Thursday, November 6, 2014

Many,Many Books 7-24

Chestnut Street by Maeve Binchy

The lives of the residents of Chestnut Street are revealed in this collection of stories. 
Bucket Maguire, the window cleaner, who must do more than he bargained for to protect his son.
Nessa Byrne, who's aunt comes to visit from America for six weeks every summer and turns the house-and Nessa's world-upside down.
Lilian, the generous girl with a big heart, and the fiancé not everyone approves of.
And Melly, who's gossip about the neighbours lead to trouble in the form of the fortune teller, Madame Magic...

All For You by Sheila O'Flanagan

When Lainey Ryan awakens to the sound of torrential rain on her best friend's wedding day she isn't a bit surprised.
As TV's favourite weather forecaster, she'd already warned Carla what to expect.  But what she doesn't forsee is that her own life is about to hit a stormy patch.  With a string of failed relationships behind her, surely history isn't about to repeat itself with her beloved Ken?
To add fuel to the fire, her estranged mother announced that she's returning to Dublin.  A famously strident feminist, Deanna has always been dismissive of Lainey's choices-particularly in men-even though she's had very little contact with her over the last thirty years.  And Deanna's lectures are the last thing Lainey needs now.
Yet is there more to her mother than she knows?  Uncovering some long-concealed family secrets, Lainey begins to reassess her life.  Is the happy-ever-after she's always dreamed of really what she wants after all?

Things We Never Say by Sheila O'Flanagan

Abbey Andersen is the last person to go looking for change.  Yes, it's tough that she barely sees her mother these days-but in San Francisco she has great friends, a steady relationship, and a job she enjoys.  If she has regrets, she's dealing with them.
When Abby is contacted by Irish lawyer Ryan Gilligan, she discovers that everything she believed about her roots is a lie. She travels to Dublin to find out more-but she's scarcely off the plane when she's plunged into a new crisis.  One that will change everything not just for Abbey but for the family in Ireland who had no idea that she even existed.
Now Abbey has to make a choice that will affect everyone she knows.  How can she be sure she makes the right one?  And can life ever be quite the same again?

Spadework by Timothy Findley
On a summer evening in Stratford, an errant thrust of a gardener's spade slices a telephone cable into instant silence.  The resulting disconnection is devastating.  With the failure of one call to reach the house, an ambitious young actor becomes the victim of sexual blackmail.  The blocking of a second call leads tragically to murder.  And when a Bell Canada repairman arrives to mend the line, his innocent yet irresistible beauty has explosive consequences.

How Stella Got Her Groove Back by Terry McMillan
If your looking for some angst-free fiction with a West Indian setting, this is a brash, sparkling fairy tale about a hard-charging black professional woman who brings a little tropical paradise home with her.This novel tells women it's okay to let go, follow your heart, take a chance and fall in love, even if that love comes from a place you'd least expect.

The Prodigal Wife by Marcia Willett
The Keep-that beautiful ancient family home where the Chadwick family has lived for generations-is still a haven from the heartbreaks and storms of life.  Jolyon Chadwick, a famous television presenter, takes his new girlfriend, Henrietta, home to meet his extended family-and also to meet Maria, the mother who deserted him and his father many years ago, and who has now reappeared and seems to want forgiveness-although his father, Hal, now married to his cousin and childhood sweetheart, feels a lingering guilt about Maria and wants them all to be friends.  And Henrietta, still vulnerable from the breakup of her own parents' marriage, is not sure whether she can move on.

 Monday Mourning by Kathy Reichs
 The bones of three young women are unearthed in the basement of a Montreal pizza parlor, and forensic anthropologist Tempe Brennan has unsolved murder on her mind as she examines the shallowly buried remains.  Coming up against a homicide cop who is convinced the dead have been entombed on the site for centuries.  Tempe perseveres, even with her own relationship with Detective Andrew Ryan at a delicate turning point.  In the lab, the clean, well-preserved bones offer few clues.  But when Carbon-14 dating confirms her hunch that these were resent deaths, despite the antique buttons found near the bodies, Tempe's probing must produce answers quickly to stop a killer whose grisly handiwork has seen the light of day.

 Marrying the Mistress by Joanna Trollope
Merrion Palmer was Judge Guy Stockdale's mistress.  His Honour's totty, as the Clerk to the Court so succinctly put it.  Guy had been having an affair with her for seven years, and neither Laura, his wife of forty years, nor his two grown-up sons, knew anything about her.  Guy and Merrion enjoyed a blissful, uncomplicated relationship in stolen moments in Merrion's Bayswater flat, but to the rest of the world Guy seemed to be the model husband, father and grandfather,
Now the time had come for Guy to move on.  Conscious of the passing years, of the wasted opportunities, he didn't want to keep Merrion a secret any more.  He wanted to share her with his family, with the world.  He wanted, dammit, to marry her.  And he was quite unprepared for the painful storm which followed.

