The Quarryman’s Girl by Melanie Forde – #BookReview – #TuesdayBookBlog

Rosepoint Rating: Five Stars 5 stars

“Gossip was a major form of entertainment in the eighteen-nineties…”

Book Blurb:

The Quarryman's Girl by Melanie FordeLife seemed to be winding down for French–Canadian immigrant Rose Dowd. She had not been fighting the inevitable until Fate forced her to gear up for yet another chapter. Much like her adopted country, as America begins staking out a new international role in World War II, Rose must reinvent herself. Quickly. Before she can move forward, however, she needs to absorb the lessons from her past. Integral to that journey are Rose’s sharp-tongued sister Izzy; her perpetually worried son Vince, a resourceful shipyard worker; her long-dead Métis mentor Mère Agathe; her bright and bubbly but sickly granddaughter Netty; and Nate, the “Ragman’s Grandson,” a club-footed, pre-law student dreading his future and inching instead toward a career as a writer. The Quarryman’s Girl follows these vivid characters from the 1880s to the 1940s, from the hard-scrabble pig farms of Quebec to the granite quarries of Quincy, from the frozen St. Lawrence to the deep-channel Fore River. A compelling story from beginning to end, once again Melanie Forde has shown why she is a consummate storyteller and one of contemporary America’s finest writers.

My Review:

The wait is often worth it.

Such is the case with this beautifully penned literary novel deeply entwined with characters so well developed you want a hug them. They’re family.

I was introduced to this author back in 2019 with the request for participation in a book tour; one I was glad to accept for Reinventing Hillwilla (final novel in the Hillwilla trilogy) followed a few months later by Decanted Truths. I loved them both, each read as a standalone and each entirely unique.

“In the Irish culture, the gift of gab was equally distributed between the sexes.”

In this novel, Rose Dowd is staring down senior hood and doesn’t like what she sees. Thank heaven she has Vince, her youngest son, to help her meet day-to-day challenges she was formerly capable of handling on her own after her husband passed on. She also has others in her life well established near the granite quarries of Quincy (KWIN-zee—not KWIN-see) where she and estranged sister Izzy were abandoned after her large Irish family left Quebec and Quincy for Manitoba. The girls, barely teens, survived and thrived.

“You’ve heard of spring fever. You know what it really means? Scurvy!”

There are a number of threads interweaving through the well-plotted narrative and we get to know each of the characters, identify easily with people we know, care about, invest in. Descriptions of scenes are so well drawn that the reader is plunked into the middle of them. Loved the inclusion of the French phrases in the storyline as well as the Native American’s contribution to the shipyard efforts—the dialogue between Vince and Walter, a Mohawk, is priceless male banter.

The Quarryman's Girl by Melanie FordeTension builds as the characters are developed and Nate, the “Ragman’s Son” is sent to perform handyman jobs at Rose’s home and to report to Vince her slips of memory. Vince is frustrated with Rose’s senior moments as he tries in vain to glean grist for a thesis, unhappily facing law school.

And then there is Izzy, her sharp tongue alienating more than immediate family, who has a crisis of her own that may force Rose to deal with the upheaval that caused their rift so many years ago.

Oh, so bittersweet, examining the hurts, the love, the physical as well as the mental constraints that bind family and friends as easily as isolate. A unique story that scrutinizes senior cognitive decline, betrayal, aspirations, and, hopefully, reconciliation.

The story is full of emotion, raw, alternately filled with wry bursts of humor. It’s written in an intelligent, sensitive, and articulate style that pulls in the reader and doesn’t let go. The conclusion is both heartbreaking and tearfully satisfying and is heartily recommended. Not just family drama. Truly literary magic.

“Intense relationships never really died.”

I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and publisher through @NetGalley that in no way influenced this review. These are my honest thoughts.

