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Arah-Lynda Hay (Kitchener, Ontario, Canada)

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The Marsh King's Daughter
The Marsh King's Daughter
Offered by Penguin Group USA
Price: CDN$ 14.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Gutwrenching and Unputdownable, Aug. 4 2017
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This book and I have a history.  I first saw it some time ago on NetGalley and requested it immediately.  Sadly I was denied but not deterred.  I kept looking, hoping for a publisher that would favour me.  So that didn’t happen and then one day I saw it on the start reading shelf and snagged it in a heartbeat.  

And then I sat down at last to read it and discovered to my horror that it was only a sampler..  Talk about !@#$%^& messing with me.

Yes there is history and it is not all sunshine and lollipops.

Who cares.  This story had my attention from the first word and it never let go.  

"I was born two years into my Mother’s captivity.  She was three weeks shy of seventeen.  If I had known then, what I do now, things would have been a lot different.  I wouldn’t have adored my Father."

Helena grew up in the marsh land of the upper peninsula of Michigan.  Deep in the marsh land where she had no contact with anyone for years other than her Father and her Mother.  Little did Helena know that her Father had abducted her 14 year old Mother and held her captive lo these many years.

Flash forward and Helena has escaped the marsh,  is married and has two girls of her own , when she hears the news announcement that her Father has escaped prison.

Helena has kept her past secret even from her husband.  Even so she knows, the authorities will not find her Father.  He is too clever by far.  No she must do this, track him, on her own, as he has trained her to do.

I was always going to read this story, regardless of what the yard guards had to say.  It is unnerving when you stop to think about it, but every perpetrator of every heinous crime ever committed is also someone’s father, brother, mother, son, daughter, whatever.  I remember when my girls were young and would find themselves in trouble for one thing or another, when all was said and done, they always looked to me for reassurance that I still loved them and would continue to do so, even if they had been bad.  It was easy to give those assurances, while still attempting to instill the right versus wrong moral code you hoped would follow them into adulthood.  But in the cold hard light of day, things are not so cut and dried.  I don’t believe that that kind of deep sustaining love ever dissipates completely, regardless of the circumstances surrounding someone’s culpability in evil.  

The story is told from Helena’s perspective and moves back and forth in time, allowing an in depth look at her childhood and all the events of years past that have coloured and shaped the woman she is today.  Interspersed throughout Helena’s story is the fairy tale of The Marsh King’s Daughter as written by Hans Christian Anderson.  

Gut wrenching and unputdownable The Marsh King's Daughter is a chilling and intense look at the bonds of love and the human condition.  You will not want to miss it.

5 breathtaking, unnerving stars.

The Undesirables
The Undesirables
Price: CDN$ 5.14

4.0 out of 5 stars Petr liked Duck. Bobby Campbell first met Karen in New ..., Nov. 21 2016
This review is from: The Undesirables (Kindle Edition)
Winter 1941 - 1942

Leningrad is under siege

"Karen had first noticed the old woman a week and a half ago, and at the time she hadn’t even realized the woman was dead.  The old woman lay at the base of an ornate fountain sculpture.  Her face was as pale as the white granite of the statues she was crumpled against, and at first Karen thought she was part of the stone sculpture.  Karen saw the woman’s cadaver every day on the way to the bakery.  And she couldn’t help but stop and stare."

Then one day the old woman’s corpse was gone…………

Karen is a seventeen year old American cellist who has followed her father to Leningrad where he has been collaborating with the famous Russian composer Shostakovich.  That is until Shostakovich fled  and now her father is dead and Karen does not know how to bury his body so it does not suffer the same fate as the old woman.  And here she is all alone, hungry, freezing and trapped in a city under siege.  