Fast Women by Jennifer Crusie 
Nell Dysart's in trouble.  Weighed down by an inexplicable divorce and a loss of appetite for everything, Nell is sleepwalking through life until her best friend finagles a job for her with a shabby little detective agency that has lots of potential and a boss who looks easy to manage.
Gabe McKenna isn't doing too well, either.  His detective agency is wasting time on a blackmail case, his partner has decided he hates watching cheating spouses for money, and his ex-wife has just dumped him...again.  The only thing that's going his way is that his new secretary looks efficient, boring, and biddable.
But looks can be deceiving, and soon Nell and Gabe are squaring off over embezzlement, business cards, vandalism, dognapping, blackmail, Chinese food, unprofessional sex, and really ugly office furniture, all of which turn out to be the least of their problems. Because soon there are murders.  And shortly after that, Nell and Gabe start falling in love...

Daddy's Gone A Hunting by Mary Higgins Clark 
What was Kate Connelly-a tall, glamorous CPA-doing in her family's antique furniture museum when it exploded into flames in the middle of the night?  Why was Gus, a disgruntled retired employee, with her?  Now Gus is dead, and Kate lies in a coma, unable to explain the tragedy's mysterious link to a decades-old missing persons case.  Nor to warn her sister what could happen next.  In this dazzling and suspenseful mystery, Mary Higgins Clark presents readers with a fascinating cast of characters-one of whom may just be a ruthless killer.

Friends and Lovers by Helen MacInnes 
When Oxford student David Bosworth takes a holiday job tutoring a family in Scotland, he meets and falls in love with Penny Lorrimer.  But Penny comes from a rigidly respectable Edinburgh family, and in 1932 such girls were not supposed to fall in love with penniless students from the wrong kind of family...

The Codex by Douglas Preston 
"Greetings from the dead," declares Maxwell Broadbent on the videotape he left behind after his mysterious disappearance.  A notorious treasure hunter and tomb robber, Broadbent accumulated over a half a billion dollars' worth of priceless art, gems, and artifacts before vanishing-along with his entire collection-from his mansion in New Mexico.
As a final challenge to his three sons, Broadbent has buried himself and his treasure somewhere in the world, hidden away like an ancient Egyptian pharaoh.  If the sons wish to claim their inheritance, they must find their father's carefully, concealed tomb.
The race is on, but among Broadbent's treasures is an ancient Mayan codex that may hold a secret far more important than the wealth of riches among it, and Broadbent's sons aren't the only ones after it.

Fair Haven by Joann Ross 
Erin O'Halloran has witnessed the atrocities of war firsthand.  But when she travels to Western Ireland to attempt to save a dying friend and mentor, she faces her greatest challenge yet.  And when she happens to meet the love of her life, matters become unexpectedly complicated.
After spending years capturing war's horrors in his camera lens, photojournalist Michael Joyce escapes to his Irish family's farm, yearning to shut out the world.  But fate has other plans for him-including unbidden feelings for Dr. O'Halloran and the unexpected rewards of fatherhood.
Surrounded by Ireland's magic, Erin and Michael begin to see nightmares replaced by dreams.  But it will take more than one miracle before they discover the answers to their deepest questions...the ones they had never dared ask.

Fear in the Cotswolds by Rebecca Tope 
Following a string of disastrous house-sitting assignments, and an equally troubled personal life, Thea Osborne is understandably apprehensive about her latest commission: a wintry month in an isolated house with only an assortment of animals, including her loyal spaniel Hepzie, for company.
With the summer lushness of the Cotswolds turned icy grey, Thea spends her first few days exploring the beautiful hamlet of Hampnett, meeting some of the locals.  But then the weather turns extreme, and so do events.  When she stumbles across a man lying dead in a snow-covered field, Thea finds herself once again at the heart of a mystery...

A Whisper in the Dark by Linda Castillo 
Until now, no one has suspected the truth about down-to-earth bookseller Julia Wainwright.  But the arrival of six threatening letters indicates someone has discovered her secret-and wants her to pay for her sins...
Ever since he accidentally killed a fellow cop, John Merrick has been tormented by the mistakes of his past.  Now, called upon to repay a favor, he will do anything to keep Julia Wainwright safe.  To do that, though, he'll first have to figure out what the gypsy-eyed beauty is hiding...
As the threats escalate, Julia and John must find a way to trust each other.  Because if they don't, a twisted stalker will make sure all the gruesome things he's promised will come true...

