to read! Fortunately, it is a very readable 273 pages.
Although I gave the book 5 stars, it isn't perfect. Vivian loses her family in a tenement fire, but no explanation is ever given as to how the fire started. Although Molly is described as being Goth, it doesn't seem to fit her personality. I would forget about it until the author mentioned it. I'm not sure that it added anything to the story. The book has a fitting ending for Vivian, but we are given no clue as to what Molly's future holds.
The timing of this book was perfect for me. Our club is discussing "The Goldfinch" this month. I consider it to be one of the worst books I have ever read. This book has characters in similar situations, but they make choices based on moral values. The orphans in "Orphan Train" are worthy of Charles Dickens. "Orphan Train" is vastly superior to "The Goldfinch." It is our selection for next month. I think discussing the two books back to back will make for an interesting discussion.
I LOVED this book so much that it is difficult to know where to begin. Zelda Sayre is a 17-year-old debutante in Montgomery, Alabama, the daughter ofI LOVED this book so much that it is difficult to know where to begin. Zelda Sayre is a 17-year-old debutante in Montgomery, Alabama, the daughter of a judge, when she meets Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald (a descendant of the author of the "Star Spangled Banner"), at a country club dance in 1918. Scott is an army lieutenant from St. Paul, Minnesota, who grew up on a poor family. Scott is a little older than Zelda and had already attended Princeton before being assigned to Camp Sheridan during WWI.
Scott is immediately smitten. Zelda's 18th birthday falls shortly after their first meeting and Scott throws a party for her. After a brief acquaintance, Scott implores Zelda to marry him. Zelda doesn't know what to make of Scott's proposal, but realizes that she is at a crossroad. She can choose to stay in Montgomery, marry a local boy, and settle into country club life or she can embark on an adventure with this unknown would-be author. She chooses the life of adventure, but not until Scott has proven he can support her.
After Scott's discharge from the army, he moved to New York to establish himself as a writer. Scott got a job writing for a newspaper while he worked on his first novel, "This Side of Paradise." Their relationship is rocky with neither of them being sure of the other. She wants to go to New York to be with Scott, but thinks "He is such an extraordinarily brilliant person that it would be terrible if he let himself do nothing in the end," so she pushes him to work on his novel to prove himself to her.
In October Scott sends her a telegram that he will be arriving in a few days. When he arrives, he tells her that he had quit his job, moved home with his parents, and finished his novel. He had just received word that Scribners would publish his novel in the spring. They begin a sexual relationship and she tells Scott she is pregnant. He says he wants children, but not yet and sends her some pills to help her abort the pregnancy. She cannot do it and throws the pills away. Shortly after, she miscarried.
On April 1, 1920, 19-year-old Zelda takes a train from Montgomery, accompanied by her sister, Marjorie, to marry Scott in the vestry of St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York on April 3. Two of her other sisters, Tootsie and Tilde, were living in New York State and planned to come to Manhattan for the ceremony. Neither the bride's nor the groom's parents chose to attend. Zelda's roller coaster ride as Scott's wife begins with a long honeymoon at the Biltmore Hotel.
This book has been compared to "The Paris Wife" and "Loving Frank," both of which I have read in the last year or two for book discussion groups. I liked this book much more than either of them. As far as I am concerned, both men were both despicable human beings. Hemingway came off as scum in "The Paris Wife," and even more so in this book.
After a year and a half of marriage, Zelda gave birth to a daughter. Zelda wanted to name her Patricia, but Scott insisted on naming her after himself and she was always known as Scottie.
Fowler makes it clear that this is a FICTIONAL autobiography. Zelda's strange, sad life is chronicled from her point of view. Of course, no one can know what another person was thinking or how another person felt during a specific event, but Fowler's interpretations are plausible. From Fowler's picture on the inside back flap of the cover, she must have been born long after the death of both Scott and Zelda. However, she has done meticulous research into their lives, including large collections of letters between Scott and Zelda, and their correspondence with other people.
We see the dawn of the Jazz Age in New York and the life of the expats in Paris through Zelda's eyes. The book is full of names with which we are all familiar now, but who were unknowns finding their way in the 1920's and '30's.
