Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The Women of the Castle by Jessica Shattuck

I've read many books set in WWII. But, this one is different.
It isn't about the war as much as what happens before and after. What lengths would you go to for survival? What would you do to uphold the 'truth'?  What is our moral responsibility and what if that understanding is different for those around you?

Marianne made a promise to her husband and her best friend to look out for the wives and children of the resistance in Germany.  With that off the cuff statement her life took on a purpose - and a set of blinders dictated by her 'rightness.'

Marianne's first task after the war is to find the wife of her dear friend Connie Felderman - Benita, a farm girl more focused on pretty things than politics.  But as the wife of a dead soldier who was hung for his attempt to murder of Hitler - she is expected to also be politically driven. Martin, Benita's son joins Marianne's son and two daughters at the castle.

The second family that Marianne saves is Ania Grabarek and her two sons. They were discovered in a displacement camp and were not known directly by Marianne - she knew of Ania's husband that is all.

These three fatherless families figure out how to live in a castle with no running water or electricity.  And do so successfully, until they don't.  Until Marianne's clear understanding of black and white clangs against both Benita and Ania's history and reality.

But, the book doesn't end there. Rather it jumps ahead to the 1990s when the castle becomes a museum honoring the resistance.  Marianne is invited to return for a speech and friendships are reconnected in a different light.

This is a thought-provoking book of what happens after.  What are we left with as we look backwards at the war - and how does that impact our world today.

I would highly recommend this one too!!!


The Lying Game by Ruth Ware


Four girls connected at the hip for one memorable year of boarding school.

"I need you."

And with those three words gather these women from the lives they have created apart and away in the big world and return them back to the paths of the school and the swamp and the stories and the lying game.

It seemed like a simple game - tell the lie and gain points when others believe. But, those lies had a way of digging deeply into the small village around the school with the remnants remaining years later as a scrap of graffiti on a bathroom wall or a whisper around the edges at the bar.

But there is more than just a story and a lie at the bottom of this book. An unexplained disappearance with rumors of abuse and then a body. As the police try to figure out who that body is - the women tumble to the truth as well.

I thought I had this figured out again and again. As Isa remembers and reveals the truth  - I thought I knew.  But I was left guessing until the end!!

This is great and fast read!!!


Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler

image from LibraryThing
Kate is trying to do the right thing - but her life just isn't what she expected.  Instead she is stuck in a job she doesn't really like, in a house that she has become the caretaker of watching over her father and her younger sister who seems to be on the verge of a bigger life. 

And then her father comes up with an idea...his research assistant will soon be deported unless Kate is willing to marry him.

What?!  Kate is taken aback at her father's request and both repelled and swept up in Pytor's kindness.

This modern telling of the Taming of the Shrew has Tyler's familiar touches - a slight bewilderment at the situation and an unexpected kindness in the end.

Greatly enjoyed this!!


Sunday, April 15, 2018

Road Trip

This is the first time I have used audio books-and I loved it! I was on a road trip and these books made the hours and miles fly!

Sorry to Disrupt the Peace by Patty Yumi Cottrell
Chronicle of a Last Summer by Yasmine El Rashidi
Heroes of the Frontier by Dave Eggers

I would recommend any of these books. They each had great and fully developed characters. I especially enjoyed Heroes of the Frontier. 

Friday, December 29, 2017

Good Grief

Obviously  have done  horrible job of  blogging about my reading-since there are no posts since July.
Instead of writing to catch up...
I am just going to list the books I’ve read and really try to do better in 2018!

  • The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith
  • The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith
  • Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith
  • Origins by Dan Brown
  • The Whole Towns Talking by Fannie Flagg
  • Lost And Found by Brooke  Davis
  • Invisible Ellen by Shari Shattuck

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

I really wanted to like this book - I wanted to like the Amy especially.
image from LibraryThing

But....I didn't.

I didn't like Amazing Amy and I didn't like plain old Nick.

But - for this book that isn't really important - instead it's hooking me enough to see the story through to the very end.  And it did that very well.  There were many moments when I hoped the book would go one way - but it didn't. That kept me reading!

I did not see the movie - and I won't.

I would not want to give Amy and Nick another minute of my time - they deserve one another - but not me!!!

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

image from LibraryThing
This Neil Gaiman book was the perfect travel book - since most of this story is about traveling.  As I
flew across the country and spent time in airports I kept my eyes open for the current American gods!

This is an intriguing concept - the gods of old are being pushed aside by new gods and we creatures of earth are at all of their mercy.  It would have helped me to have a better handle of mythology - but that isn't really a requirement.

As the story unfolds - I felt 3 steps behind...and I think that is what it was supposed to be.  As Shadow is pulled and pushed along by Mr. Wednesday - the reader also is pulled and pushed along. That is an intriguing way to tell the story.  There were parts that I really didn't like - it got a bit bogged down. But - I think that also added to the overall story.

A good one for summer reading #2