I love Bella Vista! I wish that it was a real place so I could learn to cook as well as Isobel. I want to meet Mangus, Annelise, Isobel, Mac, Tess, DoI love Bella Vista! I wish that it was a real place so I could learn to cook as well as Isobel. I want to meet Mangus, Annelise, Isobel, Mac, Tess, Dominic, and Shannon too. Susan Wiggs has created a wonderful place in the Sonoma Valley and truly unforgettable characters! It's been awhile since I really felt immersed into a story and it's characters.
Saved by Tess' talent in ferreting out hidden treasures, Bella Vista has been saved and is being transformed into Isobel Johansen's dream - a Destination Cooking School. The old home has plenty of rooms to accommodate the future enterprise. And Isobel is feverishly working on the details and on Tess's wedding. Tess wants a celebration, rather than the traditional wedding. She's throwing The Beekeeper's Ball. Also, the sister's grandfather is ready to tell his story.
Enter the handsome internationally acclaimed writer, Cormac O'Neill. Oh dear! Poor Isobel. They don't start on the right foot, shall we say. Bee stings and an allergic reaction don't make for a great welcome or a first impression.
The sisters are very surprised that Annelise Winther plays an important role into their grandfather's story. But it shouldn't. As the book blurb says:
The dreamy sweetness of summer is the perfect time of year for a grand family wedding and the enchanting Beekeeper's Ball, bringing emotions to a head in a story where the past and present collide to create an unexpected new future.
Ms. Wiggs gives a slight twist at the end and the hope that she will return to Bella Vista and these amazing characters in the future. Isobel and Mac just might have another adventure....more
Have you ever noticed that most of the special people that come into our lives are separated by six degrees? Tess Delaney will certainly atte4.5 Stars
Have you ever noticed that most of the special people that come into our lives are separated by six degrees? Tess Delaney will certainly attest to that fact. A television appearance that an old lady sees will altar her life and those she meets in Archangel, CA. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
Tess is an antique specialist. She makes an excellent investigator since the pieces she she researches (down to the provenance) have long been separated from their rightful owner. Miss Annelise Winther, is just such a client. Tess has found her late mother's beloved necklace among other treasures that the Nazi's stole during WWII. And the old lady refuses to sell her treasure! Life memories are more important to Annelise than the hundreds of thousands of dollars that the piece would fetch if Tess' auction house had been able to sell it.
Tess has no such binding memories. She comes from strong, single Dublin Irish women whom love old forgotten treasures. On the morning of an important meeting, a handsome banker walks into Tess' office and shatters her plans. Mangus Johansen has had a very bad accident on his 120 acre Orchard near Archangel and is in a coma. She's one of his two heirs. The other is Isobel Johansen - Tess' half sister. Tess Delaney has a full blown anxiety attack.
She only had her maternal grandmother and her mother. She now has a grandfather and sister she's never known about. And the beautiful Sonoma estate, Bella Vista will need Tess Delaney's special talent of ferreting out treasures, because Bella Vista is in danger of being foreclosed upon.
I loved this novel! The characters are well developed and wonderful, except Lourdes. And I loved that Bella Vista becomes a major character and that WWII Denmark really is where the story begins. ...more
I remember watching Giant with my mother some twenty or thirty years ago, and I loved, loved the movie. Rock Hudson as Jordan "Bick" Bened4.75 Stars
I remember watching Giant with my mother some twenty or thirty years ago, and I loved, loved the movie. Rock Hudson as Jordan "Bick" Benedict, Elizabeth Taylor as Leslie Lynnton Benedict, and James Dean as Jett Rink; what an incredible cast. And despite Edna Ferber's descriptions of these characters, I could only see the actor's images as I read Giant.
The novel does deviate somewhat from the movie: the beginning is the movie's ending and there is more to the Jett/Leslie angle, rather than the novel's stating that Jett had "a thing" for Leslie from the beginning. Ferber doesn't show this, so as a reader I really couldn't suspend my disbelief on that fact. Ferber didn't show me that relationship. And I deducted a quarter star from my rating because of it. Yes, Jett's motive for his revenge is crystal clear, and Jordan Benedict's hatred of Jett Rink is also clearly defined.
Giant should be read a bit slow because Ferber fills her lovely prose with such detailed descriptions I could feel the winds, smell the mesquite, see the oasis-es on the highway, and so on. As with Margaret Mitchell'sGone with the Wind, Edna Ferber is making a statement in Giant as well as telling a wonderful story. Ferber hates the giant cattle ranches that are actually fiefdoms, with the Big Man controlling his "people." Instead of Tara's slaves, we have the Mexicans. They are paid rather substandard wages, live in horrid shanties, treated like children as well as made to walk. Walk! Only Mexicans walk."
Bick's Virginian bride has her own ideas.
I don’t think Texas is free at all. Free, the way you said it was. I’ve been here two days and every natural thing I’ve said and done has been forbidden. I’m not reproaching you. I’m just stating a fact that astonishes me. Speaking to the employees as if they were human beings like myself. Wanting to wear pretty clothes in my home. Not liking to eat out of skulls. There are—I’m warning you—certain things I’m going to do, Luz or no Luz.”
“Such as what?”
“I told you yesterday.”
Indeed, Leslie told Bick Benedict. And Texas, the Giant, is free unless you happen to be a Mexican. She helps Jordan Benedict to see them as people and some twenty-five years later, Bick realizes that owning 2 and 1/2 Million acres is obscene. But the discrimination never leaves and eventually touches the great Benedicts.
The book blurb only hints at this magnificent story.
This sweeping tale captures the essence of Texas on a staggering scale as it chronicles the life and times of cattleman Jordan "Bick" Benedict, his naive young society wife, Leslie, and three generations of land-rich sons. A sensational story of power, love, cattle barons, and oil tycoons. ...more
In the Publisher's note, Charles A. Scribner writes that Mary Hemingway brought an overstuffed shopping bag into his office. In it were photocopies ofIn the Publisher's note, Charles A. Scribner writes that Mary Hemingway brought an overstuffed shopping bag into his office. In it were photocopies of (the now late) Ernest Hemingway's unpublished stories. Three works were longer. One of these was titled The Garden of Eden that Hem had been working on and off since 1946. His suicide in 1961 had left the manuscript partly finished. The first part that is now the published version of The Garden of Eden with minor edits to it. Scribner says that the 2nd Part was incomplete, which in my opinion is truly sad and unfortunate. I really wanted to see how Papa would have ended David, Catherine, and Marita's story. I have an idea (as I did with Gone with the Wind) as to what the ending might have been, but we'll truly never know. Ernest Hemingway always surprises me as a reader.
