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Karen Potts (Lake Jackson, Texas)
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Lucia, Lucia: A Novel
Lucia, Lucia: A Novel
by Adriana Trigiani
Edition: Hardcover
47 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars My Big Fat Italian Wedding, June 26 2004
This review is from: Lucia, Lucia: A Novel (Hardcover)
Kim is a playwright who lives in Greenwich Village. One night her upstairs neighbor, whom everyone calls Aunt Lu, invites her up for coffee. While they are visiting, Aunt Lu begins to tell Kim the story of her life. It goes something like this:
Lucia is the only girl in a large and loving Italian family. Her family expects her to marry a boy from the neighborhood and then to become a housewife and produce babies. Lucia has other ideas and she enjoys her seamstress job in an upscale department store too much to quit. She can't bring herself to marry her boyfriend and move in with his overbearing parents. Suddenly her whole life is turned upside down when she meets a handsome stranger who totally captivates her. They begin to date and he offers her a life together with him in a world of wealth and adventure. Her father does not approve of her new boygriend and she finds herself in a conflict between family loyalties and a desire to follow her own heart. This is a charming novel, filled with heartwarming family scenes and delightful characters. I highly recommend it!

Mystic River Deluxe
Mystic River Deluxe
DVD ~ Sean Penn
Offered by vidco
Price: CDN$ 10.65
20 used & new from CDN$ 2.28

5.0 out of 5 stars Tragic tale well-told, June 26 2004
This review is from: Mystic River Deluxe (DVD)
Three young boys play together on a Boston street. As they are writing their names in some fresh cement, a man approaches them angrily, claiming to be a policeman. He takes one of the boys away in this car and proceeds to sexually abuse him while his friends stand by helplessly. Tim Robbins plays the grown-up version of the boy who has been abused, and Kevin Bacon becomes a police officer who is investigating the death of the 19-year-old daughter of the third friend, played by Sean Penn. Each of these three actors is brilliant in his part and they are well-supported by Marcia Gay Harden, Laurence Fishburne, and Laura Linney. This is a classic tragedy, as high emotions, lack of communication, and exaggerated innuendoes lead to a sad conclusion. The evil done to these boys continues to poison their lives into adulthood. This is well-written, well-acted, and well-directed and it deserves all of the accolades it has received.

Lucia, Lucia: A Novel
Lucia, Lucia: A Novel
by Adriana Trigiani
Edition: Hardcover
47 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful story of a young girl's dreams, June 25 2004
This review is from: Lucia, Lucia: A Novel (Hardcover)
Kim Zanetti is an aspiring playwright who lives in Greenwich Village. One day her upstairs neighbor, Aunt Lu, invites her up for tea. At Kim's prompting, Lu begins to relate her story and how she came to be at this point in her 70-some-year-old life. It is the story of a big and loving Italian family where ties of love and tradition are strong. Lucia has her own ideas about things, and that does not include marriage to the neighborhood man who loves her, and whom her parents hope she will marry. Lucia is a career girl and she loves sewing custom outfits in an upscale New York department store. Her head is turned, however, by the handsome and dashing John Talbot, who promises her the world. Trigiani spins a wonderful story, with well-drawn characters and the clash of values between the "old world" ways and the ambitious longings of a young girl. This is a wonderful read!

Mystic River (Widescreen) (Bilingual) [Import]
Mystic River (Widescreen) (Bilingual) [Import]
DVD ~ Sean Penn
Offered by Fulfillment Express CA
Price: CDN$ 15.45
92 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Riveting tragedy, June 25 2004
Three boys are friends in a Boston neighborhood. One of them is taken away from the street and sexually abused, while his two friends watch him go with a combination of relief and horror. As adults, they are played superbly by Sean Penn, Kevin Bacon, and Tim Robbins. Bacon is a policeman investigating the murder of Penn's 16-year-old daughter and much of the evidence points to Bacon as the murderer. These three great actors are supported by a wonderful cast including
Marcia Gay Harden, Laurence Fishburne, and Laura Linney. Their lives intersect into a tragic web which shows that evil can permeate the lives of all who are near it. This is a riveting film that deserves all of the accolades it has received.

Blacklist
Blacklist
by Sara Paretsky
Edition: Hardcover
38 used & new from CDN$ 0.39

4.0 out of 5 stars Well-written mystery, June 24 2004
This review is from: Blacklist (Hardcover)
V.I. Warshawski is back at it as she is asked to investigate some mysterious activity in a deserted mansion. Her investigation leads to the discovery of a dead black journalist and suddenly she is thrown into the past histories of some of Chicago's wealthiest families. She discovers secrets long-hidden by prominent people and delves into the Communist "witch hunts" of the McCarthy era and the current crackdown on immigrants from the Middle East. Paretsky's political opinions, as voiced by her leading character, are all too apparent, but she does spin a multi-layered mystery with well-drawn characters. Paretsky's many fans should enjoy this one.

