Non-fiction reviews are
now located on a separate page.
The Smoke Jumper by Nicholas Evans. I will
give Evans credit. He does not write the same book twice. Despite his
overwhelming success with his first novel The Horse Whisperer he followed it
with a completely different novel about the plight of wolves again farmers.
Now, in his third book he takes a look at those daring men who jump from
planes to fight forest fires. He also takes a look at the horrible political
strife and murders of hundred of people in Africa and other countries. In
this story he features an elk as his link to the animal world which
eventually ties in with the great African culture and spirits.
Ed Tully and Connor Ford are smoke jumping buddies of long
standing. They met in smoke jumping school and remained as close friends
although Ed eventually moved to Alabama to become a musician. While
struggling to make ends meet he plays in smoky bars and teaches music
lessons in private homes. Connor remained in Montana working as a freelance
Artist Julia Bishop has just recently broken off an
engagement. One rainy evening Ed and Julia have a very comical chance
meeting in a bar parking lot and later start dating. As summertime roles
around Ed headed off to Montana as he does every year to spend the summer
fighting fires with Connor. This summer Julia goes along to work for an
organization that takes juvenile offenders off for the summer to live in the
mountains, camp, hike, and hopefully turn their lives around. When Julia
meets Ed's friend Connor there is a mutual attraction that both hide to
Julia meets a young juvenile Skye, that you also meet in the
opening chapters of the book, as part of her group of campers. As Julia
tries to work through her lack of communication with the group and get her
to open up she becomes too attached. One evening a thunderstorm causes a
fire to break out on the mountain. During this time Skye has run away from
the camp. Julia spots the fire and radio's the base back in Missoula,
Montana of the fire. Of course Connor and Ed are two of the smoke jumpers
flown in to rescue the campers and help to locate Skye. As the fire rages on
the mountain Ed gets trapped alone looking for Skye while Connor and Julia
are on another part of the mountain. As they locate Skye, Julia is unable to
save her from the fire, as all three become trapped on the mountain.
That day on the mountain changed the life of all three
adults forever. An injured Ed (I am not giving that away) and Julia
eventually marry living a quiet life in Montana. Connor goes off searching
for meanings in life by photographing adults and children murdered in those
far reaching countries. All three of their lives become entwined in several
ways and each must find their own way to happiness.
Evans does another wonderful job of looking into the human
soul and seeing what goes deep within all of us as we view other peoples
sufferings. Don't give this one a
Parting Gifts by Charlotte Vale Allen. The
author tackles the pain of loss of a loved one, child abuse, and family
relationships with a wonderfully written story. Kyra has only been married
for 10 years when her husband is tragically killed in a freak accident. Kyra
and her twin brother Kyle are children of British born parents although she
was raised in New York. Her divorced parents and twin brother are all
heavily involved in the theater and acting as writers and performers and had
moved back to London.
The day after the funeral a strange woman appears on Kyra's
doorstep claiming to be Kyra's daughter with a grubby, waif like boy in tow
named Jesse. Since Kyra could not have children due to a birth defect she
knew this was preposterous but did not have a clue as to why her name
appears on the girls birth certificate. Kyra would have been 16 when she was
born and Kyra was away at boarding school with her brother. Kyra and her
husband had been trying to adopt a child for years but were still on a very
long waiting list.
Jesse was obviously abused in the three years he lived with
his mother, who had now abandoned him to Kyra. Unwilling to talk he slept in
his closet rather than his bed and communicated by use of gestures and eye
contact. When Kyra takes Jesse over to visit her mother and brother he opens
up to both of them and in the short time she is in London, Jesse starts
talking and communicating with people.
Ten years later Jesse and Kyra move back to London
themselves. Through Jesse Kyra finds a new and loving relationship with her
mother and brother than before had not existed. As Jesse turns twelve he
begins to exhibit signs of a health problem while becoming very famous by
writing a novel and having it published by age thirteen. As Kyra's family
and friends help her struggle with Jesse's illness, she learns about love of
friends, support of family, and the mysterious way in which her name came to
be on the strange young woman's birth certificate who arrived at her
doorstep ten years earlier with Jesse.
I have read many of Charlotte Vale Allen's books over the
years. Some I have liked better than others. The majority of her works I
have read were written in the late 70's and the 80's. If you like this novel
be sure to read some of her earlier works particularly Marmalade Man ,
Time/Steps, Dreaming in Color, Dream Train, and Night Magic.
