This emotionally-charged book is told from the perspective of four main characters whose lives later intersect in the most heartbreaking of ways. TheThis emotionally-charged book is told from the perspective of four main characters whose lives later intersect in the most heartbreaking of ways. The book opens up with a memorable scene between a middle-aged woman named Avis and her husband, who drops a bombshell on her at the most inopportune moment. The other main characters include a social worker named Roberta, an Iraqi war vet named Luis, and Bashkim, a young Albanian-American boy whose family survives on their ice cream truck business. Set against the bright lights of the Las Vegas strip and the dry heat of the desert, this story gradually unfolds to reveal how a chain of events can have far-reaching, devastating effects. The characters were the best part of the story because they were so real. The more I learned about each one, the more invested I became in their stories and the outcome. I thought McBride's ending was perfect. We are left to wonder and hope that everything will work out for the best for these characters, which is perfect because there could be no fast and simple resolution for these characters. I will not soon forget these characters and I'm looking forward to reading more books from this author in the future!...more
Thank you Netgalley for providing an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
College professor Theo and his new wife Kay, an acrobaThank you Netgalley for providing an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
College professor Theo and his new wife Kay, an acrobatic performer, have temporarily relocated to Quebec so she can perform in the cirque. While there, she becomes enchanted by a quaint little toy shop - especially the ancient puppet on display in the front window. Much to her dismay though, the shop is always closed. On her way home from the cirque one evening, Kay feels like she is being followed. To her relief, the lights are on in the toy shop, so she decides to duck inside to escape her assailant. The next thing she knows, she has been transformed into a puppet and is relegated to the back room of the shop. Theo, in the meantime, is frantically searching for clues to his wife's whereabouts and faces scrutiny from the police and his mother-in-law.
This was one of the strangest and most compelling books I've read in a while. The mental images that this book conjured as I read were disturbing, but fascinating, and the ending was shocking. I'm totally creeped out by puppets now though...lol!...more
The title and the cover art suggests that this is a whimsical tale, but it was really anything but. Set in seventeenth-century Amsterdam, it is the stThe title and the cover art suggests that this is a whimsical tale, but it was really anything but. Set in seventeenth-century Amsterdam, it is the story of young Petronella who has travelled to the city to live with her new husband and his sister. Much to her surprise, Nella's arrival in her new home is anything but warm and inviting, and her new husband is distant and seldom at home. His wedding gift to her is an elaborate cabinet replica of their home, which she finds condescending and ridiculous at first...until she begins to commission pieces for her cabinet from an elusive miniaturist who seems to know more than she should about Nella's home and the people with whom she shares it. The miniaturist begins sending Nella pieces that unsettle her as they seem to predict or reflect actual events in Nella's life of which the miniaturist could not possibly know. Who is this miniaturist and what is she trying to tell Nella?
I was immediately drawn into the story and became intrigued with the mysterious dynamics between Nella and the other characters. This story took many unexpected twists and turns and the ending left me wanting to know more. Despite the sadness and distress of the final events of the story, I was also filled with hope for what was yet to come for these characters. I sincerely hope that this author chooses to write a sequel and allow her readers to reunite with Nella and learn what was to become of her and the rest of the characters....more
Once again Graham Joyce has managed to completely captivate me and draw me in! Dark Sister is a tale of a marriage torn apart by dark, unseen forces.Once again Graham Joyce has managed to completely captivate me and draw me in! Dark Sister is a tale of a marriage torn apart by dark, unseen forces. What seems at first to be an innocent discovery of an ancient book hidden in the fireplace, turns out to be the beginning of a mystical, and at times nightmarish journey for Maggie and her family. The book seems to beckon to Maggie to read its pages and unlock its hidden secrets. What begins as a hobby, quickly takes a turn towards a darker, more malevolent force that seeks to use Maggie as a vessel for a long dormant magic.
I was intrigued throughout by the magical forces of the ancient book and Maggie's newfound "talents," but the characters themselves were less than endearing. Maggie and her husband, Alex, were incredibly selfish - only caring about their own desires and agendas - and their poor children were treated as pawns in a game of strategy. I suppose this is not unlikely in many troubled marriages, but it was difficult to read about what those children endured as a direct result of their mother's misguided foray into the dark arts and their father's quest to get revenge on their mother. Despite the crass and selfish, behavior of Maggie and Alex, I still couldn't blame them entirely for their behavior because I believe so much of that was a result of the dark forces that Maggie unknowingly unleashed into their world.
As I've come to expect, Graham Joyce is a master storyteller with an uncanny ability to unlock the Pandora's box of his readers' imaginations!...more
I won this book from a First Reads giveaway!This was the first book of Genova's that I've read, even though I own her first two novels. Love Anthony iI won this book from a First Reads giveaway!This was the first book of Genova's that I've read, even though I own her first two novels. Love Anthony is the story of two women, Beth and Olivia, whose lives become inexplicably interwoven through their individual healing processes as they cope with the tragedies and losses in their lives. Set against the beautiful, seaside backdrop of Nantucket, each woman searches for meaning and purpose as they strive to find equilibrium and even happiness again. Being a wife and a mother, I found that I could identify with the characters of Beth and Olivia. Every time I picked the book back up, I felt like I was visiting with old friends. I empathized with their feelings of doubt, regret, fear, and uncertainty as they worked towards finding themselves and their true purposes in life. This story is also about autism and understanding that a person with autism is a person who has feelings and is capable of love, even if they cannot express it the way "normal" people do. It's also about showing compassion and understanding for families of children with disabilities rather than passing judgment. I really enjoyed this story and I look forward to reading more books by Genova!...more