Petr was 19 years old when he was drafted from a little village east of Moscow.  These days the Russian army considered him a hero, but that was not how Petr saw it.  He was simply tired of marching, marching, retreating, marching and retreating again.  It seemed to Petr that he had marched all the way across Russia and now the Germans were intent on making him march all the way back.   Something had to be done.
Petr’s dog was named Duck.  He was an 84 pound Alsatian wolf dog, larger than most mine dogs.  The military had requisitioned Duck after he had lived with a family for three years.  The Red Army agent did not tell them that Duck would be strapped to a bomb and trained how to blow himself up.  Problem was, Petr liked Duck.

Bobby Campbell first met Karen in New York City in the winter of 1939.  He was attending a concert that complimented his music history class.  That week’s subject was Russian composers and the concert was Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring.  He had never heard music quite like this before but he liked it.  He was also drawn to an impassioned cello player, who was both beautiful and talented, so once the concert was over Bobby took his date home and returned to the backstage door of the concert intent on meeting the beautiful cellist.  Theirs was a whirlwind romance and by the summer of 1940, before Karen departed for Leningrad they became engaged.

This is the first WWII book that I have read that focuses on the German invasion of Russia and as such it was an eye opening experience for me.  Among the many things I learned  about were: the Land-Lease route from Alaska to Siberia, the female Russian pilots who flew the planes to the front lines and the Russian use of mine dogs to blow up German tanks. Told from the perspective of the above noted characters the viewpoint moves from America to Moscow to Leningrad, from survivor to soldier, to ally.  The ravages of war laid bare before my eyes as I read and learned more about the fates of these three people.

"The siege of Leningrad lasted from September of 1941 to 1944.  More than 1.5 million residents lost their lives.  Human losses exceeded those of the atomic bombings of both Hiroshima and Nagasaki."

My thanks to Lake Union Publishing, NetGalley and Chad Thumann for an opportunity to read this book.  

This is Chad Thumann’s first novel and I have no hesitation recommending it.  

A Pleasure and a Calling: A Novel
A Pleasure and a Calling: A Novel
Offered by Macmillan CA
Price: CDN$ 10.99

4.0 out of 5 stars This one puts the EEE in creepy!, Nov. 20 2016
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This one puts the EEE in creepy.

Did you ever come home and have that feeling that something wasn’t quite right?  Perhaps you  thought you had more eggs than that or you could have swore that there were at least three butter tarts left.  Are you losing your mind or has someone moved the blanket on the couch?  Is that coffee you smell?  A cold shiver runs up your spine.  You are uneasy in your own home and you just don’t know why.

Meet Mr. Heming, your local real estate agent.  Don’t be surprised if you don’t remember him.  That after all is his plan.  He excels at not standing out, at blending into the background, at being as unmemorable as possible.  But don’t worry he is good at his job.  He will find you the perfect home and take care of all the details.    Oh and one last thing, he will also keep, for himself, a copy of the keys to your home.  That way he can check in from time to time, see what kind of life you are living.  This is best done when you are not home, but that is not a hard and fast rule.  Sometimes he just tucks himself away into a dark corner or an attic   Anywhere that he can observe you a little closer and still remain invisible.  

Not to worry, you are not alone, over time he has amassed hundreds of keys. And he takes his job as overseer of everyone's lives very seriously.  Trust me you do not want to be the one observed  not cleaning up after your pooch in the park or God forbid sideswiping a parked car and then fleeing the scene.  Mr Heming has his own way of restoring the rightful balance of things.

As this story opens a dead body has been discovered by the pool at one of Mr Heming’s clients.  While the investigation proceeds we learn more about Mr Heming as he recalls the events preceding this gruesome find.  His recollections will also take us back to his childhood, which is where we really begin to doubt the reliability of our narrator.  His is a chilling and disturbing psychological profile.  

"In my lair beside the Common, among my stacks of files and pictures and observations, I have a stupendous sticker chart showing where everyone has been, where they have settled and moved on to.
I will sit for hours pouring over it, cross referencing among my keys and maps and family profiles and holiday snapshots, a god at play.
I dissolve into the surroundings and breathe your air.  I come in peace.  I bring my love."