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Book Details:

Genre: Literary Fiction, Historical Literary Fiction
Publisher: Mountain Lake Press

  • ISBN-10: ‎ 1959307002
  • ISBN-13: ‎ 978-1959307006

ASIN: B0B7BM9KLX
Print Length: 325 pages
Publication Date: August 27, 2022
Source: Publisher and NetGalley

Title Link(s):

Amazon US   |   Amazon UK  |  Barnes & Noble

 

Melanie Forde - authorThe Author: For most of her writing career, Melanie Forde ghosted on international security issues. She published her first novel, Hillwilla, in 2014, followed by On the Hillwilla Road in 2015. Her West Virginia trilogy culminates in Reinventing Hillwilla, 2018. Melanie Forde - authorTwenty years in the making, her Irish-American family saga, Decanted Truths, was also released in 2018. In 2022, Forde mined the stories about her French Canadian ancestors, to publish another period novel and family saga, The Quarryman’s Girl.

Find more info about Melanie Forde here.

©2022 V Williams V Williams

#TuesdayBookBlog

Dancing in the River by George Lee – #BookReview – #TuesdayBookBlog

“When the assumption you begin with is false, everything generated from that must be false.”

Book Blurb:

Dancing in the River by George LeeGrowing up in a small, riverside town, Little Bright is thrusted into the political whirlwinds along with his family during China’s Cultural Revolution. When a reversal of the winds of reform blows through the land, however, he learns the once-forbidden tongue―English―which lends wings to his sense and sensibility. At college, he adopts a new English name, Victor. With the deepening of his knowledge of the English language, he begins to place himself under the tutelage of Pavlov, Sherlock Holmes, and Shakespeare.

When the story unravels, however, Victor’s un-Chinese passion and tension threaten to topple his moral world and mental universe. Now, he must wade into an uncharted journey to unlock the dilemma and to unearth his destiny.

Drawing on his own life experiences, George Lee has fashioned an unforgettable coming-of-age story about fate and faith, good and evil, power of imagination and storytelling, and, above all, wonder of English literature.

My Review:

I’m not sure how to describe this narrative, part memoir, part poignant journey of a Chinese male born in a little riverside town and indoctrinated heavily as a child with anti-western sentiment. As a child, Little Bright is filled with the ideas, history, and culture of thousands of years that teach everything is first about the country (not self) and the ideals fostered by propaganda through education and family traditions. Indeed, there were strong repercussions for viewing any angle of a subject that wasn’t sanctioned.

Dancing in the River by George LeeSo the shock felt by the author during China’s Cultural Revolution is extreme. Now encouraged to learn the once forbidden English language—the better to infiltrate and turn into intelligence—the more valuable the student.

Secretly, however, the author had been questioning a lot of life’s mysteries and coming across Sherlock Holmes devoured everything about the way of life and heretofore conclusions. And that only opened additional doors to many more questions the author began to wrestle with.

Deep into philosophical and political questions, the author transitions from the equivalent of grammar school and high school to a university where he goes from being Little Bright to Victor and experiences all the new found independence of a college student. More and deeper questions. And English? There was another whole exquisite literary world out there to explore.

I enjoyed many of the sayings and stories, though there were also many passages that required rereading to understand sufficient to digest. Too many quotables to list. I also enjoyed the little explanations in…Hanzi(?). Interesting to see those translations.

I felt at times that I was rereading The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. Much the same struggle of making sense of oneself with similar conclusions.

I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and publisher through @NetGalley that in no way influenced this review. These are my honest thoughts.

Rosepoint Rating: Four Stars 4 stars

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Book Details:

Genre: Literary Fiction
Publisher: Guernica Editions

  • ISBN-10: ‎ 177183756X
  • ISBN-13: ‎ 978-1771837569

Print Length: 288 pages
Publication Date: November 1, 2022
Source: Publisher and NetGalley

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble 

The Author: George Lee was born and raised in China. He earned an M.A. in English literature from University of Calgary, and a Juris Doctor degree from University of Victoria. His first novel, Dancing in the River, won the 2021 Guernica Prize for Literary Fiction. He practices law in Vancouver, Canada.

©2022 V Williams V Williams

#TuesdayBookBlog

Ellis River by Nicki Ehrlich – #BookReview – #generalfiction

Rosepoint Publishing: Five Stars 5 stars

Book Blurb:

The Civil War scattered her family and now, along with her beloved horse, a young woman must travel across a war-torn country to collect what’s left of her life.

