Friday, October 30, 2015

"Vendetta," by Lisa Harris

"Vendetta," by Lisa Harris

No one needs to push Nikki Boyd to excel on the Tennessee Missing Persons Task Force. The case of her own missing sister, still unsolved after ten years, is the driving force in her work. When a Polaroid photo of a missing girl shows up at a crime scene, Nikki quickly recognizes similarities to the past. The closer she gets to the abductor, the more she feels this case has become personal, and she is not the hunter . . . but the hunted.

With this explosive first book in The Nikki Boyd Files, award-winning author Lisa Harris takes you on a fast-paced pursuit of justice that will have you holding your breath until the heart-stopping finish.

This is indeed a fast paced book and is filled with many questions of who-dun-it.  I was so in love with this book and enjoyed it right until the abductor says something.  I can't tell you what as it will spoil the story, but what he said cannot be true as that could not happen in "real life."  That spoiled it for me, however it may not spoil it for you as you may not think it is an issue; I did.

So due to that I will give it a 3 out of 5.  Please read it to see if you figure out what the error is.  I would love to discuss this with other people.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

"Ru," by Kim Thuy

"Ru," by Kim Thuy

Ru. In Vietnamese it means lullaby; in French it is a small stream, but also signifies a flow--of tears, blood, money. Kim Thúy's Ru is literature at its most crystalline: the flow of a life on the tides of unrest and on to more peaceful waters. In vignettes of exquisite clarity, sharp observation and sly wit, we are carried along on an unforgettable journey from a palatial residence in Saigon to a crowded and muddy Malaysian refugee camp, and onward to a new life in Quebec. There, the young girl feels the embrace of a new community, and revels in the chance to be part of the American Dream. As an adult, the waters become rough again: now a mother of two sons, she must learn to shape her love around the younger boy's autism. Moving seamlessly from past to present, from history to memory and back again, Ru is a book that celebrates life in all its wonder: its moments of beauty and sensuality, brutality and sorrow, comfort and comedy.

This is our book club choice for the month of November.  It has won many awards in Canada, so I began reading it with high hopes.  Although very insightful in how she tells small segments of her life in great detail the whole way it was written in short sections, some a page or two long, others just a few lines, didn't sit well with me.

It felt very "jumpy" the book as though she was just picking out memories randomly and writing them down.  I think if it was done in a chronological order it would have been better.  Also some memories felt not completed as though she left out things.

Stars out of 5 : 2  In it's favour it is a short read.  Do I think it's a great book; no.  There was no order to the book for me and because of that I lost interest in it.  Very few people didn't like it in the reviews; I guess I am an exception to the rule.

If you have read it what did you think?

By the way I do give it a 10 out of 10 though for the art work on the front cover, I thought that was lovely.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

"Forgiven" by Terri Roberts with Jeanette Windle

"Forgiven" by Terri Roberts with Jeanette Windle

After a son does the unthinkable, how can a mother go on?

On October 2, 2006, a gunman entered an Amish one-room schoolhouse, shooting ten girls, killing five, then finally taking his own life. This is his mother's story. Not only did she lose her precious son through suicide, but she also lost her understanding of him as an honorable man. It was a trauma that none should ever have to face.

But the biggest headlines came when her Amish neighbors did the unimaginable, reaching out to the family of the shooter with comfort and forgiveness. Today Terri lives in harmony with the Amish and has built lasting relationships beyond what anyone could have thought possible. From the grace that the Amish showed Terri's family from day one, to the visits and ongoing care Terri has given to the victims and their families, no one could have foreseen the love and friendship that have been forged from the fires of tragedy.

This is a must read book, because it tells the story from the mother of the gunman's prospective.  There are plenty of books written from the victims prospective, so this was very different. It is a fascinating book and is quite personal in the feelings of the gunman's family and how devastated they were and how guilty they felt knowing what he did and if they could have prevented it.

It also amazed me the relationships that were formed between the Amish and the gunman's family, and how loving they were towards one another.  

Stars out of 5:5 This book is well worth the read and offers a great insight into the Amish way of thinking.  

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. 

Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

"Murder at the Courthouse," by A.H. Gabhart

"Murder at the Courthouse," by A.H. Gabhart

Michael Keane's stressful days as a Columbus police officer are done. He's ready to relax into his new position as deputy sheriff in his sleepy hometown. Nothing ever happens in Hidden Springs, Kentucky--and that's just fine with Michael.