The Song of Achilles: A Novel
The Song of Achilles: A Novel
Offered by HarperCollins Publishers CA
Price: CDN$ 11.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Phenomenal, Nov. 20 2016
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"This feeling was different. I found myself grinning until my cheeks hurt, my scalp prickling till I thought it might lift off my head. My tongue ran away from me, giddy with freedom. This and this and this, I said to him. I did not have to fear that I spoke too much. I did not have to worry that I was too slender or too slow. This and this and this! I taught him how to skip stones, and he taught me how to carve wood. I could feel every nerve in my body, every brush of air against my skin."

Do you remember that feeling of being in love? How you can be in a room full of others and just know, without even turning to see, that he has entered. You can feel his gaze at it lands upon you across that crowded space. Or the warmth that spreads slowly from within, and builds gradually but surely in intensity, until your entire being is aflame, lit it would seem by the merest whisper of his skin upon your arm. His hand perhaps as it grazes your elbow or his scent as he leans in to speak to those around you. How your body reacts independent of intention, turning toward him, unfurling as a flower does for the sun.

In short The Song of Achilles is a modern retelling of The Iliad. Miller tells this tale from the perspective of Patroclus, son of Menoetius. Patroclus at the tender age of ten is exiled from his father’s kingdom for accidently killing the son of a nobleman and is fostered out to King Pelius of Phthia. It is there that he meets Pelius’s golden haired son, the prince Achilles. Soon thereafter Achilles chooses Patroclus as his companion and they become fast friends spending their childhood growing and basking in each others company. Achilles mother, the sea-nymph Thetus, however, does not like Patroclus, feeling he is unworthy of being the friend of a future god. To separate the two after having seen them in an intimate embrace, Thetis sends her son away to be taught further by Chiron, the centaur on Mount Pelion. But unable to cope with the loss of his best friend, Patroclus soon follows, joining Achilles on Mount Pelion where they spend many idyllic seasons together, as their friendship blossoms into something more, being taught about war, medicine and survival by Chiron. But this too will pass as all good things must. Achilles is summoned back to Phthia where he learns that war is imminent against Troy.

Oh my goodness this book is so beautiful, so tender, yet strong and passionate. It has me all a tingle, quivering in recollection of the words read, anxious to start all over and experience those feelings anew, read those glorious words once again. Yes it is about war and death, gore and blood, lust and gods and betrayal. There is rape and plunder, hubris and humility, but at its heart, this is a love story and Miller tells it to us in words that leave me breathless, my knees shaking, thirsting for more.

Just listen………

“I will go,” he said. “I will go to Troy.”
The rosy gleam of his lip, the fevered green of his eyes. There was not a line anywhere on his face, nothing creased or graying; all crisp. He was spring, golden and bright. Envious death would drink his blood, and grow young again.
He was watching me, his eyes as deep as earth.
“Will you come with me?” he asked.
The never-ending ache of love and sorrow. Perhaps in some other life I could have refused, could have torn my hair and screamed, and made him face his choice alone. But not in this one. He would sail to Troy and I would follow, even into death. “Yes,” I whipsered. “Yes.”
Relief broke in his face, and he reached for me. I let him hold me, let him press us length to length so close that nothing might fit between us.
Tears came, and fell. Above us, the constellations spun and the moon paced her weary course. We lay stricken and sleepless as the hours passed.”

Please read it.

Five furiously quivering, phenomenal stars!!!!!

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd: A Hercule Poirot Mystery (Hercule Poirot series)
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd: A Hercule Poirot Mystery (Hercule Poirot series)
Offered by HarperCollins Publishers CA
Price: CDN$ 11.99

5.0 out of 5 stars This is the one!, Nov. 16 2016
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Wow just Wow! Agatha Christie had me from the first page, hook line & sinker and she never lost my attention until the very end. No wonder this is considered to be one of her very best.

I do not want to say too much about this book, I mean the title pretty much tells you what it is about and to go too much further into any details runs the risk of spoilers. If there are others out there, like me, who are late in the game of reading this I do not want to spoil that experience for them in any way.