And this gem is no different. Hem delivers a character study, a diagnosis of a troubled marriage. A troubled marriage because Catherine Bourne is selfish, and jealous of her husband's writing - it take time away from her. She wants to change David and she does even before she introduces and inserts Marita into their world.
"When you start to live outside yourself," Catherine said, "it's all dangerous. Maybe I'd better go back into our world, your and my world that I made up; we made up I mean. I was a great success in that world. It was only four weeks ago. I think maybe I will be again."
She isn't. She makes a mockery of that world. She detests David's success. She hates David's writings that aren't the narration he is supposed to be working on. She even tries to make both into a single image. Her image.
What David learns is that Catherine is struggling. Yes, she may drink too much, and perhaps her grip on reality isn't strong. His wife wants to be a boy. Catherine wants to have sex as a boy. But she also likes being a girl. Other reviewers believe that Catherine is struggling with her sexuality. She is Bi-sexual. That is most likely true, but I believe Catherine Bourne is struggling with her gender identity.
And David is comfortable in his own skin. He writes because he has to, just as Catherine has to be a boy at times, with an intensity that matches his wife's. As Catherine battles within herself, Marita becomes an object of Catherine's affection. Later, David falls for Marita too. But David Bourne has his own inner battle going on, and his extraneous writings reflect that battle.
Neither Catherine nor David truly understand the other and their world is shattered. Would their world still crumble around themselves had Marita not entered "into our world, your and my world that I made up; we made up I mean." Yes Catherine, most likely....more
Ed Tarkington's novel, Only Love Can Break Your Heart, reads like a Pat Conroy Southern Gothic Tragedy. And I love me some good Southern tragedies. Tarkington's prose is beautiful, at times the characters' pain and fear jumps out and touches the heart. The characters are deliciously flawed and I found myself falling in love with Rocky, Paul, and the "damaged" Leigh. Even the minor characters were well developed. My GR friend, Susan and I read this together as a buddy read, and she commented that Only Love Can Break Your Heart a coming of age story. It is, but to me, it's much more.
We have the 2 brothers (actually half brothers) who are about 8 years apart. Rocky adores his big brother, Paul. His "first love" is the same as Paul's - Leigh. The two boys boys are wonderful to and with each other, until they're not. The book blurb says that Paul abandoned Rocky in the woods and then took off. That's not entirely true. Eventually, I could see and relate to both Paul and Rocky's feelings.
Paul was the rebel, the "bad boy" if you will. (And I loved his character! Better than I did Rocky.) After Paul disappears, Rocky begins to act out, becoming the rebel, the bad boy. He allows a much older Patricia Culver to seduce him, carrying out their affair throughout the summer. Unbeknownst to him, a series of events is started that will have dramatic consequences for those people Rocky cares about, and for some he really despises. It's a guarantee that the people of the fictional Spencerville, VA won't be the same by novel's end.
There's a little of everything for a wide spectrum of readers - coming of age story line, family saga, small town life, love affairs, and even murder. I would strongly recommend this to Pat Conroy readers! ...more
I still love this small book. It is the only Dickens novel that I've ever been able to read from cover to cover without giving up on the Updated 2015
I still love this small book. It is the only Dickens novel that I've ever been able to read from cover to cover without giving up on the book. I've read this so many times that I found myself reciting passages before I got to them.
But on this reading, I did discover a new nugget. How could I have missed that the ghost of Jacob Marley was always near Scrooge!?!
Anyway, I always shed a few tears each Christmas Season when I re-read this Classic. Tears of sadness for the Crachett family, especially for Tiny Tim. But tears of joy when Scrooge's heart becomes full again. The avarice, the bitterness of his losses and he rejoices with what he has, namely his nephew and the ability to help Tiny Tim.
Lastly I still full stand behind my first review of A Christmas Carol which is below these remarks.
Review in 2011.
“I HAVE endeavoured in this Ghostly little book, to raise the Ghost of an Idea, which shall not put my readers out of humour with themselves, with each other, with the season, or with me. May it haunt their houses pleasantly, and no one wish to lay it.” ~Charles Dickens, 1843.
And so A CHRISTMAS CAROL has since its publication; it has never been out of print or truly out of fashion. It is the quintessential Christmas story and the easiest of Dickens books to read. The narrator introduces us to Mr. Scrooge, a man whose heart has turned to stone from ambition, care, avarice, and greed. We see him at his desk in Scrooge and Marley Money House dark and chilled since he is too tightfisted to permit decent coal fires and candles. He scorns everyone that visits his office Christmas Eve, especially his nephew, Fred. But when he finally gets home, the massive door knocker transforms into Marley’s face and strangely lights the foggy dark night.
But Marley specter follows Scrooge to his bed chamber with chains, locks, and money boxes wrapped about his transparent body. He means to save his friend the fate that he has endured since he died seven years ago on this very night. Three Ghosts will haunt Scrooge: The Ghost of Christmas Past, The Ghost of Christmas Present, and the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come – whom looks much like Death. Through the lessons these specters will reveal, Scrooge has a chance to become a different man and employer and lead a different life.
Scrooge’s transformation is genuine as it is remarkable. Through Dickens’s simple narration, we not only witness Scrooge change but we also feel his emotions. We cry at the possible demise of Tiny Tim and the true affection Fred has for his uncle. Scrooge on Christmas morning has rediscovered faith, hope, and charity and his heart is full of love for the season as well as his neighbors. This novella is one I read every Christmas and I love it more each year....more
A true classic of libertarian science fiction as well as a scathing indictment against collectivism. Ayn Rand fury at the communist/collectivist systeA true classic of libertarian science fiction as well as a scathing indictment against collectivism. Ayn Rand fury at the communist/collectivist system explodes in this short novel. I both agree and somewhat disagree with her politics/philosophies. But Rand was always clear to her views without regard to what others thought of her. ...more
Wow! Such an amazing read! A true classic in the Murder Mystery Genre. Agatha Christie loved this plot: 10 strangers on an island, lured by U. N. OwenWow! Such an amazing read! A true classic in the Murder Mystery Genre. Agatha Christie loved this plot: 10 strangers on an island, lured by U. N. Owen (Unknown), are going to be killed for taking the life of another. Not only are they going to die, they are going to die exactly as the nursery rhyme:
Ten Little Soldiers
Ten Little Soldier Boys went out to dine, one choked his little self and then there were nine.
Nine Little Soldier Boys stayed up very late; One overslept himself and then there were eight.