Ellis River by Nicki EhrlichFor fifteen-year-old Ellis Cady, life has gone quiet on her western Tennessee homestead. Her father and older brother left to sell horses to the army two years earlier and never returned. She watched her mother’s health decline, finally succumbing to a broken heart. Her twin brother left in search of their father, and while he was gone neighbors moved out of their Quaker community, searching for peace ahead of the final sweep of war.

Ellis is left with nothing but the company of the remaining horses and the letters and journals she continues to write, trying to make sense of a desolate world. A small band of soldiers rides through to claim the last of the herd, and hope for the return of life as she knew it, evaporates like the mist on the river.

When the head-strong mare, Billie, returns, having escaped from the soldiers, Ellis takes it as a sign to leave. Disguised as a boy, for safety and comfort, she rides off to find her twin. Though war refuses to fade, Ellis stumbles upon an unlikely group of rescuers who teach her family is more than blood, and love has no limits.

His Review:

The American Civil War left many families torn asunder. Ellis is a twin and her twin brother, older brother and father went off to war. Ellis is at home with her mom but as the war drags on her mother becomes melancholy and passes away. Ellis strikes out to see if she can find her brothers and father. Her quest is epic.

Ellis River by Nicki EhrlichThe military came to most of the farms in Tennessee and requisitioned most of the horses for use in the war effort. The “fair price” paid by the military did not compensate for the loss of utility and companionship of the animals. The soldiers used them until they got too thin, old, or infirmed, and then simply abandoned them.

Billie, her horse, is a constant companion during her adventures in hunting for her family. She meets up with her twin brother and they continue the quest to find her father and her other brothers. They have family in Missouri, her uncle and her father’s older brother. Ellis is trying to find and join up with any of her relatives.

Her brother dies on the trail north and west. She is heartbroken but assumes his identity to avoid the perils of a single woman during that time period. With her hair cut short and wearing men’s clothes, she can pass as her brother. She has good upper body strength and is very skilled at horsemanship. Her primary goal is to avoid military convoys and arrest or confinement by the military. She gets into a group of people including emancipated slaves and is heading north into Illinois and ultimately to Missouri. Her companions want to continue north to Canada and freedom.

CE WilliamsThe author writes a very compassionate and sympathetic narrative of a tragic time in our American history. I appreciated the thoughtful way she approached the issues of a woman who is trying to hide her femininity, identity proclivities, and struggles with her own identity. I was moved by the overall narrative experience. 5 stars – CE Williams

[NB: Not currently on pre-order and I could not find links to either Amazon nor Goodreads. There is, however, a lovely review published in the Monterey Herald regarding her upcoming release.]

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with the opportunity to read and review this book.

Book Details:

Genre: General Fiction, Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction 
Publisher: Bay Feather Books – Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA)
ASIN: ISBN 9798985997415
Publication Date: September 15, 2022
Source: Publisher and NetGalley

Coming soon! Will be available at:

Indiebound.org
Bookshop.org
Barnes & Noble
Amazon

Nicki Ehrlich - authorThe Author: Nicki Ehrlich grew up in Southern Illinois before attending college at the University of Denver and later, Idaho State University, where she graduated with a B.A. in Philosophy/English. After living ten “horse-rich” years in Idaho, she moved on to Oregon, and later Washington, where she realized she had unwittingly traveled the Oregon Trail.

While living in the Pacific Northwest, Nicki continued to write fiction, non-fiction and poetry. She has won awards for her poetry and creative writing, including the Writer’s Digest Annual Poetry Awards and the Ray Fabrizio Memorial Award. Her writing has been published in Scheherazade, the literary magazine of MPC, among other magazines and newspapers. Nicki holds a Certificate in Creative Writing from Monterey Peninsula College and is a member of the Central Coast branch of the California Writers Club. She also holds a Coast Guard Captain’s License and currently lives on California’s inspiring central coast where she is at work on the sequel to Ellis River.

©2022 CE Williams – V Williams V Williams

We Love to Read!

