Thursday, October 15, 2020

Long Bright River


I picked this book to read because I saw an interview done of the author by our local anchorperson. I found out later that she was a teacher from my son's university. So now I'm interested.

Long Bright River was a good story. The author took time to take us through step by step of a story about two sisters and family. Very much the thought of how the main character "Mickey"went through life thinking to take care of her sister around what was given to her from her grandmother.

The chapters of Now and Then explained why Mickey was always looking for her sister "Kacey". How she got involved with the program PAL. And became a cop. How she became a mother.
Mickey talks of her neighborhood, Kensington, Port Richmond, Fishtown. Places are known of drugs. Along with family issues and finding her sister maybe on a corner somewhere strung out. There is a mystery also going on.

Mickey uses what she knows from being a cop to find out who is doing these killings. Hence why she looks for Kacey. What I noticed is that she isn't the best cop I thought. She relied on her partner to carry her through. So when she finds out about the killer on her own, it seems a bit of a bumble. Not sure if this is about the way she grew up. A grandmother tough as nails. Mother that she lost from drugs. And her father gone away from her (presumed dead). Even her extended family (cousins) have a hard time really liking her. I feel Mickey in her own had every good intention to help. But just didn't relay it too well.

There are a few highlights I feel that sums up how I like this story. The Long Bright River as of Kacey's vein. Telling the story of the awful disease of drugs.

I give Long Bright River 4 
The reason. I felt the chapters very drawn out just to tell how Mickey's son Thomas slept. Or how she  couldn't open up to her old partner Truman etc..
I hope to be able to read another book of Liz Moore. Interesting author.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Etched In Shadow Hill Cemetery

Thinking of this story and what made me pick it to read. At first I thought it was a teen book also as some reviewers mentioned. But soon realized no. I like the idea that it was a debut book. Which makes it easier to review. Many folks don't have an option until they read the story.
What brought my eye to it also a mystery of some sorts.

It is very much a coming of age book. But in an old fashioned way.
Here is a girl Justine that spends her summers with her Aunt Peggy and Uncle John. Helps them around the house. As all kids do they put feelers out to see if there is someone and somewhere to have fun, to connect with.
Justine befriends a girl name Eva. All summer long they pal around together Eva introduces Justine around. They have a connection. So sad end of summer comes that Justine goes back home. But something you never hear about much anymore that Justine and Eva write letters to each other. Until they reunite at the beginning of the next summer. 

Sadly something horrible happens to Eva. Eva is too scared to say anything. When Justine finds out she helps Eva. Which later on in Justine's life she gets inspired by the events with Eva and finds a career. Eva helps Justine get her life on track. Find the goodness in things.

Hanging out @ the cemetery, Farrah Fawcett haircuts,  love, break-up, hurt, and learning to make their lives count @ the end. Both girls find how important it is eventually having a husband and children of their own.

The book was a bit lengthy in the writing. Especially of the epilogue. It was nice to see Eva and Justine find happiness but somethings could have been explained earlier. I liked how authors named the chapters after songs. I knew how the characters would respond. A retro feel also.

I'm glad I got to read this book. And I believe like authors have said it is hard to write a great story.

I give Etched In Shadow Hill Cemetery 5 


Thursday, September 24, 2020

A Thousand Splendid Suns


I've never read anything that was written of this author before. I've seen the movie of The Kite Runner. And like a lot of movies it's not the exact activity of the book. But the movie I liked. I decided I was going to read one of his books.

I actually enjoyed this story. Although very sad I seen some parallels of the middle east countries to ours, the United States. And found a lot of differences to make me think it's great to be an American (despite what the country's experiencing now).

How terrible it is to be sent away because of something that wasn't your fault. To grow up as Mariam did to hear not so nice things about her father. To find it's true. Even though Mariam's mother Nana, did call her names the whole situation just isn't right. It hurts! It's like her father Jalil's dirty little secret.

What a shame for Mariam to not be wanted after her mother dies to be married to someone that she doesn't even know.To move from across one part to another part of country. Let alone someone much older than she. Whatever became of Mariam's husband wife and child?

One most think after Rasheed's treatment of Mariam. Trying to please Racheed only not to be good enough.

