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Fiction Reviews

 

Non-fiction reviews are now located on a separate page.

The Smoke Jumper by Nicholas Evans. I will give Evans credit. He does not write the same book twice. Despite his overwhelming success with his first novel The Horse Whisperer he followed it with a completely different novel about the plight of wolves again farmers. Now, in his third book he takes a look at those daring men who jump from planes to fight forest fires. He also takes a look at the horrible political strife and murders of hundred of people in Africa and other countries. In this story he features an elk as his link to the animal world which eventually ties in with the great African culture and spirits. 

Ed Tully and Connor Ford are smoke jumping buddies of long standing. They met in smoke jumping school and remained as close friends although Ed eventually moved to Alabama to become a musician. While struggling to make ends meet he plays in smoky bars and teaches music lessons in private homes. Connor remained in Montana working as a freelance photographer.

Artist Julia Bishop has just recently broken off an engagement. One rainy evening Ed and Julia have a very comical chance meeting in a bar parking lot and later start dating. As summertime roles around Ed headed off to Montana as he does every year to spend the summer fighting fires with Connor. This summer Julia goes along to work for an organization that takes juvenile offenders off for the summer to live in the mountains, camp, hike, and hopefully turn their lives around. When Julia meets Ed's friend Connor there is a mutual attraction that both hide to protect Ed.

Julia meets a young juvenile Skye, that you also meet in the opening chapters of the book, as part of her group of campers. As Julia tries to work through her lack of communication with the group and get her to open up she becomes too attached. One evening a thunderstorm causes a fire to break out on the mountain. During this time Skye has run away from the camp. Julia spots the fire and radio's the base back in Missoula, Montana of the fire. Of course Connor and Ed are two of the smoke jumpers flown in to rescue the campers and help to locate Skye. As the fire rages on the mountain Ed gets trapped alone looking for Skye while Connor and Julia are on another part of the mountain. As they locate Skye, Julia is unable to save her from the fire, as all three become trapped on the mountain. 

That day on the mountain changed the life of all three adults forever. An injured Ed (I am not giving that away) and Julia eventually marry living a quiet life in Montana. Connor goes off searching for meanings in life by photographing adults and children murdered in those far reaching countries. All three of their lives become entwined in several ways and each must find their own way to happiness.

Evans does another wonderful job of looking into the human soul and seeing what goes deep within all of us as we view other peoples sufferings. Don't give this one a miss. 

Parting Gifts by Charlotte Vale Allen. The author tackles the pain of loss of a loved one, child abuse, and family relationships with a wonderfully written story. Kyra has only been married for 10 years when her husband is tragically killed in a freak accident. Kyra and her twin brother Kyle are children of British born parents although she was raised in New York. Her divorced parents and twin brother are all heavily involved in the theater and acting as writers and performers and had moved back to London.

The day after the funeral a strange woman appears on Kyra's doorstep claiming to be Kyra's daughter with a grubby, waif like boy in tow named Jesse. Since Kyra could not have children due to a birth defect she knew this was preposterous but did not have a clue as to why her name appears on the girls birth certificate. Kyra would have been 16 when she was born and Kyra was away at boarding school with her brother. Kyra and her husband had been trying to adopt a child for years but were still on a very long waiting list.

Jesse was obviously abused in the three years he lived with his mother, who had now abandoned him to Kyra. Unwilling to talk he slept in his closet rather than his bed and communicated by use of gestures and eye contact. When Kyra takes Jesse over to visit her mother and brother he opens up to both of them and in the short time she is in London, Jesse starts talking and communicating with people.

Ten years later Jesse and Kyra move back to London themselves. Through Jesse Kyra finds a new and loving relationship with her mother and brother than before had not existed. As Jesse turns twelve he begins to exhibit signs of a health problem while becoming very famous by writing a novel and having it published by age thirteen. As Kyra's family and friends help her struggle with Jesse's illness, she learns about love of friends, support of family, and the mysterious way in which her name came to be on the strange young woman's birth certificate who arrived at her doorstep ten years earlier with Jesse.

I have read many of Charlotte Vale Allen's books over the years. Some I have liked better than others. The majority of her works I have read were written in the late 70's and the 80's. If you like this novel be sure to read some of her earlier works particularly Marmalade Man , Time/Steps,  Dreaming in Color, Dream Train, and Night Magic.

