Sometimes, I find that writing reviews is a chore even if I liked the story but in the case of French Lessons,by Ellen Sussman, I want to write aboutSometimes, I find that writing reviews is a chore even if I liked the story but in the case of French Lessons,by Ellen Sussman, I want to write about this feel good book.
The story starts with the three tutors, Philipe the lover, Chantal that loves Philipe ,and Nico that loves Chantal. Oh, my.
It is the beginning of the week and they have received their assignments as private tutors. They sit together at the sidewalk café and speculate about their students. The chapters follow each tutor’s assignment and it starts with Josie and Nico followed by Chantal and Jeremy.
We walk the streets, buildings, and parks of Paris and in doing so we learn the secrets of funny, sad, and interesting characters.
The theme speaks of personal values and do we pursue new ones or live with our comfortable ones. ...more
Vivienne de la Mare is not your usual protagonist because she is not a hero with preconceived opinions but as a real person that struggles with all thVivienne de la Mare is not your usual protagonist because she is not a hero with preconceived opinions but as a real person that struggles with all the same shadowy doubts that we encounter. Vivienne de la Mare’s dilemmas start in her spontaneous announcement that she and her daughters are leaving the Island, because the Germans are coming, to her looking at that little ship and turning around in an about face. The story is about the occupation of Island of Guernsey by the Germans in WWII. It is another side of the people in The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. This book is about parallel paths you take or would you follow Vivienne de la Mare’s path. It starts by wondering if she should take her daughter go to England or stay. As she stays and has to confront her loveless marriage to her solider husband, the atrocious acts by a special branch of the Nazi army, starving people , life or death, and even in trusting her daughters with information. This will be a wonderful book for Book Clubs as there is a wealth of discussion material as different views of black, white, and gray emerges. The end has a little surprise as the loose ends are tied up. ...more
Lisa Tucker originally from MO and now PA has written five novels. This is the first one I have read, but not the last, as this lady can tell a story.Lisa Tucker originally from MO and now PA has written five novels. This is the first one I have read, but not the last, as this lady can tell a story. She has a brilliant way of pacing the story. Only after the main theme and characters have been ensconced does she switch and lets each character speak from their point of view. The story starts with twins; Billy and Lila are brainy orphaned adults. Lila has married Patrick but has not wanted children and Billy marries a showgirl, Ashley and has three children. With these facts, the real story starts With Billy committing suicide by cop. If anyone has ever had a doubt about a childhood memory, this story will be a fascinating, psychological look at the secrets hidden by Billy so his sister may have the Promised World. My Book Club of 15 talked longer about this book than many of the ones that went before. It was without the usual life stories as we are all of an age that barely remember our childhood. Everyone liked it is another unusual fact. It will be my pick for my other book club which is a younger bunch. ...more
Noah Boyd’s life makes up for a remarkably authentic background for this book. His own life was a former FBI agent and his character of Steve Vail, akNoah Boyd’s life makes up for a remarkably authentic background for this book. His own life was a former FBI agent and his character of Steve Vail, aka Bricklayer was derived from his father’s occupation. As I did not read his first book, this is my thought of where Bricklayer came from. He was a disenchanted FBI agent and rules got in his way of doing his job effectively. Therefore, Steve Vail becomes a nomad with the skill of an office of the law but none of the stops. Despite this, it does stand on its own without having read the first book. Kate Banning starts the story as someone who knows something or has something someone wants. The first pages get you hooked. You do not have to wait until page 100 to get into this story. The story moved up, down, and sideways. When you think that is it, something else pops up to grab your attention. The book is very readable. , Even though Steve is a superman hero, his has Clark Kent’s romantic skills with Kate and as a result the romance falls flat in the story. The cover is quite eye catching and would make a great Mark Valley movie! ...more
My first thought of this book was that I liked it. The tempo was just right, not to slow but not too fast. However, I think what I liked most was it hMy first thought of this book was that I liked it. The tempo was just right, not to slow but not too fast. However, I think what I liked most was it has a Hero. The lead character is a Macgyver. Dr. Ben Payne (a touch of whimsy) is smart, good-looking, compassionate, with some impulsiveness thrown in, Sport Medical Doctor. His partner in this adventure is Ashley Knox, an attractive, successful journalist and on the way to her wedding rehearsal dinner. As a snowstorm cancels the flights out of Salt Lake City, these two travelers end up chartering a flight to Denver to get them out of the storm’s path. Grover, the pilot, and his dog load up to fly the travelers to Denver. Grover has a heart attack and they crash in the snow-covered mountains. Ben with broken ribs, Ashley’s leg fractured and with the dog, the adventure begins in the below freezing temperature for weeks. Ben journals to his wife every night with a recorder and we get a sense that is something not right but we do not know what it is. The ending is a surprise ending and we do not even see it coming.
