Friday, August 26, 2016

Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris

This is a new Author to me and this is her first novel. The novel offers an nteresting premise that is probably all too familiar to many in the older generation but is certainly worth looking at again. The story serves to remind all of us about the insidious nature of evil.

The main character is Grace. Grace is an independent, smart young woman. She owns her own home, has a great job and is raising her sister, Millie. She seems to have it all together and then the mysterious, handsome stranger, Jack, enters her life. It's not necessary for me to go into all the details here--you'll have to read the book to find out. While some of what happens might seem predictable, the author goes to great lengths to uncover and display all of the idiosyncracies of the plot.

Well done, Ms. Paris--keep on writing.


Sunday, August 21, 2016

Swept Away by Robyn Carr

This story opens with a lovely young women waiting for a plane in the airport. She is accompanied by her latest boyfriend who happens to be a well-endowed businessman with a less than exemplary past. The two are headed for Las Vegas.

While in Las Vegas Jennifer witnesses a terrible accident and goes into hiding. Estranged from everything she knows, Jennifer is amazed at the kindness of strangers. She is able to take a profound look at herself and in the process realizes that she is so much more than a pretty face.

Reflective of other books in this author's repetoire, Swept Away might be classified by some as a beach romance or fluffy escapade. However, it is also a novel about personal growth.


Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Sweet Tommorows by Debbie Macomber

This is the final book in the Rose Harbor Inn Series. Several people will be disappointed that the series has come to a close. Ms. Macomber has a gentle way of engaging readers in the storyline of her characters. Her stories are gentle and easy to like. Her characters are valid and believable. Perhaps because this particular book was sought after, readers longed for more stories about Jo Marie and the Inn and hoped the author would continue the story.

In this entry readers will discover the reason for Mark's quick departure. Another love interest appears in Jo Marie's life and she is conflicted about what direction to take. Emily decides to spend more time in Cedar Cove and meets some new and interesting people.

All in all, it was a lukewarm ending to this series. I don't think it was the author's best effort. The writing was not up to par and contained elements that the author has not previously been known for.


Saturday, August 13, 2016

Circling the Sun by Paula McLain

The central character in this book is Beryl Markham, a record-setting aviator.

The story encompasses Beryl's life from the early days in England, through her childhood in Kenya and to her adulthood. Raised by her father and a tribe native to Africa, Beryl is brought up with the intangible attributes only a forward thinking, strong woman would have. Through a series of romantic escapades, Beryl discovers her definitive career, racing horses. Ultimately, she becomes an aviator and that is where she relizes her dreams.

A book reminiscent of Out of Africa, it depicts the rough countryside of a rustic continent. A well-written storyline not unlike the author's previous work The Paris Wife.


Monday, August 1, 2016

Among the Wicked by Linda Castillo

This author has several books under her belt. She was suggested to me by an avid reader. I was not disappointed by her first book, nor this most recent title. Her books feature Chief of Police, Kate Burholder. The interesting thing about Kate is that in her early life she was a member of the Amish community. Now she resides in Northeastern Ohio in a community comprised of Amish and English.

In this book, Kate is contacted by several members of the intelligence community to go undercover and infiltrate an Amish community in upstate New York. Reluctant at first, Kate feels as if she was handpicked for the assignment and agrees. The initial investigation involves the death of a young girl who was murdered under the cover of darkness. Similarly to some of the other books in this series, the initial crime leads to the discovery of equally sinister events.

I would characterize Ms. Castillo's books as having enough depth to keep the reader interested and comparatively easy to read. She knows how to build a mystery well. If you enjoy this latest entry, please check the other titles by this author.


Sunday, July 24, 2016

Some Luck by Jane Smiley

This title was published in 2014. It was recently recommended to me as being the first book in a trilogy. The next title is Early Warningwhich was published in 2015 and I have not unearthed whether or not the third title has been published.

Some Luck chronicles the life of the Langdon family of Denby, Iowa. The story begins in 1920 and each chapter is dedicated to another year in their lives. The last chapter in the book is 1953. Much of the focus of the book is on,Frank, the eldest son. From the myriad of escapades he experiences as a child to his stint in the Army, we observe the growth and maturity of Frank as he interacts with different people in his life.

While this book is structured like a documentary, the writing seems lighter and the reader can easily skim through the pages without getting bogged down in the details. Most of all, this first entry motivates the reader to read the next book in the trilogy.


Saturday, July 16, 2016

Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf

Amid much ado about this title and after placing several holds on it at the library, I finally had a chance to read it in its' entirety yesterday. Before I go into too much detail, let me say it was good. It is a brief rendition of an encounter between neighbors. The writing style is simple and the storyline was very plausible.

Addie and Louis are neighbors of a certain age. Each has lost their spouse and is living a rather lonely existence. One day Addie approaches Louis about engaging in a relationship. Louis listens and agrees to it. Addie and Louis show the reader that it is possible to rekindle love in two older souls. At one point Addie's grandson comes to live with her for a while and Louis steps up to the plate and enjoys developing a relationship with the boy. Together they all embark on a series of simple adventures and begin to relish one another.

This story can easily be read by avid readers in one sitting. You should read it, especially if you are of a certain age.