The Return Journey by Maeve Binchy 
A secretary's silent passion for her boss meets the acid test on a business trip...An insecure wife clings to the illusion of order, only to discover chaos at the hands of a house sitter who opens the wrong doors...A pair of star-crossed travelers take each other's bags, and then learn that when you unlock a stranger's suitcase, you enter a stranger's life...In their company are more journey's of hope and discovery-unforgettable slices of life.

Dead Wrong by Mariah Stewart 
It was inescapably chilling, as if the murderer was methodically working his way down a page torn from the phone book.  The three victims brutally killed in their own homes had one thing in common:  They were all listed as M. Douglas.  The fact that Mara Douglas is next on the list has her jumping at shadows, until FBI agent Aidan Shields shows up to make sure she doesn't become the fourth victim.
Aidan has been out of commission since an undercover operation went bad more than a year ago.  Back on the job, his razor-sharp instincts are returning.  But it will take all of Aidan's wits to stay one step ahead of the elusive killer who has engaged him in a deadly game-a game in which Mara's life is the prize.  A game only one can win...

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger 
When Henry meets Clare, he is twenty-eight and she is twenty, Henry has never met Clare before; Clare has known Henry since she was six.  Impossible but true, because Henry finds himself periodically displaced in time, pulled to moments of emotional gravity from his life, past and future.  Henry and Clare's attempts to live normal lives are threatened by a force they can neither prevent nor control, making their passionate love story intensely moving and entirely unforgettable.  This is a story of fate, hope and belief, and more than that, it's about the power of love to endure beyond the bounds of time.

The Bone Garden by Tess Gerritsen 
Present day:  Julia Hamill makes a horrifying discovery on the grounds of her new home in rural Massachusetts: a skull buried in the rocky soil-human, female, and, according to the trained eye of Boston medical examiner Maura Isles, scarred with the unmistakable marks of murder long ago...
Boston, 1830:  To pay for his education, medical student Norris Marshall has joined the ranks of local "resurrectionists"-those who plunder graveyards and harvest the dead for sale on the black market.  Norris now finds himself the prime suspect in a series of grisly murders.  Joined by a sardonic young man named Oliver Wendall Holmes, Norris sets out to prove his innocence and track down a maniacal fiend-part of the dark mystery reaching across centuries to the present-day world of Julia Hamill.

Minding Frankie by Maeve Binchy 
Baby Frankie is born into an unusual family.  Her mother is desperate to find someone to take care of her child and she doesn't have much time.
Noel doesn't seem to be the most promising of fathers but despite everything, he could well be Frankie's best hope.
As for Lisa, she is prepared to give up everything for the man she loves; surely he's going to love her back?
And Moira is having none of it.  She knows what's right, and has the power to change the course of Frankie's life...but Moira is hiding secrets of her own.

I've Got You Under My Skin by Mary Higgins Clark 
Five years after watching his father get brutally gunned down, eight year old Timmy Moran is still haunted by a killer's piercing blue eyes.  His mother, Laurie, is troubled by the man's threat as he fled the scene:  "Tell your mother she's next, then it's your turn..."
As the producer of a true-crime television show, Laurie is no stranger to murder.  Her new series will feature the twenty year old unsolved case of a socialite who was found suffocated in a bed following a graduation gala for her daughter.  The sensational murder made news nationwide.  Reopening the case in its lavish setting with the cooperation of the fatal night's surviving guests.  Laurie is sure to have a hit on her hands.  But when filming begins, it becomes clear her subjects are hiding secrets...small and large.

Phew, 18 books.  Some were really good, some not so much.  We'll see what the next batch has to offer!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Books 2014 1-6

Tell Me Lies by Jennifer Crusie
Maddie Faraday's life would be perfect-if it weren't for...
her cheating husband
her suspicious daughter
her gossipy mother
her secretive best friend
her nosy neighbours
and that guy she lost her virginity to twenty years ago who is now back in town...
Suddenly, life in southern Ohio just got a little more scandalous.
My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult

