Sunday, May 19, 2013
Posted by Tina's Blog at 11:57 AM
Saturday, May 18, 2013
The children on Sal Mal Lane are the central figures in this story, and since this novel is told through their eyes, the tensions that begin to come to Sri Lanka, are not felt initially by the children. When the Heraths move to their new house on Sal Mal Lane they are immediately looked up to by the other residents. Their father has a job with the Ministry of Education and all four children dess well, sing Christian hymns, and are educated. Perhaps the best part about the Heraths is that the children openly embrace friendships with the children on their street, despite the fact that the neighboring twin girls are only half clothed, and their older brother is a bully.
Freeman's descriptions of Sri Lanka created a beautiful picture in my mind, and the story provided an entirely new knowledge about this country and the sorrow it endured during the war. By creating characters that were so human, the suffering and pain felt during Sri Lanka's civil war is brought to life.
Freeman's novel is beautifully written, a tribute of sorts to the suffering of Sri Lankans - definitely worth taking the time to read and enjoy.
Posted by Tina's Blog at 4:41 PM
Thursday, May 16, 2013
Frances Gerety penned the now household slogan long ago for DeBeer Diamonds that has stood the test of time. Sullivan uses some research about Gerety's life to pen chapters in The Engagements depicting her at various stages of her life - as a young copyrighter, as a woman who chose to remain single, and finally as an older woman looking back on her life and career.
Sullivan ties together many different stories set at different times with the common thread of an engagement ring:
Gerald and Evelyn's story begins with their unlikely courtship and eventual marriage. Their only child is a bit of an embarrassment as he continues to make poor choices in love and life.
James and Sheila struggle with making ends meet and James would like nothing more than to replace the diamond ring that was taken from her when she was robbed.
Delphine lives in France with her husband, Henri, a musician. When a dashing young American arrives on the scene she is instantly smitten.
Kate has always been opposed to marriage, although she and her partner are raising their daughter, Ava, together. She has been put in charge of her cousin's wedding rings as he and his partner plan to wed now that gay marriage is legal.
I appreciated all the characters that were created by Sullivan and their unique stories. The synopsis I have given for each is a simplistic account of a well developed story - of characters, time period and place that allowed me to feel as though I was truly in the place and time Sullivan was writing about.
Sullivan ties in Gerety and her role in creating diamonds as a lasting symbol of love seamlessly.
This entire novel was a joy to read- a perfect summer beach novel. Sullivan is fast becoming one of my go-to authors.
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.
This Week's pick: Until She Comes Home by Lori Roy
Due out June 15, 2013
Product Information taken from Amazon:
Winner of an Edgar Award for Best First Novel for Bent Road, Lori Roy returns with Until She Comes Home, a tale of spellbinding suspense in which a pair of seemingly unrelated murders crumbles the facade of a changing Detroit neighborhood.
In 1958 Detroit, on Alder Avenue, neighbors struggle to care for neighbors amid a city ripe with conflicts that threaten their peaceful street.
Grace, Alder’s only expectant mother, eagerly awaits her first born. Best friend Julia prepares to welcome twin nieces. And Malina sets the tone with her stylish dresses, tasteful home, and ironfisted stewardship of St. Alban’s bake sale.
Life erupts when childlike Elizabeth disappears while in the care of Grace and Julia. All the ladies fear the recent murder of a black woman at the factory on Willingham Avenue where their husbands work may warn of what has become of Elizabeth, and they worry what is yet to become of Julia—the last to see Elizabeth alive.
The men mount an around-the-clock search, leaving their families vulnerable to sinister elements hidden in plain sight. Only Grace knows what happened, but her mother warns her not to tell. “No man wants to know this about his wife.” Ashamed that her silence puts loved ones in harm’s way, Grace gravitates toward the women of Willingham Avenue, who recognize her suffering as their own. Through their acceptance, Grace conquers her fear and dares to act.
On Alder Avenue, vicious secrets bind friends, neighbors, and spouses. For the wicked among them, the walk home will be long.
Sunday, May 12, 2013
The girls all played in the kids' bell choir at church and I taught Sunday School for the pre-K class. Last night we went out to eat with friends in celebration of Mother's Day, so today we snacked for lunch. Everyone humored me and took me to see Admission with Tina Fey.