Eight Little Soldier Boys travelling in Devon; One said he’d stay there and then there were seven.
Seven Little Soldier Boys chopping up sticks; One chopped himself in halves and then there were six.
Six Little Soldier Boys playing with a hive; A bumblebee stung one and then there were five.
Five Little Soldier Boys going in for law one got in Chancery and then there were four.
Four Little Soldier Boys going out to sea; A red herring swallowed one and then there were three.
Three Little Soldier Boys walking in the zoo; A big bear hugged one and then there were two.
Two Little Soldier Boys sitting in the sun; One got frizzled up and then there was One.
One Little Soldier Boy left all alone; He went and hanged himself and then there were none.
Christie, herself, says that she had to write an Epigraph to explain what happened. Do any of the ten survive? And who among them is non plumbed U.N. Owen? The note in the bottle finally gives the readers the "who-dun-it". Agatha Christie surprised me. It's no wonder that And Then There Were None is considered a classic to Mystery fans and movie goers. The fact that is that And Then There Were None was published in 1939 shows Christie's genius....more
I'll admit that I've never heard of German Petra Durst-Benning before, and was expecting a typical historical novel: a lot of history with a daub of rI'll admit that I've never heard of German Petra Durst-Benning before, and was expecting a typical historical novel: a lot of history with a daub of romance. But what I got with The Glassblower was a great story that I couldn't put down! I had no idea that glassblowing was so intricate and is considered a man's domain. That might be because I'm an American woman and all things are possible for each one of us.
The stories of Ruth, Marie, and Johanna Steinmann are both compelling and urgent as the reader wants to know how "the women who rules the roost" will survive when their father, Joost, dies unexpectedly. Johanna is the practical one and seeks employment with her father's old wholesaler. Everything is working out fine until it doesn't. Ruth has her eyes on one of Heimer sons. After all Herr Heimer is the wealthiest glassblower in Lauscha. But it is the quiet middle sister, Marie, that will be the sisters' salvation. The artistic young woman will break the glass ceiling by creating her own designs and blowing the glass herself.
I was anxious to read The Girl in the Spider's Web for two reasons: 1. I love Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist and 2. Stieg Larsson didn't write it, David Lagercrantz did. Most of the novels in several series I've read after the original creator that penned the prior series novels are down right awful. So to my delighted surprise, The Girl in the Spider's Web stayed true to Stieg Larsson"s Millennium Triology. Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist both sound and act the same way as Larsson wrote them, with 1 little minor detail wrong - I don't remember Blomkvist ever calling Erika Berger "Ricky." And I looked in all 3 books. Another mild criticism is that David Lagercrantz went slightly over my willingness to suspend disbelief in a couple of small scenes. These little "offenses" brought my rating down a half star.
Lisbeth Salander awakes to a dream. A dream of a fist pounding a bed. Then she begins to type upon her computer. She finishes Ed the Ned's sentence. Ed Needham is speechless. There is no way the NSA can be hacked! But before his eyes is the evidence. But Wasp isn't showing off, she has reasons to lead the security analyst down her trails leading to "Thanos," Zala, and the Spiders.
Frans Balder is scared. His life's work is in jeopardy, as is life. His former employer stole his AI program. The new Video game is proof of that, but selling it to the Russian Duma and the criminal Spider Society is horrific. He's carried Artificial Intelligence to the highest level to date. In the wrong hands, his work could be used to eliminate...His son, August, must be protected at all costs. His Autistic son. So he calls Mikael Blomkvist in the wee hours of the morning. Blomkvist is willing to meet with Balder for two reasons. He knows that Balder used a female hacker that is likely to have been Salander, and Millennium is in financial trouble.
Blomkvist arrives just as Belder is murdered. He sees a little boy with glassy eyes banging his head against the bed's head board. The child has seen the killer. The killer who has a small spider patch on his jacket. He is part of Thanos' Spider Society who wants to destroy the sisterhood of the Wasp. Thanos is after the boy as well as Lisbeth Salander. Can she keep herself alive while protecting August? She knows who Thanos is. They've battled before. And which one will walk away this time?
Like Larsson, Lagercrantz pumps up the suspense from the 1st page and never eases up until the very end. Each chapter has multiple POVs that pumps the tension and suspense as the various scenes pushes the story line along. Yes, I say pushes because I felt like I was in a fast moving wagon that was directly locomative. There are the expected turns and twists, then more unexpected twists and turns. I can't reveal any more of the plot, because I'd ruin the whole novel for those who've not read The Girl in the Spider's Web. I was hooked and spent the whole night reading. If David Lagercrantz writes another Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist novel, you can bet your last dollar I will read it!...more
Wow! I finished The House at Riverton a few days ago and I'm still trying to process my emotions about the noveWish I could give it 10 Stars
Wow! I finished The House at Riverton a few days ago and I'm still trying to process my emotions about the novel. I loved, loved it since I gave the book the highest rating that exists here, but my emotions are still roiling. An omission of truth led to tragic consequences. But great British Gothic stories are almost always tragic, aren't they? I loved how Kate Morton paid homage to one of my favorite novels, Rebecca, Upstairs, Downstairs even my favorite drama, Downton Abbey and the The House of Mitford. I knew this fact before I read the authors answers in the novel's Q and A. And Kate Morton does a wonderful job of blending these influences to perfection.
Morton's style reminds me of Daphne du Maurier, easy to read but powerful. She develops the characters so well, that I sometimes forgot that they are fictional. I'd love to meet every one of them, even Mr. Hamilton. She accurately depicts the Edwardian Era and her vivid description of Riverton made me feel that I was actually there with Grace and the Hartfords.
Some reveiwers did not enjoy Morton's use of flashbacks, tapes, and letters. I did - I don't think Grace's story could have been told any other way. We readers too become archeologists peeling back layers upon layers to find out what happened on that dark, pivotal night by the lake when a young poet died and a family was forever changed.
A young film maker is doing a bio-pic of the Hartfords and Riverton. She learns that Grace Bradley was a servant at The House at Riverton and may know what happened the night that the young poet R. S. Hunter committed suicide. Of course the 98 year old Dr. Grace Bradley knows exactly what happened - she was there! And she knows the why. Will she tell Ursala? She does tell, but whom? But first Grace must tell what led up to "the crossing the Rubicon". It started when she was 14 and entered service to the Hartford's at The House at Riverton in 1914. ...more
“In love we find out who we want to be; in war we find out who we are. And sometimes, perhaps, we don’t want to know what we would do to survive.”
It “In love we find out who we want to be; in war we find out who we are. And sometimes, perhaps, we don’t want to know what we would do to survive.”
