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Color Me Butterfly: A Novel Inspired by One Family's Journey from Tragedy to Triumph

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Color Me Butterfly by L.Y. Marlow is a riveting story of abuse, abandonment and the resilience to go on. This is listed as a novel, but the story sounds so true, the people so real, that one has to wonder. I suspect there is more truth than fiction in these pages. The violence depicted is so real that it is hard to read, but I felt compelled to continue. Even with all the emotional and physical abuse heaped upon the women in this story, they fought on to raise their children and have the best life they could have. These four generations of one family displayed more courage and strength than one could imagine under such great odds. I would recommend this book to everyone as I believe we all need to see and understand just how domestic violence affects everyone.
Emory's Gift

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I’ve never been a 13 year old boy, but I did raise one, and I can attest to the true character of Charlie Hall—his feelings, his speech, his overall being. To say nothing of the trials and tribulations of being in junior high school—that’s what it was called when I was there. None of this namby-pamby middle school stuff. Add to that the fact that Charlie Hall has lost his mother less than a year ago and his father has sort of disappeared into his own grief. Entering that picture is Emory—a grizzly bear.Bruce Cameron has created a really loveable character in Charlie Hall. I was smitten with him in the first chapter. There were lines that had me laughing out loud and lines that had my heart aching for Charlie. I’m an animal lover from way back and Emory’s Gift was a joy to read. Can I believe all the things that happened with Charlie and Emory? When the writing is this good and the story this enjoyable, you bet I can!!I received an advance reader copy from the author.
Nancy's Theory of Style

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I enjoyed this book on a couple levels. First, the writing is light, breezy and funny. Secondly, the main character Nancy is someone whom at first I really did not like--shallow, self-absorbed and snooty. But as the story unfolds my feelings toward Nancy changed. I couldn't help but feel sorry for her in reference to the times and family she was raised in. Her take on assuming care for her cousin's 3-year-old daughter was priceless, but also priceless was watching Nancy grow and mature in her feelings for Eugenia. Overall I just loved this book and kept turning pages to see what would happen next. At no time did I get bored or bogged down. The pages just flew by and I enjoyed everyone of them. Highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a light summer read or perhaps a rainy fall day read.
I Am Half-Sick of Shadows: A Flavia de Luce Novel

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This fourth installment in the continuing adventures of Flavia de Luce definitely does not disappoint. Yes, Flavia is back and she’s just as feisty and clever as ever. This book was so easy to read, as all the Flavia books have been. Oh that I had known someone like Flavia when I was her age—I bet I would have done better in chemistry class! It’s Christmas time at Buckshaw, and Flavia is concerned because her sisters have told her that Father Christmas is not real. Ah, but Flavia is not going to take their word for it. She has a plan—and it’s a dozy. To add more excitement, the Colonel has consented to a film crew coming to Buckshaw, to help him make ends meet. Orders have been issued to Flavia, Daphne and Ophelia to stay in their quarters and not interfere with the filming. Such a hard request for someone of Flavia’s spirit!I so enjoyed this book. The writing is fluid, the characters well drawn. All the regulars are back. We learn a little bit more about Dogger, but he is still pretty much a mystery. Daphne and Ophelia still torment Flavia and Flavia still plans and plots ways to get back. I did miss Gladys, Flavia’s bike; but she did make a brief appearance. After all, it is winter and it is snowing. For me, the mystery is really secondary to the story. Although it’s interesting and very well worked out, I just enjoy reading about Flavia and her escapades. The author has created a great sense of time and place and I find it so easy to just lose myself in the story. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well written and entertaining story.
Minding Frankie

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I was hooked from the very first sentence. Maeve Binchy is a consummate storyteller, introducing characters and situations with ease. I won’t go into the plot. After all there are already 104 reviews of this book. But I will say that the characters are real and the story is wonderful. Plus Ms. Binchy brings in characters from previous books which is great so that we can see what they’re up to now. The only bad thing about this book is that it came to an end. I easily could have just gone on reading about the lives of Noel and his daughter Frankie, his parents and all the other residents of St. Jarlath’s Crescent. I especially liked Cousin Emily—the changes she encouraged in people’s lives were so much fun to read about and a good lesson about the fine benefits of a positive attitude.
To Have and to Hold: A Novel

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I've always really like everything else I've read by Jane Green. However, this book just left me cold. It seemed like it just went on forever, going over the same things over and over, how lonely Alice was, what a cad, jerk, philanderer Joe was. I thought the book would never end. I just wanted to shout at Alice "wake up! He's cheating, can't you see that!!"
One Good Turn: (Jackson Brodie)

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I thought this book was better than Case Histories. But then I read that a long time ago and have perhaps forgotten. However, this book was great. I love how the author kept all her plates in the air and kept the story moving right along. It was easy to keep track of all the characters--and there were a lot of them! The ending was similarly great because Ms. Atkinson wrapped up everything in the end, not a single thread left dangling.
The Very Picture of You

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I had so enjoyed A Vintage Affair; I was quite pleased to read The Very Picture of You by the same author. And I was not disappointed.I found the descriptions about portraiture simply fascinating. I’ve never read anything about painting someone’s portrait and I think the author did a great job. The back stories about the people getting their portrait done were so interesting. If I had a complaint (which I really don’t), I wish there could have been more.The characters were fully developed and quite believable. The setting in modern day London was fascinating too as that’s some place I’ve always wanted to visit. I saw the romance coming a mile away—for some that would be a turnoff, but not for me. I enjoyed the journey immensely. I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes a good story.
A Vintage Affair

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I’ve read other books by Isabel Wolff and so was looking forward to reading A Vintage Affair. I was not disappointed. I won’t recap the plot as it has been done already, but I will say that the timing, the descriptions, the fullness of the characters is all so very well done. While I’m certainly not an expert on vintage fashion, I found the descriptions of the clothes fascinating and very easily pictured in my mind. This book sparked an interest in me to look further into vintage fashion. The various stories in the plot were all easily tied together. Ms. Wolff made the characters and the happenings in the story so easy to understand. The themes of forgiveness, friendship and love were beautifully done. I was especially fascinated by the story Mrs. Bell told about her experiences during World War II. There are many great characters in this story, most all of them people I would love to know. I’ve seen this book characterized as chick lit, but I think it is much more than that, a beautiful story, well told. I highly recommend it.
Shelter Me

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Shelter Me by Juliette Fay is beyond any doubt one of the best books I’ve read in the last 10 years. This is the story of Janie LaMarche and her first year as a widow with two small children. Her emotions are raw and convincing and her anger is palpable. It sounds so easy to say I felt her pain, but I did. It was real. No matter what her loved ones did for her, there was still the absence of Robbie. No one could change that. Sometimes I wanted to shake her and tell her to straighten up, sometimes give her a big atta girl, and sometimes just wanted to sit down and have a cup of coffee with her and tell her to hang in there. Because isn’t that what we all want; just to know that someone hears you and understands you?Juliette Fay has given a truly remarkable voice to her protagonist, Janie, and has allowed her to have all her emotions, all her anger, all her distrust of her family and friends. After all, they’re not nearly in as much pain as Janie and cannot know how her life has been affected. Slowly I saw Janie come to realize that she did not live in a vacuum; there were others who were affected by Robbie’s death.The characters were all true; these were all people I have known in my former New England neighborhood. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to read a true to life story about anger and grief and survival, sometimes just making it from minute to minute. This is a book I will keep and read again, something I seldom ever do because there are so many books to read. But I feel connected to these characters and don’t want to let them out of my life just yet.
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