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THE BOY WHO LOVED RAIN: A NOVEL ~Gerard Kelly

Thursday, April 16th, 2015

“They say that what you don’t know can’t hurt you.  They’re wrong.” (cover)

The Boy Who Loved Rain is a beautiful story about healing a child and the lengths a Mother will go to uncover the truth and free her teenage son from his distress and open the window to a better future for her child.

Fiona is going from crisis to crisis trying to help her son, Colum who as he turns 14 years is becoming anorexic and is loosing the ability to care.  He is attacking other children at school and has been suspended several times.  With the help of her childhood mentor, Miriam, Fiona gathers her son and they head to an isolated retreat on the Atlantic Ocean in France.  Fiona’s brother Mark, a journalist and artist, joins them and begins researching and revealing secrets.  Colum’s father is the charismatic leader of a church centered on a Theology of Positive Parenting in London.  He is no longer close to his son and lets Fiona figure out what to do.

The big discovery is that Colum has signed a letter of intent to commit suicide by the time he is 16 and this is being promoted by an internet site and his only friend succeeds in following through on the site’s recommendations.  The story is serious.

Each chapter begins with a fact or quote about the nature of RAIN. THE BOY WHO LOVED RAIN  contains a tremendous amount of symbolism and a great deal of detail about the nature of the weather and the symbolism of waves and ocean currants.  The story has quite a religious nature and historic connection to Catholic theology and women’s participation in religion within family and community.

Kelly writes with elegance and a poetic grace in THE BOY WHO LOVED RAIN.  I could certainly identify with the struggle of the boy and the stress of the family.  The beautiful writing softened the blow of the hard, hard moments and kept me reading every page.   It was not a fast read, it was a stay with it read; I would have lost so much if I had speed read this story.    Helping a child find the way and heal is always a powerful story; I liked that Colum’s story helped to heal another child also.

There was a great twist in the story, that made me laugh when I did not even anticipate its arrival.   There were descriptions of the wind and the cold, that were so vivid, I had to put on a sweater to continue.

Quite a read for those who like psychology, secrets and stories about healing.

Gerard Kelly’s bio on Amazon

“Gerard Kelly is a writer, speaker and poet and a co-founder, with his wife Chrissie, of The Bless Network. Bless works alongside churches in the UK, France, The Netherlands, Croatia and Spain, empowering young people ‘to encounter the God of mission and find their place in the mission of God’. A member of the ‘Theme Group’ of Spring Harvest, Europe’s largest Christian teaching event and formerly Pastor of Crossroads International Church in Amsterdam, Gerard currently lives in Normandy, France, where he and Chrissie are developing a centre for missional formation.”

Related:
Our Love Could Light the World
In The Garden of Stone
The Clover House
Little Island

CUCKOO’S CALLING: A Cormoran Strike Mystery (book I) ~Robert Galbraith

Monday, February 2nd, 2015

“It’s a psychological term.  The Johari window.  It’s all to do with how well we know ourselves, and how well other people know us.”  (Kindle page 360 of 550)

CUCKOO’S CALLING is a book group book that is from my personal library and it was just great fun to read.  A second Cormoran Strike Mystery will be released in June of this year and I think I will put it on my list, just because the writing is so good and this book was full of intelligent words and ideas and it did not feel like a 50-minute television drama at race speed.

Cormoran Strike is a great character who has been released from the military after losing his one leg in the war in Afghanistan.  He is working his own Private Investigation firm but is down to one client and struggling to procure clients.  He is overwhelmed and in walks a new temporary office manager, Robin, who proves her worth within the first hour persuading a new client to use the service.  Robin snags this new client who can pre-pay for his assignment and Strike is off and figuring out if a fashion model committed suicide or was pushed off the balcony of her apartment.  The reader is right in the middle of fashion shoots, the contemporary music scene, temperamental movie directors, and the very distinctive world of the wealthy in London.

Can one succeed as a PI taking the public transportation system and working day by day on a limited budget?   Robin is smart and thoughtful and job hunting for a permanent position, will he be able to keep her on or have to let her go?  Strike’s fiancé makes matters worse by kicking him out of the apartment they share and breaking up.  Can a PI live on containers of Pot Noodles, sleep on a camp cot, and spend his nights in the office undetected?  Can he get the answers he needs from the world of high fashion design and the drug and alcohol imbibing young people who work in this area?

I would recommend this book to all who enjoy good writing, intelligent writing, or people who enjoy a story that is not a formula story.  I would highly recommend this book to those who love mystery, suspense reading.   Although, I figured out the answer to the main question of the story very early on, the other sub-themes were very interesting to explore and probe and just as it was getting very interesting the twists were fabulous and diverting and I doubted my conclusion.  CUCKOO’S CALLING is a very good read, top – notch story telling and inspired me to think about reading the new book out in June.

Thank you LIZ for picking this read for our group to share and enjoy.  Good winter escape read and very entertaining.

About the Author:

“Robert Galbraith is a pseudonym for J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry potter series and THE CASUAL VACANCY.” (from the Kindle cover)

Related:
In Doubt
Accidents of Marriage
The Fixer 
Coincidence

US: A Novel ~David Nicholls

Monday, October 20th, 2014

“I had always been led to believe that getting older was a slow and gradual process, the creep of a glacier.  Now I realize that it happens in a rush, like snow falling off a roof.”  (I am advised not to use a quote from this copy because it is not a final copy – I did anyway- there were so many good quotes it was difficult to pick one.)


