Shannon Aster, a vet, comes back to West Texas. She had left it as a single mother five years back. Her uncle has left her the farm and she wants her...moreShannon Aster, a vet, comes back to West Texas. She had left it as a single mother five years back. Her uncle has left her the farm and she wants her daughter to have a better life. Despite the betrayals of the past she thinks that West Texas is home for her daughter Kylie.
When she sees Faith, the daughter of Horse Trainer Jack MacGowan, she is amazed. Faith looks exactly like her daughter Kylie and both the girls take to each other instantly. Shannon has to get to the bottom of it. Reluctantly Jack too has to agree. Both find themselves in the midst of mystery about the resemblance of the girls, a lost spanish treasure, and a black stallion who loves Shannan. Somehow down the way, they unite their strengths to get into the bottom of it all.
Someone has kidnapped Mary Beth, Shannon's best friend and is asking for 8 million dollars from Shannon, who doesn't have that kind of money. Although she fears for her friend's life, but she doesn't trust Jack enough to tell him about her problems. What with her daughter's father to coming into the picture, it becomes very difficult for Shannon to fight alone.
The mystery about the girls is solved early enough and both Sannon and Jack try to find the best solution. But who is blackmailing Shannon and what is he after, is not revealed until the end and it comes as a complete surprise. The countryside is beautifully described. With other interesting characters like Allie and Rick (of Lonestar Sanctuary), it is an extremely readable novel. Shannon is a strong individual who makes something of herself even though she has no support and has a young daughter. Jack feels guilty about falling in love with her because he thinks he betrays his dead wife's memory. But both love the little girls, Faith and Kylie, are instantly bonded as soon as they meet.
The book does get repetitive at places but it is easy comfortable read, which gets finished fast. There are so many secrets to be revealed and that is what keeps one hooked. I liked Coble's writing and will look out for more of her books.
Set in London and Ireland, Yes, My Darling Daughter has all those elements, which can hold the reader's interest till the end. Grace, a single mother...more Set in London and Ireland, Yes, My Darling Daughter has all those elements, which can hold the reader's interest till the end. Grace, a single mother of four-year-old Sylvie, works in flower shop in London. Her daughter is not like any other child. She acts beyond her age and seems to know something which is the beyond the understanding of Grace.
When Sylvie starts to get mean with her playmates and also has frequent tantrums, along with sporadic panic attacks, Grace doesn't know how to deal with it. Sylvie has this unknown fear of water, anything that involves water scares her and she has nightmarish attacks. Sylvie also keeps drawing a small cottage and speaks of stuff, that she has not seen but somehow knows. And then one photograph triggers certain something and Sylvie continually keeps saying it is her home and she lived there. Somehow Sylvie seems to get farther away from Grace. The place turns out to be somewhere in Ireland.
Getting panicky and as a last resort, Grace gets in touch with Adam Winters, a University professor, who has done some studies on Paranormal behaviour of children and also about behaviour pertaining to past lives. After one sesseion with Sylvie, Adam suggest that they travel to Cold Harbour, Ireland and find out what Sylvie is trying to tell them. He has certain theories what must be the reason of Sylvie's behaviour. He warns Grace about violent memories but tells her there is nothing to worry about.
Arriving there, Sylvie recognises the places and also tries to find Lennie. Now who is Lennie? And for that matter who is Sylvie? And when they do find something, Sylvie simply clams up, going silent, withdrawing from Grace. Grace senses and knows that Sylvie is troubled and wants to help her. And Grace is scared too that somehow she might lose Sylvie to something she can't understand.
The past life and present have merged in this novel and the supporting characters somehow make it so plausible. The paranormal element doesn't seem out of context. A book that holds interest and satisfies that something which every reader wants and wishes for. A satisfying feel after reading it. At places Sylvie might feel unlovable but what else can expect from a girl, who had died violently in her past life. Grace, as a mother is supporting, loving and even when not understanding Sylvie's behaviour is always there for her. (less)
The slave woman fell over the cliff's edge toward the black swirl of water that churned over the boulders reaching from the...moreNevis Island. February 1831
The slave woman fell over the cliff's edge toward the black swirl of water that churned over the boulders reaching from the sea.
Meghan Owen is engaged to be married. When her parents die in an accident on the night of her engage party, she calls of her wedding. Going through her father's papers, she finds, she has inherited land in Nevis. She leaves her job to travel there. When she reaches the old plantation House, Eden, she finds letter and papers and an ominous presence of dark secrets. She has to get into the bottom of it and also find out how she is involved in all this.
She learns about the Dall family who had leaved there in the 19th century. Just at that moment the British abolitionists had arrived to free the slaves. The daughter of the plantation owner Catherine Dall, is tormented between her sense of fairness and her family. She loves and cares for the slaves in her plantation. However, she can't escape her destiny. When Catherine discovers some unpleasant truth about her slave, leah, she gets maddeningly angry and tragic strikes in the form of Leah's death. Was it suicide, or was it murder?
Meg too finds that the land that she owns is tainted with the stigma of slavery and stolen money. It falls on Meg to find the secrets and let the ghosts rest forever. She has to balance her present with the historic events that took place so much before her time.