My sister-in-law told me it was based on a book, and about ten minutes into the movie I knew exactly which book:
I'd read Admission when it was published in 2010, and although I couldn't recall details, remember really enjoying it. Well, I liked the movie, but the book is always better.
We have two softball games for Big Sister this week, soccer practices and a game, gymnastics, and my fitness class each day. I am having a hard time concentrating on reading right now because on Thursday our oldest daughter has her yearly exam in Iowa City with her oncologist. She appears to be fine, but there is always the fear of a recurrence. If you are a person who prays, please pray for her to have a very boring, routine check-up and the all clear for another year. It is probably a good thing we are busy this week as that is preferable to sitting at home worrying.
I've had a bad day of snacking and right now am waiting for Big Sister to whip up a batch of cookies....calories don't count on Mother's Day, do they?
Posted by Tina's Blog at 3:15 PM
Friday, May 10, 2013
Charlie lives downstairs- directly underneath- Claire and Cathy, two single women, who say the most hilarious things, without even meaning to be funny.
Dear Girls Above Me,
"How do you spell... this word?" Unfortunately, I don't have a visual, but aren't you pointing to it?
Charlie began sharing snippets like the one above on Twitter and soon had quite a following. Taking his Twitter postings and adding more of his life story, McDowell's book made me laugh out loud several times.
I did enjoy the humor in Dear Girls Above Me, yet was happy that I read this in short bursts, since I would not have appreciated the humor for a long period of time. In fact, following him on Twitter might be enough to satisfy my need to know more Cathy and Claire.
Posted by Tina's Blog at 9:55 AM
Thursday, May 9, 2013
The two never reveal their names, but Graham is able to find Ellie based on the information she shares in their correspondence. He manages to have his newest movie filmed in Ellie's hometown, and the two meet for the firs time.
It isn't all smooth sailing as Ellie has her own secret she is keeping and can't afford to have her name in the news as Graham's new girlfriend.
Although the probability of this story actually happening is slim to none, I loved it. It's a sweet summertime romance with a fun premise, a beautiful setting and likeable characters. Pure enjoyment!
Posted by Tina's Blog at 6:11 AM
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.
This week's pick: The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty
Due out : July 30, 2013
Product Information taken from Amazon:
From the author of the critically acclaimed What Alice Forgot comes a breakout new novel about the secrets husbands and wives keep from each other.
Three women. One secret. And a letter that will change everything—forever.
Tess. Rachel. Cecilia. Three women living three very different lives. But when Cecilia opens up a Pandora’s box, their lives will intersect in ways none of them could foresee.
Cecilia is the woman who seems to have it all: a successful career, a gorgeous husband, and three wonderful daughters. One day she finds an old tattered letter in the attic that’s addressed to her, to be opened only in the event of her husband’s death. But he’s still very much alive. When Cecilia casually mentions it to him on the phone, he laughs it off, telling her to put the letter away. Yet when he flies home early from an overseas business trip, and then frantically searches for the letter, Cecilia realizes there’s something important in it, something she needs to know. Yet even Pandora herself could not prepare Cecilia for what the letter reveals.
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Monday, May 6, 2013
Set in the early 1930's, Thea is a teenager dealing with first love and her own sexual desire. As the daughter of a wealthy doctor and his wife in Florida, her life has been spent riding her beloved horse, playing with her twin brother, Sam, and her cousin Georgie. Yet, when she finds herself in trouble because of a boy, she is sent away to the Yonahlossee Riding Camp For Girls where her father has paid for her to live and go to school for an entire year with nothing more than an occasional letter from her family.
Thea tells her story as though time has elapsed and she has survived the events of this tumultuous time in her life. DiSclafani's depiction of life in Florida in the 1930's transported me back to that time and place - orange groves and unbearable summer heat along with financial struggle as the Depression begins. As Thea spends her time at Yonahlossee, located near the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina, she finds girlfriends - the first she has ever had in her life - and becomes more aware of her sexuality.
The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls should be a huge summer hit - a perfect beach read well worth every page.