Month: August 2011

My Thoughts On “The Winter Sea”

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I loved this book. I consider it a great trick of fate that I had a horrible cold while I was at the end of this book and so I was able to go to bed one Sunday afternoon and just finish it.

The summary makes it sound almost science-fiction-ish. You think that maybe the main character, an author, gets sucked back into time in some odd time warp.

But, she doesn’t.

I loved that this book was full of interesting history, a CLEAN love story and even a surprise twist at the end. It was just perfection.

What I’m Reading Now: The Winter Sea

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It is 2008 and Carrie McClelland can’t hit the right note for her next novel, but an unplanned detour in Scotland, and a stop at the castle that inspired Count Dracula, sets her on a different path; a path that took her back in back exactly 300 years, to that same castle, and to a rebellion doomed to failure.

Alternating between the contemporary setting and the past, The Winter Sea takes us at every turn into little known worlds; historical footnotes writ large, a history of Scotland and the Jacobite rebellion of 1708 and the possibility of genetic memory.

Historical fiction at its best and Susanna Kearsley at hers, The Winter Sea evokes the writing of Thomas Raddall, Daphne Du Maurier, and Mary Stewart.

My Thoughts On The Handbook for Lightning Guide Survivors

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I am a sucker for an interesting title and a nice cover.

There is no question that this author can write. Both of the stories, from the young man and the young woman, were distinct voices, distinct story lines, and it was very well done.

But every single social ill was brought up in this book: adultery, drug use, poverty, excessive drinking, suicide — egads! Afterward, I just wanted to take a long bath. The author is very talented but it’s too bad she did not think that there were better things out there to write about.

What I Am Reading Now: The Handbook for Lightning Guide Survivors

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Review From

Young-Stone’s luminescent debut follows the lives of two people who are forever changed by lightning strikes.

In North Carolina, Becca is struck at the age of eight on her driveway and walks away changed but mostly unharmed.

Buckley, 13, flees Arkansas with his mother, Abigail, to start over, but their newfound happiness is torn asunder when Abigail is killed by lightning.

Haunted by his mother’s death, Buckley is obsessed with lightning strikes and becomes an expert on the phenomenon in hope of understanding why the lightning chose his mother and not him.

Becca eventually flees North Carolina and her parents’ broken marriage for New York City, where she is able to focus on her art and even secure a gallery show.

Becca and Buckley’s parallel stories, as well as curiosity about how their paths finally converge, will keep the pages turning, while the complex, colorful characters, and the deep bonds that form between them in spite of and even because of the tragedies they survive, will live on in readers’ minds long after they reach the end of this powerful, beautiful novel. –Kristine Huntley