Anna is not sick, but she might as well be.  By age thirteen, she has undergone countless surgeries, transfusions, and shots so that her older sister, Kate, can somehow fight the leukemia that has plagued her since childhood.  The product of preimplantation genetic diagnosis, Anna was conceived as a bone marrow match for Kate-a life and a role that she has never challenged...until now.  Like most teenagers, Anna is beginning to question who she truly is. But unlike most teenagers she has always been defined in terms of her sister-so Anna makes a decision that for most would be unthinkable, a decision that will tear her family apart and have perhaps fatal consequences for the sister she loves. 
A woman's Place by Barbara Delinsky 
Everything Claire Raphael has she's earned.  On her own.  The hard way.  She built her part-time business up from nothing and made it successful through her imagination, creativity, and hard work.  She has two great children and Dennis, a husband she loves completely.
Then, one evening, when Claire returns from a difficult business trip, Dennis hands her divorce papers along with a court order to vacate their house.  Claire is devastated.  She had no idea her marriage was on the brink of disaster, that Dennis had been planning this ambush for weeks, if not months, or that her hectic but happy life was about to come crashing down around her.
Claire doesn't know where to turn or whom to trust.  But in a few short weeks she learns what so many women have had to discover-that when the going gets tough, a woman's as tough as she needs to be.
Bones of the Lost by Kathy Reichs 

An unidentified teenage girl is struck down and left to die along a stretch of Charlotte, North Carolina, highway.  In the lab, the bruise patterns tell Tempe that this hit-and-run was no accident.  Meanwhile, Tempe must analyze a bizarre shipment confiscated by U.S. Customs-mummified Peruvian dogs, antiquities that may have been smuggled in by a Desert Storm vet.  Two disparate cases, too many mysteries, and turmoil in her personal life push Tempe to the brink.  Then a chilling link emerges between the South American artifacts, the death of a prominent local businessman whose name turned up in the dead girl's purse, and the nightmare reality of human trafficking...and Tempe must race to protect her community, her family, and herself.
12 Years a Slave by Solomon Northup

This is a riveting true account of a free man captured and sold into slavery in the pre-Civil War South.  His narrative explores one of the darkest times in American history and captures in vivid detail the brutal realities of slavery.
In 1841, the educated musician Solomon Northup, a freeman living in New York, is cruelly deceived by the promise of a job in Washington.  Drugged, kidnapped and sold into slavery, Solomon arrives in New Orleans, where he is given a slave name.  Denied his freedom and ripped away from his family, Solomon spends twelve emotionally and physically gruelling year on a Louisiana  cotton plantation enduring the hardships and brutalities of life as a slave.  When he eventually finds a sympathizing friend, a daring rescue is attempted that could either end in Solomon's death or restore his freedom and reunite him with his family.
A Week in Winter by Maeve Binchy
The Sheedy sisters had lived in Stone House for as long as anyone could remember.  Set high on the cliffs on the west coast of Ireland, overlooking the windswept Atlantic Ocean, it was falling into disrepair-until one woman, with a past she needed to forget, breathed new life into the place.  Now a hotel, with a big, warm kitchen and log fires, it provides a welcome few can resist.
Winnie is generally able to make the best of things, until she finds herself on the holiday from hell.  John arrives on an impulse after he missed a flight at Shannon.  And then there's Henry and Nicola, burdened with a terrible secret, who are hoping the break at Stone House will help them find a way to face the future...
That's all for now.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Last of the 2013 Books 22-28

Finally getting around to adding the last of the books I read in 2013

Bones Are Forever by Kathy Reichs
In a run-down Montreal apartment, Tempe finds the heartbreaking evidence of three innocent lives ended. The landlord says Alma Rogers lives there-is she the same woman who checked into a city hospital as Amy Roberts, then fled before doctors could treat her uncontrolled bleeding?  Is she Alva Rodriguez, sought by a man who appeared at the crime scene?  Heading up an investigation crackling with the sexual tension of past intimacies, Tempe leads homicide detective Andrew Ryan and police sergeant Ollie Hasty along the woman's trail and into the farthest reaches of mining country-an unforgiving place where the grim industry of unearthing diamonds exacts a price in blood.  And where the truths the unlikely trio uncovers are more sinister than they could have imagined.

Under the Dome by Steven King
On a beautiful fall day, a small New England town is suddenly and inexplicably sealed off from the rest of the world by an invisible force field.  Planes crash into it and rain down flaming wreckage.  A gardener's hand is severed as the dome descends.  Cars explode on impact.  Families are separated and panic mounts.  No one can fathom what the barrier is, where it came from. and when-or if-it will go away.  Now, a few intrepid citizens, led by an Iraq vet turned short-order cook, face down a ruthless politician dead set on seizing the reins of power under the dome.  But their main adversary is the dome itself.  Because time isn't just running short.  It's running out.
Few things about this book.  It weighs a ton, it's oversize and has 1074 pages.  Very difficult for reading in bed.  If you saw the tv show it is very different from it.

