Dolly review

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Goodreads: The remoter parts of the English Fens are forlorn, lost and damp even in the height of summer. At Iyot Lock, a large decaying house, two young cousins, Leonora and Edward are parked for the summer with their ageing spinster aunt and her cruel housekeeper. At first the unpleasantness and petty meannesses appear simply spiteful, calculated to destroy Edward’s equanimity. But when spoilt Leonora is not given the birthday present of a specific dolly that she wants, affairs inexorably take a much darker turn with terrifying, life destroying, consequences for everyone.

I’m afraid this book did not live up to my understanding of the above description.  I did not find the housekeeper to be cruel, and I did not see anything terrifying or life destroying about it.  The story was a let down.

I don’t want to say more about it as I wouldn’t give it a good review so better to not give it much of one at all.  I give the story a D-

The Small Hand review

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Goodreads: Returning home from a client visit late one evening, Adam Snow takes a wrong turn and stumbles across the derelict old White House. Compelled by curiousity he decides to enter, only to be repelled when he feels the unmistakeable sensation of a small hand creeping onto his own. This is just the beginning of a series of odd experiences. 

First off, let me say I did enjoy this story.  It is rather creepy and I have to admit, I didn’t see the ending coming.  I am usually so good at those things but this one has a little twist that I don’t think I would have seen coming even if the hints weren’t so subtle.  It just never occurred to me.

I wouldn’t say it is the best Susan Hill but it was worth the read.  She writes in the first person which I’m a bit leery of but she does pull it off leaving me wondering why I ever doubted.  There are stories I have tried to read like that and can’t get through the first chapter or two.

My only small complaint were the extreme descriptions she went into over every little thing.  Things that really had no bearing on the small hand but were more fluff in the life of the main character.  Still, this little complaint did not take away from the creepiness of the story.

I like a good ghost story.  I give it a B.

First Frost review

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Goodreads: It’s October in Bascom, North Carolina, and autumn will not go quietly. As temperatures drop and leaves begin to turn, the Waverley women are made restless by the whims of their mischievous apple tree… and all the magic that swirls around it. But this year, first frost has much more in store.

Claire Waverley has started a successful new venture, Waverley’s Candies. Though her handcrafted confections—rose to recall lost love, lavender to promote happiness and lemon verbena to soothe throats and minds—are singularly effective, the business of selling them is costing her the everyday joys of her family, and her belief in her own precious gifts.

Sydney Waverley, too, is losing her balance. With each passing day she longs more for a baby— a namesake for her wonderful Henry. Yet the longer she tries, the more her desire becomes an unquenchable thirst, stealing the pleasure out of the life she already has.

Sydney’s daughter, Bay, has lost her heart to the boy she knows it belongs to…if only he could see it, too. But how can he, when he is so far outside her grasp that he appears to her as little more than a puff of smoke?

When a mysterious stranger shows up and challenges the very heart of their family, each of them must make choices they have never confronted before. And through it all, the Waverley sisters must search for a way to hold their family together through their troublesome season of change, waiting for that extraordinary event that is First Frost.

Lose yourself in Sarah Addison Allen’s enchanting world and fall for her charmed characters in this captivating story that proves that a happily-ever-after is never the real ending to a story. It’s where the real story begins. 

I have been a fan of Allen’s since I read “Garden Spells”.  I would write a long review but Goodreads has taken ups o much room with the description that I don’t have the room.  LOL.

I love the apple tree in the stories – just to think about something that magical makes me smile.  The story is well told with just enough magic sprinkled in to make one feel captivated by it.  Allen’s descriptions and the family storyline weaved throughout are some of my favorite things about her writing.

I already look forward to the next story and hope she doesn’t keep me waiting too long as many other of my favorite writers do.  I give the book an A – it is quite good.

Just Past Midnight review

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Finally finished this book tonight.  I’m afraid it took a long time to get through it not because of the writing but because I thought it was a little too unbelievable.  I would get started in it and the put it aside while I read something else.

The book centers around a woman named Dani/Darian who has a stalker from her high school years well into her adult life.  The man kills anyone who he thinks gets in the way of their one-sided relationship.

Darian becomes a clinical psychologist yet makes such stupid decisions that it is no wonder people die.  However, that is the way the author made the character so my irritation with Darian felt manipulated by the author.

The book is well written and I did enjoy it for the most part.  I was disgusted with myself for picking the wrong killer because I forgot an age-old plot twist that was very common in the 80’s.  I do have to agree with one critic, though, who said the ending was way too quick and without any real oomph.  The climax took less than two pages.  You almost felt like the author got tired of the book and just ended it swiftly without thought for the reader.  Here there is all this buildup throughout the book to have it over in less than two pages.

Still, I do enjoy Amanda Stevens – her Graveyard Queen series was my favorite series until she quit writing it.  She said on her blog that there was another one coming out but I have  yet to see evidence of it.  I give this book a B+.  It is worth the read.

The Secret Life of Bees review

 

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Goodreads: Set in South Carolina in 1964, The Secret Life of Bees tells the story of Lily Owens, whose life has been shaped around the blurred memory of the afternoon her mother was killed. When Lily’s fierce-hearted black “stand-in mother,” Rosaleen, insults three of the deepest racists in town, Lily decides to spring them both free. They escape to Tiburon, South Carolina–a town that holds the secret to her mother’s past. Taken in by an eccentric trio of black beekeeping sisters, Lily is introduced to their mesmerizing world of bees and honey, and the Black Madonna. This is a remarkable novel about divine female power, a story women will share and pass on to their daughters for years to come.  

I guess I forgot to include this as one of the books I purchased recently.  I was reading via the library but it came due so I decided to buy it.

The book draws a person in as Lily struggles to find her way in the world.  She has issues with her father which somehow have to do with the mother she barely remembers.  Longing for a mother’s love, Lily finds the sisters endearing and feels as if they share a thread in the fabric of life.

I thoroughly enjoyed the book.  The characters were vividly portrayed.  Set midst the Civil Rights movement, Kidd weaved a story full of history with just a touch of mysticism. The bees added to the core of the story – who knew there was so much involved in keeping bees?

I easily give the book an A and will recommend it to everyone who hasn’t already read it.  Quite a good read.

 

 

New Reading Material

Well, it isn’t Sunday but I thought I’d share my recent purchases anyway.  I am in the middle of reading “The Secret Life of Bees” while also reading “Just Past Midnight”.  So many books.

So here are my newest additions:

21855279   First Frost (Waverley Family #2)  23225840  411377  The Small Hand and Dolly

Hashing it Out

I didn’t buy the following books but I did add them to my “To Read” list on Goodreads.  Did I mention my goal is to read 60 books this year? That is 5 a month and I’m not even through my first one yet.  Sigh.

In the writing department, I have a new story I am outlining but who knows when I will get time to actually write on it? Can’t believe how fast the days slip by me.  Seriously.  Wish the days I had to work went by as fast as the days I have off!

But I have stocked up my Nook with all the books I can.  I still have 300 books on a thumb drive somewhere that I can’t find – it is making me nuts.  They were on my laptop that crashed last year and I didn’t have them backed up to anywhere else.  My son has a copy of them somewhere but he can’t find them either.  Sigh.

It frazzles me when I have books out there that I can’t look at or stroke. Silly, I know but books are one of those things that I go to when I need cheering up.  My Nook comes out and I browse through my library – it comforts me.  People buy different things when they are depressed or lonely – most turn to decorative things, food or clothes but I buy books.

Anyway, here are the titles I have added to my list but have not read yet:

17286781  13538549  15803059   Thanks, Virginia, for the recommendations!