Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Last Bridge

by Teri Coyne

I consider this story to be a harsh one But it is the telling of a harsh life, so it cannot be any other way. Alexandra "Cat" Wilson is introduced very early in the story. We see her driving home for her mother's funeral. Death by suicide. Home is not exactly where she is headed either, as she had left the place she was raised and never went back. A decade had passed. Just for a little added drama, her abusive father was lying in a hospital having suffered a massive stroke only days earlier.That would be a lot to take on for any family. But Cat's family was different. And not in a good way.

Driving through the night, swigging bourbon from the bottle.. Cat arrived home.

The county sheriff was waiting for her as she drove up to her mothers house. The place she grew up. It was a small town and everyone knew everyone else. They all knew everyone else's business, too. And they had long memories.

Before long, Cat is joined by her brother Jared, her sister Wendy...and others from her past. She hadn't expected any of this to be easy. Nothing in her life so far had given her reason to expect anything to be easy. Ever.

There was abuse, there was no love, there were few friends or even acquaintances to help her through this troubled time. But then, Cat didn't want any help. She didn't need it, she would tell you so herself.

It was the secrets that seemed to trouble her most. The stories, the facts, that no one knew. All she wanted was to get this next thing over with and get out of town. Again. Or did she?

My first instinct was to get out of this horrible story. Lay it down and walk away. I'm glad I didn't, because things are not always as they seem.

The suicide note read: Cat, he is not who you think he is... Mom xxxooo

Monday, May 25, 2009

of BEES and MIST

by Erick Setiawan

Wiki says :

A fable is a succinct story, in prose or verse, that features animals, plants, inanimate objects, or forces of nature which are anthropomorphized (given human qualities), and that illustrates a moral lesson (a "moral"), which may at the end be expressed explicitly in a pithy maxim.

This story is meant to be a fable, and so it is. An adult fable with adult themes and adult situations. IT is the story of Meridia, a young woman who spent her childhood in a home whose mirrors held images of strangers within them. A home whose stairway was apt to grow or shrink while traveling on it. A home filled with chill, and cold and empty hearts.

It her coming of age story. Something that is accomplished in a small town where anything might happen. She meets Daniel, and her life continues and becomes a life she wouldn't have recognized from her dreams. They battled hardship and hate and his shrewish mother. Her unloving father broke Meridia's heart, and her mother Ravenna's as well. Still, goodness and love grew in Meridia's heart.

The mysterious Hannah, though seldom seen was often vital to the story.

Why Bees and Mists? well, you will see their role as well. One that you wouldn't expect to find in an ordinary story. This though, is not that, not ordinary at all. There is magic and mystery and defiance and most of all there is love.


Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Angel's Game

by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

This is an all enveloping love story, maybe not. This is a paranormal mystery that will draw you in from, maybe not that either. This is an extraordinary piece of literary fiction, touched by murder, deception and deep friendship. I'm sorry, that isn't quite right either.

None of these things describe this book. All of these things describe this book.

This book is like a fire opal. Hold it up and from each direction, and in different light the color that you see blazing through is different. Also like a fire opal, this story is a gem worth having. It is worth passing on to others , to share the wealth. Perfection!

No, surely not. Nearly all gems have flaws. I read, and even went back to reread some passages, I never lost interest for one moment.

This is the story of a remarkable life. David Martin's life. All of the experiences that fed or sucked away at his soul. The events that broke his heart, or filled it. It is the explanation of how spirit kept him going, and where he landed. Some parts may sound familiar, because who among us has never had a broken heart, or spirit?

I highly recommend this book. I am at a loss to explain it, but I do recommend it

Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane

by Katherine Howe

The fact that the author herself is a descendant of two of the women who were accused during the Salem witch trials does make this story very interesting. I have to imagine that there were some interesting stories passed along in her family. At least, I would hope so!

First I have to say that the physical book itself charmed me. I received an advance copy and was very taken by its appearance.

Second, I did like Connie and Liz and Grace (who did somehow have some of Endora's energy. Remember Bewitched?)

Most books or stories that I have read about the witch trials have assumed that anything outside of the ordinary was witchcraft and therefore bad or wrong. I myself never felt that way. It is my personal belief that there is magic in the most mundane if only we look. I have always felt that there was more to the Salem story than some women who were wrongly accused and punished. Did these women, or at least some of them have abilities outside the typical? I have always thought so. Can folk remedies and the use of herbs and intention do good or harm. Well, yes. To my thinking intention is very important, and it has been clearly proven that many ills can be treated from natural sources.

Early on in the book, it is given to Connie to consider that those accused were perhaps witches. While she is not interested in pursuing this line of thought at first, so called coincidence intervenes and her interest is piqued. She begins to do research with a much more open mind than she had in the beginning.

I liked this book. The story drew me in from the beginning, and held my interest throughout. I liked the characters, and enjoyed the interludes where we were taken back to the sixteen hundreds.

I do believe that the ending leaves room for a sequel as do so many books these days. When and if one is written I will be waiting eagerly for its release. A little bit of mystery, a little bit of magic, a pinch of romance, good characters, interesting story and yes, I would recommend it to my friends.