The Bronze Horseman by Paullina
Simons. As a general rule Russian fiction is by nature dark, sad, and
boring. Your next question is "why do read it then?" Well, I have
always liked Russian history and I enjoy reading books set in Russia.
However, The Bronze Horseman is a very
typical Russian novel; hunger, Communist politics, and death. Had Ms. Simons
cut about 350 pages from her 636 page novel, she would have had a wonderful
semi-love story set in war time Russia. Much of the rambling among the
characters could have been cut without sacrificing the story. I am not prudish
but 100 pages of how, when, and where Tatiana and Alexander screw
around to proof they were attracted to each other once they were reunited
was a bit of overkill. In between all this dialog the author showed some
flashes of promise with humor and incidents between the two characters.
Set against the backdrop of WWII and the
siege of Leningrad, the primary characters Tatiana and Alexander, are the
narrators. Alexander is a soldier in the Red Army. He and his parents
immigrated to Russian in the late 50's when many Americans thought Communism
was a more exciting way of life. Alexander's father was arrested and his
mother was shot by NKVD for being accused of spying for the Americans and
not being loyal Party members. In order to save his life, Alexander joined
the Red Army and became an exemplary soldier winning several medals and
promotions for his actions on and off the battlefield.
While just starting out in his quest to
save his life in Russia he meets a young Russian, Dimitri who has decided he
wants to escape to America. He and Alexander have a plan to cross the
Finnish boarder into Helsinki, get to England and then on to America.
Dimitri is a lazy, cowardly Russian soldier and uses his friendship with
Tatiana lives in a two room communal
apartment with her mother and father, her grandparents, twin brother, and
older sister Dasha. Alexander and Dasha were secretly dating just as the
book starts and the war has begun. One evening when Tatiana is waiting for a
bus she meets Alexander not knowing that he is Dasha's boyfriend. Tatiana is
very devoted to her sister and once she learns of Dasha and Alexander's
dating refuses to "steal" Alexander away from her. A love triangle
develops with Tatiana and Dasha hiding their love for each other by using
Dimitri as a rouse pretending Tatiana likes Dimitri.
The entire plot thickens as Dimitri actually
becomes obsessed with Tatiana, Alexander becomes obsessed with Tatiana yet
continues to pretend he is love with Dasha. The winter siege of Leningrad is
very famous in history as the Germans surrounded the city preventing food
from going in. Millions of Russians died of starvation, cold, and TB that
I will leave out the exact details of what
happens to Tatiana's family and how she and Alexander finally come together.
I am not sure by the way the book ends of Ms. Simons is planning or sequel
or if she ran out of words. Skim the boring parts and read the rest.
A Certain Slant of Light by Cynthia Thayer.
Peter, a retired bagpipe player, has lived for twenty years in a secluded
cabin off the coast of Maine. He raises his own food, has an old dog for a
pet that he calls Dog, keeps a goat and a horse, and has a head of thirty
sheep on a nearby island. His closes neighbor and friend is Dora, a widow
who lives about ten minutes away.
During an ice storm Peter is visited by a young, pregnant
woman, Elaine, who has run away from a nearby town. Peter resents having
anyone invade his small cabin and his solitary life. Peter lost his family
to a fire and keeps his daughter's playhouse on a nearby shelf. He moves the
dolls around as his missing family and talks to them to sooth his soul and
his guilt. He was away at a bagpipe competition when the fire broke out. His
guilt is due to several circumstances which I will leave you to discover for
yourself. He has not played the bagpipes since that day.
Elaine is also running from life. She is a Jehovah Witness,
her husband discovers by accident of a previous pregnancy and miscarriage at
age 16, and has disgraced herself in the eyes of the church. The baby may be
born with a blood disease but her religion will not allow transfusions. She
is confused about what to do about the baby and whether or not to leave her
It does not take long for her husband and the church elders
to discover where Elaine is. But, she continues to live there despite
frequent visits by her upset husband and church members. As time for the
birth draws near Peter is finding himself falling in love with her and her
A stunning climax keeps readers wanting to know what will
happen in the end. You will have to read the book to learn for yourself how
it all turns out with Peter and Elaine and their rediscovery of life.
Death at Gallows Green by Robin Paige. This
novel is one of several written under the pseudonym husband/wife team of
Robin Paige. Susan Wittig Albert is the author of the China Bayles mysteries
and her husband is Bill Albert, co-author with his wife of young adult
novels. Death at Gallows Green is the first book I have read by
either of the authors or under their pen name and will certainly read more
in the series.
