I almost put it down, because the beginning seemed like a Lifetime movie, and that's not really my thing. I'm not much of aI give this book 3.5 stars.
I almost put it down, because the beginning seemed like a Lifetime movie, and that's not really my thing. I'm not much of a summer, beach read kind-of-a-girl. And then, nearly a hundred pages in, I became invested in a young man, Dylan, who ends up being the victim of cyber bullying.
He runs away, and ends up at Haven Lake, an Icelandic sheep farm, run by Hannah, an older widow who has seen her share of tragedies in her life, pretty much all of which occurred right here on her farm: A mysterious drowning of a teenager in the lake, the subsequent suicide of her troubled husband, and the mysterious disappearance of her dear brother in law.
Hannah's daughter Sidney left the farm after all the tragedies,, but carries scars and questions about all the tragedies 20 years earlier, and has never returned to look for the answers that can help heal both her own heart, and her mother's.
Haven Lake ends up being a comprehensive look at all these people and many more. Flawed, but beautifully human, the characters have some things to sort out, and Haven Lake becomes the beautiful, peaceful backdrop to do it in....more
I thought it was going to be a page turner of a thriller, with danger lurking in the shadows, based on the premise. It reaI give this book 3.5 stars.
I thought it was going to be a page turner of a thriller, with danger lurking in the shadows, based on the premise. It really isn't. There are some pretty big twists, and it ends up being a psychological mindfreak for the main character, and for the reader as well.
Fun twists! I would recommend this book to anyone who likes mysteries, crime books, things like that. There are a few lulls when the book seems to go on too much with boring information about weeks and days leading up to the murders, but that's my only complaint, and the surprises more than make up for it!
I would classify this as a good summer read. In fact, I read it while vacationing with my family at Bear Lake. Quick andI give this book 3 1/2 stars.
I would classify this as a good summer read. In fact, I read it while vacationing with my family at Bear Lake. Quick and easy, some elements were predictable, and yet there were some big surprises, too, one in particular that I didn't see coming, and it gave me chills.
Kate had a storybook life, with a very bright future, when her husband Patrick was killed by a drunk driver. Twelve years later, she has picked up most of the pieces, and is engaged to a man who is pretty perfect on paper. But is she just convincing herself that good is sometimes good enough?
I thought this book would be about a woman finding love again, after a loss. It's not. It's about a woman finding herself and creating the life she wants, rather than just being carried along by the current....more
I have had this book on my "to read" list for a while. I thought it would be fascinating because I was born into mormonism, raised in mormonism, and bI have had this book on my "to read" list for a while. I thought it would be fascinating because I was born into mormonism, raised in mormonism, and believed it was completely true until I was 34 years old. All my life I was taught that Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God. And that his successor, Brigham Young, was not just the "Lion of the Lord", and the "Great American Colonizer" but that he was the Lord's chosen prophet after Joseph Smith was killed in Carthage, Illinois. I knew that polygamy was a part of our past, as mormons, and was told that polygamy was taken from the earth by our fourth prophet, because the world "wasn't ready for it yet", but that it would be restored after this life. I remember telling my mother that I didn't really want to practice polygamy in heaven. It was a disturbing topic to me. She explained that in heaven we would have a true understanding of all things, and we wouldn't be petty like we are here on earth. I just had to shelve the idea, because as a little girl, I didn't know how to reconcile in my mind that I would be required to live that principle if I were to attain the highest degree of the celestial kingdom. (Mormon heaven)
Fast forward nearly 30 years later when I had a religious crisis of faith. Something personal happened which made me doubt everything I had ever been taught my whole life. For the first time in my life I started reading not just the church approved materials, but EVERYTHING I could get my hands on about mormonism. And what I found was astonishing. The proof is everywhere: online, in books, in articles. I took a few years, devouring the truth, finally. I was shocked to learn that I had been lied to my whole life. I learned that Joseph Smith who we had so revered, was a liar and a lecherous man. I learned that he was completely dishonest, operating throughout his entire life with fraudulent practices. I learned WHY mobs were always after him, WHY he was tarred and feathered and his tooth broken. (I'll give you a hint... it had to do with him propositioning a 14 year old girl and making inappropriate advances toward her.) I learned that mormons weren't quite the victims they had been portrayed as my entire life. That instead, they had more than brought any suffering upon themselves. I can understand WHY they were driven out of everywhere. I had been taught to think of Brigham Young as a great man and a genius, a natural born leader who was an incredible husband and father. But as I studied, I was shocked and dismayed to read in church publication after church publication the truth that the mormon church has since sanitized and suppressed. There is a VERY black history there, indeed, that most current Latter Day Saints have no idea exists, and the blackest and most controversial figure is Brigham Young, due to his lecherous activities, teaching blood atonement in conference, (look it up, it was printed in the Deseret News in SLC, UT) and also because of the many murders and misdeeds committed by the Danites (Brigham Young's henchmen) under his rule, and subsequently the mass murders at the Mountain Meadows Massacre of the Baker/Fancher party, believed to be ordered under the direction of Brigham Young.