With alternate chapters, the present and past somehow merge and Meg has the big task of bringing justice to the ghosts of the past. With simplistic writing about the complex issue of slavery, Robuck has written a good readable nobel. The secondary characters too are very well etched out. Yes, there is so much sadness. No slave stoy can ever be happy. And every slave story needs to be told. Maybe that way we might be able to learn something from the past. (less)
Let's pretend things are different. That in the last couple of days, I haven't become the kind of person who resorts to wishing on eyelashes, first te...moreLet's pretend things are different. That in the last couple of days, I haven't become the kind of person who resorts to wishing on eyelashes, first tears of the night, and the ridiculous 11:11, both a.m. and p.m., in earnest and with my eyes closed.
When Ellie's best friend Lucy is murdered in London, Ellie rushes there from Boston, to be with Lucy's eight-year-old daughter, Sophie. After greeting Ellie, Sophie stops speaking. Meanwhile, Lucy's husband has withdrawn into himself and the charge of taking take of Sophie falls on Ellie. Sophie had seen her mother mugged and killed while they were going to school. Ellie loves Sophie and will go to any length to get her back on track.
Sophie, like Ellie is a book lover. Ellie thinks she has the right book to share with Sophie and that can help both deal with their feelings. Hence, both starts on the journey of reading The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. In the process of sharing the secret of that beautiful book, the healing process for both starts in the right direction.
Ellie too has certain issues to deal with in her personal life. Even though her marriage is disintegrating and she doesn't want to go back to her home and husband Phillip, leaving behind Sophie. For a while now, their relationship has gone down the hill. Ellie doesn't know how to deal with it. Sophie and Ellie deal with their griefs in the company of each other. Sophie has nightmares, misses her mother yet loves Ellie and can't think of letting her go. Ellie too can't leave the child even though she knows her marriage will disintegrate. Greg and Ellie become friends, what with Lucy and Sophie being the common bond. When Ellie discovers some secrets about Lucy, she is deeply shocked, about the secret and also about the fac that Lucy didn't trust her enough to share those with her. Lucy knew Ellie would disapprove.
Ellie is the narrator of the story and she understands the value of friendship, and being there at their times of need. She also knows her own deficiencies, although she doesn't know how to deal with it. The sadness is balanced out by the funny, witty moments. The sardonic manner of the narrator is not repelling as that is directed towards herself. And when she away from home, she understands the real value of home and belonging.
The colourful characters of Ellie's parents too take us in, along with her very straight brother. Her husband Phillip, too comes across well. A novel, which totally grips us, the sadness, the funny quirky moments, Gregs' idiosyncrasies, Sophie's childishness, the death of Lucy hanging in the background. And most important of all, The Secret Garden can and does heal Sophie. As it helps Ellie find home finally. After You A Novel(less)
What led you to pick up this bo...moreTitle: Cold Mountain Author: Charles Frazier ISBN: 0375700757 Publisher: Vintage/1998 Pages: 449/Trade Paperback Rating: 5/5
What led you to pick up this book?
One of my blogger friends sent it to me to read for the Southern Challenge. I had not read it then. It took me a while to pick this book but once I started, I did not stop until I finished it.
Inman is an injured soldier who is disillusioned with the war after fighting in Petersburgh. One day he simply walks out of the hospital he is in, to go to the woman he loves who lives in Blue Ridge Mountains. Meanwhile Ada is trying to survive in the farm left to her by her impractical father. She does not know how to cope up. And help comes in the form of Ruby who refuses to be a servant. Both Ada and Inman's story goes parallel and the highlight is when they finally meet. Inmam meets various kinds of people on his way, prostitutes, slaves, marauders, witches, hunters and many who are so very kind. Despite its starkness and brutality, the novel can be acclaimed as a great piece of work.
What did you like most about the book?
I loved the practical Ruby very much who does not let Ada wallow in self pity. She makes sure that Ada can survive in any circumstances. What did you think of the writing style?
Frazier's prose is mesmeric. It is almost like poetry at places. I was completely into it. It enthralled me.
What did you think of the main character?
Inmam is not a man of many words. He know what he is doing. Like any soldier, he keeps up his spirit at every point. He does not give in to despair. He knows he has to go to Ada and he does so..
How do you think he feels?
He feels strongly about Ada. He hates the war. He is compassionate too, for the weakest of the weaks. He is ever helpul.
What strengths does Ada has that help her cope?
Initially, Ada has no clue how to cope in the derelict farm after her father dies leaving her alone. But she does not leave the Blue Mountain. That way, she is a fighter although Ruby helps her to make her strong.
What effect do the people in the book have on one another?
Ada and Ruby make a great pair. They have a no nonsense air about them and are very good friends for eah other.
Any other particularly interesting characters?
Ruby's father, Stobred, who is a real bastard but still redeems himself somewhat. What do you think of the ending?
The ending brought about mixed feelings. However, under the cirumstances, it was the best ending. Real life does not have fairy tale endings.
Do you recommend this book?
Yes, I recommend this book for all those who like serious reading. It is not a feel good book. It is stark, brutal, hitting you on the guts kind of book. The sombre feelings lasts long after one finishes it. The writing is very good and that is one good reason to read it. It also has a timeless feel to it. A classic in the making. It somewhat made me remind of The Road by Cormac McCarthy.