The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons. As a general rule Russian fiction is by nature dark, sad, and boring. Your next question is "why do read it then?" Well, I have always liked Russian history and I enjoy reading books set in Russia. 

However, The Bronze Horseman is a very typical Russian novel; hunger, Communist politics, and death. Had Ms. Simons cut about 350 pages from her 636 page novel, she would have had a wonderful semi-love story  set in war time Russia. Much of the rambling among the characters could have been cut without sacrificing the story. I am not prudish but  100 pages of how, when, and where Tatiana and Alexander screw around to proof they were attracted to each other once they were reunited was a bit of overkill. In between all this dialog the author showed some flashes of promise with humor and incidents between the two characters.

Set against the backdrop of WWII and the siege of Leningrad, the primary characters Tatiana and Alexander, are the narrators. Alexander is a soldier in the Red Army. He and his parents immigrated to Russian in the late 50's when many Americans thought Communism was a more exciting way of life. Alexander's father was arrested and his mother was shot by NKVD for being accused of spying for the Americans and not being loyal Party members. In order to save his life, Alexander joined the Red Army and became an exemplary soldier winning several medals and promotions for his actions on and off the battlefield.

 While just starting out in his quest to save his life in Russia he meets a young Russian, Dimitri who has decided he wants to escape to America. He and Alexander have a plan to cross the Finnish boarder into Helsinki, get to England and then on to America. Dimitri is a lazy, cowardly Russian soldier and uses his friendship with Alexander repeatedly.

Tatiana lives in a two room communal apartment with her mother and father, her grandparents, twin brother, and older sister Dasha. Alexander and Dasha were secretly dating just as the book starts and the war has begun. One evening when Tatiana is waiting for a bus she meets Alexander not knowing that he is Dasha's boyfriend. Tatiana is very devoted to her sister and once she learns of Dasha and Alexander's dating refuses to "steal" Alexander away from her. A love triangle develops with Tatiana and Dasha hiding their love for each other by using Dimitri as a rouse pretending Tatiana likes Dimitri. 

The entire plot thickens as Dimitri actually becomes obsessed with Tatiana, Alexander becomes obsessed with Tatiana yet continues to pretend he is love with Dasha. The winter siege of Leningrad is very famous in history as the Germans surrounded the city preventing food from going in. Millions of Russians died of starvation, cold, and TB that year. 

I will leave out the exact details of what happens to Tatiana's family and how she and Alexander finally come together. I am not sure by the way the book ends of Ms. Simons is planning or sequel or if she ran out of words. Skim the boring parts and read the rest.

 

A Certain Slant of Light by Cynthia Thayer. Peter, a retired bagpipe player, has lived for twenty years in a secluded cabin off the coast of Maine. He raises his own food, has an old dog for a pet that he calls Dog, keeps a goat and a horse, and has a head of thirty sheep on a nearby island. His closes neighbor and friend is Dora, a widow who lives about ten minutes away.

During an ice storm Peter is visited by a young, pregnant woman, Elaine, who has run away from a nearby town. Peter resents having anyone invade his small cabin and his solitary life. Peter lost his family to a fire and keeps his daughter's playhouse on a nearby shelf. He moves the dolls around as his missing family and talks to them to sooth his soul and his guilt. He was away at a bagpipe competition when the fire broke out. His guilt is due to several circumstances which I will leave you to discover for yourself. He has not played the bagpipes since that day.

Elaine is also running from life. She is a Jehovah Witness, her husband discovers by accident of a previous pregnancy and miscarriage at age 16, and has disgraced herself in the eyes of the church. The baby may be born with a blood disease but her religion will not allow transfusions. She is confused about what to do about the baby and whether or not to leave her husband.

It does not take long for her husband and the church elders to discover where Elaine is. But, she continues to live there despite frequent visits by her upset husband and church members. As time for the birth draws near Peter is finding himself falling in love with her and her unborn baby.

A stunning climax keeps readers wanting to know what will happen in the end. You will have to read the book to learn for yourself how it all turns out with Peter and Elaine and their rediscovery of life.

 

Death at Gallows Green by Robin Paige. This novel is one of several written under the pseudonym husband/wife team of Robin Paige. Susan Wittig Albert is the author of the China Bayles mysteries and her husband is Bill Albert, co-author with his wife of young adult novels. Death at Gallows Green is the first book I have read by either of the authors or under their pen name and will certainly read more in the series. 