US is all about what a man is thinking; not just any man but a proper English Gentlemen who is very smart and has worked as a chemical engineer for a very long time.  US is also a love story of Douglas and Connie’s 24 years marriage and just what Douglas is contemplating about how he arrived at who he is presently and who he is becoming.  Douglas is contemplating so much about his love and life that he knocks down a row of “bikers” bikes, books a room in a boutique bordello for his family, and swims with stinging jellyfish.  There is that delightful British humor which just delights this reader and Douglas’s vast ability for a good pun.

Connie is an artist and painter and works at an art Museum in London.  When Douglas and Connie were married Connie stopped painting.  Together they lost baby Jane a few hours after giving birth and shared life for seventeen years with son Albie who is about to move on to University.   The family is making a Grand Tour of Art to give Albie an adventure and knowledge about the great works in France, Italy, Germany, and Spain.   Connie several days before the Great Tour sits up in bed and says, “I think our marriage has run its course. Douglas, I think I want to leave you.”  Douglas and Connie decide to think about this course of action after the tour.  Douglas wants to strengthen their bonds of love with his wife and son on the tour.   Change is very difficult for Douglas and he has the same hopes and dreams he has been protecting and holding on to for twenty four years.  US is a wonderful read and I am sure I am going to read this book again.

tlc logo TLC Book Tours  sent me a copy of this book to review through a new e-book source for me – Edelweiss.   It is an unproofed, uncorrected copy of the book, which will disappear off my Kindle before this review is posted on PW.  I was so pleased to read this book, loved the humor and the story and thinking  happening, and even the trip and discussions of paintings that I am going to purchase this book so I can read it again in the future.  I was so reassured that an engineer could figure out his emotions, talk outside the rules, love, and could change, I found laugh out loud hope in this story.  I believe many of PW’s readers will enjoy this book and this story about change and love.

My best recommendation about this book if you are middle age and thinking about the future – Read US

David Nicholls in the Guardian, “I didn’t want to write a dodgy disappointment”
From Nicholls thought about ONE DAY:

“I worry sometimes that I’m a bit moralistic; always writing about men who are learning to grow up, not be so self-absorbed, selfish or badly behaved. I wonder if that’s dull and liberal and wimpy? I should probably write something that celebrates wickedness. Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/d/david_nicholls.html#BLKTLPofKmGZqHZv.99

Related:
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry 
Walter’s Muse
Unfinished Business
Freedom

RYDER: An Ayesha Ryder Novel ~Nick Pengelley

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

“The conference, timed to coincide with the summit meeting between the Israeli and Palestinian leaders – to be held at the Tower of London for security reasons – was already fully booked.  The attention of the whole world would be on the summit, and on everything to do with the talks in which so much hope was invested.  It would not have mattered what they called her paper.” (Location 77% on my Kindle – uncorrected, unproofed copy )


TLC Book Tours  sent me an uncorrected and unproofed copy of this book for review.   It was released on Amazon on September 30th of this year. A very good read for those who enjoy political suspense.  I will read and review book two in this series in 2015.

RYDER reminds me of THE Da Vinci Code novel with a bigger area of history included, such as the Arc of the Covenant search in the story.

RYDER is quite the read and if you enjoy history lessons with contemporary outcomes this will prove to be one of the best reads you will encounter.  Ayesha Ryder was a Palestinian terrorist when she was 16 and currently she lives in London working at the War History Museum and has her doctorate in Middle Eastern Studies.   She is preparing a speech to give at the Israeli- Palestine Peace Summit in a few days to be held at the Tower of London, when she hears that a very important figure in her life has been tortured and murdered.   He has left clues as to what the murderers hoped to attain and he is an expert on Laurence of Arabia; his life story and spying adventures.  The twists and turns through 1935 to present fictional days and pursuits are an amazing journey and a huge history lesson.  The writing is excellent, tense and not sloppy or over the top localizing.

What if in 1935 Israel and Palestine were made into just one country – Holy Land- and if Laurence’ Peace Treaty had been signed and ratified by Parliament?  It is assumed that there would not be as much conflict and war over all this time, rather a peaceful country.

I was very glad I had read THE LEMON TREE, last year which is a history of the division of the country into two states and why the conflicts continue and how the politicians fuel those disputes and attacks.  How we train violence and hate in the children.   The history was fresh in my mind.   I did not know about possible secret agreements in England with the Nazi regime.  Very interesting and very exciting reading here – RYDER is a good spy story too.

I so enjoyed all the terms I had to look up and understand, not only the British local terms, but also Middle Eastern references.   Do you know about madrigalisms? Now that was a fascinating clue and I even attempted to write one!

“Nick Pengelley is the author of the Political Thrillers RYDER and RYDER: American Treasure.  Australian by birth, he’s had careers in Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom as a law professor, legal consultant, and analyst on Middle East politics, which is his passion.  Pengelley lives in Toronto with his wife, Pamela.” (from the author page of the e-book)

www.nicholaspengelley.com
@ NicholasPengell 

Related:
The Lemon Tree
The New Men
The Landgramm Affair
The Condor Song