The Dutch House: A Novel by Ann Patchett – #Audiobook Review – narrated by Tom Hanks – #ThrowbackThursday

The Dutch House by Ann Patachett

Rosepoint Publishing:  Five Stars 5 stars

(Amazon) Editors Pick Best Literature & Fiction

Book Blurb:

Ann Patchett, the number-one New York Times best-selling author of Commonwealth, delivers her most powerful novel to date: a richly moving story that explores the indelible bond between two siblings, the house of their childhood, and a past that will not let them go. The Dutch House is the story of a paradise lost, a tour de force that digs deeply into questions of inheritance, love, and forgiveness, of how we want to see ourselves, and of who we really are.

At the end of the Second World War, Cyril Conroy combines luck and a single canny investment to begin an enormous real estate empire, propelling his family from poverty to enormous wealth. His first order of business is to buy the Dutch House, a lavish estate in the suburbs outside of Philadelphia. Meant as a surprise for his wife, the house sets in motion the undoing of everyone he loves. 

The story is told by Cyril’s son Danny, as he and his older sister, the brilliantly acerbic and self-assured Maeve, are exiled from the house where they grew up by their stepmother. The two wealthy siblings are thrown back into the poverty their parents had escaped from and find that all they have to count on is one another. It is this unshakable bond between them that both saves their lives and thwarts their futures.

Set over the course of five decades, The Dutch House is a dark fairy tale about two smart people who cannot overcome their past. Despite every outward sign of success, Danny and Maeve are only truly comfortable when they’re together. Throughout their lives, they return to the well-worn story of what they’ve lost with humor and rage. But when at last they’re forced to confront the people who left them behind, the relationship between an indulged brother and his ever-protective sister is finally tested.

My Review:

Okay, yes you got me! I enjoyed this book in no small part because the audiobook is narrated by Tom Hanks. Hanks literally becomes Danny, the main character but still never veers too far from that Academy-winning rad-da-tat animated delivery. I had to check the speed as there was more than once I thought I might have set it to 125% of normal. Gees, he’s good, and thank heaven or this could have become a rather slow burn at times.

The Dutch House by Ann PatchettAs revealed by the blurb, Danny and his sister Maeve (7 years older) are kicked out of their very wealthy and lavish estate by their wicked step-mom after his father passes suddenly intestate. I may have been washing dishes at that point and missed how old the kids were at that point, but it was literally a case of rags to riches back to rags. They’d enjoyed the good life and then it ended.

So, Danny, always looked after by his big sister, may be the typical clueless male. I thought there were times he swerved into narcissism, while his stoic sister Maeve never takes her eyes off the ball. There were also times I wanted to slap him upside his head! Maeve has settled into a comfortable living but will not settle unless Danny does the same and using the one loophole their step-mother failed to see, she pushes him to higher learning. GO! Be a doctor! Dutifully, he does, all the while declaring he will never practice. (Thank heavens as his bedside manner would suck.)

What he does practice, wisely, is real estate. Hey, he had gleaned some knowledge from his father. Yes, and then because that was expected, a wife. But Danny, perhaps again mirroring his dad with his step-mother, marries a woman he really does not love. I doubt there would ever have been a woman who could take Maeve’s place. That is a sibling bond born of desperation and survival.

Through the decades this narrative covers, each, together and separately, go back to The Dutch House to see how it is faring. Amazingly well, as it turns out, although the same cannot be said of Andrea, the step-mom. It’s a great, hulking enormous estate, still oozing the original (Dutch) owners’ vibrations—a reason their mother fled after they moved in to go serve the poor where she felt she really belonged.

Heavy family dynamics, feelings of abandonment, sibling loyalty, loss, the characters well developed and, typically, 180 degrees in dreams and thought processes. Times I ached for Maeve, angry with Danny. The step-mom painted with all the warts of the stereotypical step-parent.

As always with an extremely successful novel, there are detractors, but this is a Pulitzer Prize finalist. And performed by Tom Hanks, I’d also bestow an honorary Audie. He is awesome.

I received a complimentary audiobook copy from my local well-stocked library. These are my honest thoughts.

Rosepoint Recommended-5 Stars

Book Details:

Genre: Coming of Age Fiction, Family Life Fiction, Literary Fiction
Publisher: HarperAudio
ASIN: B07NSJZWY5
Listening Length: 9 hrs 53 mins
Narrator: Tom Hanks
Publication Date: September 24, 2019
Source: Local Library (Audiobook Selections)
Title Link: The Dutch House [Amazon]
Barnes & Noble
Kobo
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The Author:

Ann Patchett - author Ann Patchett is the author of six novels, including Bel Canto, which won the Orange Prize for Fiction. She writes for the New York Times Magazine, Elle, GQ, the Financial Times, the Paris Review and Vogue. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee.