What keeps us interested in this couple more than 60 years after their deaths? Zelda tells us "I wish I could tell everyone who thinks we are ruined. . .Look closer and you'll see something extraordinary, mystifying, something real and true. We have never been what we seemed." In the "Afterward," Fowler mentions that "for every scholar or biographer who believes Zelda derailed Scott's life, there is one who believes Scott ruined Zelda's."
Scott was an egomaniac who belittled any of Zelda's achievements and wasn't too thrilled by his friends' accomplishments, either. He eventually became a hopeless alcoholic. At the end of his life, he was living in Hollywood with gossip columnist Sheilah Graham while his wife Zelda, who was driven by inner demons, ended up living with her mother in Montgomery and was in and out of mental institutions. Zelda was at her mother's hoping Scott would send her a ticket to join him in Hollywood when she got word that he had died.
Sheilah wrote about her own life and her relationship with Scott in "Beloved Infidel," which I read years ago. Scott didn't treat her any better than he had Zelda.
We usually think of Scott as a book writer, but it appears that he wrote only three books. He was constantly striving for money to support their lifestyle and wrote many short stories and magazine articles. Some have been published as collections in book form.
The timing of this book with the recent release of "The Great Gatsby" film, is perfect. While I was watching the film (which is good, but not as good as the one with Robert Redford), I kept thinking that Scott, who was always concerned about his place in literary history, would be pleased to see yet another film version of his book so long after its publication. My 17-year-old granddaughter saw it with a group of her friends and they loved it.
While I was watching the film, I kept thinking that it is a shame they are not still alive because they certainly could have used the income that the film should generate for the author. I thought how ironic it is the Scott tried several times to write film scripts, but never succeeded while one of his novels has been made into a film several times.
There is a lot going on in this book, but it is written in a very readable style. I recommend it highly....more
This fictional biography reads like a novel by Charles Dickens. Clara Wolcott was the real design genius behind the world-famous Tiffany lamps and othThis fictional biography reads like a novel by Charles Dickens. Clara Wolcott was the real design genius behind the world-famous Tiffany lamps and other stained glass designs. When she started working at Louis Tiffany's company, they were producing only stained glass windows. Tiffany considered himself to be an artist, but did not do any work himself. His father, who was the founder of the famous Tiffany Jewelry company in New York, had set Louis up in the stained glass business.
After a few years of working at the Tiffany Glass Company, Clara became bored with producing stained glass windows and came up with the design for a lamp. After several false starts, Tiffany finally put them in his store where they were an immediate hit. Clara was tasked with constantly developing new lamp designs and other small stained glass items. For her work, she was paid a subsistence wage while Louis Tiffany became a wealthy man.
Tiffany promised Clara several times that he would put her name or her symbol on her work, but he never did. The fact that Tiffany's Glass Company closed it doors shortly after Clara finally left is a testament to her importance in the company.
The book takes us through Clara's life with her close-knit family, her friends, and her romances and marriages. The title comes from the letters Clara wrote to her family while she was grabbing a quick lunch at work.
Heron's writing style is easy to read. This book was recommended by a friend who is an avid reader and I highly recommend it. ...more
In this book, Harry is still retired. The wife of a detective who apparently died from a heart condition, asks Harry to look into his death since sheIn this book, Harry is still retired. The wife of a detective who apparently died from a heart condition, asks Harry to look into his death since she thinks he was murdered. Of course, the investigation leads Harry in an unexpected direction.
In a previous book titled, The Poet,FBI agent Rachel Walling, hunts for a serial killer dubbed "The Poet." She finally reveals who The Poet is, but he escapes. In this book, The Poet resurfaces and Harry gets involved in tracking him down. He also gets involved with Rachel. In typical Connelly style, she initiates the sex, not Harry. He visits Eleanor and his daughter in Vegas several times throughout the book, but Eleanor is referred to sort of coldly as his ex-wife--quite a leap from being the love of his life.
Some of the chapters are told from the point of view of the serial killer as he follows Rachel. Rachel had been banished to the Dakotas for several years for her earlier screw up in letting the killer get away. Now she has a chance to redeem herself....more
When a friend offered to lend me this book, I took it even though I didn't think I wanted to read it because I felt his first two books were a littleWhen a friend offered to lend me this book, I took it even though I didn't think I wanted to read it because I felt his first two books were a little depressing. It seemed like one of those books I "should" read. I kept reading other books and putting it off, but when I finally picked it up to read, I LOVED it!