The heroine of the story Kathryn Ardleigh (Kate) has
returned to England to live with her two aunts who soon after are murdered
and she has inherited their estate. She writes sensational novels known back
then as "penny-dreadfuls" under a pen name and catches the
eye of local amateur sleuth and scientist Sir Charles Sheridan. In this
novel, Kate meets a shy young woman named Beatrice Potter. Yep, one and the
same famous children's author best known for the Tales of Peter Rabbit.
You meet several of Mrs. Potters animal characters in real life situations
appearing in the book as either humans or animals. As Kate and Sir Charles
work to solve the mystery of the murder of a local constable Bea becomes
involved while staying with Kate in her home at Bishop's Keep. Very, very
Rose of Nancemellin by Malcolm Macdonald. Set
in Cornwall, England and America during the early 1900's, MacDonald has
chosen the stage as his setting. Lucinda-Ella Rose Tremayne renamed Rose by
her mistress Lady Carclew of Nancemellin who feels her real name is too
dignified for a servant girl. Rose is forced to go into service at a young
age to help her struggling parents. But, Rose has a talent for mimicking the
upper class and other English and American accents in addition to being
quite well read and very educated for a girl in service.
While the Carclews are away for the summer season a young
sailor, Louise, is rescued from drowning and brought Nancemellin to
recover. Rose is mistaken as the niece of the estate owner by the Louise and
fall madly in love on the spot. Upon returning from their vacation, Lady
Carclew discovers the ruse and fires Rose on the spot. With her reputation ruined
by Lady Carclew, Rose takes a job as seamstress for a local theater touring
In the meantime, Louise brewery business has gone bankrupt
and he goes to America to recoup his fortune and return a wealthy man in
order to marry Rose. Rose goes from seamstress to actress when the company
discovers her natural talent for acting and voices. She falls in love with
the stage and is courted by several potential suitors but her heart belongs
only to Louise. The touring company takes their performance to America and
Rose plans on surprising Louise in New Jersey. Louise is writing her that he
is prospering in America and will soon be returning home to England.
However, what she finds in America disappoints her and upon
returning to England makes some momentous decisions. Very soon the outbreak
of WWI will change her life yet again and her path will eventually cross
with Louis once again.
As is the usual case with MacDonald he always places his
characters in the situation of the lower classes of England struggling with
the upper or women against men, etc. Another fine effort by MacDonald and
The Florabama Ladies Auxiliary &
Sewing Circle by Lois Battle. I read very few southern women writers
because as a general rule I do not care for their style of writing. However,
Battle is one of my favorites because of her solid characters and
interesting plot developments. Florabama is a fictional town in Alabama. The
storyline takes place over a years time as two separate classes of society
come together to form a bond of friendship and community spirit.
Bonnie Duke Cullman finds herself with two
kids in college and divorced from a rich husband. Having spent her post
college years doing society and charity work she now finds herself needing a
job to recover from her husbands bankruptcy. With a single credit card, a
car full of her person belongings. and a new puppy she takes off for Florabama and her first
real paying job. As head of the Displaced Homemakers Program at Marion
Hawkins College she will be responsible for assisting the women of the local
ladies lingerie mill Cherish Lady which has just shut down.
Bonnie becomes friends with Ruth, who always
wanted to be teacher but had to take the factory job when she became
pregnant with her daughter Roxy. Hilly, the feisty one of the group gets a
part time job a nearby Mexican restaurant and gets involved in the entire
family in the process. Bonnie finds herself in several predicaments at the
college, in helping the ladies, and in her personal life. Bonnie decides to help the ladies displaced
from the factory earn some money by making designer dresses for children to
be sold by a friend who runs a boutique in Atlanta. They began a weekly
meeting to discuss the problems of being unemployed, going to classes, coping
with their daily lives, and sewing the dress outfits. Bonnie learns things from these women she
would not have thought possible and they from her as their friendship and
desire to help one another overcomes the class barriers.
If you enjoy reading a good, clean novel with
great characters and a real good feeling when you are finished than you will
enjoy this novel by Battle or any of her previous ones.
Scarlet Feather by
Maeve Binchy. Binchy happens to be another of my favorite authors.
However, I have not been as impressed with her last couple of novels
including this one. I will admit that once I got into the book at around 100
pages or so it did seem to move along a little faster. As the characters and
plot began to unfold a certain amount of suspense as to what will happen in
the end does began to emerge. I read in a review of this book that it is
Binchy's last novel but I have not been able to confirm that elsewhere. If
so, it is a shame she culminated her career with a less than stellar effort.
