Wednesday, September 28, 2016

At the Edge of the Orchard

By Tracy Chevalier
Audiobook format

The narration of the first section of this novel is split between James and Sadie Goodenough, the parents of a very dysfunctional family. They tell of their struggle to survive after being forced to leave their Connecticut home in 1829. They get stuck in the mud of the Black Swamp (north-west Ohio), a place Native Americans would not live, and decide that this free land will be their home. The next section takes an unexpected turn, a series of letters from one of the children who has left home at age nine.

I don’t like to give away too much of the plot when blogging a book so I am going to conclude by saying that if you enjoy historical fiction you will truly enjoy At the Edge of the Orchard by Tracy Chevalier. To quote Geraldine Brooks: “Chevalier is a master at foregrounding the small, dramatic stories of the overlooked people from the past.”
~ Beckie

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The Crooked House

By Christobel Kent
ebook format available through Overdrive

Did you enjoy The Girl On The Train? Also set in modern-day U.K., The Crooked House is a psychological thriller that begins with fourteen-year-old Esme Grace hearing shotgun blasts targeting her family from her upstairs bedroom.

Flash forward thirteen years as Esme, now "Alison" from London, has returned to her childhood town with her boyfriend Paul for a wedding. The unsolved murders still haunt the town as Alison begins to uncover the secrets of her past.

~ Paula

To See You Again: A True Story of Love in a Time of War

By Betty Schimmel

As children in 1939, Betty and Richie met in Budapest. As teenagers, they fell in love during WWII. Their love was so strong they believed it could survive even a world war and the terror of Hitler. When the two are separated by the Nazis, Betty vows she will find Richie someday. Betty and her family endure a forced march, life in a concentration camp, deplorable conditions and finally liberation. (In my opinion, it is doubtful that anyone in her family would have survived without the strength and determination of her mother.) After the Liberation, Betty finds Richie’s name on a list as dead but cannot accept it. She feels pressured into a marriage to an Auschwitz survivor, but she never forgets her love for Richie. In fact, before she marries she tells her husband to be that she cannot fully return his love and asks for release from the marriage if she ever finds Richie. He agrees. They marry and have three children together. Then in 1975, Betty and her daughter travel to Budapest and miraculously she recognizes her first love.

~ Dixie

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Rare Objects

By Kathleen Tessaro

Maeve Fanning is a twenty some-thing first generation Irish immigrant living in Boston during the Great Depression. Raised by her single mother, she is capable, clever and headstrong. She finds herself in a downward spiral after moving to New York City, hits rock bottom and decides to move back home to start over. In her attempt to better herself, she lands a job at an antiques shop catering to the city’s wealthiest and most peculiar collectors. Consequently she gets caught up in the opulent lifestyle of the rich but is unable to find happiness there. Eventually she does seem to find contentment.

This book is beautifully written and full of historical detail. I hope you enjoy Rare Objects as much as I did.

~ Beckie H.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Brain on Fire – My Month of Madness

By Susannah Cahalan

Very Scary! Brain on Fire is the true story of Susannah Cahalan who, at 24 years old, began showing signs of obsessive behavior which turns into insomnia, hand numbness, tingling, inability to cope with her job, paranoia and seizures. All the tests done by her doctors came back normal as her symptoms got worse and worse. Her parents and new boyfriend, refuse to believe she is psychotic. Finally, they call in “the doctor to go to when nothing makes sense.” He and another doctor make a diagnosis and the treatment begins. It is a long road to recovery. Although Cahalan has severe memory loss of what happened to her, as a reporter, she pieces together the story and writes this book. My blog can’t do this book justice. A must read!

~ Dixie