Home Recommended Reading Workshops About RSS

Archive for the ‘Book Review’ Category

THIEF’S MARK: A Suspenseful Mystery ~Carla Neggers

Monday, September 18th, 2017

“A murder in a quiet English village, long-buried secrets and a man’s search for answers about his traumatic past entangle FBI agents Emma Sharpe and Colin Donovan in the latest edge-of-your-seat Sharpe & Donovan novel”

THIEF’S MARK begins with Emma Sharpe and Colin Donovan finishing up their honeymoon by visiting Emma’s Grandfather in Dublin as they begin their journey back to New England.   Grandfather has started an Art Recovery Business, which he still works on finding and recovering art and Emma’s brother has taken over the business at the New England office.  Wendell enters the Inn, out of breath and finally shares that his home has been broken into and he has not yet called law enforcement onto the scene.   The story keeps a steady pace of new mystery and questions and then a few answers.

Sharpe and Donovan think they have a lead and head to England and Oliver York’s country home where another murder has implicated York and a retired MI6 Officer. Oliver as a young boy was kidnapped and witnessed his parent’s brutal murders and the case has never been solved.  Sharpe and Donovan do not believe that York committed the crime and with perseverance and a cast of interesting characters they figure it out.

The story takes place in the UK, Ireland, and New England.  There is lots of background material and the descriptions of the countryside and the seaside are very good.  The story has a complexity, which holds the reader’s attention and makes it difficult to put the book aside.  Fortunately, I had several days to travel through this story to resolution and truly enjoyed curling up with this good read.

Mystery readers and murder mystery readers will truly enjoy this story and the revelations of the plot.  The farm and garden recovery added a nice dimension to the aspects of the story, and then there was another body discovered!

I did not feel as though I had an art history lesson or that the story was as fast paced as say the Di Vinci Code, but it was a good read and engaging.  The writing was good and captivating.  I was touched by Oliver’s recovery from the trauma and how he was coming to terms with having a future as an adult.

tlc-logo

Carla Neggers is the New York Times bestselling author of more than 60 novels, including her popular Sharpe and Donovan and Swift River Valley series. Her books have been translated into 24 languages and sold in over 35 countries. A frequent traveler to Ireland, Carla lives with her family in New England. To learn more and to sign up for her newsletter, visit CarlaNeggers.com.

Related Reading:
The Worthington Wife
Autumn in Oxford
Cuckoos Calling

THE TALENTED RIBKINS: A Novel ~Ladee Hubbard

Wednesday, September 13th, 2017

Winner of the 2016 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award

THE TALENTED RIBKINS was, “Inspired by W.E.B. Du Bois’s famous essay “The Talented Tenth” and fuelled by Ladee Hubbard’s marvelously original imagination, The Talented Ribkins is a big-hearted debut novel about race, class, politics, and the unique gifts that, while they may cause some problems from time to time, bind a family together. “

Johnny Ribkin has now reached his 70s and life should be much easier and it is not.  His mobster boss is demanding the return of some money that Johnny has been taking for pay and has hidden in buried important spots all over Florida.  As he follows his map of hidey – holes, he discovers that his brother left a 13-year-old daughter, who has a special talent and her mother cannot pay the mortgage.  Johnny ends up sharing his retrieved cash with Eloise’s Mother and then taking Eloise on his adventure to find his funds and introduce her to her family.  Actually, every descendant in the Rib King’s family tree has a special talent and they find themselves happy to use their talent to their best advantage.  The family has some most unusual talents!

Johnny, his brother and his cousins in their youth formed together to create a Justice Committee.  This group protected and assisted folks who were working on civil rights and political action.  They formed a bond that was difficult to break and yet they needed more funds to keep going, which ultimately broke up the group.  Johnny was still trying to create the perfect map for the future – he just needed more money.  He discovered lots of corruption among politicians and that often their word was not true and he got roped into helping a mobster lawyer steal.

Eloise is a bright young woman working out very carefully how her talent might be useful to her and her future.  She enjoys learning about her family and their talents as she travels with her Uncle Johnny.  Her family is very funny and her curiosity creates a backdrop for the story to unfold.  The duo is on a mission and it is wonder full.

“For sheer reading pleasure Ladee Hubbard’s original and wildly inventive novel is in a class by itself.” —Toni Morrison, Nobel Prize-winning author of The Bluest Eye, Beloved, and Song of Solomon

“Crafty and wistful…Hubbard weaves this narrative with prodigious skill and compelling warmth. You anticipate a movie while wondering if any movie could do this fascinating family…well, justice. To describe this novel, as someone inevitably will, as Song of Solomon reimagined as a Marvel Comics franchise is to shortchange its cleverness and audacity.” —Kirkus, starred review

I enjoyed every page, the interesting writing style and the clever story.  The interesting politics and discoveries were just an added bonus.  Ah the bonds of family – THE TALENTED RIBKINS

tlc-logo

“Ladee Hubbard is the winner of the 2016 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award and the William Faulkner-William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition for the Short Story. She holds a BA from Princeton University, an MFA in Dramatic Writing from New York University, an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Wisconsin, and a PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles. She lives in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Talented Ribkins is her first novel.”