It is true of Vianne Mauriac as she remembers who she was and what she did during the Nazi occupation of France. She is a wife, a mother, and a fearful woman as the war breaks out. She and her sister, Isabelle Rossignol, have had a terrible childhood and Vianne won't let anyone/anything put her or her family in jeopardy. While the young Isabelle is wild, impetuous, and brave. She longs to be loved and wanted by her Papa and sister.
But she hates the Nazis and wants desperately to do something, fight them. And she does. She becomes the infamous "Nightingale". The Nightingale and her network help downed pilots to safety in Spain. The network has become so successful that the Nazis are working very hard to find the Nightingale.
Vianne always believes the worst of Isabelle and has no idea of what her sister is doing. "Don't come back ever." Those words she said to her sister will haunt her until Isabelle and Vianne see the end of the War. It is Sophie who tells Vianne, "It's about time." Vianne realizes that she hasn't sheltered her daughter from the War, the 2 Nazi soldiers that billeted with them, the gathering of Jews and Resisters - nothing. Sophie has seen it all - all of the ugliness, the injustices, and the horrors of what is happening. When Vianne begins to help hiding Jewish children, I began to like her.
Unlike almost of the reviewers here, I didn't like Vianne. I found her to be weak, so fearful that her fear numbed her to what was going on in her village. Even some of the villagers raised eyebrows with her relationship with Herr Beck - the 1st German soldier. I wanted to like him because he seemed to have a sense of right/wrong and seemed ashamed at some of the actions his comrades. But I was wary of him; he was a Nazi after all. I was right to be wary.
Isabelle captured my heart completely. Yes, she was young, her neediness to be loved, her need to belong were exhausting, but I understood and related to her. I wish if I had lived in France during that time, I would be more like her and not like Vianne.
Kristin Hannah created a beautiful WWII fiction novel that explored what the women did, rather than focusing on soldiers or men. ...more
I had to get some emotional distance before sharing my thoughts on The Bell Jar. I read this in high school many years ago and I remember thinking howI had to get some emotional distance before sharing my thoughts on The Bell Jar. I read this in high school many years ago and I remember thinking how anyone could feel as if a bell jar has suddenly descended upon their soul or psyche. But after I experienced a few traumatic events in my own life, I understand how Plath could feel that desolation and despair. While I was able to bounce back from my painful experiences, Plath could not - she committed suicide at the young age of 30.
Such a gifted writer and poet she was! She had a wonderful gift of language and imagery in her writings. Her poems are magnificent. In The Bell Jar, I think as Esther (and Plath) received awards upon more awards, her expectations for and of herself were so lofty; there was only one way to go - downwards. And that was the shear shame of Plath's life. She never lived long enough to see the appreciation of her readers of her work! ...more
Brad Thor is always great. He can take current events and spin a good yarn. Act of War is no different. If you don't think our National debt is a majoBrad Thor is always great. He can take current events and spin a good yarn. Act of War is no different. If you don't think our National debt is a major security problem, then read this novel.
A covert CIA agent dies in China and his top asset has devastating information. China is planning an imminent attack on the United States. Code named Snow Dragon, this attack will be lethal - 90% casualty rate. This asset says the attack won't be a conventional attack. China won't fire a shot, they own our debt. She also says that Colonel Shi has outsourced the first volley to Mideastern States to further protect China from International implications.
Six foreign students mysteriously disappear, two airline passengers trade boarding passes, and a political refugee is arrested. These events are not as random as they appear to be. The Chinese asset just may be correct. Scot Harvath must lead one team and mission - "Blackbird" while Seals infiltrate North Korea to see what the Chinese are up to in the PLK - "Gold Dust." If either team or mission is compromised, these missions will turn into Acts of War.
Thor keeps the reader turning the pages as fast as the reader can. His trademark short chapters furthers the suspense and story quickly. ...more
The island of Bora, Bora during WWII, a well hidden bungalow that the islanders believe is cursed - considering the painter whom dwelt there, it's posThe island of Bora, Bora during WWII, a well hidden bungalow that the islanders believe is cursed - considering the painter whom dwelt there, it's possible - a soldier who is neither an officer nor a gentleman, a murder, a baby, and an ill fated love affair. What more does this reader want? Not a thing! I loved, loved this novel! It will rest in my heart until I decide to read it once again.
Sarah Jio's writing had me at various times: chuckling, out right crying, and holding my breath. I hated that it ended; I could have stayed with Anne and Westry for a while longer. At times Jio's prose sung and my emotions ebbed and flowed with the story.
The characters are wonderful, even the loathsome Kitty. My heart wept for Atea, "Cleo", and "Grayson". I loved the ending - it was what should have happened - "Cleo, you're a little late." Just as I was to read this delightful novel that had sat on my shelf waiting for me.
Mo Hayder has offered another verboten theme in The Treatment - Pediophilia. But, she does the subject with care and isn't too graphic. She even addsMo Hayder has offered another verboten theme in The Treatment - Pediophilia. But, she does the subject with care and isn't too graphic. She even adds a surprising twist to this awful, vile, twisted subject. There is a parallel plot line in which Hayder reveals what happened to Jack Caffery's brother, Ewan. Again, the novelist pulls a twist on Ewan's story that left my jaw dropping. Hayder is indeed a master in dark themed Thrillers.
On a quiet cul-de-sac in South London sits a small house. It sits close to the woods and the park. Detective Inspector Jack Caffery stares up at the house. London's AMIP (the Murder Squard) has been called out. The unthinkable has happened here. Mrs. Church was found upstairs away from the father and son. The father is handcuffed to a radiator, barely alive from his injuries. But Rory Church is missing. And Jack knows he will be hunting a vile monster like his neighbor. The pedophile who took Ewan, who murdered his brother.
To say more of the two major plot lines would be revealing too much of the story. Fans of dark mysteries or Thrillers will enjoy the ride Mo Hayder takes them on....more
I found this novel by accident and squealed in delight as I read the book which is very easy to read. Erika Robuck has done her homework on Hemingway,I found this novel by accident and squealed in delight as I read the book which is very easy to read. Erika Robuck has done her homework on Hemingway, Key West, and the Great Hurricane of 1935 in which 1000 veterans lost their lives while building the road that ties the Keys to the Florida mainland. She even has the great author's scathing essay "Who Killed the Vets" that appeared in The New Yorker. Full disclosure here: Ernest Hemingway is without a doubt my favorite author, and I've always been half in love with him ever since I read my first book by him. I can't ever get enough of Hem.