The Beachcomber by Josephine Cox.
The windswept village of West Bay is hope, an escape, and a future for Kathy Wilson, who dreams of turning the empty cottage she inherited into a home free of the pain and scorn she suffered back in London.  As the summer slowly passes, she puzzles silently over her fascination with an enigmatic wanderer who strolls the beach below her window.
Tom Marcus needed a place to hide when the life he knew was brutally destroyed.  Inexplicably drawn to this captivating loner, Kathy feels a bond forming that will radically change them both.  But the shadows that haunt them will not be dismissed-until they can find the courage to open their hearts.

The Kissing Gate by Pamela Haines
The kissing gate is at the heart of village life, and marks the beginning of the Squire's land.  It is the rescue of Squire Ingham's son by the Irish servant-girl which creates the uneasy bond between Sarah, the respectable family into which she marries, and the Squire's family.  But it is Kate, the foundling Sarah adopts, whose doomed, forbidden love for the young Squire forces the families into explosive confrontation.
One of the very few books that I gave up on.  It has 704 pages and I read about 200 but I just was so bored with it that I gave up.  I think the story was so drawn out, it could have probably been condensed into about 300 pages.

Full Circle by Mary A. Larkin
Annie has been happily married to Sean Devlin for several years when the telegram arrives: her sister, Rosaleen, is coming home to Belfast from Canada.  Annie is full of misgivings about the reunion with her beautiful sister-for many years before Sean and Rosaleen had a brief affair with far-reaching consequences.  Though their love kept Annie and Sean together, the affair nearly destroyed them.  And she is right to be wary of Roseleen's visit.  For Roseleen finds herself as attracted to Sean as ever.  But does he feel the same?  And could either of them betray Annie again?

A Painted House by John Grisham
Until that September of 1952, Luke Chandler had never kept a secret or told a single lie.  But in the long, hot summer of his seventh year, two groups of migrant workers-and two very dangerous men-came through the Arkansas Delta to work the Chandler cotton farm.  And suddenly mysteries are flooding Luke's world.  A brutal murder leaves the town seething in gossip and suspicion.  A beautiful young woman ignites forbidden passions.  A fatherless baby is born...and someone has begun furtively painting the bare clapboard of the Chandler farmhouse, slowly, painstakingly, bathing the run-down structure in gleaming white.  And as young Luke watches the world around him, he unravels secrets that could shatter lives-and change his family and his town forever.

Hurricane Bay by Heather Graham
The private investigator found a photo under his door-a picture of Sheila, strangled with his tie and posed on the beach of his private island in the Florida keys.  The crime appears to be the handiwork of a serial killer currently terrorizing the Miami area.  Now Dane knows he is being set up to take the fall for the killing.  He just doesn't know why.
When Kelsey Cunningham's best friend goes missing, she confronts the one person she thinks will have information-Dane, Sheila's former lover and a man from Kelsey's own past.  Kelsey follows Sheila's tracks into a dangerous world of sex, violence and drugs, with Dane right behind her.  But the tentative trust between them shatters when Sheila's body is discovered-and Kelsey recognizes Dane's tie.
Now Kelsey doesn't dare trust anyone.  Especially a man she can no longer deny she has always loved.  Because here on Hurricane Bay, a devastating storm can hit without warning, and whether it's a tempest of unbridled passion or the desperate fury of a killer, nothing-and no one-is safe.

Well, that's it.   It doesn't seem like very many books, but I only read when I go to bed, so I guess it's not too bad.  Now if I could count all the blogs I read during the day and evening the number would be waaaay bigger!!!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

More Reading

The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton
During a picnic at her family's farm in the English countryside, sixteen year old Laurel Nicolson witnesses a shocking crime, a crime that challenges everything she knows about her adored mother, Dorothy.  Now, fifty years later, Laurel and her sisters are meeting at the farm to celebrate Dorothy's ninetieth birthday.  Realizing that this is her last chance to discover the truth about that long ago day, Laurel searches for answers that can only be found in Dorothy's past.  Clue by clue, she traces a secret history of three strangers from vastly different worlds thrown together in war-torn London-Dorothy, Vivien, and Jimmy-whose lives are forever after entwined.  
 Mother of Pearl by Maureen Lee
1939.  Amy was just eighteen when she met Barney and they fell deeply in love.  Their romantic, passionate marriage was a match made in heaven-and then war came.  Barney volunteered to fight, and when he returned to Liverpool after VE Day everything began to change.  But what was it that made Amy kill her adored husband-and what happened to their five-year-old daughter Pearl?
1971.  Amy has been released from prison.  But her freedom changes the lives of everyone-not least Pearl.  Now twenty-five, she was brought up in a very happy home by her aunt, and has no idea of the terrible secret hidden in her past.  As the truth unravels, both Amy and Pearl are caught up in the shocking fall-out of one family's tragedy.

