This is a "tell it like it is" story of the life of Pat Conroy's family, specifically involving his father--"THE Great Santini". I believe Conroy is one of the very best of American writers. This story comes from his memories of his life with his family----memories that are admittedly different for each Conroy family member. After years of best sellers with fictitious names telling family stories, this gets to the heart of this family with real names and memories.
I have a special interest in Pat Conroy's writings because my husband was also a '67 Citadel graduate, and one of Boo's Boys (Conroy's first book). Conroy also spoke about his family at a CASA ( Court Appointed Special Advocate--working with abused and neglected children) conference that I attended in Charleston, SC when I was a CASA. Name dropping??-- Pat Conroy wouldn't know me if he ran into me on the street. But, these things have added another level of enjoyment to books that needed nothing additional to become favorites in my library!!
Pat is the eldest of seven children born to a Chicago Irish Catholic highly decorated Marine pilot, and a beautiful daughter of a snake handling religious fanatic from the back woods country and a mother who deserted her four young children to defend for themselves. Pat's young life saw him going from place to place where ever his father was stationed at the time. Violence and love centered a difficult and volition family life, resulting in five of the seven kids eventually trying to commit suicide, with the youngest son eventually succeeding.
But the real beauty of this ranting family life, is the continual love-hate relationship between everyone in the family. After The Great Santini was published, Pat was demonized by most of his family, but his father---"THE Great Santini"---took perverse pleasure in referring to himself by that name for the rest of his life. The movie version somehow brought family members back together again in a mixing bowl of emotions. This book is Pat's version of a famous line from his book, The Prince Of Tides: " in families there are no crimes beyond forgiveness."
Though memories can be different for members of a family who lived through the same events, the raw emotions, and spectacularly open and dramatic telling of this story by Pat Conroy, makes this a timeless story of many families where violence harms and divides families, children and marriages take a beating figuratively and literally, and love and forgiveness manages to inch their way into people's hearts. Though this could have been a morbid tale if told be a different author, Pat Conroy brings this story into the realm of timeless story telling because of the explosive personality of someone who can get right to the heart of a classic tale! Wonderfully told and expertly written!
There's a new cop in the English city of Hull. No sooner does he start his job than he views a 15 year old Somalian adopted girl being slash down in their central church. He has even seen the hooded slasher. But is he a serial killer? Seems that survivors of fatal incidents are being murdered. Thus starts this gruesome murder mystery with a unique plot for a murderer.
Perhaps some of the best parts are the development of the characters. Aector McAvoy is definitely an experienced cop, and rumors abound about his past with a dirty cop and a paid killer. Now he's supposed to be relegated to computer work because of his unique talents in finding information from a desk. His female supervisor tries to untangle his skills through his quiet personality. Aector is profoundly in love with his beautiful wife and young son. Through all this is the description of a dank and wet city of Hull.
This was a great start for a continuing mystery series. Aector is not reminiscent of any policeman that I've previously read about. I also appreciated the twisted motive that was also unique to this story. Definitely will read more from this author. Listened to this on Audible and really appreciated the dramatic affect, especially Aector's Scottish accent amongst the English.
In Denmark's police, Department Q deals with cold cases. Detective Carl Morck is relegated to cold cases after a tragedy ended a case that he had been working on. Now he reluctantly finds himself dragged into a fourth case with his unusual mysterious assistants, Assad and Rose. While investigating the disappearance of a brothel owner, Rita, they discover that five people disappeared that same day and were never found these twenty odd years later.
This case goes back and forth between 1987 and today. The Purity Party has been growing secretly through time, with the goal of aborting and sterilizing , illegally if necessary, all those dreamed inferior--those of any ethnic background other than Caucasian, those of inferior minds, and those who are poor and a drain on the system. Since childhood when her mom died, Nete Hermansen, has had abuse and further abuse helped upon her. Though she had a period where she fooled the world, that changed suddenly one day, by her own hand. Then she planned an elaborate revenge on everyone who wronged her.
These Department Q books are full of sinister behavior and down right evil, but Adler used Assad and Rose as great comic relief within his books. Carl gets pulled and drawn into these cases almost against his will, but then he goes full 'life threatening' force into the investigations. These things really draw the reader into these remarkable mysteries. I suggest starting at the beginning of this series to get the full effect of the recurring characters. I listened to this on Audible and found it added a great deal to my enjoyment if this story.
This is the story of four women who are searching for changes and love. Lavender is an organic farmer specializing in honey and lavender products. She's looking to find someone to take over her farm after she dies. As a member of the blogging "Foodie Four", she invites these friends to her farm to celebrate her 85th birthday, in hopes of finding that someone. These women range from the young, pregnant, and unmarried ,Ruby, to the unhappy photographing middle-aged wife, Ginny, to Val, who was a prima ballerina and has just lost her husband and all but one teen-aged daughter to a deadly crash. As these women gather and plan Lavender's birthday celebration, they grow closer in their friendships and find some meaningful relationships with a couple of men.
This was an interesting story of woman overcoming their difficulties and taking control of their lives. The information about the growing of lavender and extracting the oil for different uses, plus the different types of lavender, was especially interesting to me. In general, this book was very reminiscent of many other similar type woman's' stories. I listened to this on audio and thought it was done expertly.
This is the first is a series of action adventure books about a group called The Watchman Of Ephraim based on a Bible verse that describes those who watch over the land. Cris De Niro was a high powered head of a major hedge fund until he lost his wife and unborn son in the attack on the Twin Towers on 9/11. It was after this event that he bought a group of experts together to create a super counter-terrorism agency.