 

New York Times best seller | A Read with Jenna Today Show Book Club Pick | A New York Times Book Review Notable Book | Time Magazine’s 100 Must-Read Books of 2019 | 2020 Audie finalist – audiobook of the year and best male narrator

Named one of the Best Books of the Year by NPR, The Washington Post; O: The Oprah Magazine, Real Simple, Good Housekeeping, Vogue, Refinery29, and Buzzfeed

The Narrator:

Tom Hanks - actor-narratorTom HanksNarrating this heartbreaking and compelling story is not the first connection between Patchett and Hanks. Patchett, the New York Times bestselling author of Commonwealth and State of Wonder, told the Associated Press that she and Hanks have become friends in recent years. Hanks and his wife, Rita Wilson, have spent time with Patchett at Parnassus Books, the renowned bookstore she owns in Nashville, Tennessee. And in 2017, Patchett joined Hanks at a sold-out event sponsored by the Washington, D.C., bookstore Politics and Prose to interview him in conjunction with his promotion of Uncommon Typehis own collection of short stories.

[Info and photo attribute: BookBub]

©2022 V Williams V Williams

#ThrowbackThursday

Where the Crawdads Sing (the movie) vs #Audiobook #WheretheCrawdadsSing by Delia Owen – #literaryfiction

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens 

Intro

Back in May of 2020 when I downloaded and listened to Where the Crawdads Sing audiobook, I had no idea it would be a movie. The audiobook blew me away. I loved it, although it has not been received with the same genuine appreciation by all who read the book.

When the movie opened in July, I was able to see the result on the big screen, and I should mention, the big screen is the only way to view this atmospheric movie—the cinematography is breathtaking.

I promised a critique of the movie comparing it to the book that took the author ten years to write. Did the movie do justice to the book that has now been read by millions around the globe?

The Movie (Blurb)

“A woman who raised herself in the marshes of the deep South becomes a suspect in the murder of a man she was once involved with.”

My Thoughts

Daisy Edgar-Jones - actor
Photo Attribution: Daisy Edgar-Jones

The movie does a credible job following the major plot points of the book. The actors are wonderful, including London star Daisy Edgar-Jones who has to dig into her non-existent Southern roots to get the drawl right. No one likes the guy who ends up the murder victim, everyone loves Kya (both the girl and the woman do convincing, emotional jobs) and the support characters are great. So far, so good.

Taylor John Smith - actor
Photo Attribution: Taylor John Smith

But the photography and cinematography are exceptional. Atmospheric and beautiful, the location draws you in and almost overpowers the storyline, although the storyline as you must know by now is gripping.

It’s a passion-packed plot with themes of abandonment, loneliness, ingenuity, independence, love, loss, and triumph. It’s enough to wring tears from Scrooge.

Reece Witherspoon promoted the film from the get-go, loving the marsh story which was enough in itself, and then the added mystery of the murder—was it murder or an accident? Must be a murderer as Kya goes to trial—she was seen with him. And though I’m not a fan of Taylor Swift, she contributes a lovely, haunting melody.

Movie Details

Director: Olivia Newman
Stars: Daisy Edgar-Jones, Taylor John Smith, Harris Dickinson, Jojo Regina
Released July 15, 2022 (Filmed in New Orleans, Louisiana)
Among the eight producers, Reese Witherspoon is listed as executive producer and promoted heavily.
Although Mychael Danna is listed under Music, Taylor Swift also contributed a song she named Carolina.

4.5 stars

Audiobook (Blurb)

Amazon Charts #1 this week

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING PHENOMENON—NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE!
More than 15 million copies sold worldwide
A Reese’s Book Club Pick

For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life – until the unthinkable happens.

Where the Crawdads Sing is at once an exquisite ode to the natural world, a heartbreaking coming-of-age story, and a surprising tale of possible murder. Owens reminds us that we are forever shaped by the children we once were, and that we are all subject to the beautiful and violent secrets that nature keeps.