Nothing, that is, until a dead body is discovered on the courthouse steps. As Michael works to solve the case, it seems that every nosy resident in town has a theory. When the sheriff insists Michael check out one of these harebrained theories, his surprising discovery sends him on a bewildering search for a mysterious killer that has him questioning everything he has ever believed about life in Hidden Springs.

I found this book a little slow to get going, but once it did, it was a page turner.  I didn't guess who did it until a way's through the book.  When it was revealed who did the murder it all made sense.  This is the first book in the "Hidden Springs Mystery," series and I am looking forward to reading the next one.

Michael's aunt is a great character, as is Michael.  I love the small town feel to this book and how everyone knows everyone and everything.  I could see why Michael came back to live in Hidden Springs.

Stars out of 5 : 4.5  Other than the slow start I think this book was great and one of the better ones written by this author.  Well worth the read; with enough mystery to keep you wanting more.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

"The Imposter," by Suzanne Woods Fisher

"The Imposter," by Suzanne Woods Fisher
A heart once deceived should not be easily fooled again . . .
Katrina Stoltzfus thought she had life and love all figured out: she was going to marry John and live happily ever after. But as her plans crumble before her eyes, she struggles to face an uncertain future. When a widow asks for help starting a new business, Katrina quickly agrees. She needs time to heal her broken heart, to untangle her messy life, to find a purpose.

What she doesn't need is attention from Andy Miller, a farmhand who arrives at the widow's farm just when help is most needed--and who always seems to say the right thing and be in the right place, at the right time. Is Andy for real or too good to be true? She's been deceived once before, and she isn't planning on experiencing it again. 

Despite saying last month I was totally "Amished Out," I just loved this book.  It wasn't your typical run of the mill Amish book, as it involved many "sins" of the bible interwoven into the story, that made you go.."well, that's not like the typical Amish we read about." 

It also involved the normal traits that you come to think of when the Amish involved as well, kindness, forgiveness and understanding.  This story kept you on your toes and it also teaches you a bit about moss, which I thought was interesting and different. 

This book is the first in a series by Suzanne, called "The Bishop's Family," and the way this book ends, you HAVE to read the next one in the series to see what happens next.

Stars out of 5 : 5 A super book, well worth the read and a different take on your typical Amish stories.  I can't wait to read the next one.  By the way you think you know why the book's title is what it is; but you'll be shocked when all is revealed!!

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

"The Dressmaker of Khair Khana," By Gayle Tzemach Lemmon

"The Dressmaker of Khair Khana," By Gayle Tzemach Lemmon

The life Kamila Sidiqi had known changed overnight when the Taliban seized control of the city of Kabul. After receiving a teaching degree during the civil war—a rare achievement for any Afghan woman—Kamila was subsequently banned from school and confined to her home. When her father and brother were forced to flee the city, Kamila became the sole breadwinner for her five siblings. Armed only with grit and determination, she picked up a needle and thread and created a thriving business of her own.

The Dressmaker of Khair Khana tells the incredible true story of this unlikely entrepreneur who mobilized her community under the Taliban. Former ABC News reporter Gayle Tzemach Lemmon spent years on the ground reporting Kamila's story, and the result is an unusually intimate and unsanitized look at the daily lives of women in Afghanistan. These women are not victims; they are the glue that holds families together; they are the backbone and the heart of their nation.

Afghanistan's future remains uncertain as debates over withdrawal timelines dominate the news.

The Dressmaker of Khair Khana moves beyond the headlines to transport you to an Afghanistan you have never seen before. This is a story of war, but it is also a story of sisterhood and resilience in the face of despair. Kamila Sidiqi's journey will inspire you, but it will also change the way you think about one of the most important political and humanitarian issues of our time.

I must say this is a must read book.  It's a book from a time we will all remember; about a situation very few of us have ever been in. It shows what happens when you are forced into an impossible situation and how you resilient you can be.  Although we saw on the news what was happening in Afghanistan, we really didn't know what it was like for the people who continued to live there.

One thing that struck me about this story is despite all the hardship and problems they always were well mannered and hospitable to people who came to their door.  Another thing was how family stuck together and helped one another out.

It boggles my mind to think how dangerous it was for a woman to walk in the streets on a regular day without a male and without being totally covered up.  It must be stifling to be not able to go about your everyday business without being escorted everywhere and having to wear a chadri.

Stars out of 5 : 5 Loved this book, it gave you a glimpse into a life I hope I never have to live and to hear the true story of how a group of women in Afghanistan survived under the Taliban.

"The Tinderbox," by Beverly Lewis

"The Tinderbox," by Beverly Lewis With her parents' twentieth anniversary approaching, eighteen-year-old Sylvia Miller find...