Chris Pendragon is a professor of history who is currently taking a vacation in Wales. Partly to recharge, partly to figure out if his life is on theChris Pendragon is a professor of history who is currently taking a vacation in Wales. Partly to recharge, partly to figure out if his life is on the right path. Then he sees a terrible accident and helps a small boy get out of a burning car. A stranger--an old man--helps as well. The boys' ankles were badly broken, but after Chris has touched them (to pull the boy out of the car), the ankles are completely healed. The stranger talks with Chris afterword and says some strange things about how everyone has been waiting for him [meaning Chris] for a long time, and a special stone called the Dial.
Over the next few days, the old man continues to pester him. Chris is going to become the new Healer, the keeper of the Dial, which comes with important responsibilities--first and foremost, to keep track of the thing. Chris mostly wants the crazy old man to get out of his life so he can continue his vacation. But here's the thing--he already has the Dial, and he does feel some sort of connection with it, and there's no question that the boy's ankles had been broken, then were not.
This is the story of Chris' journey to acceptance of his new calling in life.
Very interesting premise, with some background on the scriptural use of "sundial," and some history on Saint Nicholas. I liked it, for the most part, although it seemed to me that Chris spent most of the book asking the same questions over and over, then talking with someone else, asking the same questions again, etc....more
The incomparable Mo Lebeau is back, ready to solve some more mysteries, along with her reluctant partner Dale. Also, they have to figure a way out ofThe incomparable Mo Lebeau is back, ready to solve some more mysteries, along with her reluctant partner Dale. Also, they have to figure a way out of some trouble, which came by way Miss Lana accidentally buying a haunted inn at an auction. Also, more trouble, by way of signing up to interview the ghost for their 6th grade class report. It should be noted that Dale is deathly afraid of ghosts.
Mo's determined to get to the bottom of all this, even if it takes digging into the past that some people don't want dug into. Who is this ghost and why has she been hanging around all these years? More importantly, what can they do to help her move along?
* * * * * I don't generally go for ghost stories much. I am a total ghost-story wimp. I do not like them one bit. This one, however, was okay. One of those with a few sorta-scary moments in the beginning, that turns bittersweet as they figure out who it is and what happened to her.
It's not just a ghost story, though. This is the continuing story of spunky, determined, hilarious, Mo Lebeau! She's in love with Lavender, Dale's older brother, and she pretty much asks him out every chance she gets. (He just laughs at her.) Dale is her perfect foil. The other characters in town are just that--characters. They each have their quirks, that everyone knows about and kind of just lives with. Miss Lana and the Colonel are awesome.
This book was just funny! There was one part in particular where I laughed out loud, drawing curious looks from my husband across the room. Especially when I kept laughing for awhile every time I thought of it.
I would say read Three Times Lucky first, if you haven't. It will give you a much better background for appreciating all the goodness going on in this one. I just found out that there's a third. Sign me up! I'm with Mo!
Cecilia and Kate are cousins and best friends who tell each other everything. Unfortunately, Kate is having her first Season in London without Cecy. SCecilia and Kate are cousins and best friends who tell each other everything. Unfortunately, Kate is having her first Season in London without Cecy. So they write letters to each other to keep up on all that is happening; and a lot is happening, both at home and in town! Kate nearly gets poisoned by an old woman who thought she was a man in disguise, while Cecilia has problems of her own with a neighboring wizard, Sir Hilary Bedrick.
Before long, the two girls have teamed up with two young men to bring down some seriously evil magic, before it does anyone else harm.
A bit slow to get started, but once the action picked up, it was quite enjoyable. Learning about how it was written, as a Letter Game between the 2 authors, where they never shared their plots with each other, made it even more fun to read....more
Doerr writes of his writing fellowship in Rome, Italy over the course of a year. He received a letter in the mail informing of the award as his wife wDoerr writes of his writing fellowship in Rome, Italy over the course of a year. He received a letter in the mail informing of the award as his wife was in the hospital, having just given birth to their twins.
He describes the endless sleepless nights with two crying babies, the transcendence of light, the wonder of the Pantheon. He also delves into some of the history, and of course, the funeral of Pope John Paul II alluded to in the title.
I really enjoyed this. I had the chance to visit Rome several years ago and I loved it. I felt what he felt in the Pantheon, but he found the words to describe it that I never could. Then there's the new parent blur of exhaustion--times two. I've never had twins, but I have been there, too, with a colicky baby that wouldn't sleep unless she was being bounced in our arms.
I especially liked what he had to say about removing the mental film that covers our daily experiences, and once again noticing the joy, the awe, and the small moments of wonder that surround us.
Heartfelt and evocative. Highly recommended. ...more