My Thoughts

Well, if you read my original review of the audiobook, you know I loved it. Unique, beautiful in the telling, and so well drawn and gripping, it’s one of those you truly can’t put down.

Taken from my 2020 review:

The story of six-year-old Kya Clark, abandoned by her mother and shortly thereafter by her (much) older siblings is now living in a marsh shack with her despotic father. Kya has to pretty quickly learn to survive on her own near Barkley Cove, North Carolina.

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia OwensThe novel is divided by her story that begins with her mother leaving in the early morning hours of 1952 and the discovery of a body in 1969 near the old tower.

The storytelling is so emotionally poignant, the prose flows through beautiful descriptions of the natural setting in the marsh that it’s easy to smell the decaying vegetation, algae inhabited waterways, spy the marsh inhabitants, amphibians, birds, and insects…

The characters are brought vividly to life with the narration, alternately spoken by child or adult, literate or illiterate, as well as the Carolina drawl… Once having learned to motor into town on their old marsh fishing boat, she begins to draw the attention of the cashier at the Piggly Wiggly, the African American family, Jumpin’ and Mabel, where she bought the gas, and soon the lady from school, where she was promised a meal–real food–once a day…

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia OwensSelf-educated, no one knows more about the natural world of the marshlands than Kya. She’s come to be known as the “Marsh Girl.” She’s smart, has gone on to publish books on the wildlife of the marsh. But could it possibly have been she to cause the death of Chase?

The conclusion resolves carefully allowing you long enough for your heart to settle back down when you are knocked off your feet by a shocking revelation you didn’t see coming. It’s a brilliant twist, the well-plotted and written narrative so engrossing, so achingly atmospheric, every sense poised that you are hanging on every word. It’s a serious exploration of not a male coming of age this time, but a female left on her own reconciling abandonment, loneliness, hunger, disappointment, and triumph. Completely immersive, so engaging it remains solidly planted long after the end resulting in a tremendous book hangover.

5 stars 

Book Details

Genre: Romance, Literary Fiction, Women’s Fiction
Publisher: Penguin Audio
ASIN: B07FSXPMHY
Listening Length: 12 hrs 12 mins
Narrator: Cassandra Campbell
Audible Release: August 14, 2018
Source: Local Library (Audiobook Selections)
Title Links: Where the Crawdads Sing [Amazon US]

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens - UK
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens-Amazon UK

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Kobo

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Delia Owens - authorThe Author: Delia Owens is the co-author of three internationally bestselling nonfiction books about her life as a wildlife scientist in AfricaCry of the Kalahari, The Eye of the Elephant, and Secrets of the Savanna. She has won the John Burroughs Award for Nature Writing and has been published in Nature, The African Journal of Ecology, and International Wildlife, among many others. She currently lives in Idaho, where she continues her support for the people and wildlife of Zambia. Where the Crawdads Sing is her first novel.

You can also connect with Delia on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/authordeliao

The Narrator: Cassandra Campbell is a prolific audiobook narrator with more than 700 titles to date. Winner of four Audie Awards and nominated for a dozen more, she was a 2018 inductee in Audible’s inaugural Narrator Hall of Fame.

Overall Impression

The Movie

While the actors do an amazing job of bringing to life the experience of the marsh, it was (for me) the atmospherics so well drawn in the book that commands attention. It was an engrossing recreation of the novel by Delia Owens, faithful to that jaw-dropping twist at the end. A fine representation of the book and well worth the time spent on the big screen.

The Book

You already know my assessment of the book—while it might approach cheesy a few times—it introduces innocent romance (on one side anyway) and manages to successfully weld a sub-plot realistically with a satisfying conclusion.

Conclusion

Loved the book, loved the movie, the latter being an excellent choice for a cinema visit. For me, however, I’ll still give the nod to the well-crafted narrative by Ms Owens. There’s a reason it’s gone around the world a few times and continues to garner major attention. You can’t go wrong with either the audiobook or the digital/paperback, however, I would recommend the audiobook as being expertly read by Cassandra Campbell.

