My main thought after reading this book was that I absolutely had to get back to Paris, find the Rue des Martyrs, roam in and out of every shop, eat tMy main thought after reading this book was that I absolutely had to get back to Paris, find the Rue des Martyrs, roam in and out of every shop, eat the wonderful produce, cheese, bread and pastries, and meet these fantastic shopkeeper characters - just experience it the way American journalist Elaine Sciolino describes it in this little escape of a book. I loved the time I spent there while listening to the book....more
I'm definitely not a diamonds kind of person. My first thought was that a story about 13 women who are the kind of people who would agree to purchaseI'm definitely not a diamonds kind of person. My first thought was that a story about 13 women who are the kind of people who would agree to purchase an expensive diamond necklace would not really be my kind of book. But the real story here is what cooperatively owning such an extravagant and elegant piece of jewelry did for each of the women and for many of the people that their lives touched. It was a sociological/political experiment of sorts that slowly evolved into finding ways to use the necklace to affect the lives of people in their community. The necklace ('Jewelia") brings a day of joy to many outside the circle of 13, headlines fundraising events, and becomes the catalyst for changes in each woman as well as in the dynamics of the group as a whole. It was an engaging read and another illustration for me of the power and positivity of female friendships....more
This is written by a local San Diego author who attended my bookclub to talk to us about her book. Hearing her gave me an appreciation for the book thThis is written by a local San Diego author who attended my bookclub to talk to us about her book. Hearing her gave me an appreciation for the book that I didn't have while reading it, but didn't rescue the book for me. It was interesting that she based her novel on a true cold case involving a young boy's death in 1933 San Diego. In her novel, when the case is reopened in 1990, it is officially classified as an accidental death by forensic detectives in spite of autopsy findings in 1933 that clearly pointed to other conclusions. A young reporter smells something fishy and undertakes an investigation. One of the frustrations about the book for me was that the author chose to make it a novel instead of nonfiction, yet chose not to provide any clear conclusion. I have an easier time accepting that in nonfiction works, but it seemed unsatisfying in a work of fiction. She offered many innuendoes of high-level cover-ups, links to border smuggling, and even told our bookclub about threats she received for writing about this (insinuating that there were still powerful people alive who do not want the truth told to this day).
The historical setting was interesting because I live in San Diego and liked getting glimpses of what the area was like in the 30's However, I didn't connect with the characters and didn't find it a very satisfying read....more
I found this to be a quiet but powerful story of regrets and attempted redemption. "The Kid" is 16-year-old Franklin Starlight, raised lovingly by "ThI found this to be a quiet but powerful story of regrets and attempted redemption. "The Kid" is 16-year-old Franklin Starlight, raised lovingly by "The Old Man" but left without an anchor of a family story. That is what his alcoholic and estranged father Eldon attempts to give Franklin over the course of their 40-mile walk through British Columbia as Eldon is dying. It is not a pretty story and not one that paints Eldon in much of a sympathetic light. But it is an honest story that begs for some kind of understanding and forgiveness.
I loved the author's sparse yet beautiful writing as he drew his characters for me and drew the picture in my mind of the country they inhabited. Franklin Starlight was a strong and believable character with raw and understandable emotions as he learned the story of his father. Throughout this story, the author weaves the story of Franklin's life with the Old Man. What is family? What will love lead us to do? What will consuming heartbreak make of a life? And how does alcohol ravage and steal the very will to rise above its hold?
The book held me enthralled and the characters pulled so many emotions out of my heart. For me, there was no villain, just a tragic collision at every turn for Eldon. His redeeming strength in the end may have been the chance he gave his son by giving him up....more
What will happen to Althea Bell on her 30th birthday? What happened to her mother? Her grandmother? Even her great grandmother? All on their 30th birtWhat will happen to Althea Bell on her 30th birthday? What happened to her mother? Her grandmother? Even her great grandmother? All on their 30th birthdays. Althea has days to figure out if she will become the next mountain girl locked away in Pritchard - an asylum where many mysteriously disappear and where her mother and grandmother were evidently committed. Is schizophrenia a time bomb ticking inside her? Where is the Honeysuckle Girl that her mother promised would come and find her? Thriller/mystery/Alabama mountain story and much more, this book took me on an exciting wild ride through 4 generations of women and the men who had the control over their lives. Dark family secrets, darker villains, honeysuckle wine, touches of gold dust and red ravens... This is a book that is hard to put down with a heroine who struggles to stay focused on her quest for answers and away from the pill addiction she has escaped in her whole life since her mother's death. The audio version is mesmerizing. I couldn't stop listening and was devastated when it ended. I didn't want to leave Althea and Dove and Jay. It definitely had all my elements!...more