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Reviews Written by
Dana
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Footsteps in the Snow
Footsteps in the Snow
by Charles Lachman
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 10.87
33 used & new from CDN$ 6.57

4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing, Aug. 29 2015
This review is from: Footsteps in the Snow (Paperback)
A very interesting portrayal of the coldest murder case in America solved and prosecuted. It took 55 years to find and prosecute the killer of seven year old Maria Ridulf. From Maria's disappearance and the subsequent botched investigation to the re-examination and, finally, the arrest and prosecution, Charles Lachman covers it all. The story is very well written and keeps the reader's interest throughout. I did feel the trial was a continual repetition of what had already been covered but, of course, that's the reality of trials. There was nothing particularly surprising in the transcript and this is where the story lagged somewhat. Still a great read.

The Burn Journals
The Burn Journals
by Brent Runyon
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 16.99
60 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Honest and Powerful, Aug. 14 2015
This review is from: The Burn Journals (Paperback)
I found this book very hard to rate. It does an amazing job of getting into the head of a depressed teen but I found it somewhat lacking. Brent does a great job of showing that he really was a normal 14 year old boy and he was depressed and suicidal. Those are two separate things. Having suffered from depression for many, many years - including my teen years - I could relate to Brent's story. I don't know if a reader would relate if they hadn't had some of those experiences. It was so clear to me, though. I have had those thoughts, I understand the difficulty in asking for help, I understand the lies depression feeds us. The one thing I wished for was to know more of Craig's story and how he dealt with the burden he was given. I hope people read this book with open minds and hearts. It is a deep, troubling and honest story of depression and of burn treatment.

Darkside: A Novel
Darkside: A Novel
Offered by Simon & Schuster Canada, Inc.
Price: CDN$ 16.99

4.0 out of 5 stars A Great Cozy Mystery, Aug. 9 2015
This review is from: Darkside: A Novel (Kindle Edition)
Totally enjoyable with some character overlap with Belinda Bauer's first novel 'Blacklands' but a stand alone story none-the-less. A great read with a very surprising ending.

A Paris Affair
A Paris Affair
by Tatiana de Rosnay
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 17.43
42 used & new from CDN$ 4.39

3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad, Aug. 9 2015
This review is from: A Paris Affair (Hardcover)
Tatiana de Rosnay's writing style and penchant for telling a story are evident in each vignette held in this book. The stories are eminently readable and entertaining but the overall effect left me depressed. I think, for me, there is nothing entertaining about infidelity.

Blacklands: A Novel
Blacklands: A Novel
Offered by Simon & Schuster Canada, Inc.
Price: CDN$ 16.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Great debut, July 18 2015
A psychological thriller of the highest order. The author engages all of the reader's emotions without resorting to sensationalism or gore. The characters are remarkable - each totally believable but completely different in personality and intent. It is hard to believe that this is Ms Bauer's debut novel. I will be on the lookout for more. Fabulous read.

My Secret Sister: Jenny Lucas and Helen Edwards' family story by Edwards, Helen, Lee Smith, Jenny (2013) Paperback
My Secret Sister: Jenny Lucas and Helen Edwards' family story by Edwards, Helen, Lee Smith, Jenny (2013) Paperback
7 used & new from CDN$ 15.19

3.0 out of 5 stars A Decent Read, July 3 2015
This was an interesting book and a decent read. I have never been much of a golf fan but I think golf fans would be very intrigued with the story of Jenny Lee Smith and her search for her birth family. Much of the book is Helen's story with Jenny's story as support which makes sense as Helen had a such a dysfunctional childhood, which always makes a better story, and because it is also the story of the girls' mother, who raised Helen. Not a life changing book but certainly head shaking. It amazed me how many times the girls' lives crossed paths without them realizing at the time. I loved that the chapters were written so simply and with such clear voices. Having read their stories, I feel like I really like these women and wish them a wonderful future.

Hope: A Memoir of Survival in Cleveland
Hope: A Memoir of Survival in Cleveland
Offered by Penguin Group USA
Price: CDN$ 17.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Amanda's Story, June 26 2015
Having already read 'Finding Me' by Michelle Knight, I was interested to hear what the other women in Castro's house of horrors experienced. I tried hard to read this memoir for itself and not compare the two books as I read and will try not to compare them here. Each woman in the house had their own reality: the women were not held together or encouraged to develop relationships with one another until late in their captivity. It was interesting to me to read Amanda and Gina's reality as they shared space in this memoir. Each had a very different, but no less horrible experience. Especially after Amanda's daughter was born, the dynamic between Castro and Amanda was very different than his relationship with either Michelle or Gina. Both Amanda and Gina are painfully honest about their experience and I developed immense admiration for both, but especially for Amanda as a mother trying to make her daughter's life as normal as possible. I am not sure I could have supported a relationship between father and daughter as well as Amanda did but I am sure Jocelyn benefited from her mother's sacrifice. It would have been nice to hear more from Gina as I felt the book was weighted toward Amanda's story and I admit that I skipped over the parts of the book dedicated to Castro himself. I am sure there are people out there who will appreciate the background on Castro but I am not one of them. Over all this is a must read for anyone interested in how these women survived the horror they were forced to endure and for anyone wondering why no one was successful in finding them and rescuing them for the decade they were missing. Told in honest and respectful voices without attempts to sensationalize an already sensational story, 'Hope: A Memoir of Survival in Cleveland' is exactly that - a story of survival written, not by victims, but by survivors.

Inside the O'Briens: A Novel
Inside the O'Briens: A Novel
by Lisa Genova
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 20.39
44 used & new from CDN$ 11.19

5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it, June 14 2015
Still Alice has long been my favourite book. Not any more - it has been surpassed by Inside the O'Briens! Same author, same amazing writing style but there was just something more about this book. The characters are honest. They react in ways that feel right. I had heard of Huntington's before but had no real understanding of the hell this disease releases on its victims. The best part of this book, for me, was the ending - it was perfect. Thank you, Lisa Genova, for another winner.

Elizabeth Is Missing
Elizabeth Is Missing
by Emma Healey
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 19.13
6 used & new from CDN$ 10.82

5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Ride, June 6 2015
This review is from: Elizabeth Is Missing (Hardcover)
To think that this is Emma Healey's first book is astounding. The narrator is Maud, an 82 year old woman with dementia who believes her friend Elizabeth is missing. As the story unfolds the reader takes up residence in Maud's failing mind and gets stuck on the ride. Is it frustrating? Of course. As frustrating as it is for Maud to try and explain what is going on when she has trouble even remembering the name for the sitting things that you sit on. But it is also poignant and sweet and totally consuming. I can't wait to see what this author will come up with next. Maud goes down in my book as a favourite character for sure.

The Nightingale
The Nightingale
Offered by Macmillan CA
Price: CDN$ 14.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous, June 5 2015
This review is from: The Nightingale (Kindle Edition)
The Nightingale is absolutely one of my all time favouite books. I would describe it as an opus. Of course, Kristen Hannah is a great writer and her stories are always enjoyable but, with The Nightingale, she has truly outdone herself. It would have been so easy for this story to become formulaic or trite but the author managed to avoid all pitfalls and tell a meaningful, powerful story. I loved that there were good and bad characters on both sides. I loved that, as in war, no one was necessarily 'safe'. I loved that the story was told as a flashback but the reader wasn't dragged back and forth through time chapter by chapter. About half way through the book, I realized I was making assumptions about the narrator that may or may not be true and this added another dimension to an already engaging novel. It is a story that will stay with me, filled with characters that now have place in my heart. I only hope the movie does it justice.

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