Wonderful history/mystery, with a look at the lifestyle of pre WWI England. The mystery was intriguing, with enough twists to the story line to keep mWonderful history/mystery, with a look at the lifestyle of pre WWI England. The mystery was intriguing, with enough twists to the story line to keep me engaged. I'll look for more of his titles....more
This book intrigued me because of the western community about which I hadn't read much. I was also interested in a Western, by J.R. Lindermuth. I've rThis book intrigued me because of the western community about which I hadn't read much. I was also interested in a Western, by J.R. Lindermuth. I've read several Lindermuth books—historical fiction, historical mysteries, contemporary mysteries—and they have been set east of the Alleghenies. My western self wondered if he would give a good sense of place about the West. I should have known it wouldn't be a problem. Lindermuth is too good a writer, and this book settled me strongly in the West, among well-crafted characters.
The story had a distinctive classic Western edge, with ex-sheriff Luther Donnelly on the trail of the nasty criminals who killed his brother. But at the get-go, Donnelly finds young Tom Baskin, who has been strung up by his heels from a lone tree in a desolate location and left to die. Once Donnelly rescues him, Tom has revenge on his mind, too.
Donnelly isn't too keen on his newly-acquired sidekick, and hopes to lose him at the ranch of a friend. But Donnelly and Baskin are both roped into helping Mormon ranchers who have to get their cattle—their tithing herd—the the central holding pens. Donnelly has a feeling this herd will be a draw for the criminals he's seeking.
The outlaws are vicious, and they have plans of their own. How the story plays out is intricate and violent.
Lindermuth also adds touches of romance, a few that might have been a bit over the top. But I don't appreciate romance elements, and they are a standard element in a classic Western.
In all, I appreciated the story, found the writing top-notch, and wonder if the multi-talented Lindermuth will add more books to this genre....more
I received a galley of Rosalie Turner's March with Me from her publicist who knew my interest in history. You can read my expanded review at my blog I received a galley of Rosalie Turner's March with Me from her publicist who knew my interest in history. You can read my expanded review at my blog
Rosalie Turner's March with Me is a fine attempt to open eyes and minds to the realities of the pivotal time in 1963 that shaped a lot of today's social structures. Through the thoughts and activities of two Birmingham residents, the story begins in that volatile May of '63 and extends into the 1970s to show the long-term emotional affects of the Civil Rights Movement. Turner's writing is fluid and the language well thought out to portray the vitality, despair and hope of the times. The main protagonist is Letitia, idealistic and naive, as she becomes involved in the historic Children's March. She and her older brother are eager for confrontation, while their parents and most adults are fearful of repercussions from any overt action against white authority.
While Letitia gets battered by fire hosing and the Birmingham Police riot squad, Martha Ann, her white, privileged contemporary, hears the news and wonders what it is all about. Her family doesn't live in the city, her father is a bigot, her mother doesn't work and has hired help...Letitia's mother does day work for this family several times each week.
The aftermath of the Children's March, compounded by the 16th St. Baptist Church bombing a few months later in which four girls were killed, garnered national and international support for the Movement. But author Turner doesn't delve the politics; she continues her focus on the emotional element of the events: how Letitia's attitude changes, how Martha Ann harbors questions, how families proceed with their lives. This is one of many strengths of the book.
For me, the 1975 ending to March with Me encompasses everything Rosalie Turner hoped to convey with this book. Letitia and Martha Ann are face to face and talk about those years gone by. To tell how it happens would be a spoiler, so I won't. :-) Suffice it to say the circumstance is dramatic and the interaction is poignant.
Of twelve Discussion Questions at the end of the book, I was particularly drawn to two: How do our attitudes toward race develop?, and What can an individual do toward racial and ethnic understanding an reconciliation? These seem to be the questions that shaped Turner's story. They are profound and will be answered differently by nearly every person who takes time to contemplate them. After reading March with Me people will contemplate, and through Turner's insightful presentation, they just might come up with positive answers. ...more
I really enjoyed this historical Christmas short story by Carol Buchanan. "A Pinch of Dust" (10K words) not only tells a story of goodwill and caringI really enjoyed this historical Christmas short story by Carol Buchanan. "A Pinch of Dust" (10K words) not only tells a story of goodwill and caring for others, but portrays the rough living conditions of a 19th century mining town. Set in Virginia City, Montana Territory, Buchanan has employed her great character--Dan Stark, from her Vigilante series--as the protagonist. There's also a lot of card-shark talk (beyond me, but interesting just to see the ins and outs of a five-card stud game). Author’s notes at the end are also interesting.
The book is in print, and as an audiobook. ...more
I have heard many comments about this book, and the author currently lives in my state, so I borrowed the title from my Public Library.
It started offI have heard many comments about this book, and the author currently lives in my state, so I borrowed the title from my Public Library.
It started off a bit slowly, but the writing was smooth so I kept at it as protagonist Henry Lee's life unfolds in a series of well-written flashbacks (1942) and contemporary (1986) scenes. Character development sort of grew on me; all characters, from Henry's war-obsessed father to Sheldon, Henry's sax-player best friend, and Henry's son, Marty are very well portrayed.
The story is essentially a love story, not my favorite read as I tend to find these stories a bit maudlin (this one teetered on the edge at the end). In Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, the enduring commitment of Henry (Chinese American) with Keiko Okabe (Japanese American) is brought to life, beginning when they are twelve-year-olds and the only non-white students at a private Seattle school (I identified with this big time, since I was in a similar situation at twelve—albeit several years later than 1942).
I was, however, most interested in the World War II domestic history--the West Coast internment of Japanese citizens. The information was deftly given so it didn't seem like a history lesson; the characters' emotions and reactions were believable and dramatic. Even as I cringed about the government procedures, I could understand the mind-set; just as I could understand the conflict between Henry's parents and their only son.
This is a powerful story. Recommended (especially for anyone born after 1980). ...more