"And the Mountains Echoed" is a family saga, reminiscent of "Pillars of the Earth," although not quite as long. The book covers 3 or 4 generations of an Afghan family and shows how much human beings have in common, no matter where we live. Most of us would have difficulty relating to life in the small Afghan village where the book begins; but when a couple of the family members move the Kabul, most of us would relate to their lifestyle more easily. Some of the family members move to France and some to America, where they become very Westernized.
A sentence that might describe this book quickly is the bond between a brother and sister.
Hosseini tells the story of different people in different chapters. At first they may seem to be unrelated, but as the book moves on, we discover the connection. There was one chapter that I felt was out of place in the book because I couldn't see the relationship of the characters to the rest of the story. However, when I went back and reread that chapter after finishing the book, it made more sense.
When I finished the book, I had a strong urge to discuss it with other people. I am going to pressure at least one of my book clubs to select it for next year because there is a lot to discuss about the characters and the story. I hope I remember it well enough to talk about it next year. It would make an excellent book club selection.
I can't really choose which of Hosseini's books I think is the best, but I enjoyed reading this one the most of the three. He is a wonderful storyteller. ...more
This is a great book and a true story. I heard Mortenson speak at a national convention I attended two years ago. This book shows how much one personThis is a great book and a true story. I heard Mortenson speak at a national convention I attended two years ago. This book shows how much one person can accomplish if they are motivated. Support of family and friends is also vital. ...more
Wow! I loved this book. Glancing at the other reviews, I liked it a lot more than most of the other reviewers.
I'm a big fan of Jeannette Walls' writinWow! I loved this book. Glancing at the other reviews, I liked it a lot more than most of the other reviewers.
I'm a big fan of Jeannette Walls' writing and as soon as I saw she had a new book out, I had to read it. This one is definitely a novel and not based on her life or any of her relatives.
The book opens with two sisters (they are really half sisters who share the same mother, but have different fathers), Liz who is 15 and Bean who is 12. The year is 1970 and they live in a small town in California with their mother who considers herself to be a performer, but doesn't earn enough money to support their family of three. She often leaves the girls for a few days at a time. The subsist on eating pot pies when she is gone.
One day the mother leaves and sends the girls enough money to last a month or two. When it appears that their mother has no plans to return in the immediate future, Liz decides that they need to take a bus to Virginia, where their uncle whom they have never met lives in the decaying family mansion.
Although at the beginning of the book, Bean depends on Liz for leadership, Bean turns out to be the one who takes action to save the family. All through the book, I couldn't help but compare Bean to Scout Finch from "To Kill a Mockingbird" and the younger sister from Jodi Picoult's "My Sister's Keeper," spunky girls who did what needed to be done. I'm torn about having my teen-aged granddaughters read this book, but will probably send them a copy along with "The Glass Castle."
Once I started the book, I could hardly put it down....more
Connelly has done it again! Wow! His latest Harry Bosch novel is a page-turner, although I understand that people who use Kindles and Nooks don't knowConnelly has done it again! Wow! His latest Harry Bosch novel is a page-turner, although I understand that people who use Kindles and Nooks don't know what that means! I started it one night and couldn't put it down until I fell asleep at 3 a.m. I finished it about 1 a.m. the next night. Just couldn't stop reading until I found out what happened.
Harry has been assigned to the Open-Unsolved unit. The day he and his partner David Chu are assigned s 30-year old unsolved case, Councilman Irvin Irving' son, a lobbyist, commits suicide by jumping from the balcony of a hotel. Although Irving is an old nemesis of Harry's, he specifically asks the Chief of Police to assign Harry to the case. Harry, who has been waiting anxiously waiting for a case, gets two in one day. One of the aspects I like most about Connelly's writing is that we are in on the case the day it is assigned to Harry and we follow the story straight through to the end without flashbacks and tiresome foreshadowing.
As usual,there are all sorts of twists and turns and unexpected developments. No case ever turns out the way the reader or Harry thinks it will. At the end of every book, just when we think Harry is heading for a happy life, something happens to put him back on shaky ground.
