I’ll See You in Paris by Michelle Gable – Book Review

I'll See You in Paris

 

I must say that I loved this book.  It’s a book-within-a-book, and that’s its charm.  Gable sets up a mystery of “who’s my father” that takes place in 2001 with the characters of Laurel and her daughter Annie; while also giving us the story of a would-be biographer Gus who in 1973 is trying to write the biography of Gladys Spencer-Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough; while at the same time telling us of his romance with Gladys’ caretaker Pru.

I found the back-and-forth to be irritating at times, but I must elaborate – irritating in a good way, since I found both story-lines to be extremely interesting.  I can only hope that Gable gives us more of the Duchess’ story sometime in the future.

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The 2001 story-line was well written, but it still had to contend with the 1973 story-line which was much more evolved, and the characters were much more interesting.  However, I must say that I could relate to all three of the female characters and found them all to be well-written and fully developed.

I highly recommend this book, and I know that I’ll be looking into the real-life story of the Duchess of Marlborough.

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Gladys Spencer-Churchill

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A Love Lettter to Harry Potter

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Instead of writing a book review, I’m going to do something a little different today.  I thought that once in a while I would write a love letter to different books or series that I really loved.  The first one is on Harry Potter.

I don’t know if any of you have read the Harry Potter series.  If you haven’t you probably should, since you’re missing out.  But somehow I have the feeling that you know just what I’m talking about.

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When the first book came out, my kids were just 8 and 5.  After reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone myself, I read it to my kids.  Now mind you, I had already read them The Hobbit and The Lord of the Ring trilogy.  Harry Potter is the single series that I credit with giving both of my children the fire to read.  Hence my love affair.  But the best reason to read the books is the magical writing of J.K. Rowling.  She created an entire world and peopled it with characters that were both good and bad.  Nothing was black and white – just like the real world, only of course, better.  And, of course love was the most powerful magic of all.

Not only were the novels exciting, they were also full of little lessons that you didn’t even notice.  Harry was good – but Tom Riddle wasn’t.  Both had the same type of upbringing, however they each turned out differently.  Choices made all the differences.  And the great lines and quotes that I didn’t really quite catch the first time when I read them to myself, but did when I read them to my kids.  Something new every time.

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Do you have a love letter you’d like to write about a certain book, series or author?  Please share.

Piece of Mind by Michelle Adelman – Book Review

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This was one of the most interesting books I’ve read in a while.  Adelman has created a unique character in Lucy, a brain trauma survivor who needs to learn how to survive in a confusing and overwhelming world without the support of her father.

The novel follows Lucy as she must learn to navigate life without any of her usual supports.  While she is not completely left alone, through circumstances she is forced to do the things that she was convinced she was unable to do.  I love the people that she meets, how she reacts and found myself cheering her on.  The relationship between Lucy and her brother was one of the best in this novel.

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I loved how Lucy grew – much of it against her will, and began to realize that even though her brain didn’t work right, it did indeed work, and that there was more than one way to navigate life.

I found this book to be interesting, and also to make me consider the number of people who are living with traumatic brain injuries, and how difficult that is.  I highly recommend this novel.

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The Guest Room by Chris Bohjalian – Book Review

The Guest Room

First I have to start off by letting you know that Bohjalian is one of my favorite authors. I have read most of his books and liked all that I’ve read. Now, for the review. This novel is a difficult read since it covers sex trafficking; the behavior of some people who should know better; and the wide-spread treatment of woman and girls as commodities.

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These are tough subjects, but Bohjalian does this with great empathy and understanding. Since the story is told from different points of view, the reader really gets an education on how sex trafficking works – how the girls are picked, set up and forced into the business. It’s quite an eye-opener and done within the plot so it never feels as though we are being educated.

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Underlying this novel is the realization that if attitudes, mores, and behavior were different none of what occurs could occur. Suffice it to say, there is a bachelor party, girls, and murder. The after-effects are vast and lasting. I really liked this book, due to Bohjalian’s handling of the entire story. I liked the fact that we got different characters points of view. I must say that in the end the hero of the story was a real hero. It’s not easy to do what’s right when your heart has been destroyed. I highly recommend this book.