The book is laid out in parts. I found myself by the third part I skimmed to the end and went back to fill in the gaps. I found it paid a lot of attention to Laila's life and family.

A family that taught Laila that it was important to have education as a woman to be a success. But as the story goes on finding she is normal in a sense with a boyfriend and still maintains her family life. There is tragedy. Where does she go? What happens to her boyfriend, mother, father?

There it begins coming in this household of Mariam and Racheed. She is told everyone is gone. She is nursed back to health only to be the next in line for a younger wife for Racheed. 

Laila lives this life. Does what she has to for Racheed. Unlike Mariam Laila will fight back to protect her children. And for that she finds her boyfriend Tariq.

They do have a life but not without consequences. Nothing goes smoothly without death and hardship. Shame that Mariam finds out this way that she was thought of kindly and loved.

And at the end a nice touch for Laila, Tariq, and family. To give back to the community from hardships.

I give A Thousand Splendid Suns 5 

I look forward to reading another Khaled Hosseni's books.

Wednesday, September 09, 2020

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

In the end I was glad to read this story. But my thoughts were  the same as Daisy and The Six. I like how the author writes a story around a fictional character so well that you have to sit back and ask if she is real.

Was interesting how Evelyn picked her husbands. And what their stories were to fit in Evelyn's life. Some were bad, some were good- a real friend, some were just used for purposes- business like.

Even though Evelyn in her mind were helping others out.  Still it came full circle back to what Evelyn wanted.
Wasted so much time trying to talk her way to believing that she was right. But ended missing the important times of who she really was in love with. Unheard of being who she was.

Again author makes an interview out of story with a twist at end. Why she picked this certain reporter to write her autobiography I noticed has something to do with main character's life. In this case, Evelyn.

It is easy to relate to the subject when Monique spends so much time with Evelyn. Monique eventually sees her own life and makes choices for her own life.
At the end you can see that love to hate relationship Monique started to build around her with Evelyn. Now she knows the truth. Time to move on. That's what Evelyn would want. For she did same thing.

There are some good highlights I will mention on Goodreads

I give The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo 4 ---------->
Just the same as authors other books. Thanks for the ride but I think I"ll wait for something different. 


Friday, August 07, 2020

A Mother's Day

A lovely story on a Mother's Day. I like how the characters are connected by a person, and by a  tragic action. But don't really know each other. Seems like Mother's Day comes into view for each mom and son.

For each character like Julie wanting to spend her time with her son because she knows someday she will have to share him. Sadly they see someone fall. How does she answer that question from her son. She tries to shield him. It all happened like slow motion and I'm sure Asher plays it over in his head.

Julie will use what happened to her mother right before Mother's Day. All can be done is reach out to family and friends. Hug each other. And maybe eat some ice cream. As Julie is there for Asher.

Now Lynne being a new mom she is all kinds of nervous wanting to keep her baby safe. Maybe too over protective. But when Lynne looks at Ben his laugh could light up the darkest day. With Lynne's case she needed to take care of her own self. Finding things that make her feel even.  So when she saw this tragic fall she could only think why isn't anyone helping. But Lynne forgets not everyone can do all things. It only could be that someone called for help. 

I like when the situation was under control that Lynne called her husband Tom, and told him she knew then what she wanted to pursue as a career to help people. An admirable job, in the health profession. 

Then we come to Mary and her son Chris. I think the story of these two is my favorite. Chris did beat all negatives  of having Aspergers. You can only hope some part of a life will help turn things around for the good. Which Chris did. He wanted to be normal. And Mary was going to have that happen. I think the cool part is Chris having this "color synesthesia", a world where he sensed a color based on how a person smelled. We finally find out that Chris knew this person that fell. And like some he was going to be sad.

So what's a mother to do is to be there for her son. To back him up and be as strong for it.  And Chris started talking and thought Austin's color was purple. The feeling was deep enough that Chris thought he should have noticed.

He knew that connection was strong with his mom Mary, for she was a blue. Mom's love

I read a recent book of Kaira Rouda's and liked it. Never had any doubts with this story either. I'll be looking forward to reading more of her books.

I give A Mother's Day 5