Set in modern day Dublin, the Scarlet Feather is a
catering service started by friends Tom Feather and Cathy Scarlet. Cathy is married to
Neil Mitchell a workaholic lawyer more interested in social causes than his
wife. Neil comes from a rich Irish family, Cathy from a working class
background. Tom lives with Marcella who is obsessed with becoming a
famous model and is more interested in herself than her relationship with
On New Year's Eve, Neil's twin cousins are
dumped on his father and mother's door step after being abandoned by their
irresponsible parents. Neil, Cathy, and Tom are very quickly caught up in
the plight of these two children and their worthless older brother who works
for Neil's father.
The book takes place during a twelve month
period beginning with New Year's Eve, when Tom finally locates a suitable building
to set up their business. As Tom and Cathy struggle with the ups and downs
of relationships, family, friends, starting a business, and the well being
of the twins, it seems inevitable that Scarlet Feather will have a difficult
Wolves Against the Moon by
Julia Cooley Altrocchi is another work of fiction I picked up on my travels
to Mackinac Island. Much like the other book I
bought on the Island, Loon Feather, the
work also covers the history of Canada in the late 1790's to early 1800's.
Much of the book takes place on the Island and around Michigan, Indiana, and
This book was published in 1940.The author has based the novel on the real
life of Joseph Bailey from his granddaughter's family history. Mrs.
Altrocchi spent many summers residing near the fur trading post actually run
by Bailey near Chesterton, Indiana. Using dozens of histories, the author
intertwines the real with the imaginary to create a fascinating story of the
early Canadian wilderness.
Joseph Bailey de Messein is of French
Canadian descent. Although he is born of a wealthy land owner in Quebec, his
desire to be a trapper and live in wilderness is stronger than be a landed
gentleman. Upon returning from three years apprenticeship working for the
Northwest Trading Company he learns his future bride has married a well know
fur stealer and general scrounger, Rastel. He moves to the Island to be the
chief operations director for the Northwest Trading Company. There her meets
and falls in love with a French Canadian Indian woman. Their adventures
moving throughout Canada as a trapper depict the history of the French,
American, British, and Indian conflicts of the time period as well as the
beauty of the land.
In Sunlight, In
a Beautiful Garden by Kathleen Cambor. Betsy, one of my former staff
members who still works at the nearby branch, Reynolda Manor, recommended it
to me. I am glad she did, for I am enjoying it very much. The novel is set
around the events leading up to the 1889 Johnstown, PA flood. With a mix of
actual and fictitious characters, Ms. Cambor gives the historical
background of the famous Club built for the rich and famous around the South
that breaks causing the flood. The gentlemen's club was built for people
like Andrew Mellon, Andrew Carnegie, Henry Clay Flick, etc.
Several fictitious characters with mysterious
backgrounds set the scene for the lifestyle and culture so common in the
late 1800's. The librarian Grace, who comes to Johnstown with an unknown
past and Nora, the "naturalist" caught up in a bittersweet romance
with Daniel Fallon are just a few of the characters that will immerse you in
the town and factories in and around South Fork and Johnstown. While the
Club members were warned of the impending dangers of the weak dam, life was
to continue to suite the rich and shield the from being bother by minor
problems. As the characters lives are woven around the succession of events
that lead up to the impending flood the suspense mounts and you will not
want to stop reading until you reach the end.
The Forest: A Novel by Edward
Rutherfurd. For those of you who are readers of James
Michener you will find Rutherfurd's books to be similar in style but not
nearly as well written. Of Rutherfurd's other three novels, Sarum, Russka,
and London, the only one I really liked was Russka. His fourth
novel, The Forest, covers nine centuries of English history between
the Saxons and the Normans. The New Forest, located on the southern coast of
England, actually exists today. Over the centuries many lords and and kings
as well as tradesmen and witches and monks abbeys have been associated with the mysteries of
this vast area of land. William the Conqueror's son, Rufus, was mysteriously slain
in The Forest, of which the opening chapters cover. You can read more about
the New Forest of England
on their web site.
As is Rutherfurd's style, he uses a few
family generations who live in the forest and interweaves real persons and
events in history as he marches in time from 1099 to present day year 2000.
His style of writing in this novel is much easier to read and enjoy than in
Sarum and London. I also am enjoying the descriptions of the animal and
plant life of the forest. My knowledge
of this area of British history is sparse so I cannot attest to the accuracy
of all the events without looking each one up. I really enjoyed this book. I
felt like I was right there in The Forest as I read about the nature and
wildlife and experiences of each of the generations real or fictional
telling their stories.
