Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Second Sight

by George D Shuman

I was drawn into this story immediately. There are many books with psychic characters out there, but I have never
before run into one where the psychic reads the last moments of a persons life, with a touch of her hand. Interesting concept. I liked it.

Sherry was likable, if a little naive. Perhaps that naivete was meant to come from her blindness, but that is one thing that rang a false chord with me. One who had lived the life Sherry Moore lived, should not have been naive. Vulnerable, maybe, but naive didn't feel right. Regardless, she was a good dependable character with a sens of herself.

Her friend Brigham was a darling man who had taken on a father-like role with her. He became a surprisingly powerful man in the end. Something I had not suspected at all. I liked that too.

The author created many compelling and interesting characters. Along with the good and kind folk, there are some reprehensible characters to balance out the story. They all brought out strong feelings, good or bad.

I thought this was a well told story, with an interesting concept. It held my attention, and I did not feel that the ending was predictable. I recommend this one for anyone who likes a good thriller.

Monday, July 27, 2009

A Gate at the Stairs

by Lorrie Moore

This is the story of families. Two families, that are broken in different ways. The book is told in the voice of Tassie Keltjin, the daughter of one of these families.

Tassie is the daughter of a potato farmer. He is successful in his own way, but has a laid back attitude to pretty much everything. Still, he is a man with heart. Her mother is a little on the vague side, and has some problems of her own that keep her from being fully invested in the lives of her two children.

Tassie goes to college, and in her search for a job as a babysitter, she is drawn into the lives of Edward and Sarah who are in process of adopting a baby. But of course, no one is really as they first appear, and so it is with this couple.

Her unusual job description has Tassie meeting birth mothers and giving some weak and inexperienced support to people she doesn't know. She has a personal life too, of course.
And as a young pretty woman, meets a young pretty man and falls enthusiastically into a relationship that eventually affects her position as a babysitter.

This is a sad story, but not a depressing one. It is really a story of life. Growing, learning, loving and guilt of course. There is always guilt. Do not make the mistake of labeling this one as fluff. It is much more than that. It is a good story, well told. The characters are compelling interesting, down to the ones who appear only for a moment. I recommend this for a good solid relaxing read.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Into The Beautiful North

by Luis Alberto Urrea

I read and loved Urrea's book The Hummingbirds Daughter. Because of this I did not hesitate to buy Beautiful North, without a second thought. I was then a little afraid to read it, thinking it might be disappointing to me. I shouldn't have worried.

Nayeli is a young girl from a Mexican village. One day, she realizes that the men in her village have slowly drifted away. They have nearly all gone north, into the United States. Most of them, including her father, have eventually simply disappeared.

Nayeli is from a family of strong positive women. In fact, the small village has several strong woman, and some of the young ones decide to go on a mission. They are going to go north and find men. They want to bring back seven good, strong, brave men to their village. It isn't safe to live in a place with not enough men, they decide.

This is the story of their mission. The people they meet and the way that they themselves grow and change. They learned a lot along the way and found themselves in some very difficult situations. This is about taking the road from childhood to adulthood, and about loyalty strength and family.


Year of Past Things

by M.A. Harper

Adrien died 3 years ago. He died but he didn't actually leave.
The reasons are not immediately apparent, but his presence is.
This creates a situation that is not comfortable for Adrien's widow Michelle and her new husband Phillip. Perhaps, not even safe. Things happen in the household that range from curious, to chilling. Complicating matters is the fact that Michelle is more than a little bit still in love with Adrien. Their son Cam has never come to terms with the death of his father. Nichole, the younger child is troubled as well.

Phillip is trying to be understanding, but when the things that go bump in the night become more substantial and in fact detrimental to not only his marriage but his health and safety. Or does it?

Phillips brother, Father Dominic is not only an important factor to the story, but someone that I would like to know. In fact I found most of the characters to be compelling and likable. There is one in every crowd, they say and in this story it was... well, I will let you come to your own conclusions.