Liverpool Annie by Maureen Lee
Annie Harrison's Liverpool childhood is full of contrasts.  From the happy, crowded atmosphere of her uncle and aunt's house to the lonely seclusion of life with her reclusive mother, she eventually goes to live at the Grand Hotel with her rich school friend, Sylvia.  Yet life is full of excitement, too, as she discovers rock 'n' roll at the Cavern Club, and hears the Beatles play live for the first time.
Then just as Annie seems to be settling down to a comfortable life of marriage and motherhood, fate deals her an unexpected blow, leaving her to draw on resources she didn't know she possessed.  As she struggles to cope among almost overwhelming odds, a chance meeting leads to events she has no control over.  Could this be Annie's chance for happiness?

Live the Dream by Josephine Cox
Luke Hammond:  handsome, rich, charismatic,cursed by private tragedy.  Amy Atkinson:  humble and kind with a good-but wounded-heart.  When they meet by chance in a cafe run by Amy's best friend Daisy, a spark of love takes hold of their hearts.  But neither are sure that they can dare to love again.  And what of Luke's public life, hidden from Amy?  The owner of a large factory, he is a pillar of the community, married-though in name only.  But Luke is also a sensitive and emotional man, whose greatest joy is retreating to his woodland cabin, nestled deep in the Ribble Valley, where he creates powerful paintings.  Amy is torn between her head and her heart, but her sense of honour is paramount-and when she discovers his true identity she is thrown into even greater turmoil.  Then disaster strikes the factory-and with it Daisy.  Suddenly, the future looks troubled indeed.

Second Opinion by Francis Roe
Dr. Simeon Halstead, New Coventry Medical Center's brilliant brain surgeon, performs miracles in the operating room.  Outside that high tech arena, his uncompromising personality, along with his refusal to cover up other doctor's mistakes, has earned him dangerous enemies.
When Simeon meets with teenage Andy Markle and his mom, Fiona, the diagnosis he has for young Andy is grim: a deadly brain tumor.  Despite Simeon's usual reluctance to get close to his patients, he is determined to try anything to save the boy.  While ignoring his private life and his wife's shocking betrayals, he also tries to deny his growing feelings for Fiona.  For Simeon, the only person who counts now is Andy, as the doctor races against time to find a controversial treatment that is the boy's only hope.  And even when a hospital rival threatens to stop him, Simeon is ready to risk everything-his career, his reputation, his future-to give Andy a fighting chance with one unforgettable act of healing.

Journey's End by Josephine Cox
It has been over twenty years since Vicky Maitland set foot on English soil.  Twenty years since she left Liverpool with her three children, bound for a new life in America, leaving her beloved husband Barney behind.  But this long journey home is the hardest of all.  She is here in search of the truth, afraid of what she may find.  Why did Barney turn against his family so suddenly, so cruelly?  Only her old friend Lucy Baker knows what happened.  And Lucy promised Barney she would never tell his secret.  Is it time she broke her silence and explained the events of so long ago?  As the past weighs heavily on Lucy's heart, other ghosts are stirring, intent on revenge.  Will they finally catch up with Vicky and Lucy?

That's all for now.

Monday, June 17, 2013


Starburst by Robin Pilcher
Every summer, the Festival attracts celebrated artists, musicians, comedians, and actors to the beloved Scottish city.  This year marks the arrival of six unique individuals:  Angelique, the beautiful violinist whose fame hides her secret heartache; Tess, a member of the Festival marketing team and a newlywed struggling with her own secrets; Roger,  whose dazzling fireworks display will be the grand finale of the festival and his career; Leonard, the aging cinematographer who wants one last time to shine; Rene, the feisty comedienne who is reaching for the stars; and Jamie, the handsome young flat owner whose search for love has a strange way of bringing everyone together as they all try to discover what destiny holds in store.

Friday's Girl by Charlotte Bingham
When Napier, a famous portrait painter, comes across a beautiful woman, Edith, working in a London inn, he determines to marry her.  Spirited away to his country house, Edith soon discovers that Napier has no use for her except as his muse.
Meanwhile, Napier's best friend, Sheridan, has eloped with Celandine to Cornwall, drawn there by the vibrant community of artists and dramatic light.  It is here that the two couples meet.
So shocked is Celandine by Napier's treatment of Edith that she sets about trying to help the troubled marriage, but her good intentions bring nothing but tragedy.

