A WINTER DREAM is a modern parable based on the Biblical story of Joseph and his family. In this story, Joseph's father is a Vietnam war hero who now runs a very successful advertising agency in Colorado.
When Joseph comes up with a winning slogan for a bank campaign, his father's congratulations and pride lead him to pass on his Vietnam's bomber jacket to Joseph rather than the eldest son. This becomes the last straw for his older brothers.
This creative re telling continues, with the addition of an intriguing love interest who further complicates Joseph's life. As in the Biblical story, love, loyalty and forgiveness are the basis of life changing events for everyone. Excellently repurposed story for today's readers!!
Sheriff Walt Longmire returns in his second mystery. The story begins with a Basque proverb that excellently fits this story--"A life without friends means death without company."
An old Basque woman is found dead in the assisted living center where Longmire's old boss, ex-Sheriff Lucian Connally is living. When Lucian announces that her death was not natural, no one really believes that the old woman was murdered, but of course she was. Longmire and his whole crew are instantly caught up in a very involved and intricate group of murders that eventually show their connection to the old woman and ex-Sheriff Connally.
Craig Johnson's descriptive writing builds characters and atmosphere excellently. Another winner in this Wyoming mystery series!
This is the true story of a remarkable man, and what led to his success. Dr. Carson is the head pediatric neurosurgeon at John Hopkins. He began his life as a child in Detroit, Michigan. His Mom, who Dr Carson attributed much of his success to, was one of 20 plus siblings. She married at 13, and when Ben and his brother were young boys, they found out that his dad was a bigamist. When he left Ben's family, he was never seen by them again. Ben's Mom's third grade education assured her the necessity of working three jobs to support heir family. It was this attitude that started Ben and his brother on their road to success. She fostered the attitude---You are responsible for your life success--if you work hard you will succeed---if you are not succeeding, it's YOUR responsibility to make the changes to succeed!! ---God is your ever present help in life!!
Dr Carson tells of his early years of poor grades; his Mom's rules to insure that her boys would do their best in school; his raise to top student in his classes; his issues with a bad temper; his continuous faith and prayers to Jesus Christ; his raise in the medical field; his wonderful married life; and the medical procedures that led to saving lives of children with medical brain issues. The focus of people being responsible for their own success ---with NO excuses for failure---makes this a must read for EVERYONE. There is a YA version for the very young also!! The writing was very interesting, and I thoroughly enjoyed this book!!
This second Feathering mystery finds "proper" Carole, caught in a downpour while walking on the downs. Taking shelter in a dilapidated and deserted old barn, Carole was shocked to find two fertilizer bags of old human bones. Thus, Carole, and her new-age friend, Judy, begin their second quest for discovering who was murdered in Feathering, and which one of their friends or new acquaintances are responsible for the death.
Brett has once again populated his book with many unique and quirky characters. Family resemblances, and traditions play a large part in this book, as do various types of games. Of course, Carole's game of choice is the cross word puzzle, but another local family is heavily involved in role playing games.
I enjoy Brett's books for their satirical outlook on British county life, and the characters that he develops wonderfully. Added attraction is trying figure out WHO was murdered , as well who did the murdering and why they felt the need to do so.
Simon Brett has created the seaside village of Feathering, in England, that is a quaint background for an updated re versioning of a Miss Marple type mystery. He completely captures the scenes and residents of Feathering, so it feels like a second home for this reader. Our protagonist, Carole Seddon, is a fifty something, divorced, former employee from the Home Office. Being "proper" and quietly in the background of society is her goal for her latter years. All goes well until a free-spirited, loudly jovial, and TOO neighborly woman moves next door to Carole. "They just call me Jude" keeps everything about her own personal life quiet, but she shares in everything else going on around her.
When Carole finds a dead body on the beach, that conveniently goes missing when she reports her find to the police, Jude becomes her encouraging side-kick to prove that there was actually a dead body. Of course, the two find themselves getting into all kinds of compromising situations, and threats are made to their safety. When a young boy is also washed upon the beach, the police finally become involved, and the "game is afloat".
Great characters, wonderful scenic descriptions, stereotypical village life, and subtle humor makes this a GREAT start of a new series for Simon Brett.
This series has potential to be interesting, with the beginning days of learning forensic art, and beginnings belief in Christ. Unfortunately, this particular book had a number of unbelievable parts to it, so that the excitement sometimes felt contrived and unnecessary. Most specifically, the main character'l continuous need to do everything by herself when a call to 911 is obviously needed. I also think the author was setting us up to have the main character come to a belief in Christ in a later book in this series. But I think this particular book was lacking some common sense because of the set up, which wasn't completed in this book. I'll be giving this series a second chance with the next book, to see if this potential is realized, because there were moments of brilliance within this story.