The storyline is bracketed by the days shortly after Hemingway took his own life and the writing technique works beautifully. We readers flash back to 1935 Key West when Hemingway was at the top of his game as a writer and when he was in his prime as a man. Yes, he is a womanizer, a functional drunk, an accomplished fisherman and sailor - he can't get enough of his beloved Pilar. His marriage to Pauline is starting to crumble and he is beginning to loathe the lifestyle and affluence of the very rich. He fights and referees fights. It is here that he first sees our heroine - Mariella Bennett.
Mariella is just 19 in 1935. And she is beautiful and half Cuban half American. Her father has recently died; her mother is spirling into a deep depression of grief. She is worried for her two sisters: Estelle hasn't spoken much since Hal Bennett's death and Lulu is constantly sick with a mysterious fever. She needs money and goes to the fight that "Papa" is calling. She bets on a soldier and wins. She also finds herself attracted to both the soldier and the famous writer. She soon gets a job in the Hemingway household where she struggles with her attraction to Hemingway and by doing the right thing. And there is Gavin - the soldier that she also feels something for. Gavin and "Papa" are jealous of each other, and they both have something that Mariella needs.
The use of "Papa" Hemingway may not be accurate to 1935, but Robuck uses the moniker to advance the story. It is true that Hemingway always wanted a daughter and used the term "daughter" when addressing young women - hence the name of the novel, Hemingway's Girl. And yet Mariella may have been his girl. And Jake may be the famous writer's son. (Read the book to find out!)...more
I can't believe that I haven't read The Prince of Tides before now, nor have I seen the movie. I seriously doubt that I will watch it too; it could neI can't believe that I haven't read The Prince of Tides before now, nor have I seen the movie. I seriously doubt that I will watch it too; it could never do Pat Conroy's literary masterpiece justice. Conroy paints each scene with such exquisite detail, none is too small nor too big. His character development of Lowenstein, Bernard, and the whole Wingo clan was absolutely superb. I hated Lila and Henry from the start, but Henry did redeem himself in my eyes somewhat at the very end. Savannah is a truly despicable human being - lunacy not included. I found her to be a very manipulative bitch like her mother, Lila. I absolutely loved Luke - the Prince of Tides. Grandpa Wingo was wonderful and even Tolitha had her moments. But, Tom Wingo? I can't really decide about him. He is feckless and strong at the same time, He is average with no false presumptions about himself. He both cares and feels deeply. He is an island unto himself and he is the lone survivor of the Wingo "family loyalty." Hell, just surviving the Wingos is a huge victory.
It is the Southern way to not speak of unpleasant things, unless that thing can bring down another person down a notch. The South places real value on Honor, God, family, and where one belongs in society. Conroy explores each of these in great detail. His description of issues like child abuse, rape, and mental illness is heartrendingly beautiful as it is sensitive. The reader feels like he or she is sitting on Tom's shoulder all through the novel, an invited interloper to the devastation of Colleton, S.C. and the Wingo family. But what rises from the ashes is glorious and this reader wanted to shout in pure joy with Savannah, "Do it again, Mama." ...more
Leon Uris joined the Marines at age 17 and fought on Guadalcanal and Tarawa. My own father served on the USS Neville (APA-9) as a Master Electrician fLeon Uris joined the Marines at age 17 and fought on Guadalcanal and Tarawa. My own father served on the USS Neville (APA-9) as a Master Electrician from 1943 - 1945. He says he didn't see any action, but I don't believe him. The ship carried the boys to and from Guadalcanal, Tarawa, and Saipan: the battles that are depicted in Battle Cry, Uris' first novel. It is written quite well for a first novel and from it strong emotions exploded in this reader. I laughed. I cried. I got angry. I got happy. By the end, I was almost exhausted.
St. Mary, Danny, Mac, Huxley, the Injun, the lumberjack, the feather merchant, the professor, Burney, Ziltch, Seabags, Levin, Speedy, L.Q., and the rest of "Huxley's Whores" will stay with me for quite a while. Battle Cry is their story. A group of misfits - boys really - who volunteered for the Marines who at the end were men of glory and courage. Some made it, some did not. Their stories of home and what drove them as a "gyrene" was very compelling. The boys of the 6th Marines lived and loved hard because each to a man knew that the "Whores" were not promised tomorrow. A Japanese bullet may have his name on it.
I still have a love/hate relationship with their CO, Sam Huxley. He finally got what he wanted, and his battalion paid a heavy price for his prize - Saipan. I loved Forrester, Marion (Mary), Mac and a few other characters. I know them so well that they are like family to me. They and their stories will stay with me in my heart for a very long time.
I read this wonderful book in Junior High and I had forgotten the story of Danny Saunders and Reuven Malter much to my chagrDefinitely a 10 Star Read!
I read this wonderful book in Junior High and I had forgotten the story of Danny Saunders and Reuven Malter much to my chagrin. Chaim Potok is a genius. His writing is easy to understand. His warmth comes through in his characters. But I'm amazed that The Chosen was only a National Book Award Finalist, rather than the winner. The Chosen is much more than the story of two boys, seemingly enemies, and their friendship. Danny is a Hasidic Jew, while Reuven is Orthodox. Reuven has a wonderful relationship with his father, while Danny lives in silence with his own father. They never speak outside of their Talmud studies. Reb Saunders' "mistakes" seemed very cruel, and I cried when he explained to Reuven why he raised Danny in silence. Danny was in the room listening of course, but his father didn't know how to break his silence with his own son. Reuven was the bridge between father and son. And to think this great friendship all began with a baseball game - a hit back to the pitcher that could have blinded Malter.
I was struck also by by the title - The Chosen has several meanings pertinent to the story. The Jews are God's chosen people. That one is very evident since it is about two Jewish boys in 1940s Brooklyn. But it is also about other choices too. One is to be Hasid and to be Orthodox. Neither is good nor bad; they are just different. Potok explains both to his readers without making critical judgements. Another choice is that Reuven forgave Danny for deliberately hitting him. And that choice led to probably a life-long friendship. Potok says the Torah teaches that a friend is chosen. I like that, choose carefully and wisely.
But the biggest choice is how different each boy was raised. Danny in an unbearable silence that gave him much pain and the nervous tick of his blinking eyes, while Reuven has a rich relationship with his own father. And yet, each boy made a difficult choice regarding their adulthood. Each rejected what their fathers had chosen for his son; Danny wants to be a Psychologist, Reuven a Rabbi. And there is the choice of both Malters to accept the Jewish state, while Reb Saunders totally rejected Israel's statehood. This choice led to a greater understanding of Danny's suffering, because he and Reuven did not speak for two years. Reuven's anger growing in his grief of not having Danny around, especially when he needed Danny the most.