The heroine of the story Kathryn Ardleigh (Kate) has returned to England to live with her two aunts who soon after are murdered and she has inherited their estate. She writes sensational novels known back then as "penny-dreadfuls"  under a pen name and catches the eye of local amateur sleuth and scientist Sir Charles Sheridan. In this novel, Kate meets a shy young woman named Beatrice Potter. Yep, one and the same famous children's author best known for the Tales of Peter Rabbit. You meet several of Mrs. Potters animal characters in real life situations appearing in the book as either humans or animals. As Kate and Sir Charles work to solve the mystery of the murder of a local constable Bea becomes involved while staying with Kate in her home at Bishop's Keep. Very, very good reading. 

Rose of Nancemellin by Malcolm Macdonald. Set in Cornwall, England and America during the early 1900's, MacDonald has chosen the stage as his setting. Lucinda-Ella Rose Tremayne renamed Rose by her mistress Lady Carclew of Nancemellin who feels her real name is too dignified for a servant girl. Rose is forced to go into service at a young age to help her struggling parents. But, Rose has a talent for mimicking the upper class and other English and American accents in addition to being quite well read and very educated for a girl in service. 

While the Carclews are away for the summer season a young sailor, Louise,  is rescued from drowning and brought Nancemellin to recover. Rose is mistaken as the niece of the estate owner by the Louise and fall madly in love on the spot. Upon returning from their vacation, Lady Carclew discovers the ruse and fires Rose on the spot. With her reputation ruined by Lady Carclew, Rose takes a job as seamstress for a local theater touring production. 

In the meantime, Louise brewery business has gone bankrupt and he goes to America to recoup his fortune and return a wealthy man in order to marry Rose. Rose goes from seamstress to actress when the company discovers her natural talent for acting and voices. She falls in love with the stage and is courted by several potential suitors but her heart belongs only to Louise. The touring company takes their performance to America and Rose plans on surprising Louise in New Jersey. Louise is writing her that he is prospering in America and will soon be returning home to England.

However, what she finds in America disappoints her and upon returning to England makes some momentous decisions. Very soon the outbreak of WWI will change her life yet again and her path will eventually cross with Louis once again.

As is the usual case with MacDonald he always places his characters in the situation of the lower classes of England struggling with the upper or women against men, etc. Another fine effort by MacDonald and highly recommended. 

The Florabama Ladies Auxiliary & Sewing Circle by Lois Battle. I read very few southern women writers because as a general rule I do not care for their style of writing. However, Battle is one of my favorites because of her solid characters and interesting plot developments. Florabama is a fictional town in Alabama. The storyline takes place over a years time as two separate classes of society come together to form a bond of friendship and community spirit.

Bonnie Duke Cullman finds herself with two kids in college and divorced from a rich husband. Having spent her post college years doing society and charity work she now finds herself needing a job to recover from her husbands bankruptcy. With a single credit card, a car full of her person belongings. and a new puppy she takes off for Florabama and her first real paying job. As head of the Displaced Homemakers Program at Marion Hawkins College she will be responsible for assisting the women of the local ladies lingerie mill Cherish Lady which has just shut down.

Bonnie becomes friends with Ruth, who always wanted to be teacher but had to take the factory job when she became pregnant with her daughter Roxy. Hilly, the feisty one of the group gets a part time job a nearby Mexican restaurant and gets involved in the entire family in the process. Bonnie finds herself in several predicaments at the college, in helping the ladies, and in her personal life. Bonnie decides to help the ladies displaced from the factory earn some money by making designer dresses for children to be sold by a friend who runs a boutique in Atlanta. They began a weekly meeting to discuss the problems of being unemployed, going to classes, coping with their daily lives, and sewing the dress outfits. Bonnie learns things from these women she would not have thought possible and they from her as their friendship and desire to help one another overcomes the class barriers. 

If you enjoy reading a good, clean novel with great characters and a real good feeling when you are finished than you will enjoy this novel by Battle or any of her previous ones. 

Scarlet Feather by Maeve Binchy. Binchy happens to be another of my favorite authors. However, I have not been as impressed with her last couple of novels including this one. I will admit that once I got into the book at around 100 pages or so it did seem to move along a little faster. As the characters and plot began to unfold a certain amount of suspense as to what will happen in the end does began to emerge. I read in a review of this book that it is Binchy's last novel but I have not been able to confirm that elsewhere. If so, it is a shame she culminated her career with a less than stellar effort. 