Their first encounter involves a planned nuke attack over Las Vegas. Iranians, Mexicans and Russians are all involved. Strange gatherings of many people on the Mexican boarder alert the team to possible trouble, but they had to act fast to protect the country and De Niro's remaining family.
I really liked the theme and action of this story. The idea of legal justice and/or moral justice was interesting. Reminds me of some other TV shows and books that follow along this same theme which always conflicts me, but never looses my interest. I listened to the audio which added a lot to the emotions evoked with this story.
It's 1846 in New York, and the second year of the NYPD. Last year, in book one, "Copper Star" Timothy Wilde, solved murders in a book that gave much of the history of the Irish immigrants and the conflicts between the Catholics and the Protestants. It's a good idea to read that book first ( THE GODS Of GATHAM) because many characters are carried through into this book. This book continues with murders associated with run away slaves and free blacks in the north. Once again, chapters are headed by quotes about this topic from authors of those times.
Timothy's spunk, bravery, and creative determination to do what is right by law and by moral justice, gets him into trouble with everyone, including his brother Val, who is big in the Democratic Party and continues to be a scoundrel in every sense of the word. The mistress of the brothel from the first book plays a big role in the atrocities of this book. And there are a couple of children who will tug at you heart with their lives and courage.
This historical mystery is very well documented and extremely well written. The story kept me involved with many twists and turns that I was drawn into as Timothy figured out his fast paced world. I listed to this on Audible and found the narration added much to the feeling and emotions evoked in this story.
This book was not for me. I was hoping for a light romance with a little substance, but it was more a lust for food and lustful romance. More sex than loving relationships. Though if that is what you're looking for, the book was written fairly well.
Summer Lyndon, super chef who commands respect and large payments for her delectable treats, is hired by Blake Cocharan, successful hotel owner, to super class his hotel restaurants. The attraction is immediate and goes through some issues before all live happily ever after.
The best part was the narration of the book on audio. Great accents.
It's 1974 in Atlanta, Georgia, and the city is sharply divided by class and ethnicity. The police force is ruled by white men and women and minorities have to fight bigotry, sexism, and "good old boy" politics. Maggie Lawson comes from a poor family of cops, and has been on the force for a few years. Kate Murphy is a widowed Jewish from a rich family who is determined to make it in the world on her own. She has just joined the force, learning the job, while experiencing humiliation and teasing from most of the other policemen. Kate and Maggie find themselves teamed up against great odds as they branch out on their own to catch a serial police murderer.
Though I love Slaughter's writing, I found this book a little disconcerting. I can definitely believe the bigotry of those times, but there were no nice people at all in this book, including Maggie's family, and everyone else involved in this story. I really liked Kate the best, as she had what Jews call hutzpah - (Yiddish) unbelievable gall; insolence; audacity) , and great bravery in many difficult situations. Calling the serial killer " the fox" throughout the story until the reveal at the end, definitely ratcheted up the terror and suspense. Good story but not one I'd want to repeat very often. Still love Slaughter's writing though!!
The audio version added another sense of reality to the story that I definitely believe added a great deal to the emotional feeling of the story. Very well done!!
Clare Cozy and almost all of our favorite Village Blend Coffeehouse characters are back in a holiday mystery while they are celebrating with cookie events with cookies from around the world. Moirin is a new young Irish employee that everyone enjoys. She bakes the cookies for the coffeehouse, but actually works at the bakery that developed the cookies. She's a music lover too, but sadly, she's bludgeoned to death at a cookie festival event. Clare found her body and is determined to find her killer with a little help from her boyfriend, family, and her baristas.
I love this series for so many reasons. The Cleo Coyle writing team always adds numerous interesting facts, local information, and yummy sounding recipes to their mysteries. In this one, there are added characters that are a take off from reality TV that are a laugh and a half. The mystery is compelling with clues on every page. We also hear more and more about Clare's love life with her, Detective Mike Quinn, who is on a secret duty in Washington, DC. One of my very favorite cozies done in audio. The spoken accents add so much to my enjoyment of this series. Looking forward to the new one in this series coming in November 2014.
If you're a fan of CJ Box like I am, you must read everything that he writes. I'm generally not a fan of short stories, but every one of these is a winner. Especially appreciated the one that was a required 1000 words--no more and no less. Box's efficiency with just the right words made it interesting and complete.
There are also a few that were previously only released for e readers, and I know a few people who were disappointed in not being able to read these before. A couple revolve around Joe Picket and Nate. Also a very interesting one "Pronghorns of The Third Reich" that was written around an actual picture from history.
Great listening to them on Audible. David chandlers continues to do an excellent job narrating Box's works.
This second book in the Investigative reporter, Jane Ryland, series is greatly aided by the knowledge that Hank Phillippi Ryan, a TV reporter herself, has in how a story is developed through personal investigations, police procedurals, and keeping all your sources available for inside information.
Jane is working for a floundering Boston newspaper when her friend, Tucker, asks her to help her. Tucker has been matched up with her birth mother and they are getting along beautifully, until Tucker finds out that she's been matched with the wrong woman. At the same time, Jane's boss sends her out on a story of a murdered woman, also being investigated by her secret boyfriend, Jake, on the Boston police force. These investigations slowly collide in a larger investigation of the Brannigan Agency that matches adoptees and birth mothers, the foster care system, Child Services, and greedy individuals.
The pace and building atmosphere of this story are superb in creating great tension and plot that made me feel that I was deeply involved with these people's lives. The problems that are present in the extremely overworked child and foster care system were aptly used in creating a very believable, but deeply troubling plot for this mystery. Definitely a memorable book. I listened to this on audio and believe that added a great deal to my enjoyment of this book !
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