House of Mirth by
Edith Wharton. Written in 1905, Wharton depicts life for the upper
crust of society of New York city. Lily Bart, unmarried at the age of 29,
which is equivalent to being an old maid in those times, is desperate to
marry a man who can sustain her wealth and position in society and keep her
to the means she is accustomed to. When both her parents die her rich aunt
takes on the duty of looking after her. Among Lily's suitors is a Simon
Rosedale, a vulgar but rich entrepreneur and a lawyer, Lawrence
Wharton paints the sad picture
of the wealthy who can afford to remain the required social circles and play
the games versus the need to remain wealthy so as not to loose their status
in society. A very gullible Lily is led down the garden path Gus Trenor,
husband of her best friend Judy, who has ulterior motives in helping Lily
with her money problems. Poor Lily gets herself embroiled in one social
scandal after another and is always finding herself on the loosing end. This
is a very typical bleak Victorian novel that could very well be written and
set in modern times.
Alice's Tulips by
Sandra Dallas. A rather interesting little book that I don't recall how I
found the title to place a reserve on it. The books is a series of letters
from a young women living on her husbands farm with her mother-in-law while
he is away fighting in the Civil War. Diary/letter style books are not my
favorite thing to read. However, the author gives a good idea of the beliefs
in folk medicine, religion, way life and quilting. I do not quilt, but am
enjoying learning about the various patterns and what they stand for. She
introduces each chapter with a description of a pattern along with a small
black and white diagram. Throughout the letters to her sister she talks
about the quilts in more detail along with her life as "an old
woman" of twenty wasting her life away while her husband is away at
war. The books is a little dry in
places but is worth reading if you enjoy quilting or learning about life in
the United States in during the 1860's. I have not read any of her previous
books so I did not know how this one measures up to her other novels.
David Nevin. This historical novel begins in 1800 with the election of
Thomas Jefferson and vice president Aaron Burr. Back then it was the Democrats
vs. Federalists and the VP was the runner up in the election. The white house was just being built. James Madison is
Secretary of State and Meriwether Lewis has been summoned to the white house
by his long time idol, President Jefferson to be his secretary but he is
hoping he will get appointed to head an expedition west. The United States is expanding,
with Tennessee the furthest state West of the Atlantic Coast. The
United States will be trying to win New Orleans from the French, fighting
Napolean and trying to get along with the British. The novel
covers the period in history from 1800 to 1803 and includes historical
events such as the invention of paper and the steamboat.
is a good writer and keeps the pace of the book moving. I was hooked from the
first chapter. I have not studied U.S. history since high school but the
books appears to be fairly historically accurate. It is fiction, so I am
sure Nevin along with introducing fictional characters may have taken some
latitude with historical events. I doubt very much, though, that he did. If you like historical
fiction about the founding days of the country, you will enjoy this
The Loon Feather by Iola Fuller.
This is one of the books I purchased last year on my trip to Mackinac
Island. As I have in the past, I often wait as long as a year before I
read the books I purchase on my trips to allow me to revisit those places
by reading about them. This one had an added bonus because a short portion
of the book also takes place in Quebec,
from which I just returned. It makes the books come alive by having
actually seen the places being written about.
Oneta, the only daughter of Tecumseh,
was born just after the French/Indian war in the early 1800's. Fur trading
in the upper areas of what is now Michigan, New York, Illinois, and the
provinces of Canada is growing due to the merchants such as John
Astor. Shortly after her birth, Oneta's tribe
decided to spend the winter on the Island of Mackinac. There, they set up
small cabins and she and her mother and grandfather live together in the
small Indian village at the water's edge. Oneta gets to see her father one
time, when he visits the Island. He is then killed in the war of 1812. The
following season the tribe is to be on the move again but Oneta's mother
is very ill. Her grandfather goes with the tribe leaving them on the
Pierre Duban, a book keeper for John
Astor's trading company on the Island meets, falls in love, and marries
Oneta's mother. But, all is not well, as the white mans world tries to
join the Indian ways of life. Loon Feather is one of those books I
just can't put down. It is an interesting combination of history, Indian traditions,
and fiction all rolled up in one very well written novel. And, whether you
have or have not visited Mackinac Island, you will get a feel for the
early history of the island and life there in the 1800's.
Morgan's Run by Colleen McCullough. She is the author of
the best seller The Thorn Birds and a series on the Roman Empire.