The premise of the book is that it details the story of Ann Eliza Webb Young, Brigham Young's 19th Wife, the one wife that got away. She not only left Brigham Young, but she left mormonism completely, and became a whistle blower, so to speak, speaking out against polygamy in Washington D.C., and eventually helped illuminate the heartbreak associated with such a practice, to the point that she was a contributor to polygamy being outlawed in the U.S.
I was very interested to read the insider information of what that controversial man, Brigham Young, was like behind closed doors. Was he tender and kindly to his wives and children as I had been taught? According to the book, he DOES seem to be kind and sweet with children, at least, but disappointingly, the truth is not so pretty for the wives. It is a lonely life, and a sad and jealous one. Yes, there are some sister wives who become close and truly love each other and their husbands, but for the vast majority, there is never enough husband to go around. There is never enough money to go around. And when your husband tires of you, he just gets a younger, prettier wife to bring him joy and satisfaction. Even many men who started into polygamy for religious reasons and with the best of intentions, oftentimes find themselves slipping into the same pattern that others before them have done, that each subsequent wife becomes younger and prettier than the one before, and in many cases, the older ones rarely, if ever, are granted visits to their bedrooms. Some haven't slept with their husbands for literally decades, while the husbands carry on with their pretty young playthings in the next room. There are many stories throughout the book, not just the one about Brigham Young, and so you get a sense that it truly is a lonely life for those who aren't the flavor of the month. It was heartbreaking for them to be cast aside, unwanted and oftentimes, unprovided for financially. The truth is that Brigham Young had far more wives than he admitted to publicly. His favorites got their own homes and special jewelry and treatment. The less favored ones lived together in the Lion House, essentially an upscale dormitory which you can still tour in downtown Salt Lake City today.
The fun surprise about this book is that it's actually two stories in one, the Ann Eliza Young story, interwoven with a modern day polygamy story, told through the eyes of one of the "Lost Boys", named Jordan. Lost boys are the young men from polygamist sects who are kicked out of their polygamist cults because they're viewed as competition for the affection of young women. The old men want to marry the young girls without having to compete. The boys are often left on highways, and most have never been outside their towns before getting dumped by the side of the road. Most experience great culture shock, and many turn to drugs, or prostitution, and whatever else they can to survive. Many end up committing suicide. It's a terribly sad situation. This story is NOT sad, however, and only barely hints at these things. In fact, I really enjoyed the modern story, and got completely sucked in. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. Jordan is a scrappy kid who made me laugh. His father, still a member of the polygamous cult, is murdered, and his mother, wife number nineteen, is arrested and taken to prison. Her lawyer acts like it's a closed case without much hope. But Jordan knows inside himself that his mother couldn't possibly have done it. He is driven to look for what really happened that night.
This book is a novel, but is based on actual polygamous life and scenarios. It is fascinating. I loved it.
I knew I was going to love this book on page one, when I read about Easley seeing shadows in his eyes during his drop into the Aleutian Islands on a fI knew I was going to love this book on page one, when I read about Easley seeing shadows in his eyes during his drop into the Aleutian Islands on a foggy day. I wasn't wrong.
It's part historical novel, part adventure, part love story. Told from the point of view of two different people during World War II, a husband John, and his wife Helen, and alternating between their chapters in their voices.
When John's brother Warren loses his life during the war, John feels duty bound as a journalist, compelled to tell the stories of the war. He is dropped onto an Aleutian Island in Alaska that the Japanese occupy. He and another airman have got to evade capture while trying to survive in the wilds without food or supplies. And things are looking pretty impossible, pretty grim.
Meanwhile, in Seattle, his wife Helen regrets the words they had between them just as he was leaving. when she hears nothing from him for months, she instinctively knows that something is not right, and that she must find him and bring him home. She joins the USO to make her way to where the troops are.
The biggest gift of this book is learning about the Aleutian people, and their story of what happened to them in the war. Most people have no idea that this remote region of the US was captured by the Japanese, and were relocated to camps. They were also mistreated by US soldiers, sadly, made to watch while their villages were burned, and their boats shot up and sank while soldiers laughed. Many died of sickness after being relocated. The government prevented the story from being told.
I'm so glad to know what really happened there....more
Because I'm a fan of dance, and follow the dance world, it was fun for me to read this book about a gifted dancer and choreographer. I enjoyed all it'Because I'm a fan of dance, and follow the dance world, it was fun for me to read this book about a gifted dancer and choreographer. I enjoyed all it's references to dancing greats such as Edward Villella, Rudolph Nuryev, Martha Graham, Twyla Tharp, Merce Cunningham, Paul Taylor and others. Unfortunately it also discusses another all-too-real aspect of dance, which is negative body image and eating disorders.
This book was lovely, despite the sadness, with a few really charming side characters.
Life knocks people down sometimes, and can be tragic. The book starts out with a wounded, broken heroine. Her life is shattered physically and emotionally after being dropped from a company she gave everything to. In a desperate act, she almost dies, but surprisingly lives. Maybe there is something worth dancing another day for....more
Excellent book. Every parent should read it! I am a firm believer that children should be read to. I was fortunate to have a mother who read to me, anExcellent book. Every parent should read it! I am a firm believer that children should be read to. I was fortunate to have a mother who read to me, and I've done the same with my own children, and it's made a world of difference in their lives. They're all incredible readers!...more