I can't say enough about this book - it is worth reading and re-reading at any age. ...more
Quite by accident I picked this up and started reading. From the first page, the esteemed war thriller author, Alistair MacLean, engages his4.5 Stars
Quite by accident I picked this up and started reading. From the first page, the esteemed war thriller author, Alistair MacLean, engages his reader. Off the coast of Turkey in the Aegean Sea the Germans and Italians control a cluster of islands and the area shipping lanes. On one island 1200 British soldiers are trapped and will soon be attacked by the Axis Alliance. The destruction of the mighty Guns of Navarone is the only hope these Brits have. It is a suicide mission. The guns are protected by both nature and man in their fortress. But a savvy military strategist may have found the how and who to silence these great guns.
Captain Keith Mallory is legendary. The New Zealander is a renowned rock climber and knows how to survive behind enemy lines. His faithful friend (and his good luck charm) Andreas is a Greek resistance fighter has no qualms killing Germans. The young Stevens is proficient in German and Greek is also a great climber, but is afraid of his fear. American Corporal Miller is a demolitions specialist and Brown is known for his saboteur skills. They have 3 days to scale the sheer 400 foot cliffs on the southern side of Navarone, destroy the guns, and get out before the British fleet sails into the Aegean channel to fortify the trapped soldiers. After the climb that almost killed them, the team believes the hardest part of the mission is behind them. But the Navarone fortress proves to be as great of a challenge as the cliffs. They have to choice but to destroy those guns. Many men’s lives are dependent upon their success. And they will die trying to accomplish the mission.
MacLean is a master story teller with intimate knowledge of the military. He served on a cruiser in WWII while serving in the Royal Navy. His writing is fast paced with a great detail that does not bough down the story line. His twists are like gentle waves. They don’t jar the reader. The twists and turns just seem part of the story as its natural progression. Mallory and his team are well characterized. This reader liked and cared about them. Often I caught myself holding my breath as I read the book. In my opinion, the 1961 movie Guns of Navarone just put faces to these wonderful characters. The drama is in the book. Though the film is dramatic and viewers are reminded of the tight time line Gregory Peck, David Niven, and Anthony Quinn have. The book is deeper. The drama and action is more complete due to MacLean’s wonderful writing. ...more
Last year, I saw that one of my Goodreads friend was reading this lengthy novel. I went to Barnes and Noble and found it thDeserving more than 5 Stars
Last year, I saw that one of my Goodreads friend was reading this lengthy novel. I went to Barnes and Noble and found it there. But I didn't immediately open it as I thought I would. It has sat on my shelf staring at me. A few days ago, I pulled down In This House of Brede. I knew I was ready to read it. I had the queer feeling that I needed to read Brede. Perhaps, I know deep down that my Aunt Eloise may not be in this world much longer and that I needed the comfort of reading something that I could be close to her in spirit. My aunt is a nun.
She is not a cloistered nun as those in Brede, she belongs to the Order of Our Lady of Loretto, a teaching Order. Aunt Eloise's dementia has reduced her once great mind to only God knows what. She has become claustral within her own mind. But who knew that a story about an Abbey full of nuns could be so interesting?
In This House of Brede has the love that a reader would expect. Love of God; love of and toward each sister or Dame as they called in the Benedictine Monastery. Brede is in crisis. The Abbess has died suddenly and the Abbey is on the brink of bankruptcy. There is deception, betrayal, and thievery.
This is where the successful Philippa Talbot has come. The situation seems to be just right for her to help solve. Some of the nuns welcome her, while others question Philippa's vocation. I did too. I wasn't sure of her motive to become a Benedictine and wasn't sure if I really liked her. And some of the nuns are very hard to like. I feel guilty saying that I didn't like Dame Agnes or Dame Veronica. Must be that old Catholic guilt.
I found the book beautiful, reminding me of the Liturgy and prayers from when I was a small child. The life of a cloistered nun is difficult as the book describes. We get to see some go through some inner struggles. We get to see the politics of the Council as the yearly positions are selected. We see each nun's strength and weakness. I loved the Liturgical year within each calendar year at the Abbey. I enjoyed the writing. It is exquisite.
I know this little review hasn't said much about the plot - I can't really get it down on paper; Brede is just one of those books you have to read. ...more
After writing Grapes of Wrath Steinbeck said that he was used up. He had spent years researching Grapes, and wrote this magnificent 1940 Pulitzer PrizAfter writing Grapes of Wrath Steinbeck said that he was used up. He had spent years researching Grapes, and wrote this magnificent 1940 Pulitzer Prize Fiction Winner in a mere 100 days. He knew his subject well; he lived with the migrate workers and worked with Tom Collins, too. And the subject was so very unpopular and controversial in 1939 when it was published. And it still resonates today in 2012 as well as 1974 – the year I first read Grapes and Of Mice and Men.Many critics have said Grapes is a Union book. That may be true, but I believe it is so much more than commentary on the plight of migrant workers and of corporate greed that took the land of over 500,000 people. Sharecroppers and small farmers were driven off their land throughout the middle western states because of draught, an inability to pay their bank loans, large land owners, and their modern farming technologies – the wide use of machines plowing in long straight lines, nudging a man’s home from its foundation.
But the women knew that the family’s hearth was the family. And as reflected in Ma Joad, the family must stay intact. Man may take away their farms, control their ability to make a decent wage, but an intact family will live on. True, some members of the Joad family died or ran off in cowardice or in Noah’s case to live as his own person by the stream, catching fish to sustain himself. Theirs was a quiet dignity traveling Route 66, and the rules on that migrant highway were their own: helping those who were poorer than they were, not to pollute the water and the ground they camped upon, and respecting people. Here, Steinbeck shines. The contrast between these poor people and the big bank and landowner, even the Californians, is sharp. No one wants these people whom they all helped displaced in the draught, dust bowl years of the depression. If they questioned anything, the locals would resort to violence to get them moving. If they banded together to try and get a fair, living wage, they were called “Reds,” their campsites were burned, or they were killed. As Tom Joad points out: "They're a-workin' away at our spirits. They're a tryin' to make us cringe an' crawl like a whipped bitch. They tryin' to break us. Why, Jesus Christ, Ma, they comes a time when the on'y way a fella can keep his decency is by takin' a sock at a cop. They're workin' on our decency."