Set in modern day Dublin, the Scarlet Feather is a catering service started by friends Tom Feather and Cathy Scarlet. Cathy is married to Neil Mitchell a workaholic lawyer more interested in social causes than his wife. Neil comes from a rich Irish family, Cathy from a working class background.  Tom lives with Marcella who is obsessed with becoming a famous model and is more interested in herself than her relationship with Tom. 

On New Year's Eve, Neil's twin cousins are dumped on his father and mother's door step after being abandoned by their irresponsible parents. Neil, Cathy, and Tom are very quickly caught up in the plight of these two children and their worthless older brother who works for Neil's father. 

The book takes place during a twelve month period beginning with New Year's Eve, when Tom finally locates a suitable building to set up their business. As Tom and Cathy struggle with the ups and downs of relationships, family, friends, starting a business, and the well being of the twins, it seems inevitable that Scarlet Feather will have a difficult time succeeding.  

 

Wolves Against the Moon by Julia Cooley Altrocchi is another work of fiction I picked up on my travels to Mackinac Island. Much like the other book I bought on the Island, Loon Feather, the work also covers the history of Canada in the late 1790's to early 1800's. Much of the book takes place on the Island and around Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois. This book was published in 1940.The author has based the novel on the real life of Joseph Bailey from his granddaughter's family history. Mrs. Altrocchi spent many summers residing near the fur trading post actually run by Bailey near Chesterton, Indiana. Using dozens of histories, the author intertwines the real with the imaginary to create a fascinating story of the early Canadian wilderness.  

Joseph Bailey de Messein is of French Canadian descent. Although he is born of a wealthy land owner in Quebec, his desire to be a trapper and live in wilderness is stronger than be a landed gentleman. Upon returning from three years apprenticeship working for the Northwest Trading Company he learns his future bride has married a well know fur stealer and general scrounger, Rastel. He moves to the Island to be the chief operations director for the Northwest Trading Company. There her meets and falls in love with a French Canadian Indian woman. Their adventures moving throughout Canada as a trapper depict the history of the French, American, British, and Indian conflicts of the time period as well as the beauty of the land. 

In Sunlight, In a Beautiful Garden by Kathleen Cambor. Betsy, one of my former staff members who still works at the nearby branch, Reynolda Manor, recommended it to me. I am glad she did, for I am enjoying it very much. The novel is set around the events leading up to the 1889 Johnstown, PA flood. With a mix of actual and fictitious characters, Ms. Cambor  gives the historical background of the famous Club built for the rich and famous around the South Fork Dam that breaks causing the flood. The gentlemen's club was built for people like Andrew Mellon, Andrew Carnegie, Henry Clay Flick, etc. 

Several fictitious characters with mysterious backgrounds set the scene for the lifestyle and culture so common in the late 1800's. The librarian Grace, who comes to Johnstown with an unknown past and Nora, the "naturalist" caught up in a bittersweet romance with Daniel Fallon are just a few of the characters that will immerse you in the town and factories in and around South Fork and Johnstown. While the Club members were warned of the impending dangers of the weak dam, life was to continue to suite the rich and shield the from being bother by minor problems. As the characters lives are woven around the succession of events that lead up to the impending flood the suspense mounts and you will not want to stop reading until you reach the end. 

The Forest: A Novel by Edward Rutherfurd. For those of you who are readers of James Michener you will find Rutherfurd's books to be similar in style but not nearly as well written. Of Rutherfurd's other three novels, Sarum, Russka, and London, the only one I really liked was Russka. His fourth novel, The Forest, covers nine centuries of English history between the Saxons and the Normans. The New Forest, located on the southern coast of England, actually exists today. Over the centuries many lords and and kings as well as tradesmen and witches and monks abbeys have been associated with the mysteries of this vast area of land. William the Conqueror's son, Rufus, was mysteriously slain in The Forest, of which the opening chapters cover. You can read more about the New Forest of England on their web site.

As is Rutherfurd's style, he uses a few family generations who live in the forest and interweaves real persons and events in history as he marches in time from 1099 to present day year 2000. His style of writing in this novel is much easier to read and enjoy than in Sarum and London. I also am enjoying the descriptions of the animal and plant life of the forest. My knowledge of this area of British history is sparse so I cannot attest to the accuracy of all the events without looking each one up. I really enjoyed this book. I felt like I was right there in The Forest as I read about the nature and wildlife and experiences of each of the generations real or fictional telling their stories. 