THE DARLING DAHLIAS AND THE CONFEDERATE ROSE by Susan Wittig Alberts is the third book in this series of 1930's Alabama ladies garden club mysteries. In this book, in honor of the upcoming Confederate Day celebration, the ladies have planned to plant their 'Confederate Rose' bushes all around the town cemetery. Of course the Confederate Rose is actually an hibiscus bush. and not a rose bush at all. Interestingly, not much else happening in the town right now, is exactly how it seems either!
This time the ladies are caught up in an embezzling scheme, depression era losses and jobs, phone line gossip, an intricate cross stitch pillow with a Civil War spy code, and crazy diet pills. Just a typical season for these ladies who always seem to get themselves caught up in 'small town living' with 'big time problems'! This series is always fun . It is also informative, with information about life, recipes, and some real news of a by gone era. Thoroughly enjoyable times, with ladies that I'd love to meet!
i am just now getting around to reading Lee Child's first Jack Reacher book, KILLING FLOOR. Most notably, it strikes me that what you first see may be completely deceptive as compared to the facts of the situation. At the start of this book, a seemingly typical hobo is arrested for a grizzly murder. But, that hobo is actually a very competent and intelligent ex-military policeman. Not only is he innocent of the crimes, but his brother was one of the victims. This sends Jack into the center of a mail storm of deceit, psychopathic murders, and a huge counterfeit money scheme.
If you've read Lee Child's books already, you know that he's one of those page turner authors that keeps the thrills coming. If you are just coming to Lee Child, like I've just done, you'll be excited to have found an adventurous author who descriptions make the action a visual page turner with just his words! This is a "summer read" for action and adventure junkies. Get started on the Jack Reacher series now!!
TRUE SISTERS is a fictional account of a true event. Sandra Dallas has portrayed four women, and their families, as they take a real trip , in 1856, to cross 1,300 miles across America to reach the Mormon settlement in Salt Lake City, Utah. This group is following two others groups who have already crossed, but they are leaving too late for decent weather, and they are also going pushing handcarts which only allow them very view possessions. These handcarts also mean that everyone but the near dead, must walk the entire distance---through sickness, near starvation, frostbite, childbirth, and old age. Many will not survive the trip, but the church leaders berate anyone who wants to wait for better timing, with "you will burn in Hell because your faith isn't sufficient for you to REALLY be a Mormon!".
Four women are featured in this story. Their companionship holds them and their families together through these ordeals, and through deaths caused by the many hardships. I found these relationships to be quit compelling, as they grow in their abilities to think and survive as best they can, and learn to determine their own futures for themselves. Not being a Mormon myself, I found that part of this book less compelling. The men seemed overbearing and quit thoughtless at times, though there were a couple of "good guys" in the end. The story of the traveling, hardships, survival, and friendships is what made this book enjoyable for me.
After a series of great murder mysteries, staring Cork O'Conner, Kruger has come up with a genius of a stand alone coming of age, murder mystery, and trestles on the "awful grace of God".
Our of the best books that I've ever read.
Frank is telling his story some forty years after the actual events that took place during his thirteenth year. In 1961, small town Minnesota, the summer is hot, the people know everything about everyone, and life is good. But this all changes when a young boy is killed while playing on the train tracks. Frank , and his stuttering younger brother, speculate about this tragedy. Their father is the town's Methodist minister, and folks look to him to answer the preverbal question of "Why would God let this happen?".
But that was just the beginning of this momentous summer for Frank, his family, and this small town. There will be three more deaths. An itinerant man is found amongst the weeds, there is a suicide, and finally a murder. Everyone in the town is affected by these tragedies in some way---bringing out the best and the worst in people.
Kruger's writing is filled with wonderful descriptive phrases. His characters will touch your heart in ways that will be difficult to put away after you've finished this book. His specific and thoughtful discussions of God's grace as seen through Frank's eyes will keep you wondering about your own faith. Simply a five, no five times five star read. This book has something for every reader to enjoy!!
The philosophical bent of this National Bestseller had me hooked from the start. Harold and Maureen were NOT living the dream life of retired couples. Harold was boarded and boarding. Maureen complained about anything and everything, with Harold being at fault for all her disappointments.
When a seemingly innocuous letter came for Harold, everything began to change. An old work colleague, Queenie Hennessy, has written Harold to tell him she is dying of cancer. Harold hasn't seen her, nor really thought about her in 20 years. BUT, he feels the need to write her a short consoling note. Thus the "pilgrimage" begins. In taking his letter to the mailbox, he runs into a young girl who tells a tale of "just believing". Harold then decides that if her walks the 500 miles, to hand deliver his letter to Queenie, she will keep living.
During his miles and miles of walking, he meets many different people. Some want to just talk with him and give a helping hand. Some, become nuisances in many different ways. Through all of this, Harold thinks back on his life and gains different perspectives of it's meaning for him and Maureen.
I agree with all the many fans who have made this book a bestseller, and book award nominee. The writing style is engaging and very compelling. Harold's perspective on his life, reads almost like a journal, with life lessons and questions intertwined. There is a great deal of sadness in this book, but many lessons learned in the backward perspective Harold attains from his very unusual walking trip. Different, but wonderful book!!
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