Steinbeck’s point is that decency remains intact, if somewhat battle-scarred. This, as much as the depression and the plight of the "Okies," is a part of American history. When the California of their dreams proves to be less than idyllic, Ma tells Tom: "You got to have patience. Why, Tom--us people will go on livin' when all them people is gone. Why, Tom, we're the people that live. They ain't gonna wipe us out. Why, we're the people--we go on." It's almost as if she's talking about the very novel she inhabits, for Steinbeck's characters do go on. They continue, now as they did in 1939, to illuminate and humanize an era for generations of readers who have no first hand knowledge of widespread homeless, hunger, and joblessness of that Great Depression. The book's final, haunting image of Rose of Sharon - Rosasharn, as the Joad’s oldest daughter is called - forcing the milk intended for her stillborn baby onto a starving stranger, is a lesson on the grandest scale. "'You got to,'" she says, simply. And so do we all.
When I read Black Beauty when I was a little girl, I remembered that I cried at the end. And today, I did the very same thing without the hiccuping soWhen I read Black Beauty when I was a little girl, I remembered that I cried at the end. And today, I did the very same thing without the hiccuping sobs though. I was so grateful that Beauty ended up with his old friend, Joe Green, as his groomsman in his forever home. And it was right that he again got his name, Black Beauty - his very first and his very last name. And I also cried for the mare, Ginger, and the grey stallion, Captain. I wished that all of his wonderful friends were with him, but Beauty seems to have the sole survivor. I ranted at Reuben for "ruining" him, but even more at Beauty's Master, the Earl, for letting that man get near him.
Told in Beauty's voice, we readers follow Beauty from when he was a colt to the "ruined" adult horse. He has known kindness and cruelty without complaint. He never hurts another horse or a human being - though I'd have bitten a few humans that he came into contact with if I were him. It is said Anna Sewell wrote this book to shine light on 19th Century animal maltreatment. Animals will serve humans well if they are treated with consideration and kindness. Sewell focuses mainly on drunkards and those men who are only looking out for themselves.
But I believe there is more than her timeless and universal message - it is also about the Eleventh Commandment - Treat others (humans as well as animals) as you yourself want to be treated. John Manly and Jerry Barker taught this example well and I was glad that I fully saw both lessons with this reading. Every child should read this wonderfully sweet and uplifting novel. ...more
The novel opens after "the group" graduates for Kay's wedding, an unusual one at that to their elite standards. But that is all right by them because they've sworn not to be like their parents. Some are Socialists, others Communists; but all are progressive. They begin their adult lives. Some women drift apart and some become entangled in each others lives as they embark into their careers in medicine, publishing, and what not. One flees to Europe. They all experience heartbreak in one form or another. But these are strong women with even stronger opinions.
The women are definitely not their mothers. Every one them feels superior and feels sorry for this or that one of "the group." But when things get tough one of their group is always there for another in the group. They come full circle when one dies, ten years after they graduated. They mourn the loss of their friend and confidant, but the remaining ladies will always be "the group."...more
In the ruins of what used to be America, post-apocalyptic Panam has emerged. To remind its people that going against the CapitalA Big 5 Stars
In the ruins of what used to be America, post-apocalyptic Panam has emerged. To remind its people that going against the Capital as District 13 did, the remaining 12 Districts must have “volunteer” a boy and a girl tribute to play the Hunger Games. Only one will survive. Added to this sacrifice is the insult that everyone must watch the televised Games. As the residents of District 12 gather in the Town Square, Katniss Everdeen prays that her name is not called. It is not. The name is Primrose Everdeen. Making the ultimate sacrifice, Katniss volunteers to take her little sister’s place as tribute. To her dismay, the boy tribute is called: Peeta Mellark. How is she to kill the boy who gave her the bread after her father was killed in a Mine explosion? She must, if she is to survive. She can’t afford not to. Katniss can’t trust her mother after she fell into an immobilizing depression. Prim doesn’t have her cold and calculating temperament that is needed for hunting. Prim can’t go under the fence into the woods of what was Appalachia. With out her, the remnant Everdeen family will starve. Let the Games begin. The Huntress becomes the hunted.
1.) Katniss is a wonderful character. She is a survivor. She had to become the head of her family at a very young age. It is no wonder that she seems cold at the beginning of novel. She found out that she can’t trust anyone (with the exception of Gale) at the tender age of 11. She will never marry and sacrifice her children to the Hunger Games. She is wary of any kindness given to her. But she grows as demonstrated by her affection for Rue. My heart broke and tears ran down my cheek as Katniss sang the lullaby to the dying child and covered little Rue with flowers. The gift that Rue’s district gave Katniss and Thresh’s sparing of her life showed that character development. Her joy when it was announced that 2 tributes could survive if they were from the same district was genuine. She really did like Peeta and reflected a small amount of humanity that Peeta spoke of on the roof top in the Capitol. She did slightly disappoint me when she broke Peeta’s heart at the end. My heart ached for him. I thought Collins would have let Katniss explore her warm feelings toward him. Remember the warmth and butterflies she had when Peeta kissed her the first time when he wasn’t medicated or in pain? I enjoyed those scenes in the cave.
2.) I found it very interesting that the vanquished 13th District was the original 13 American Colonies where America declared her Independence from England to form a government of We the People. Panam’s Capitol is in the Rockies, not Washington, D.C. and Panam’s government is the opposite of the Founding Fathers: Totalitarianism. The tribute Games reminded me of an ultra-modern take on Shirley Jackson’s THE LOTTERY.
3.) The writing is exquisite. Collins use of the 1st person from Katniss’ POV worked and necessary. It is her story. The action is almost nonstop. The descriptive scenes at the Capital were amazing! I could see the “girl on fire” and her twirling in her gemstone gown and her amazement when Peeta declares he’s been in love with her since they were five. I loved Rue, respected Thresh, hated the Careers and the Capitol. I loved Cinna, too. I can understand the appeal this novel has; it is amazing!!!!! I loved, loved it. ...more
Quotes must be popular, since many liked minds used them. I copied these passages as I read, so I'm using them.
From DUMA KEY:
How to Draw a Picture StaQuotes must be popular, since many liked minds used them. I copied these passages as I read, so I'm using them.