House of Mirth by Edith Wharton. Written in 1905, Wharton depicts life for the upper crust of society of New York city. Lily Bart, unmarried at the age of 29, which is equivalent to being an old maid in those times, is desperate to marry a man who can sustain her wealth and position in society and keep her to the means she is accustomed to. When both her parents die her rich aunt takes on the duty of looking after her. Among Lily's suitors is a Simon Rosedale, a vulgar but rich entrepreneur and a lawyer, Lawrence Selden. 

Wharton paints the sad picture of the wealthy who can afford to remain the required social circles and play the games versus the need to remain wealthy so as not to loose their status in society. A very gullible Lily is led down the garden path Gus Trenor, husband of her best friend Judy, who has ulterior motives in helping Lily with her money problems. Poor Lily gets herself embroiled in one social scandal after another and is always finding herself on the loosing end. This is a very typical bleak Victorian novel that could very well be written and set in modern times.

Alice's Tulips by Sandra Dallas. A rather interesting little book that I don't recall how I found the title to place a reserve on it. The books is a series of letters from a young women living on her husbands farm with her mother-in-law while he is away fighting in the Civil War. Diary/letter style books are not my favorite thing to read. However, the author gives a good idea of the beliefs in folk medicine, religion, way life and quilting. I do not quilt, but am enjoying learning about the various patterns and what they stand for. She introduces each chapter with a description of a pattern along with a small black and white diagram. Throughout the letters to her sister she talks about the quilts in more detail along with her life as "an old woman" of twenty wasting her life away while her husband is away at war. The books is a little dry in places but is worth reading if you enjoy quilting or learning about life in the United States in during the 1860's. I have not read any of her previous books so I did not know how this one measures up to her other novels.

Eagle's Cry by David Nevin. This historical novel begins in 1800 with the election of Thomas Jefferson and vice president Aaron Burr. Back then it was the Democrats vs. Federalists and the VP was the runner up in the election. The white house was just being built. James Madison is Secretary of State and Meriwether Lewis has been summoned to the white house by his long time idol, President Jefferson to be his secretary but he is hoping he will get appointed to head an expedition west. The United States is expanding, with Tennessee the furthest state West of the Atlantic Coast. The United States will be trying to win New Orleans from the French, fighting Napolean and trying to get along with the British. The novel covers the period in history from 1800 to 1803 and includes historical events such as the invention of paper and the steamboat.

Nevin is a good writer and keeps the pace of the book moving. I was hooked from the first chapter. I have not studied U.S. history since high school but the books appears to be fairly historically accurate. It is fiction, so I am sure Nevin along with introducing fictional characters may have taken some latitude with historical events. I doubt very much, though, that he did. If you like historical fiction about the founding days of the country, you will enjoy this book. 

The Loon Feather by Iola Fuller. This is one of the books I purchased last year on my trip to Mackinac Island. As I have in the past, I often wait as long as a year before I read the books I purchase on my trips to allow me to revisit those places by reading about them. This one had an added bonus because a short portion of the book also takes place in  Quebec,  from which I just returned. It makes the books come alive by having actually seen the places being written about. 

Oneta, the only daughter of Tecumseh, was born just after the French/Indian war in the early 1800's. Fur trading in the upper areas of what is now Michigan, New York, Illinois, and the provinces of Canada is growing due to the merchants such as John Astor. Shortly after her birth, Oneta's tribe decided to spend the winter on the Island of Mackinac. There, they set up small cabins and she and her mother and grandfather live together in the small Indian village at the water's edge. Oneta gets to see her father one time, when he visits the Island. He is then killed in the war of 1812. The following season the tribe is to be on the move again but Oneta's mother is very ill. Her grandfather goes with the tribe leaving them on the Island. 

Pierre Duban, a book keeper for John Astor's trading company on the Island meets, falls in love, and marries Oneta's mother. But, all is not well, as the white mans world tries to join the Indian ways of life. Loon Feather is one of those books I just can't put down. It is an interesting combination of history, Indian traditions, and fiction all rolled up in one very well written novel. And, whether you have or have not visited Mackinac Island, you will get a feel for the early history of the island and life there in the 1800's.