This is only the second Agatha Christie book I have read and my first Hercule Poirot. Know this, you will not be bored. I spent my time while reading trying to figure out who did the dastardly deed. Not! It wasn’t until right near the end that I thought “It can’t be”. I love when that happens.

I want to go back and read it again, just to see how many clues I missed along the way.

If you have not as yet taken the Agatha Christie plunge, look no further. This is the one.

Highly Recommended!!!

Mrs. Poe
Mrs. Poe
Offered by Simon & Schuster Canada, Inc.
Price: CDN$ 16.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Handsdown my favourite book of 2013, Nov. 16 2016
This review is from: Mrs. Poe (Kindle Edition)

I walk these streets of New York City with Mrs. Frances Osgood ( 1811- 1850), an American poet and one of the most popular woman writers of her time, also famous for her exchange of romantic poems with Edgar Allan Poe. It is 1845 and Mrs. Osgood is en route to Miss Anne Charlotte Lynch’s conversazione, where none other than Mr. Poe, whose poem, ‘The Raven’, has reached fever pitch adulation here, is expected to attend.

Earlier when Mrs. Osgood was reading this poem out loud to her daughters, she shared her own thoughts:

“That’s it!” I dropped the magazine.
“What Mamma?” asked Vinnie
“This silly alliteration – it’s clinkering, clattering claptrap.”
Ellen’s face was as straight as a judge’s on court day. “You mean it’s terrible, trifling trash?”
I nodded. “Jumbling, jarring junk.”
Vinnie jumped up, trailing shawls like a mummy trails bandages. “No it’s piggly, wiggly poop!”
“Don’t be rude, Vinnie,” I said.
The girls glanced at each other.
I frowned. “It’s exasperating, excruciating excrement.”

She was completely unprepared then for her feelings, when having once met this author, whose work she ridiculed, she learns that he admires her own work.

I was still quite young when I first read and loved Edgar Allan Poe’s work. In fact I credit him, even today, with my love of poetry. Truly, he made me want to read more and so I did. Just as I now follow Frances Osgood and Edgar Poe through the streets of this incredible city, captured so breathlessly; it’s political climate and historic events, changing, evolving, shaping life and further defining this time and place. Cullen does not shine the light on Edgar here, after all this is titled ‘Mrs. Poe’, but allows him some shade in which to command this stage, as Frances tells us her story, and the air about me sizzles and snaps every time Mr. Edgar Poe steps onto and owns the page.

"Eliza, in Mr. Bryant’s circle with her husband, saw Mr. Poe enter with Miss Lynch. She sought my gaze.

“I see nothing wrong with the Irish, Reverend Griswold,” I said. “They are good people, doing the best that they can in spite of their poverty. In fact, my girls spend much of their time with the Bartlett’s Irish maid and they do not speak ‘Hibernian trash.’ ”

I could feel Mr. Poe looking my way. I turned as does a flower to the sun. When our eyes met, I felt the heat of his intensity. Exhilaration poured through my veins like hot nectar."

I can feel my cheek flush as his gaze lands softly upon her from across the parlour, or later as I recall the touch of his hand upon her arm. Shaken to my core with heady anticipation, I read on; these pages simply saturated in gothic romance, stain my fingers, leaving their tips thirsting for more.

Virginia, Mr. Poe’s wife and first cousin, whom he married when she was but thirteen and who clearly idolizes him, invites Frances Osgood to her home, and proceeds to pursue her friendship. Mrs. Poe is frail, childlike and unwell. She believes that Frances has a restraining effect on her husband’s vices; he has after all given up alcohol since having made her acquaintance. What possible good can come of this?

With it’s darkly, gothic poetic prose, twisted clandestine affairs and flirtatious literary delights, this sirens song is a warm blanket tossed softly over my savaged soul.