Beth McMullen is a California resident and that is all I can tell you or….shoot you. This is her debut novel about Lucy Hamilton; spy, stay-at-home MomBeth McMullen is a California resident and that is all I can tell you or….shoot you. This is her debut novel about Lucy Hamilton; spy, stay-at-home Mom to Theo, and wife to Will a tree hugger. We meet Lucy crawling around her backyard looking for something or someone her intuition has alerted her senses. We learn that her paranoia is because she had been a spy by the name of Sally Sin. This fell a little short on the comic side for me and I was not thrilled by the flashbacks, as they seemed a little contrived and not flowing. It is a good story and has well described characters especially Ian Blackford her former handler. I think future novels will be better. This is reminiscent of Jane Doe on Hallmark Mysteries. ...more
People is wise ‘cause they get out in the world and live. Wisdom comes from experience—from knowin’each day a is gift and accepting it with gladness.People is wise ‘cause they get out in the world and live. Wisdom comes from experience—from knowin’each day a is gift and accepting it with gladness. -----But ain’t no book in the world gonna make you wise. Beth Hoffman has written a feel good story that has a delightful cast of characters amid the loss of a mother in mind and then body. CeCe is a smart 12 year old and by today’s definition was abused as a child and her mother is nuts in a fuuny sad way. Her mother, Camille, is a Georgia belle rotting in the cold of Willoughby Ohio and keeps reliving her glory days as an Onion Queen. The father is unable to cope with his wife’s illness or CeCe so he becomes mostly.. absent. This all takes place in the 1960’s. As her mother’s illness results in her death, CeCe goes to Savannah, Ga to live with her wealthy great, great aunt Tootie Caldwell. and her household help Oletta Jones. This is where the fun and adventures begin. I am not sure why anyone lumps this book together with THE HELP except they are both in the South in 1960. It is more poor girl to rich girl with the good and evil witches along for the ride. Once you meet Violene and Thelma, that is all you need to fully enjoy this book complete with a cat fight at a posh garden party....more
I had never read a Lee Child book before and did not know what I was missing. It is also a series that is written to start with an end book without loI had never read a Lee Child book before and did not know what I was missing. It is also a series that is written to start with an end book without loss of continuity. Jack Reacher has a rugged Clint Eastwood aura but not a physical enity to this reader. He is an ex-military man with no ties to anywhere or anyone. An enigma. In gone tomorrow he sees a woman on the subway, in New York, that looks to be a suicide bomber. She has all the characteristic tells. His military training makes it imperative that he confront her as gentle as is possible. This will open Pandora’s box of all Government agencies with initials and political figures.
I gravitated to this book as the reviews stated the story was born of a real person but fictionalized. It started out very strong and the characters weI gravitated to this book as the reviews stated the story was born of a real person but fictionalized. It started out very strong and the characters were very much like the yippy culture of today. As it went on I started to dislike Erika as a spoiled brat. She was gifted with the voice of an angel and yet angry as she could not have a child. I almost felt her stamping of feet….but I want a child and then continue my dream to sing opera in Italy. The husband, Peter, was almost as bad. I then realized that Erika was a modern woman caught in the 1900’s and at that point I began to forgive her and became a champion for her and her gift. Enter the timeless issue of fertility and the doctor, Dr. Ravell , with his modern designs for infertility treatment in 1903. The three lives become intertwined in Boston, beautiful and lush coconut plantations in Trinidad and finally in Italy. I finally connected with this book in Italy. While the views of Trinidad were well done, I got lost in the streets of Italy. This book has a story to tell and is an easy read. ...more