This is one of those novels that I think everyone should read. I don't expect everyone to like it, but it's interesting enough to provoke discussions...moreThis is one of those novels that I think everyone should read. I don't expect everyone to like it, but it's interesting enough to provoke discussions and further thought.
It's a story about redemption, situated in the American South.
One of my favourite works in American literature.(less)
"The Rook" is well written and engaging. I highly recommend it.
The novel is a paranormal fantasy set in our world and it reminded me of Harry Potter,...more"The Rook" is well written and engaging. I highly recommend it.
The novel is a paranormal fantasy set in our world and it reminded me of Harry Potter, the X-files and the novel "Never Let Me Go." But I name those works only to point out some similarities. "The Rook" is unique and I liked it a great deal on its own terms and not because it reminded me of other stories.
I don't want to say too much about the plot, except to mention that it begins with the female lead waking up having lost her memory. The story then proceeds apace with flashbacks and a good degree of mystery and suspense. There are elements of espionage and the secret service, there are witty asides and clever snarks. Some of the lines in the novel are extremely funny and at unexpected moments.
I hope to read more by this author and I certainly hope he is considering a sequel to this novel. His carefully constructed world needs more exploration.
"The Gilded Cage" is a short story set in Seattle against the backdrop of an Alternative Music Festival. The setting is important, for the weather and...more"The Gilded Cage" is a short story set in Seattle against the backdrop of an Alternative Music Festival. The setting is important, for the weather and the context in which the characters find themselves magnify and reinforce the narrative.
I don't want to sketch the plot for you because that would spoil the story. However, I can describe it through three words: splendour, ecstasy, and sadness.
Miss Richland writes well. This tale whetted my appetite for more of her writing. I was drawn into the story and into the lives and minds of the characters, which is difficult for an author to accomplish in a short story. She didn't sate my curiosity or all my unanswered questions, and for that I respect her. It's better, I think, for an author to trust her/his readers and to allow them to come to their own conclusions about the character's motivations.
At .99, this story is less expensive than a bar of chocolate and the reaction inspired will last much longer. I'm still thinking about the characters and wondering what they are doing now ... And there's a particular Seattle band I'm tempted to reacquaint myself with.
I enjoyed this story. It's the first of Heather Wardell's novels that I've read and I found it by reading an excerpt on Autumn Review's book blog. Cha...moreI enjoyed this story. It's the first of Heather Wardell's novels that I've read and I found it by reading an excerpt on Autumn Review's book blog. Chapter One hooked me.
A young woman wakes up naked in a strange man's bed, having no idea how she got there. More disturbingly, she believes she's a high school student. (She isn't) She has no memory of the past fifteen years.
So the story begins and it's an interesting one. The author explores the complexities of memory and identity, but she does so in a way that is enjoyable and thought-provoking. There are several twists that I did not see coming and the female lead must face some serious issues, but the narrative arc emphasizes the twin themes of redemption and forgiveness.
In addition, this story prompted me to reflect on the challenges human beings face in forgiving themselves and in making positive changes to their lives. I found the message of the novel to be positive, despite the disturbing situation the female lead finds herself in.
I'd recommend this novel, especially to those who enjoy Heather Huffman's books.(less)
Those interested in military or African history will find much of interest here, as will those who are interested in the inner (and outer) workings of...moreThose interested in military or African history will find much of interest here, as will those who are interested in the inner (and outer) workings of the U. N. and its peacekeeping missions. Dallaire shows the failure of the UN and Western nations to intervene adequately in the Rwandan genocide. But history is not without its witnesses, and Dallaire and his soldiers provide a record of the nation of Rwanda's descent into hell. This descent includes the gang-rape and murder of children and the use of child soldiers.
This book is not an easy read, but a necessary one. If all human beings are created equal, then the genocide of any people is a tragedy. Just as we should intervene if we see physical violence on the street, so we as human beings should intervene when one group targets another for slaughter. It's easy enough to feel outrage from the comfort of our homes, but the next time we hear of ethnic cleansing on the other side of the world will we change the channel? Or will we do something?(less)
“Clarence nodded. ‘Our ghosts are partial to Tolkien.’
“Oh, that’s nothing. Ours are totally into Dashiell Hammett,’ Zoey replied.”
-“Grave Refrain,” p....more“Clarence nodded. ‘Our ghosts are partial to Tolkien.’
“Oh, that’s nothing. Ours are totally into Dashiell Hammett,’ Zoey replied.”
-“Grave Refrain,” p. 353.
This novel was an entertaining read. It’s a ghost story and a love story, but there are elements of mystery and suspense. The characters are eccentric, which I liked, and despite the sinister nature of some (but not all) of the spectres, there is quite a bit of comic relief.
A three-piece rock band from England travels across the pond to live in an old house in San Francisco, while they contemplate their next career move. Fortunately for the band, three attractive women move in upstairs. Unfortunately for all, the house is haunted. Dashiell Hammett enthusiasts and fans of "The Thin Man" films will have more than a passing interest in the house’s ghosts and their history.
Although the story is contemporary, references to classic Hollywood abound. There are also references to music, the poetry of Browning and Frost, and the history of San Francisco. In fact, the author makes good use of the city, setting some important scenes on Haight Street, at a former speakeasy, and at the Newton Society Columbarium.
Sarah M. Glover is an intelligent writer, but her narrative isn’t stuffy or pretentious. She treats such heavy subjects as destiny and supernatural curses with a stylish, witty hand. At four hundred sixty-nine pages, “Grave Refrain” is not a quick read, but it is a satisfying one. Do yourself a favour, and in deference to the ghosts, read it while listening to Hoagy Carmichael and sipping a Manhattan or a Martini. You’ll be glad you did. (less)
This is CS Lewis' re-telling of the myth of Cupid and Psyche. While Apuleius' original treatment is worth reading, this story is something different....moreThis is CS Lewis' re-telling of the myth of Cupid and Psyche. While Apuleius' original treatment is worth reading, this story is something different. It's about the difference between beauty and ugliness - not a beauty of the body, although that is mentioned, but a beauty of the soul. It's also an exposition of the nature of jealousy and self-deception. Once again, one can learn a great deal about human nature by reading literature. There are many lessons in this myth. Highly recommended.(less)