I have sat down several times now to write a review and each time I get caught up once again in this story. I swoon, and then I stall, unable to form a coherent thought. Fear perhaps, that my words could somehow diminish this work.

Still, I love the word quiver.

Can you see those five stars twinkling?

Hands down my favourite book of the year!

Guest Bed
Guest Bed
Price: CDN$ 1.25

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Trust me, you cannot look away., Nov. 14 2016
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This review is from: Guest Bed (Kindle Edition)
I am reminded of a New Year's Day about five or so years ago.  It was still pretty mild in my little world and I had awoken to a beautiful soft snowfall.  Big fluffy flakes drifting down and blanketing my little slice of Ontario pie.  So beautiful, so silent, the world was celebrating a new beginning enveloped in whorls of white.  A perfect time to cozy into my recliner with my coffee and the book du jour.

And then my downstairs neighbours woke up and immediately began to argue.  Actually that sounds too polite, this was more like an all out fight, at full volume.  So much for a quiet morning lost in my book.  Within a heartbeat these two were yelling at each other at the top of their lungs, giving me access to things I simply did not want to know.  I remember putting down my book, grabbing my coat and taking my coffee on out to the deck to escape the verbal artillery.  Slam, bang, damn, they followed me out and the war raged on.  

Ron is laying on his side in bed reflecting on last night’s near miss.  Earlier in the night  Kate's mother had come by and picked up the girls, giving Ron and Kate a precious few days to themselves as an anniversary present; their twelfth.  They had hoped that the lack of distractions would be good, give them a chance to reconnect.  But they have fallen into a rut and after sharing a tense meal and barely exchanging civil pleasantries for the balance of the evening, Kate takes herself off to bed before Ron has a chance to follow through with an attempt at a cuddle in the living room.  No goodnight.  No kiss.

And for the first time ever Ron has nothing planned for their anniversary, no sparkly gifts, no reservations….nothing.  Still, he thinks as he steps tentatively into the kitchen where Kate is making breakfast, there is still time.  What follows is an intense and explosive fight.  The bacon is burning, tempers are sizzling, snap, crackle, pop, and all hell breaks loose.  This reads so real I am transported; once again eavesdropping, albeit without intent,  on my neighbour’s New Year's fight.  Seriously only someone who has been married for a reasonable period of time could have written this.  It just reads and feels so authentic, so palpable, and I like a fly on the wall, am privy to it all.

Kate feels alone, unappreciated and starving for a meaningful conversation with Ron.  But he never seems accessible for that kind of talk, they seem to be just going through the motions.  Hell he does not even remember that she has an appointment this morning or why.  And even though he does not really get it, Ron makes promises to his wife to do better.  Nothing is really resolved but they part for the day on civil terms.

Ron heads to the train station but on the way he crashes his car.  Badly bruised and shaken he still makes it to work.  Little does he know what the balance of this day still has in store for him.  Bam!  Add one more ingredient and things get messy.  Hold onto your seats folks Narlee is about to take you on one wild ride.  And just when you think you know where he’s going, guess again.  No problem, you can practice.  He is sure to do it again before your done.  

Romantic, witty, intense, provocative and downright compelling Guest Bed is a pure escapist read that will leave you pondering some deeper issues..  As a debut novel it positively shines.

All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel
All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel
by Anthony Doerr
Edition: Paperback
25 used & new from CDN$ 17.78

5.0 out of 5 stars and when he was done it was a brilliant blue, the blue of tropical seas, Nov. 14 2016
‘Twas in another lifetime, one of toil and blood
When blackness was a virtue and the road was full of mud.
I came in from the wilderness, a creature void of form.
“Come in”, she said. “I’ll give you shelter from the storm”

There is a girl:

Marie-Laure, blind since the age of six, lives in Paris
with her father who works at the Museum of Natural History.
Her world is surprisingly full of colour.
She seeks her shelter in reading.

When Marie-Laure is twelve
the Nazis occupy Paris
and she and her father must flee
abandoning her coveted copy of
'Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea'.