Ladee Hubbard Facebook

Related:
Gypsy Mother Summer
A Tale For The Time Being
Language Arts

IT’S MESSY: On Boys, Boobs, and Badass Women ~Amanda de Cadenet

Thursday, September 7th, 2017

IT’S MESSY is a memoir told in short and often funny essays.  I read the book cover to cover, I laughed, was amazed and also the book made me very sad. I think many high school students and young adults would gain insights from reading her story and her understandings.  I disagreed with her slant on one-night stands and was a bit repulsed by it actually, though liked her bravado on many other fronts.  I knew nothing about her before reading the book.

A teenager who was covered by the Tabloids extensively and most likely was sexually abused or assaulted early on in life ran away to the streets and drugs and then figured out she needed more “money” in order to stabilize her future. She, de Cadenet, went on to figure out what she did best and then act on it and slowly and surely build a future; with big jumps and interesting marriages.

About Amanda de Cadenet

Amanda de Cadenet is a creative force with a lifelong career in the media. She began as a host on British television at the age of fifteen and became a sought-after photographer shortly after—as a result her impressive photography career already spans nearly twenty years. She is the youngest woman ever to shoot a Vogue cover and has photographed many of the most influential figures in popular and political culture. As a media entrepreneur, Amanda is the creator of The Conversation, a series that showcases her in-depth interviews on real topics with celebrated women. Whether it’s in conversations with Lady Gaga, Sarah Silverman, Zoe Saldana, Chelsea Handler, or Gwyneth Paltrow, or in discussions with devoted followers of her social channels, Amanda delivers an honest and authentic voice. The series has aired in eighteen countries and is featured online, with over ten million viewers. In January 2016, Amanda conducted an exclusive one-on-one interview with presidential candidate Secretary Clinton. In February 2016, Amanda launched #Girlgaze, a digital media company-utilizing user submitted content and highlighting the work of women Gen Z photographers and directors.

Find out more about Amanda at her website, and connect with Amanda on Facebook, Amanda on Twitter, Amanda on Instagram .

I think there are some girls who are just anxious to get into their “own” lives at an early age.  I think of one of my daughter’s classmates who by 12 was heavy into sex and by 15 drugs.  She did not want to go to school and now in her 30s has not found her way.   I think she could have benefited from this book that finds that the true bottom line in life is liking yourself – no loving yourself.

IT’S MESSY is a challenging read with some tough language issues and yet it could make a difference in someone’s life and journey to success.

tlc-logo

Related:
I Hate Everyone Except You
Liar
Dressing A Tiger

A MOTHER LIKE MINE: A novel ~Kate Hewitt

Monday, September 4th, 2017

A MOTHER LIKE MINE just surrounds the reader with a comfortable story about a mother – daughter relationship that has been sorely damaged over time and yet it has been primed and opened up for a new beginning.  The story is situated in a small coastal village in the UK and both women have a command of their feelings and the ability to have complete and honest conversation.   It is a refreshing story. There is hope.

Abby Rhodes has lost her ability to stay in university to become a Vet because she now has a very young son and she has lost her fiancé to an accident.  She returns home to assist her grandmother in keeping a small café open to the tourists, hikers, and beach visitors.  They are just holding on and doing okay when her grandmother has a first heart attack.    Abby’s mother, Laura, left Abby with grandmother when she was two and so the struggle continues now with her delightful son, Noah.  The future feels like more struggles ahead.

Surprise!  Laura has returned home to stay after working her way to the US and recently has been let go of her position as a Night Club assistant manager and hostess.  She feels that she is ready to face a good future and she wants to be reunited with her mother and child.  Her focus is totally on the future and she does not want to revisit the past and all of her mistakes and troubles.  The duo is off to a hard start and then Gran has another huge heart attack.  They are forced to have the hard conversations and seek out a future.

The community is very fun that surrounds this family and there are quirky and delightful characters coming into the café for coffee and toasties, a number of friendships are developing.  I liked the language and the poignant and satisfying conversations as feelings were revealed and explored.   Quite a delightful read and it arrived just in time for a rainy weekend and a time to curl up and read.

Booklist says:

“At turns introspective and exhilarating, this novel proves that it’s never too late to start over.”

Kate Hewitt is the USA Today bestselling author of more than fifty books, including the Hartley-by-the-Sea novels Rainy Day Sisters and Now and Then Friends, and more recently, the Willoughby Close series. A former New Yorker, she now lives in Wales with her husband five children. She also writes as Katharine Swartz.

tlc-logo

RELATED
My Mother’s Funeral
Secrets of The Tulip Sisters
Donuts and Coffee and the Wisdom of Daughters