I am linking today to Linda Kay’s Senior Adventures’ Wednesday Wit and Wisdom
For this hop, we find a picture and write a story or poem to go with it.
Here is my story
She had been alone and lonely for a long time. Then love came rushing in and swept her off her feet. She was fooled by good looks and promises of forever. For years, she tried to make it work. Now she knows looks can be deceiving, promises broken, and forever ends. She has learned you can be lonely when you are with someone and that is worse than being alone and lonely.
There will be no resolution just acceptance that it is over. Sometimes you just have to walk away. So, that’s what she is doing today, walking away with no looking back. Standing strong and tall, head held high, she takes her bag and starts walking. Alone.
December was a good month for books.
All five of the books I read were very good
and I enjoyed each one.
Another Jack Reacher novel and as usual…good. In this story Jack, a former US Military police officer and now a homeless drifter, is found and brought in by the powers that be to find someone who attempted to assassinate the French President. The someone he is to find is a man he helped put in prison several years ago. I like the Reacher books because Jack Reacher is smart and funny. He just wants to be left to drift but keeps getting entangled in political espionage.
This is a bit of a departure from what Baldacci usually writes and I really liked it. It is about two children who, with their mother, go to the mountains to live with their grandmother. The old woman owns acres of land that a power company wants to mine, but she won’t sell and there is a lot of tensions revolving around that. But the part that held my interest was the children and how they coped with moving from the big city to the poor rural mountains, the death of their father, and their devastated and disabled mother. The children make two friends, one a lawyer and one an orphan kid living on his own. The young boy teaches them many things about believing in the unbelievable and the magic of an abandoned well. I liked the book for the strength of the characters and the beauty of how love holds them together. A lovely book, though, there was one chapter that broke my heart.
Lila only knew work and hardship her whole life. And only had one person ever love her. That person was a woman who stole her from people who may have been her parents, but that is never really clear to Lila or the reader. The woman and Lila travel with a small group of migrant workers during the days of the dust bowl. As an adult Lila lives alone and doesn’t make friends, moving on when it suits her. On one of her wanderings, she happens upon the town of Gilead and her life changes forever when she meets an old preacher man. This is a beautiful book with depth of writing. It is easy to see why Robinson is a Pulitzer Prize winner for her book Gilead.
Harlan Coben is my new favorite author. You will be seeing many of his books here. He is the best at surprising the reader with unexpected secrets and events. In this book Megan, happily married with two children, is drawn back to her old life in Atlantic City that no one knows about. Over seventeen years men go missing on Mardi Gras and are never found. An abusive lover/customer of the woman was the first to disappear. When an old friend tracks her down to tell her she has seen this man the new life Megan has made is threatened. Threatened not only by the possibility that her old life will be made known but also by the feelings she still has for her first true love who was part of the old life and has a terrible secret of his own. When it is revealed what has happened to all the missing men the perpetrator of the crimes and the reason behind them it is a wonderful mix of surprise and a kind of relief.
I always like Jodi Picoult’s books. They are quick to read, but you have to be careful to not miss little nuances that seem unimportant and show up chapters later and are pivotal. Two scientists who research elephants meet and marry soon after. They have a little girl and settle down as owners of an elephant refuge in New Hampshire. The husband has serious mental problems that his wife did not know about before their marriage, but they become apparent when lack of funding threatens to close the refuge. She has confided in and fallen in love with one of the caretakers of the animals. Because of her husband’s erratic behavior she decides to take their daughter and run away. Before she can do that there is violence and death. The story is told by the mother, the daughter, a private detective, and a psychic. It is the daughter, now thirteen, who hires the detective and the psychic to find her mother who has been missing ten years. To say this has a really different ending is an understatement. I should have known it would be a surprise. Picoult’s final pages are always surprising.
When he got to the early morning meeting all the officers were already seated at the large conference table waiting for him, the favorite son. In spite of the solemn expressions and the obvious discomfort of those attending, he felt in control, confident, sure of his place at the table. The meeting was immediately brought to order by the Chairman of the board, with little discussion and no time wasted it, the meeting was over. The trust was gone, he was broke, he was wasn’t the favorite son anymore. He left the conference room a different man, still confident, but no longer in control, and feeling free for the first time in his life.
I really liked this book.
It takes place in a small Ohio town with an Amish community.
34 Years ago an Amish family was murdered, the wife and mother kidnapped.
Now people are being murdered and there seems to be a connection.
I can’t say the ending was a surprise but getting there was a good read.
This is the first of Anthony Doerr books I have read but won’t be the last.