©2022 V Williams V Williams

#TuesdayBookBlog

Rosepoint Reviews – August Recap—Woohoo, it’s September!

I mentioned last month the fun with new gardening possibilities and while the sauerkraut was a bust, the carrots did pretty well. The rest of the veggies in the gallon fermenter got too soft. Now, I have ripe cherry tomatoes coming out of my ears and already dried the first batch. A bit too much pepper on some, but otherwise, they are like little tomato-flavored candies.

Okay, admittedly, that has little to do with books, although an excellent reason I’m slow to read this month. Thank heaven for audiobooks and the CE!

us back in 62
We don’t have any wedding pics, but I think this is in 1962.

Speaking of the CE…we will be celebrating our 60th wedding anniversary on the 2nd (cue the horns!). Hoping to do a couple things; still there are issues with gas and Covid. Because I am writing this ahead of those last three review posts, the links will be to Amazon rather than my review which I will edit upon return to my computer. (Sadly, I don’t know how to get a link to a review scheduled, not yet posted. Yes, I know—don’t say it.)

Together we did read or listen to nineteen books in August, most from NetGalley as I’m still working on the 500 badge; as I’m writing this, now up to a count of 494. So close!

The Wedding Plot by Paula Munier Holy Chow by David Rosenfelt The Last Sentinel by Simon Gervais The Final Hunt by Audrey J Cole Such a Beautiful Family by T R Ragan Lie Down with Dogs by Liz Milliron The Girl Who Escaped by Mark Nolan Overkill by Sandra Brown Out of Patients by Sandra Cavello Miller Christmas Scarf Murder by Carlene O’Connor, Maddie Day, and Peggy Ehrhart Bad Axe County by John Galligan Dark Rivers to Cross by Lynne Reeves Murder at Black Oaks by Phillip Margolin Lies She Told by Cate Holahan The Lindbergh Nanny by Mariah Fredericks A Sliver of Darkness by C J Tudor Bernice Runs Away by Talya Tate Boerner The Double Agent by William Christie The Italian Daughter by Soraya Lane

  1. The Wedding Plot by Paula Munier
  2. Holy Chow by David Rosenfelt (audiobook)
  3. The Last Sentinel by Simon Gervais (a CE review)
  4. The Final Hunt by Audrey J Cole (a CE review)
  5. Such a Beautiful Family by T R Ragan
  6. Lie Down with Dogs by Liz Milliron (a CE review)
  7. The Girl Who Escaped by Mark Nolan (a CE 5* review)
  8. Overkill by Sandra Brown (a CE review)
  9. Christmas Scarf Murder by Carlene O’Connor, Maddie Day, and Peggy Ehrhart
  10. Bad Axe County by John Gallagan (audiobook)
  11. Out of Patients by Sandra Cavallo Miller (a CE review)
  12. Dark Rivers to Cross by Lynne Reeves (a CE review)
  13. Murder at Black Oaks by Phillip Margolin (a CE review)
  14. Lies She Told by Cate Holahan (audiobook)
  15. Bernice Runs Away by Talya Tate Boerner (my 5*)
  16. The Lindbergh Nanny by Mariah Fredericks (a CE 5* review)
  17.  A Sliver of Darkness by C J Tudor (scheduled—link to Amazon) (CE review)
  18. The Double Agent by William Christie (scheduled—link to Amazon) (CE review)
  19. The Italian Daughter by Soraya Lane (scheduled—link to Amazon) (CE review)

Reading Challenges

My challenges—promises, promises, promises. Yes, I caught it up! Not once, but twice as I lost all my input the first time. My challenges for 2022 are all listed and linked in the widget column on the right. You can always check out the progress of my challenges, if you are so inclined, by clicking the Reading Challenges page. I’m now at 73% of the Goodreads Challenge of 180 books at 132 and achieved my Audiobook Challenge of 30 and the Historical Reading Challenge of 25. I also achieved the yearly goal of 75 for Netgalley and Edelweiss, although of course, those books are all from NG.

Having to do over the Reading Challenges page taught me one thing: I’m not keeping up with it well. Not updating, nor reporting to the challenge hosts. My apologies. I think going forward I will undertake fewer challenges and not try to list individual entries to the challenge. Makes the page unwieldy and for what purpose? Tell me, honestly…have you ever looked at it?