There is a boy:

Werner grows up as an orphan
in a mining town in Germany.
One day he finds a radio
and together with his sister, seeks his shelter

He becomes adept, a young expert
in building and fixing radios.
It wins him a coveted place
in a Hitler Youth Academy.

The Sea of Flames:

"The sultan’s jewellers said something else: they said the stone was the largest raw diamond anyone had ever seen. Their most gifted stonecutter spent eighty days faceting it,
and when he was done it was a brilliant blue, the blue of tropical seas, but it had a touch of red at its center, like flames inside a drop of water".

The Sea of Flames however, was said to be cursed. Its keeper would live forever, but misfortune would fall on all those he loved, again and again.
It too sought shelter.

And from these threads Doerr pulls together a stirring symphony
Of sound and sight and touch and smell and feel.
A novel so beautifully crafted
Its people so real I can reach out and touch them
Its language, at once haunting and exquisite,
So beautiful, it pierces your soul with light.

Yet it is set against a time and place of great darkness and despair.
A world full of suffering and sacrifice, loss and fear: so palpable that my fingers thrummed and my mouth taste of copper.
Still, I walked these streets of Paris and Saint-Malo and beyond and I let it all in, let it blow through my senses, and
I saw through the eyes of an undersized, frightened, white haired boy and a fiercely brave and fiercely freckled, blind girl.
And I am forever changed.

"I was burned out from exhaustion, buried in the hail
Poisoned in the bushes an’ blown out on the trail
Hunted like a crocodile, ravaged in the corn
“Come in,” she said, “I’ll give you shelter from the storm”

Bob Dylan

For me it is always a considered decision to read a book about World War II.
I am forever thankful then, to Jenna for putting this one on my radar.
It is way too early in the year to be talking about favourites but if I was, this would be a contender.

A Must Read. Highly Recommended!

The Prince of Tides: A Novel
The Prince of Tides: A Novel
Price: CDN$ 12.47

5.0 out of 5 stars All The Stars in The Sky!, Nov. 13 2016
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"My wound is geography.  It is also my anchorage, my port of call."

So begins the story of the Wingo family of Melrose Island in Colleton County, South Carolina. As told by Tom Wingo.  

"To describe our growing up in the lowcountry of South Carolina, I would have to take you to the marsh on a spring day, flush the great blue heron from its silent occupation, scatter marsh hens as we sink to our knees in mud, open you an oyster with a pocketknife and feed it to you from the shell and say, “There.  That taste.  That’s the taste of my childhood.”  I would say, “Breathe deeply,” and you would breathe and remember that smell for the rest of your life, the bold, fecund aroma of tidal marsh, exquisite and sensual, the smell of the South in heat, a smell like new milk, semen, and spilled wine, all perfumed with seawater.  My soul grazes like a lamb on the beauty of indrawn tides."  

Tom has a twin sister Savannah and as the story opens Savannah, a successful poet, who lives in New York City has just attempted to end her life by slashing her wrists with a razor blade.  This is not the first time.  He also has an older brother Luke who he idolizes, but Luke is not there as this story opens and to understand why, why his sister is barely clinging with frightening, frailty to life, why his big brother is not present; well, then we have to go back.  Back to when they were children, Back to when Lila and Henry, their parents, controlled the great tides of their life.  

It is not a pretty picture. The Wingos of Melrose island were an intensely disturbing, dysfunctional family.  Their three children survived a brutal upbringing, one that they were not allowed ever to discuss or even acknowledge; isolated from the neighbouring community of Colleton, with only each other to turn to for strength, support and comfort.  Their bond seemed unbreakable.