The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus
Who wouldn't want this job?  Struggling to graduate from NYU and afford her microscopic studio apartment, Nanny takes a position caring for the only son of the wealthy X family.  She rapidly learns the insane amount of juggling involved to ensure that a Park Avenue wife, who doesn't cook, clean, or raise her own child, has a smooth day.
When the Xs, marriage begins to disintegrate, Nanny ends up involved way beyond the bounds of human decency or good taste.  Her tenure with the X family becomes a nearly impossible mission to maintain the mental health of their four-year-old, her own integrity, and, most important, her sense of humour.  Over nine tense months, Mrs. X and Nanny perform the age-old dance of decorum and power as they test the limits of modern-day servitude.

Out of Season by Gabriella Kramer Mautner
At the seaside town of Rimini, Italy, thirteen year old Nicole Steiner, vacationing with her parents, meets a charming young man of vague background and vague intentions.  Dario Ventura, who introduces himself as a count, becomes a constant guest of the Steiners.  Nicole soon forgets her girlhood pastimes for hours spent in his company.
For the next three years, Dario is the focal point of Nicole's life.  She falls in love with him and painfully begins to suspect that though he returns her affections he may also have become her mother's lover.  The relationship is complicated all the more by the strong tie between mother and daughter.  Nicole's affection for her mother is alternately coloured by love, hate, jealousy, and compassion.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


The Lost Years by Mary Higgins Clark

Just Weeks after discovering a letter that may have been written by Jesus Christ himself, biblical scholar Jonathan Lyons is found shot to death in his study.  Police suspect his wife, who suffers from Alzheimer's, murdered him in a jealous rage.  But the priceless parchment is missing, and Jonathan had recently confided to a family friend his suspicions that someone he once trusted had designs on the ancient document.  It is up to his daughter, Mariah, to clear her mother of murder charges and unravel the real mystery behind her father's death-before her own revelations become her last.

8 Sandpiper Way by Debbie Macomber 

Emily Flemming thinks her husband, Dave, might be having an affair.  She found an earring in his pocket, and it's not hers.  She's also worried because some jewelry was recently stolen from an old woman-and Dave used to visit her a lot.  He's a pastor, and a good man.  She can't believe he's guilty of anything, but why won't he tell her where he's been when he comes home so late? 

Back on Blossom Street by Debbie Macomber

There's a new shop on Seattle's Blossom Street- a flower store called Susannah's Garden, right next door to A Good Yarn.  Susannah Nelson, the owner, has just hired an assistant named Colette Blake, a young widow who's obviously hiding a secret-or two. 
When Susannah and Colette both join Lydia Goetz's new knitting class, they discover that Lydia and her sister, Margaret, have worries of their own.  Margaret's daughter, Julia, is the victim of a random carjacking, and the entire family is thrown into emotional chaos.
Then there's Alix Townsend, whose wedding is only months away.  She's not sure she can go through with it, though.  A reception at the country club, with hundreds of guests she's never met-it's just not Alix.  But, like everyone else in Lydia's knitting class, she knows there's a solution to every problem...and that another woman can usually help you find it!

The Yard by Alex Grecian

Victorian London is a dangerous and cruel city-a cesspool of crime.  Countless bodies wash ashore on the banks of the Thames each week with their throats slit, and Saucy Jack has, spectacularly, eluded capture.  Londoners have only contempt for their police protectors.  Enter Sir Edward Bradford, the Commissioner of Police, who creates a special team of twelve detectives, and call them the Murder Squad.
Detective Inspector Walter Day is new to the Murder Squad, a country constable who moved to London to provide a more suitable life for his new wife.  When a body is found in an abandoned steamer trunk, it is Day who is called to Euston Square Station.  To his shock and horror, the dismembered corpse belongs to one of his fellow Murder Squad detectives:  Inspector Christian Little.  One of the twelve, now gone.
Little's death galvanizes his comrades at Scotland Yard, and Sir Edward places top priority on solving the case.  Inspector Day, in over his head, solicits help from an unlikely source-Dr. Bernard Kingsley, a coroner at University College Hospital.  Kingsley is a forensic pioneer, but his advancements are ignored by the overworked police force-until Day pays attention.  Meanwhile the killer is not finished with the Murder Squad.  But why?

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The start of 2013 books

The first seven!!

The Ship of Brides by Jojo Moyes

The year is 1946, and all over the world young women are crossing the seas in their thousands en route to the men they married in wartime, and an unknown future.  In Sydney, Australia, four women join 650 other brides on an extraordinary voyage to England-aboard the Victoria, which still carries not just arms and aircraft but a thousand naval officers and men.  Rules of honour, duty, and separation are strictly enforced, from the aircraft carrier's captain down to the lowliest young stoker.  But the men and the brides will find their lives intertwined in ways the Navy could never have imagined.  And Frances Mackenzie-the enigmatic young bride whose past comes back to haunt her thousands of miles from home-will find that sometimes the journey is more important than the destination.

