Sunday, December 3, 2017

Books 17-22

The Scent of Secrets by Clara Vine
The colourful, lively streets of Paris come as a welcome relief to Clara Vine after the dour countenance of Berlin, where bunkers and bomb shelters are being dug, soldiers march the streets in their high boots, and Jewish residents rush to make it home before curfew.  Though Clara is in Paris to make a film, her true work is never far from her mind.
Approached by a British intelligence officer, Clara is initially confounded by his request: Get close to Eva Braun and glean as much as she can about the Fuhrer's plans and intentions.  Clara has already established friendships with several high-ranking Nazi wives, but Eva Braun is another matter altogether.  Hitler keeps his "secret" girlfriend obsessively hidden, fiercely guarding their relationship as well as Eva's delicate psychological state.
From the gilded halls of the decadent City of Light to the quaint, cobbled streets of Munich, and even to the chilling, rarefied air of the Berghof, Hitler's private mountaintop retreat, Clara flirts with discovery at every turn-and a dangerous, devious plot unfolds.
I thought the first few chapters of this book were quite slow and boring.  About half way through the book things did pick up.  There seems to be some fact and fiction mixed together.  It did give some insight of life in Germany before the start of WW11.  I found some of it anticlimactic because most people know what happened in history and so you knew what would happen in the end.  I just read that this book is the 3rd book in a 5 book series. That explains a lot.  I don't think I will search out the other books.

Better Together by Sheila O'Flanagan
When Sheridan loses her job as a journalist at Dublin's biggest newspaper, she's determined to come back fighting.  Forced to take a position in a small country town, this seems almost impossible...until she discovers that the owner of her guesthouse holds the key to a big story.
But the longer Sheridan stays in Nina's home and the closer she gets to a certain handsome man in the town, the tougher it is to expose their secrets.  When it comes to love or success, will Sheridan go with her heart or her head?
This story is about the lives of two very different women.  Sheridan who is a journalist looking for a big story to advance her career, and Nina who runs a B&B and loves her husband way more than he loves her.  There lives become entwined when Sheridan finds out some information that could boost her career but destroy some people along the way.  What will she do?  This is a very easy read but definitely kept me interested even though it was quite predictable.

A Stolen Life by Jaycee Dugard
As I'm typing this the words and paragraphs are jumping all over the place.  I've had to load the pictures 3 times!  Hit Save and Publish and see what happens!!

In the words of Jaycee
In the summer of June of 1991, I was a normal kid.  I did normal things.  I had friends and a mother that loved me.  I was just like you.  Until the day my life was stolen.
For eighteen years I was a prisoner.  I was an object for someone to use and abuse.  For eighteen years I was not allowed to speak my own name.  I became a mother and was forced to be  sister.  For eighteen years I survived an impossible situation.
On August 26, 2009, I took my name back.
My name is Jaycee Lee Dugard.  I don't think of myself as a victim.  I simply survived an intolerable situation.
A Stolen Life is my story-in my own words, in my own way, exactly as I remember it.
This is an amazing story, to say the least.  Jaycee, age eleven, was on the way to school when she was kidnapped by Phillip Garrido and his wife Nancy.  He kept her chained and handcuffed in a shed and used her for his sexual pleasure.  She had two children by this man, the first when she was 13 and the second when she was 18.  
Garrido was a convicted sex offender.  He made his mistake when he took all of them to his parole officers office.  Jaycee found the courage to speak out and stood up for herself.
This was a shocking read with an amazing story of a mother's love for her daughter
The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer
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She used to work for the U.S. government.  An expert in her field.  She was one of the darkest secrets of an agency so clandestine it doesn't even have a name.  Then, one day, they came for her without warning.   She's been running ever since.
When her former handler offers her a way out-one last job in exchange for her freedom-she realizes it's her only chance.  But as she prepares for the toughest case of her life, she finds herself falling for the man she was sent to trap.  Now she has a choice:  return to the shadows, hunted and alone, or stand and fight.
I quite enjoyed this book.  Not at all what I would have expected from Stephenie Meyer.  It's an action packed thriller with a mysterious heroine who is an expert in her field but very naive in relationships.  I would definitely recommend this book.

Christmas at Woolworths by Elaine Everest.
Best friends Sarah, Maisie and Freda are brought together by their jobs at Woolworths.  With their loved ones away busy fighting the enemy, their bonds of friendship strengthen each day.  Betty Billington is the manager at Woolworths, and a rock for the girls, having given up on love...Until a mysterious stranger turns up one day-could he reignite a spark in Betty?
As the year draws to a close, and Christmas approaches, the girls must rely on each other to navigate the dark days that lie ahead,,,
With so much change, can their friendship survive the war?
I found this book to be a very light read.  It covered certain aspects of WW11 but in a very light fluffy way.  Interesting read but very little of it based in reality.

An Irish Country Love Story by Patrick Taylor
It's the winter of 1967, and snow is on the ground in the colourful Irish village of Ballybucklebo, but the chilly weather can't stop love from warming hearts all over the country.  Not just the love between a man and a woman, as with young doctor Barry Laverty and his fiancee, Sue Nolan, who are making plans to start a new life together, but also the love of an ailing pensioner for a faithful dog that's gone missing, the love of the local gentry for the great estate they are on verge of losing, or Doctor Fingal Flahertie O'Reilly's deep and abiding love for his longtime home.  
For decades, ever since the war, number One Main Street, Ballybucklebo, has housed O'Reilly and his practice.  An unexpected turn of events threatens to drive O'Reilly from his home for good, unless the entire village can rally behind their doctor and prove that love really can conquer all.
This is another feel good book about life in Ballybucklebo.  Things are moving along with Barry and Sue.  Will there be a new road put through the village at the cost of O'Reilly's house.  As all these books are 'feel good' books I think the answer is obvious but still an enjoyable read.

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