From DUMA KEY:
How to Draw a Picture Start with a blank surface. It doesn't have to be paper or canvas, but I feel it should be white. We call it white because we need a word, but its true name is nothing. Black is the absence of light, but white is the absence of memory, the color of can't remember. How do we remember to remember? That's a question I've asked myself often since my time on Duma Key, often in the small hours of the morning, looking up into the absence of light, remembering absent friends. Sometimes in those little hours I think about the horizon. You have to establish the horizon. You have to mark the white. A simple enough act, you might say, but any act that re-makes the world is heroic. Or so I’ve come to believe. Imagine a little girl, hardly more than a baby. She fell from a carriage almost ninety years ago, struck her head on a stone, and forgot everything. Not just her name; everything! And then one day she recalled just enough to pick up a pencil and make that first hesitant mark across the white. A horizon-line, sure. But also a slot for blackness to pour through. Still, imagine that small hand lifting the pencil... hesitating... and then marking the white. Imagine the courage of that first effort to re-establish the world by picturing it. I will always love that little girl, in spite of all she has cost me. I must. I have no choice. Pictures are magic, as you know.
My Other Life My name is Edgar Freemantle. I used to be a big deal in the building and contracting business. This was in Minnesota, in my other life. I learned that my-other-life thing from Wireman. I want to tell you about Wireman, but first let's get through the Minnesota part. Gotta say it: I was a genuine American-boy success there. Worked my way up in the company where I started, and when I couldn’t work my way any higher there, I went out and started my own. The boss of the company I left laughed at me, said I'd be broke in a year. I think that's what most bosses say when some hot young pocket-rocket goes off on his own. For me, everything worked out. When Minneapolis–St. Paul boomed, The Freemantle Company boomed. When things tightened up, I never tried to play big. But I did play my hunches, and most played out well. By the time I was fifty, Pam and I were worth forty million dollars. And we were still tight. We had two girls, and at the end of our particular Golden Age, Ilse was at Brown and Melinda was teaching in France, as part of a foreign exchange program. At the time things went wrong, my wife and I were planning to go and visit her.
Great writing from Stephen King! My second foray into King’s twisted imagination was wonderful as well as scary! DUMA KEY had me sleeping fitfully with the lights on for 2 nights! Edgar Freemantle takes his Doctor’s advice and heads for fictional Duma Key, FL after a terrible accident that scrambled his brains and took his arm. His wife divorces him after Freemantle attacks her with a plastic fork. He then divides his vast fortune among Pam and his daughters, before arriving on the small island where 2 other people who suffered traumatic injuries live. While he is recovering from his extensive injuries, Edgar discovers a new ability: painting. And his paintings come from an imagination on steroids! Oh they come to life too and place everyone and everything in danger. Any more plot revelation will spoil readers’ enjoyment.
Many reviewers believe this novel reflects King’s state of mind when he himself was recovering from being struck by a car while he walking several years ago. That may be true but he doesn’t miss a beat here. The writing is superb and succinct. His pacing builds with each paragraph, leaving readers breathless while quickly turning each page. The charcacters are so well developed that this reader thought they were real people. A 5 star read that will demand your time and keep one eye open while you sleep.
Much to my chagrin I have never read Leon Uris! Why I waited? I have no excuses to serve up. Uris writes BIG BOOKS that are qu10 Stars, if I Could!!!!
Much to my chagrin I have never read Leon Uris! Why I waited? I have no excuses to serve up. Uris writes BIG BOOKS that are quite spectacular. He is one of very few brilliant maestros in literature, in my opinion. He writes with an ease that kept me turning the 648 pages of this great masterpiece. His research into the facts of Palestine and the exoduses to her holy land is extensive and as factual as possible in pre-electronic 1958. His characters are so well developed that I felt each one was a member of my very own family. I cried and laughed with them. I felt their dreams and their pain and the blinding frustration as they followed their life long dream: Palestine! And certainly the British Empire would be their greatest friend, especially since they ratified the Palestine Mandate, right? Wrong. Why? Oil, of course. As the novel begins, the reader is introduced to the British duplicity. Caught on the Cyprus shoreline in British DP camps behind barbed wire are thousands of Jewish refugees waiting for transport to Ersatz-Israel after the conclusion of WW II. Foreign correspondent Mark Palmer and his childhood friend Kitty Fremont are reunited and enjoying the Cyprus sun after the long war in Europe. Since her husband and child’s death, Kitty has been on the Greek Island working as a nurse in various orphanages.
Ari Ben Canaan, a very handsome sabra asks Mark to stay and will hand him an exclusive. The Mossad agent is going to smuggle 300 children to Palestine right under the British noses! They are to sail on the Exodus in two weeks time. He also needs the services of Fremont, but she is adamant: no. Yes, you guessed it. She eventually does, but only after she meets a young girl named Karen in the camps and hears David Ben Ami’s tale of a “historical abortion.” This tale begins in 1896 Russia and ends with the Rabinsky brothers in Ersatz-Israel many long and difficult years later.
We also learn Karen and Dov’s stories: the young Jewish girl who Ari squirreled out of Germany and into Denmark and the quiet bitter concentration camp survivor who is more at home in the dark dank sewers under a Polish Ghetto than in the light. We meet the sabras: Dagna, David, Eli, Jordana, and Ari. This first generation of Ersatz-Israel are strong and focused. They are Israel. They work hard without complaint to reclaim the “dead” land and will fight to their death to see Palestine as the independent state of Israel. Death threatens on all sides, neither the Arabs nor the Brits want them there. The ship Exodus is both a symbol and a life dream. And Leon Uris’s EXODUS is the perfect vessel to tell their stories! ...more
I have seen the Jane Wyman and Rock Hudson movie several times, but had yet read this 1st edition book that I found in an end table I purchased at a fI have seen the Jane Wyman and Rock Hudson movie several times, but had yet read this 1st edition book that I found in an end table I purchased at a flea market. And I must say the book surpassed the excellent movie. It is a moving book that epitomizes the Christmas and New Year Seasons. Interwoven lives are affected by tragic accidents. Saved from drowning, Robert Merrick learns the price that was paid by eminent Dr. Wayne Hudson and transforms his life to continue Hudson’s work and make amends to those closest to the late surgeon as well as to the community. But to accomplish this, Merrick must learn Hudson’s secret and in doing so he will embark upon a MAGNIFICENT OBSESSION.
He emulates Hudson so closely that he transcends his shallow man/boy lifestyle and becomes prominent in the same field as Hudson. Merrick willfully does good deeds without expectation swearing his charges to secrecy and refuses payment of any kind because “his gift is all used up.” Though MAGNIFICENT OBSESSION is a beautiful love story, it is a wonderful Christian allegory that doesn’t preach Douglas’s philosophy. Revealing more of the plot would spoil the book for readers. I highly recommend readers to discover Helen Hudson and Robert Merrick and others that were closed to the late Dr. Hudson. The slightly stilted prose may be off putting in today’s era; the novel was published in 1932. Its message is still pertinent in 2012, and what a beautiful love story. ...more