Still there is beauty here:

"It was growing dark on this long southern evening and suddenly, at the exact point her finger had indicated, the moon lifted a forehead of stunning gold above the horizon, lifted straight out of filigreed, light-intoxicated clouds that lay on the skyline in attendant veils.  Behind us, the sun was setting in a simultaneous congruent withdrawal and the river turned to flame in a quiet duel of gold…...The new gold of moon astonishing and ascendant, the depleted gold of sunset extinguishing itself in the long westward slide, it was the old dance of days in the Carolina marshes, the breathtaking death of days before the eyes of children, until the sun vanished, its final signature a ribbon of bullion strung across the tops of water oaks.  The moon then rose quickly, rose like a bird from the water, from the trees, from the islands, and climbed straight up - gold, then yellow, then pale yellow, pale silver, silver - bright, then something miraculous, immaculate, and beyond silver, a color native only to southern nights."

These days Tom Wingo is a family man himself with a beautiful wife and three beautiful daughters but he can feel it all slipping away.  He used to be a teacher and a coach, work that he loved, but that was before Luke.  Now he cannot seem to bring himself to give his wife the intimacy she craves, he wants to, but it is like he is frozen, unable to get himself in motion.  He knows even before his wife confirms it, that he is losing her.  Perhaps their time apart, while he is in New York City trying to help his sister will give them both an opportunity to reflect and come to terms with what they really want.   It is in New York that Tom meets Susan Lowenstein, Savannah’s psychiatrist and at her urging turns back the hands of time as he relates the events of their childhood in a last ditch effort to help Lowenstein understand the trauma that may go a long way in explaining Savannah’s suicide attempts and her current mental state.

"It is the beginning of a long and uncanny season in the house of Wingo.  There will be honor and decency and the testing of the qualities of our humanity, or the lack of them.  There will be a single hour of horror that will change our lives forever.  There will be carnage and murder and ruin.  When it is over, we will all think that we have survived the worst day of our lives, endured the most grisly scenario the world could have prepared for us.  We will be wrong."

"Violence sends deep roots into the heart; it has no seasons; it is always ripe, evergreen."

There will also be Luke, our Prince of Tides. Luke’s story however is one you would be well advised to read for yourselves.

But there is also a Bengal tiger and whales and a rare white porpoise and the South Carolina low country.  There is sadness and brutality yes, but also adventure and mirth and heart swelling love; all wrapped up in Conroy’s luscious, lyrical, haunting prose.

"Later when we spoke of our childhood, it seemed part elegy, part nightmare."

I am sure a great many of you have likely already seen the movie with Barbra Streisand and Nick Nolte, which was great.  I loved it!   You may be thinking why should I read the book when I already know the story?   Why? Because there is so much more story here and because it is so beautifully written that it brings tears to my eyes and my chest feels oddly swollen, just remembering some of Conroy’s passages.  The movie cannot even begin to compare or compete.  

All The Stars in The Sky!

Dark Matter: A Novel
Dark Matter: A Novel
Offered by Random House Canada, Incorp.
Price: CDN$ 14.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Dark Matter, Nov. 4 2016
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"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveller, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same"

Have you ever thought about the road not taken? Are you happy with your life, with the choices you have made?

Jason Dessen, a quantum physicist has all the outward appearances of a happy and content family man, still he and his beautiful wife Daniela, gave up opportunities that would no doubt have led each of them to sterling careers in order to be together, to start a family. That can be heady stuff, difficult not to imagine what life might have been like if only…………

No one tells you it’s all about to change, to be taken away. There’s no proximity alert, no indication that you’re standing on the precipice. And maybe that’s what makes tragedy so tragic. Not just what happens, but how it happens: a sucker punch that comes at you out of nowhere, when you’re least expecting it. No time to flinch or brace.

Warning, this is some serious, mind bending, science fiction meets white knuckle thrill ride that you will find impossible to put down or stop thinking about long after you have turned the last page.

Avoid any and all spoilers if you are even considering reading this book and be prepared to have your mind blown to hell up. No you do not have to be a geek or hold a doctorate in quantum mechanics to enjoy this book.

"I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -
I took the one less travelled by."

Robert Frost

A special thanks to Jeffrey Keeten for putting this on my radar and writing such an amazing review!

You all, everybody: this one is a must read!

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