Tales place in France during WWII.
The lives of a blind French girl living with her agoraphobic uncle
and a young Nazi soldier are separate but come together because of
a hidden valuable artifact that the Nazi’s want for their museum and a radio.
It is a sad story wonderfully told.
The President makes a promise he can’t keep that could lead to nuclear war.
Two CIA agents are charged with preventing the worst case scenario and that leads
them to North Korean labor camps and a highly trained assassin
from one of those camps.
The book is fast paced and interesting in its characters and the moral issues they face.
The ending is not a surprise, that’s not a spoiler.
Of course the good guys, us, have to win.
This is a teenage young adult novel that I read as an ebook.
It’s a cute story of teenage turmoil and tension with a bit of magic thrown in.
Mina Grimes is a descendant of Wilhelm Grimm of fairy tale fame and is the
latest of the family to find that there is a curse that goes along with being a Grimm.
Her father died because of it and her mother has tried to protect her but the bad guys
have found her…along with a good guy who helps her out.
It’s not the best written book but it was a fun read.
Six years ago a love affair ends when the woman marries another man.
The jilted lover promises her to never try to contact her or bother them in any way.
He keeps his promise for six years then sees his lover’s husband’s obituary.
He goes to the funeral but the wife is not his lost love.
So begins the unraveling of a mystery that has more questions than answers.
This is the second of Harlan Coben books I have read and I will keep reading his books.
A dog, two cats, and a coyote help solve the mystery
of the skeleton found first on a mountain then in a driveway
while their humans try to solve the recent murder of two men
who were pillars of the community.
I have read a couple of Rita Mae Brown’s books that are
co-authored by her tabby cat Sneaky Pie Brown.
It’s an easy read with people, and animals, that are like those
you probably know and love. Even the murderers seem normal.
This is another book that once I started I couldn’t put it down.
When I get into a book like this all else is forgotten and nothing gets done.
A woman is training for a marathon and is attacked on a remote mountain trail.
She is found unconscious by a man and taken to his cabin.
Then begins a story that is strange and not easily figured out.
I was totally off in my thinking about parts of the narrative and right on with others.
But I was surprised by the uncovering of the events of the back-story
and who did the nasty deed. I liked the complexity of the characters and
how you have to search for clues to who and what they are.
The only thing I will say in the negative is that there is some somewhat graphic sex that
was, in my opinion, unnecessary. I mean it’s an adult novel and adults know
what’s going on without the details.
So that was my reading for the month.
More than I usually read but a couple of the books I just couldn’t put down.
Made me a happy reader.
Click on the books to read more about them on Goodreads.
I have a short story for you today.
A Five Sentence Fiction story.
This weeks prompt: Innocence
Everyone looked at the woman, the only person standing in the crowded room.
It was so quiet, eerily quiet, as they waited to hear what she had to say.
It was if her words were the most important words they would ever hear.
In fact, for him, they were. She glanced at him then cleared her throat and said,
“Your Honor, we the jury, find the defendant Not Guilty.”
Today instead of doing a review I am going tell you
just a little about some books I have recently read.
The Maid’s Version by Daniel Woodrell
A bitter woman, estranged from her son, tells a story about a tragic fire to her grandson. I liked this book, although, I did find it hard to get into. Once on my way I became interested in the characters and was quite surprised by the ending.
Testimony by Anita Shreve
A sad story all around. There is an incident at a boarding school involving 3 boys and a girl. Because it was recorded and put on the internet it becomes a major crisis in many lives; the 4 students, their parents, the Head Master, friends, and community. Each chapter is a testimony of the people involved and at times seems a bit simplistic but it does add to the character study of each person.
We Are Water by Wally Lamb
A story about marriage and family and the secrets in them. Anna, a successful outsider artist, has left her husband of twenty-seven years and is getting ready to marry her lover, a woman. The turmoil this causes in the lives of her ex-husband and grown children is understandable and Shreve deftly tells each side of the story. I came to like everyone in the family and wanted all to be happy. There is a ghost in the story, part of a story within the story. Not spooky or eerie it makes the book richer.
Never Go Back by Lee Child
This is a Jack Reacher story. Child has written tales of Reacher for years but this is the first I have read. I like Reacher even though he is a bigger than life kind of tough guy and I usually prefer underdogs and normal folks. There is lots of action and intrigue and some humor. I will say that after reading this and getting to know Jack Reacher I cannot image why Tom Cruise was ever cast to play him in a movie. I am glad I read a Jack Reacher novel and now have no plans to see the movie.
So there you have it…books I liked and recommend to fellow readers.