The Litigators by John Grisham

The partners at Finley & Figg-all two of them-often refer to themselves as "a boutique law firm".  Boutique, as in chic, selective, and prosperous.  They are, of course, none of these things. What they are is a two-bit operation always in search of their big break, ambulance chasers who've been in the trenches much too long making way too little.  Their specialities, so to speak, are quickie divorces and DUIs, with the occasional jackpot of an actual car wreck thrown in.  After twenty-plus years together Oscar Finley and Wally Figg bicker like an old married couple but somehow continue to scratch out a half-decent living from their seedy bungalow offices in southwest Chicago.
And then change comes their way.  More accurately. it stumbles in.  David Zinc, a young but already burned-out attorney, walks away from his fast-track career at a fancy downtown firm, goes on a serious bender, and finds himself literally at the doorstep of our boutique firm.  Once David sobers up and comes to grips with the fact that he's suddenly unemployed, any job-even one with Finley & Figg-looks okay to him.
With their new associate on board, F&F is ready to tackle a really big case, a case that could make the partners rich without requiring them to actually practice law.

The Pilot's Wife by Anita Shreve

A pilot's wife is taught to be prepared for the late-night knock at the door.  But when Kathryn Lyons receives word that a plane flown by her husband, Jack, has exploded near the coast of Ireland, she confronts the unfathomable-one startling revelation at a time.  Soon drawn into a maelstrom of publicity fueled by rumours that Jack led a secret life, Kathryn sets out to learn who her husband really was, whatever that knowledge might cost.  Her search propels this taut, impassioned novel as it movingly explores the question, How well can we ever really know another person?

Half Broken Horses by Jeannette Walls

"Those old cows knew trouble was coming before we did."  So begins the story of Lily Casey Smith, Jeanette Walls's no-nonsense, resourceful, and spectacularly compelling grandmother.  By age six, Lily was helping her father break horses.  At fifteen, she left home to teach in a frontier town-riding five hundred miles on her pony, alone, to get to her job.  She learned to drive a car and fly a plane.  And, with her husband, Jim, she ran a vast ranch in Arizona.  She raised two children, one of whom is Jeannette's memorable mother, Rosemary Smith Walls, unforgettably portrayed in The Glass Castle.
Lily survived tornadoes, droughts, floods, the Great Depression, and the most heartbreaking personal tragedy.  She bristled at prejudice of all kinds-against women, Native Americans, and anyone else who didn't fit the mold.  Rosemary Smith Walls always told Jeannette that she was like her grandmother, and in this true-life novel, Jeannette Walls channels that kindred spirit. 

The Delta Ladies by Fern Michaels

Cader Harris returns to his hometown of Hayden, Louisiana, with the big time behind him and his fortunes depleted.  The time has come for him to face the mistakes of his past and the tempestuous women who still hold his heart:  Irene Hayden, whose father paid Cader to vanish from town some eighteen years ago... and Sunday Waters, the soul mate with whom he once shared a white-hot connection.  Now, under a sizzling Southern sun, Cader will discover how much can change when youthful desire reignites as a blazing passion too hot to handle.

Brothers & Sisters by Joanna Trollope

Nathalie and David have been good and dutiful children to their parents.  Now that they are both settled, with partners and children of their own, they are still close.  Good friends.  Brother and sister.  Except they aren't-brother and sister, that is.  Each of them had been adopted when their loving parents, Lynne and Ralph, found that they couldn't have children of their own.  And Nathalie and David have always sworn to each other, and to their families, that it didn't matter.  But it did matter, of course, and when Nathalie discovers a deep need to trace her birth parents, she insists that David makes the same journey.  She also discovers that sometimes the answers-to who we are and where we come from-are harder than the questions...
The Rescue by Nicholas Sparks
Volunteer fireman Taylor McAden is driven to take terrifying, heroic risks to save lives.  But there's one leap into the unknown he can't bring himself to make:  He can't fall in love.  A man who likes to rescue troubled women, he inevitably leaves them as soon as they want more from him.  Then, one day, a record-breaking storm hits his small Southern town, and Taylor comes across a young single mother named Denise Holton in a crashed car.  When she revives, Taylor finds himself looking for her missing son-and involved in a rescue different from all the others.  This one will require him to open doors to his past slammed shut by pain.  And, with Denise's help, dare him to make the greatest commitment of all:  Love someone forever.  

That's it for now.