Following Harry's life is one of the pleasures of reading these books. Harry's daughter Maddie is now 15 and living with him full-time since her mother was killed in Hong Kong in a previous book. At the end of the book where she came to live with him at the age of 13, he was concerned about raising a teen-aged daughter alone, but they have a great relationship. She wants to be a cop. Harry is not all for that, but he wants to her to follow her dreams so he is teaching her how to use her powers of observation and a gun.
In Connelly's last book, the title, "The Fifth Witness" had a double meaning. The man was the fifth witness in the trial, but he also took The Fifth. In this book, the title, "The Drop" refers to the Deferred Retirement Option Plan. Harry has retired previously, but came back on the force due to the DROP. He has been guaranteed at least another three years on the force, and possibly five. However, we soon learn that the councilman's son's suicide might have been murder where he was dropped (the drop) from the balcony instead of jumping. It is Harry's job to prove suicide or murder.
The only facet of Connelly's writing that disturbs me is Harry's fatal sexual attraction. He definitely is a loner. He doesn't work well with partners and has had several. He is no longer friendly with most of them and doesn't have any other friends. I've always thought of him as a curmudgeon, a personality type which is not usually attractive to women. However, every woman Harry meets wants to fall into bed with him immediately. It doesn't matter whether she is an attorney, an FBI agent, or a police officer. No one is immune to Harry's charm, although he makes no moves himself or hints that he is attracted to them.
In this book, it is a psychiatrist who does therapy in the halfway house for sex offenders where one of the people involved in Harry's case lives. Not only do the women always make all the sexual overtures (and of course, Harry is obliged to grant their wishes), but once they have had sex with Harry, they are very direct about wanting to have sex with him again. Harry doesn't have to take them to dinner or make any effort. I'm not sure he is a capable of making an effort.
The one humorous scene in the book is the night the doctor comes to Harry's house to have sex (his daughter is conveniently spending the night at a friend's house). He was not expecting to get lucky, but when she makes her intentions clear, he leaves her standing on his deck while he rushes into his bedroom to clean up and change the sheets on his bed.
While I enjoyed "The Lincoln Lawyer," I can't figure out why it was made into a film and none of the Harry Bosch books have been. Mickey Haller is likeable, but Harry Bosch is a great character. Maybe it is because there is no actor attractive enough to play him now that Cary Grant and Paul Newman are dead and George Clooney is too old for the part. I would boycott the film if they cast that awful Daniel Craig in the part. He seems to be getting all the sexy guy parts now, which must be a joke.
Another great Harry Bosch tale from Connelly!...more
Still on my quest to read all of the Harry Bosch books. This seems like the first one I have read that isn't about his personal demons. At least thisStill on my quest to read all of the Harry Bosch books. This seems like the first one I have read that isn't about his personal demons. At least this is the first one where Harry was not under investigation by IAD during the book. Someone he works with ends involved in the case, but we don't find that out until the end.
The one disappointment I have with the story is that at the end of the previous book, he married Eleanor, who was the love of his life. He felt safe and not lonely for the first time in his life. At the beginning of this book, they have been married for a year and the marriage is already falling apart. She is hardly mentioned in the book and Harry is lonely again. He deserves better than that.
It is such a pleasure to read books I enjoy instead of reading books I have to read....more
This is #4 in Connelly's series about Police Detective Harry Bosch. I'm crazy about Connelly's writing and about Harry Bosch. In this book Harry solveThis is #4 in Connelly's series about Police Detective Harry Bosch. I'm crazy about Connelly's writing and about Harry Bosch. In this book Harry solves a 30-year-old unsolved case, the murder of his mother. Harry's mother was a prostitute. He was taken away from her when he was about 11. She was trying to get him back when she was killed. He was passed from one institution and foster home to another until he was an adult. He served in Viet Nam before he became a police officer.
He's a loner and is always in trouble with his superiors and IAD. Connelly always includes a lot of twists and turns and you never know who did it until you get to the last page. People who have been important minor characters in previous books get killed.
Due to Harry's latest infractions, he is required to see a police psychiatrist before he is allowed back on the job. While he is on the enforced lay-off, he investigates his mother's murder, without the approval of his superiors. This book probes Harry's psyche and he decides that his need to solve his mother's murder is probably what drove him to become a detective.
A woman he was involved with for a couple of books left him. I thought they were good for each other and hated to see that relationship end. He gets invovled with another woman in this book. I hope that relationship doesn't last....more