For this novel she has chosen a real person from history, Richard Morgan,
whom she makes the central character. The story begins in 1775 in Bristol,
England. Through an unfortunate series of events, Robert looses first
his wife, then his son and his job and eventually ends up in the Gloucester Goal. The
year 1786 finds him imprisoned aboard a ship working as convict labor in
the harbor of the Themes until he and the eleven other fellow prisoners
from Gloucester are moved to a slave ship bound for New South Wales. The colony
of Australia was settled by English convicts, Richard Morgan being one of
them. Morgan's Run is a wonderful book. It is interesting
as well as factual and I find it very hard to put down.
by Betty Burton which was published in 1986. It is one of the books on my "to be read" shelf that I picked up at a book sale
somewhere. Good historical novel, set in the late 1780's in a small
November 1916. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's
work covers the next interim period in his multi-part work of the time
period from 1914-1918. This is the last pre-Soviet Russian time period and
the end of the reign of the Czars. Volume one was August 1914. 1916
will be followed by two more volumes. Very good if you like plowing
through Russian history.
Solstice. Rosamunde Pilcher. Another family saga set in the small
Scottish town of Corrydale. The family estate is to be sold off with only
the house to remain in the family. The five main character of the story move
the plot along. A bit repititious as each character often retells events
from a previous chapter. However, Pilcher once again delights us with lively
and witty minor and major players in the story to an amusing and somewhat
surprise ending culminating in December during Christmas.
Open House by
Elizabeth Berg. I like her style when I am in the mood for light reading. I
have read a few of her others and have like them all to one degree or
another. I would not say she is one of my favorite authors, but I do enjoy
her stories and the humor she puts in her characters. Her portrayal of
characters coping with everyday life events makes her books worth taking a
look at if you have not read them. This is one of those feel good books.
You just feel good when you finished reading it.
Road Taken by Rona
Jaffe is somewhat like her last one Five Generations. She uses a
family to chronicle the history of the United States from 1900 to present.
Sort of a Forest Gump type format. It was a good book although I did not
think it was as good as some of her previous works but well worth reading
for something light.
With A Pearl
Earring Tracy Chevalier's second novel, is a merger of history and fiction based on the famous Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer, who actually has a painting of the same
title. The story is set in 17th century Delft. This is a well written and intriguing novel. If you enjoy historical fiction, I highly recommend this book to anyone, particularly those of you who are Rosalind Laker fans. Chevalier is a little more on the literary side.
The Lucky Ones by Doris Mortman. She is another one of my light fiction readers that I enjoy reading as a break from the more literary authors. Her other books I enjoyed were
First Born, The Wild Rose, and Rightfully Mine. Her most recent novel is about four friends whose lives are entwined while competing in the male arena of politics. I hate politics and read very few books with political settings. Published in 1997, this is another one of those titles I missed when it came out new. I decided to read it regardless of the setting because I like her books and the way she portrays women characters.
The Vision of Emma
Blau. Ursula Hegi is famous for her novel Stones From the River.
Vision is set in America and Stones was set in Germany, they are both dealing with relationship and cross cultural relationships. The central "character" of the book is not a person but rather a large apartment house, the Wasserburg built by Stefan Blau. Upon his arrival in America as a young man, Stefan becomes a master chef in New York. When tragedy strikes the restaurant where he works, he moves to a small town in New England where he continues his life upon which the story is built around.
The Blue Bottle Club by Penelope J. Stokes.
The plot is somewhat contrived. For librarians looking to recommend a nice, inoffensive book this is a good one. However, I found the story a little too sugar coated and preachy for my liking. Yes, there are people and friends who have dreams that come true in various ways. And I have no doubt that many circumstances in life take the turn that Brendan Delaney's did when she set out to discover who the four friends are that make the pact of dreams and place them in the blue bottle on Christmas of 1929.
The Drowning People
by Richard Mason is a well written first novel that unfolds the story of love and revenge in upper British society.
The Colony of Unrequited Dreams by Wayne
Johnston. I found
this book to be one of the best books I have read. It is comparable to Stones from the River and I am surprised
it has not made it on Ophra's list of books. Narrated by the main character of the novel, Joe Smallwood, the history of Newfoundland is unfolded through a series of journal entries by Sheilagh Fielding, his counterpart in the story. Tragic figures who go through life destined to cross paths and help to shape the political climate of Newfoundland during the late 1800's and through the mid-1900's.
Updated Saturday, April 26, 2003