Where the Crawdads Sing (my review of the book here by Delia Owens) starring Daisy Edgar-Jones—was excellent. Did you get a chance to view it? I’ll be doing a critical review discussing both shortly. I’d love to hear what you thought, too! Did you read the book?

We here in the upper Midwest had a beautiful August—I can’t complain—with pleasant temps during the day and cool in the evening perfect for sleeping. Did you get the kiddies off to school? We’ve been informed we are expecting our second great-grandchild. Too early to know boy or girl. In the meantime, the boy is trying to walk. He’s nine months. The fun begins…Happy old woman

Welcome to my new followers and as always I appreciate those who continue to read, like, share, and comment. Please let me know if you saw something above that got your interest.

©2022 V Williams

Granny graphic attribute: wdrfree.com

Rosepoint Reviews – July Recap—The Dog Days of Summer

Rosepoint Reviews – July Recap

Rosepoint Reviews - July Recap

Last month I mentioned new food possibilities from Amazon in addition to my veggie garden and sad to say, the mushroom block was a bust. Nothing happened. No mushrooms. I’ve been enjoying lots of spouts though, they add a tang to salads and sandwiches.

The cherry tomatoes are finally ripening, so slow this year. Contrary to most of the country, our temperatures have been temperate, almost comfortable, but tomatoes like it hot so they are slow. They are so sweet though—will be like candy when I get them dried. (See book graphic below)

Fermenting jarNow the new thing in July is “fermenting.” Got a couple lids and started on sauerkraut, but blew it by not exercising more patience. Then I got a gallon size glass bottle with a special fermenting lid (see that lid? It will exhaust but not allow oxygen back in) and trying that with carrots and cucumbers. Gotta be patient with this one and let it go at least thirty days. It’s been a week today…You can see why I might do more reading in the winter.

So of course I rely heavily on the CE for his reviews, so much of my time spent otherwise. He’s into the reading thing—now if I can just get him into the reviewing thing! We did read or listen to seventeen books in July, most from NetGalley as I’m working on the 500 badge, now up to a count of 482 and my ratio continues to be 95%.

Rosepoint Reviews-July Recap

The Peaceful Village by Paulette Mahurin (CE review)
Dream Town by David Baldacci (audiobook)
American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins (audiobook)
Cold Justice by Nolon King (CE review)
The Faithful Dog by Terry Lee Caruthers (CE review)
Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus (audiobook)
The Iron Way by Tim Leach (CE review)
The Secret Keeper by Siobhan Curham (CE review)
Growing Wild in the Shade by Jean Grainger
Deadly Spirits by Mary Miley
This Time Tomorrow by Emma Straub (audiobook)
The Line by Helen Scott (CE review)
Canned Hunt by Kerry K Cox (CE review)
Still Waters by Sara Driscoll
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah (audiobook)
Do No Harm by Robert Pobi (CE review)
I Remember You by Brian Freeman (CE review)

Reading Challenges

My challenges—goodness, I just neglect them something awful. Okay—maybe winter? My challenges for 2022 are all listed and linked in the widget column on the right. When I get them updated, you can check out the progress of my challenges by clicking the Reading Challenges page. I’m now at 64% of the Goodreads Challenge of 180 books at 116.

Looking forward to catching Where the Crawdads Sing (my review of the book here by Delia Owens) starring Daisy Edgar-Jones—they finally released it—and not sure now it’s even still there. Did you get a chance to view it? Does it do justice to the book?

I’m experiencing a drought of books that really glue me to the Kindle app and now with audiobooks as well (after The Nightingale—well, how do you follow that?), having started several and dumped. I hesitate to keep going back to favorites, but not having a lot of success with throwing a dart and hoping it sticks. Any suggestions?

How was your July? The US is either frying, in severe drought, or flooding and it appears we’ll get a taste of the former next week. Fortunately, the winds off the Great Lakes shift and give us a retrieve after a few days.

Welcome to my new followers and as always I appreciate those who continue to read, like, share, and comment. Please let me know if you saw something above that got your interest. I hope August will be kind to you and yours wherever you live.

©2022 V Williams

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