Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Books 27-31

 Against a Darkening Sky by Lauren B. Davis

Wilona, the lone survivor of a plague that has wiped out her people, makes her way across the moors to a new life in the village of Ad Gefrin.  Tehre she is apprenticed to Touilt, a revered healer and seeress. She blossoms under Touilt's tutelage and will one day take her place, but as an outsider, she is viewed with suspicion by all except Margawn, a warrior in the lord's hall.
When the king arrives, proclaiming a conversion to the new Christian religion, Ad Gefrin becomes a dangerous place for Wilona and Touilt as the villager's embrace the new faith and turn against the old ways- even as Wilona's relationship with Margawn grows.
Wilona's fate becomes intertwined with that of Egan, a monk sent to Ad Gefrin as part of the Christian mission; both will see their faith and their loyalties tested.Torn between her deepest beliefs and a desire to belong in a confusing, changing world, Wilona must battle for survival, dignity and love against overwhelming odds.
I have to say that the first few chapters were quite a drag to get through and I almost gave up on this book.  But I persevered and I'm glad I did.  It turned into quite a fascinating read about how two worlds are colliding and how they come out the other side.

While You Sleep by Stephanie Merritt

The McBride House lies on a remote Scottish island, isolated and abandoned.  A century ago, a young widow and her son died mysteriously there.  Last year a local boy, visiting for a dare, disappeared without a trace.
For Zoe Adams, the house offers an escape from her failing marriage.  But when night falls, her peaceful retreat is disrupted-scratches at the door, strange voices-and Zoe is convinced she is being watched.
The locals tell Zoe the incidents are merely echoes of the house's dark past.  Zoe is sure the danger is all too real-but can she uncover the truth before she is silenced?
This story is a psychological thrillers/ghost story.
The main character is self-destructive, who keeps putting herself back in a dangerous situation over and over again and takes no responsibility for her own actions and decisions.
I found it irritating at times that you have a woman who keeps going right back to the place where she's most likely to get killed, and she does it over and over again. Eventually, it turns out, there are some reasons for her doing this. 
It's hard to figure out if the mystery is in her mind or is the McBride house really haunted.
I liked half the ending, and the other half felt like it could have been a part of the plot and that the whole book would have actually worked better if we'd had this information all along. There was so much more drama to the story that we hadn't known about, and it would have been more interesting if we had that information instead of getting it tossed in as a last minute twist.

The Lightkeeper's Daughters by Jean E. Pendziwol

Morgan Fletcher feels like she's just another foster kid in a long line of foster kids moving through her current family's house.  Set on revbelling, Morgan dives into a plan to spray-paint the local retirement home.  When the cops show up, her friends hang her out to dry, and Morgan is sentenced to perform community service.
Elizabeth is a resident at Boreal Retirement Home where Morgan is cleaning up the mess she made.  Elizbeth's mind is still sharp and she perceives things few others do.  When her late father's journals are discovered after an abandoned sailboat washes ashore. Elizabeth seizes the opportunity to piece together the mysteries of her childhood.
With Morgan's help. Elizabeth delves into the diaries-a journey through time that brings the two women closer together.  Entry by entry, these unlikely friends are drawn deep into a world far removed-to the remote and mystical landsc are connected to each other and to the isolated island in ways that are at once heartbreaking and healing.ape of Porphyry Island on Lake Superior, where Elizabeth's father served as lighthouse keeper and raised his young family in the years before and during World War II.  As a complex web of secrets unravels, Elizabeth and Morgan realize that their fates are connectedto each other and to the isolated island in ways that are at once heartbreaking and healing.
I enjoyed this book. There are two storylines, past and present, that are intertwined, unbeknowst to Morgan and Elizabeth.The book is mostly about two sisters love through the years but there are many secrets that unfold towards the end of the book.  I did find it confusing at times and took some thought to figure out what really happened. I would definitely recommend this book.

The Arc of the Swallow by S.J. Gazan
On the same day as her mother's death biology Ph D candidate Marie Skov learns that her mentor Kristian Storm has been found hanged in his office.
Although the death is widely regarded as a suicide, Skov is skeptical.  She knows that Storm has been on the verge of publishing a contoversial new discovery about vaccination, and she doubts that he would have taken his own life before unveiling the most groundbreaking work of his career.
Skov joins forces with former police detective Soren Marhauge, who shares her suspicions about Storm's death.  Together, they learn that Storm's on-site work in Guinea-Bissau was marred by intimidation, sabbotaged data, and the suspicious death of another scientist.  They also learn that in his final days, Storm suspected that he was being followed, by a blue Ford with tinted windows.
Skov and Marhauge must skirt the law and dig dangy deep beneath the surface of the ruthless pharmaceutical industry to protect Stormerousl's scientific legacy as well as uncover the truth about his untimely death.
I have to say that my eyes were glazing over for the first third of this book.  The only reason I kept reading is because I hate to give up on a book.  It did get better but not enough to recommend this book as a good read, I was glad to get it finished.  Too many characters and different storylines jumping all over the place.  Hard to keep everybody straight.

Gone Daddy Gone by Cheryl Bradshaw

A single moment is about to change Sloane Monroe's life forever...
On an early winter morning, college student Shelby McCoy walks the quiet, snowy path back home. A tree branch snaps in the distance. Then another. A man is there with her, following close behind, whispering her name. She looks back, sees him gaining on her, and runs. Who is this man, and why is he carrying a gun?
I enjoyed this book, it had great, fast paced action filled with lots of twists and turns.  I liked the characters and the mystery of who the killer was, had an interesting twist you didn’t see coming. 

That's all the books read for this year.

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Anniversary and Snow!!!

Today is our anniversary and the first time in 36 years that we haven't gone out with our friends, who share this anniversary, for dinner.  All thanks to Covid!!  Instead we got to stay home and we made nachos for dinner!  It was really good! 

We had over 2 feet of snow over the last 24 hours!  Thanks to great neighbours and our granddaughters husband we didn't have to do any of the shovelling.  We are very fortunate. 

I think we are guaranteed a white Christmas!!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Christmas Already!!

 I put the tree up two days ago!  First time it's been put up in November!  Already received a couple of Christmas cards in the mail and a Christmas gift from one of the neighbours!!

The view outside is very similar to my header picture.  The deer are moving from lawn to lawn following the sun around.