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency
The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency
by Alexander McCall Smith
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 12.24
226 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Schrewd sleuth from Batswana, June 17 2004
When Precious Ramotswe's father dies and leaves her an inheritance, she uses it to buy a house and to start a detective agency. Business is slow at first, but as her reputation for solving difficult cases continues to spread, Precious begins to have more cases. The author depicts his heroine as a wise woman whose intuition leads her to creative solutions to the puzzles posed to her by clients. Whether it's tracking down a cheating husband or pursuing a witch doctor to rescue a kidnapped boy, Precious uses creative, yet straight-forward methods to solve her cases. This is a charming series which entertains and also informs the reader about a culture which is unfamiliar to many Americans.

Witches' Bane
Witches' Bane
by Susan Wittig Albert
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 9.49
70 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Witch hunt in Pecan Springs, June 16 2004
China Bayles has given up the big-city life of a Houston attorney and enjoys running her herb shop in the Hill Country of Texas. She rents half of her building to Ruby Wilcox who runs a New Age shop next door. Ruby starts a Tarot class and is surprised when the two businesses are picketed by a group led by the Reverend Billy Lee Harbuck who accuses them of being witches. Sybil Rand, one of the Tarot class members, decides to have a Halloween party for her friends, and soon she is killed in a ritualistic manner. This give fuel to the anti-satanic crowd and China and Ruby find themselves in the middle of a murder investigation. Police officers decide that Ruby's boyfriend may have committed the murder, so Ruby has an even bigger motivation to find the real killer. Soon another murder takes place, and China begins to make a short list of suspects. Before it's all over, China's life is put in danger. This plot is wound around China's personal life which features a love affair with Mike McQauid, a professor of criminal justice at the local college. As usual, the Hill Country and China's herb garden create an interesting background to the solving of a mystery.

Thyme of Death
Thyme of Death
by Susan Wittig Albert
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
78 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars China Bayles' debut novel, June 14 2004
In China Bayles, Susan Albert has created an independent, likeable character. China becomes a lawyer because she wants to emulate her father but then finds that she does not enjoy the life-style of a big-city attorney. In a complete about-face, she moves to the small town of Pecan Springs, Texas, where she purchases an herb shop. Albert's descriptions of the countryside between Austin and San Antonio, and the kind of people that would inhabit a small Texas town are right on, and they provide a great setting for this series. One of China's friends in Pecan Springs is Jo Gilbert, a woman who is concerned with the environment and who is spearheading a move to prevent the building of a regional airport. When Jo's daughter finds her dead, the police assume that it is a suicide. China cannot believe that her friend would take her own life and she sets out to prove that it is a murder instead. She begins an investigation that leads her to everything from disgruntled developers to lost love. Along the way, she enjoys romance with Professor Mike McQuaid, and introduces us to several of the town's more colorful characters. This is the beginning of a very promising series.

Love Actually (Widescreen)
Love Actually (Widescreen)
DVD ~ Hugh Grant
Offered by importcds__
Price: CDN$ 10.22
46 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

2.0 out of 5 stars Not enough Hugh, June 12 2004
This review is from: Love Actually (Widescreen) (DVD)
Somehow when I rent a DVD "starring" Hugh Grant, I expect to see a lot of Hugh Grant. Silly me! In this ensemble effort, he is in just a few scenes, playing the Prime Minister of England who is inexplicably attracted to a foul-mouthed female assistant. If that's not enough, there's a couple starring in a porn film who are too shy to even kiss on their first date. I could go on and on, but suffice it to say that this movie can't decide if it's concentrating on its R rating or trying to be a feel-good movie. It tries to do both and doesn't succeed very well in either effort.

Murder at a Vineyard Mansion: A Martha's Vineyard Mystery
Murder at a Vineyard Mansion: A Martha's Vineyard Mystery
by Philip R. Craig
Edition: Hardcover
33 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Family feuds on Martha's Vineyard, June 11 2004
It's always a pleasure to read Philip Craig's books and to take another trip to Martha's Vineyard with Craig's laid-back hero, J.W. Jackson. This time the part-time fisherman/part-time investigator is hired by one of the island's prominent citizens, Maud Mayhew, to prove that her son Harold did not kill Ollie Mattes, the security guard for a new mansion which is being built despite the protests of neighbors. Before J. W. can begin his investigation, Harold is also killed. Thus begins a trail of evidence that points to the members of some of the island's most prominent families. Old grudges are brought to light, and the in-fighting of these families is the focal point for J. W.'s investigation. On a lighter note, there is another crime occurring which is the destruction of sound equipment by a mysterious perpetrator who obviously doesn't like the musical taste of some of the Vineyard's occupants. A further story line involves J. W.'s family who lobby for a new computer which Jackson finds useful in solving the crimes. As usual, Philip Craig provides another good summer read.

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