Herbert is a giant land tortoise whose ancestors came from the Galapagos Islands. He was born and raised in a menagerie in England, at the estate of B...moreHerbert is a giant land tortoise whose ancestors came from the Galapagos Islands. He was born and raised in a menagerie in England, at the estate of Bestwood. His entire life is circumscribed by the mundane routine of the small zoo and he had never wandered beyond the Wall.
Things change when the aristocrat owner of Bestwood sells the estate to Dave Palmer, a rock and roll star. His strange family, including a pair of twin sons and a Brazilian model wife move in and upset the routine of the menagerie and the zookeeper Bob and his daughter Stella.
Most of the story is told through the eyes of Herbert, the tortoise, aided by his able spy, Digby, the parakeet who can fly and hide in trees to observe human activities.
Changes are afoot for the residents of Bestwood, and not for the best. Midway through the story, on the best and worst day of Herbert's life, tragedy strikes. Part III is told in a series of letters written by Ollie, one of the rock star's sons, who shows an aptitude in both music and love. Unfortunately, without giving away the ending, the story becomes tragic.
Maybe I'm not a reader of literary fiction and I cannot understand the senselessness of tragedy, but I was left feeling depressed and lonely. Did the author really have to kill off everyone Herbert loved or even liked and enjoyed as a friend? It all seemed pointless and cast a damp pall on my enjoyment of the story.
That said, I think the author is absolutely brilliant in the voice of Herbert, his apt descriptions and wry observations, and the emotions he, as a tortoise, can feel while still thinking rationally. What an unusual protagonist. I prefer to think that Herbert and Digby are together again. And even though I saw the reference to Orpheus and Eurydice in the narrative, I'm perhaps too dense to figure out why the author did what she did. It just made me sad, and maybe that was the point of it all.
My Favorite Quote: Every life means something to someone, somewhere.
Helen J Beal (2012-11-30T08:00:00+00:00). Thirty Seconds Before Midnight (Kindle Locations 3146-3147). Carapace. Kindle Edition. (less)
No one deserves a happy ending more than Megan Snow. The devoted widow of a man who died on Christmas day, Megan goes back t...moreA Hot-Licious Frosty Story
No one deserves a happy ending more than Megan Snow. The devoted widow of a man who died on Christmas day, Megan goes back to the mountain cabin where they spent Christmas to mourn instead of celebrating with her family.
Alone, she builds a family of snowpeople, a man, a woman and a child. A freak snowstorm buries her in the cabin without electricity and a god-licious man appears on her porch. His name is Owen Winters and he is as charming and boyish and sexy as any woman could dream, a veritable snow god.
I can't give away more of the story because you'll just have to read it yourself. Owen is fun, moans over ice cream and loves Lucky Charms. His exuberance for life and positive attitude lift the grief off Megan. And for a snowman, he is awfully hot in bed with abilities beyond the ordinary, not just good in bed, but god in bed.
This story is delightful, steamy, heart-tugging and satisfying. I promise you will love it. What's not to love about Owen Winters and his pure and open heart? and a story that'll turn holiday blues into holiday cheer?
Disclosure: This review was part of the World Literary Cafe Read N Review. They require honesty. I received the e-book free as part of the program, and I do not know the author personally.(less)