Morgan's Run by Colleen McCullough. She is the author of the best seller The Thorn Birds and a series on the Roman Empire. For this novel she has chosen a real person from history, Richard Morgan, whom she makes the central character. The story begins in 1775 in Bristol, England. Through an unfortunate series of events, Robert looses first his wife, then his son and his job and eventually ends up in the Gloucester Goal. The year 1786 finds him imprisoned aboard a ship working as convict labor in the harbor of the Themes until he and the eleven other fellow prisoners from Gloucester are moved to a slave ship bound for New South Wales. The colony of Australia was settled by English convicts, Richard Morgan being one of them. Morgan's Run is a wonderful book. It is interesting as well as factual and I find it very hard to put down. 

 

Jude by Betty Burton which was published in 1986. It is one of the books on my "to be read" shelf that I picked up at a book sale somewhere. Good historical novel, set in the late 1780's in a small English Village.

November 1916. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's This work covers the next interim period in his multi-part work of the time period from 1914-1918. This is the last pre-Soviet Russian time period and the end of the reign of the Czars. Volume one was August  1914. 1916 will be followed by two more volumes. Very good if you like plowing through Russian history.

Winter Solstice. Rosamunde Pilcher. Another family saga set in the small Scottish town of Corrydale. The family estate is to be sold off with only the house to remain in the family. The five main character of the story move the plot along. A bit repititious as each character often retells events from a previous chapter. However, Pilcher once again delights us with lively and witty minor and major players in the story to an amusing and somewhat surprise ending culminating in December during Christmas.

Open House by Elizabeth Berg. I like her style when I am in the mood for light reading. I have read a few of her others and have like them all to one degree or another. I would not say she is one of my favorite authors, but I do enjoy her stories and the humor she puts in her characters. Her portrayal of characters coping with everyday life events makes her books worth taking a look at if you have not read them. This is one of those feel good books. You just feel good when you finished reading it.

Road Taken by Rona Jaffe is somewhat like her last one Five Generations. She uses a family to chronicle the history of the United States from 1900 to present. Sort of a Forest Gump type format. It was a good book although I did not think it was as good as some of her previous works but well worth reading for something light.

With A Pearl Earring Tracy Chevalier's second novel, is a merger of history and fiction based on the famous Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer, who actually has a painting of the same title. The story is set in 17th century Delft. This is a well written and intriguing novel. If you enjoy historical fiction, I highly recommend this book to anyone, particularly those of you who are Rosalind Laker fans. Chevalier is a little more on the literary side.

The Lucky Ones by Doris Mortman. She is another one of my light fiction readers that I enjoy reading as a break from the more literary authors. Her other books I enjoyed were First Born, The Wild Rose, and Rightfully Mine. Her most recent novel is about four friends whose lives are entwined while competing in the male arena of politics. I hate politics and read very few books with political settings. Published in 1997, this is another one of those titles I missed when it came out new. I decided to read it regardless of the setting because I like her books and the way she portrays women characters.

The Vision of Emma Blau. Ursula Hegi is famous for her novel Stones From the River. While Vision is set in America and Stones was set in Germany, they are both dealing with relationship and cross cultural relationships. The central "character" of the book is not a person but rather a large apartment house, the Wasserburg built by Stefan Blau. Upon his arrival in America as a young man, Stefan becomes a master chef in New York. When tragedy strikes the restaurant where he works, he moves to a small town in New England where he continues his life upon which the story is built around.

The Blue Bottle Club by Penelope J. Stokes. The plot is somewhat contrived. For librarians looking to recommend a nice, inoffensive book this is a good one. However, I found the story a little too sugar coated and preachy for my liking. Yes, there are people and friends who have dreams that come true in various ways. And I have no doubt that many circumstances in life take the turn that Brendan Delaney's did when she set out to discover who the four friends are that make the pact of dreams and place them in the blue bottle on Christmas of 1929.

The Drowning People by Richard Mason is a well written first novel that unfolds the story of love and revenge in upper British society.

The Colony of Unrequited Dreams by Wayne Johnston. I found this book to be one of the best books I have read. It is comparable to Stones from the River and I am surprised it has not made it on Ophra's list of books. Narrated by the main character of the novel, Joe Smallwood, the history of Newfoundland is unfolded through a series of journal entries by Sheilagh Fielding, his counterpart in the story. Tragic figures who go through life destined to cross paths and help to shape the political climate of Newfoundland during the late 1800's and through the mid-1900's.

Updated Saturday, April 26, 2003

 

 

Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 by Barbara Fritchman Thompson. All Rights Reserved.