The Great Hunt

Written by Robert Jordan

Cover of "The Great Hunt (The Wheel of Ti...Series: Book #2 in The Wheel of Time series.

Book #19 in 2012

Nationality: U.S.
Publisher: Tor Fantasy
First Edition: 1990
My Edition: e-book
Original Language: English

“The Pattern weaves itself around our necks like halters,” Artur Hawkwing said. “You are here. The banner is here. The weave of this moment is set. We have come to the Horn, but we must follow the banner. And the Dragon.” (Location 14,308)

This book was pretty epic. It had all the good stuff – magic and mythical creatures (ogiers) and internal struggles with destiny. Stories of legend that had fallen to myth became everyday life for some of the characters. Captivity. Evil. Triumph.

I won’t repeat the three main ta’veren characters, but there are a few more who seemed important in this one.

Robert Jordan

Robert Jordan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Egwene al’Vere, a hard-headed beauty from the same town, the Two Rivers, as the ta’veren. She’s in love with Rand, but seems to think he’s more of a dangerous, “wool-headed idiot” than a man she should marry. She has the ability to Channel the One Power, and is training to become Aes Sedai.

Nynaeve al’Meara
, the bull-headed, angry woman who is the self-appointed leader of herself, Egwene, and Elayne, and anybody from the Two Rivers.  She has a personal vendetta against Moiraine Sedai and others from the White Tower. (She’s just about my least favorite character in the books so far.) She has the ability to Channel the One Power, and is training to become Aes Sedai.

Elaine, the Daughter-Heir to the throne in Caemlyn. She’s beautiful, sweet, and generally good-hearted. At first she comes across as a little green, but she proves that she can take care of herself without a cushion under her butt, and she’s practically exploding with potential in the White Tower. She has the ability to Channel the One Power, and is training to become Aes Sedai.

Book two in the Wheel of Time series was much more intriguing than book one. I thought it was a little more entertaining with the adventure, because it was able to branch out a bit from one path to three, which really helped keep my focus and intrigue.

I’ll say that reading it on an e-book was a little different. In fantasy books I like to see the maps and refer to them frequently throughout the book so I can visualize where the characters are going. (I’m dorky so cool, I know.) With the e-book I had the maps, but it was inconvenient for me to flip back whenever I wanted a visual reference, so I had to go online and print out a map of “Rand Land”. (Whoever came up with that name needs less free time.) Plus, I like to draw out paths;  you can’t exactly do that on a screen.

A map of the Lands between the Mountains of Dh...

A map of the Lands between the Mountains of Dhoom, the Aryth Ocean, the Sea of Storms and the Spine of the World. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Well, there you have it. I loved it! Go buy it now! (But read The Eye of the World, first!)

Happy reading, friends.

The Eye of the World

Written by Robert Jordan

Series: Book #1 in The Wheel of Time Series

Cover of "The Eye of the World (The Wheel...

Book #18 of 2012

Nationality: U.S.
Publisher: Tor Fantasy
First Edition: 1990
My Edition: 1990
Original Language: English

The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth comes again. In one Age, called the Third Age by some, an Age yet to come, an Age long past, a wind rose in the Mountains of Mist. The wind was not the beginning. There are neither beginnings nor endings to the turning of the Wheel of Time. But it was a beginning.

And so begins the epic story of three peasant boys who are called to run from the Dark One, for he seeks them to finish a war only he can remember.

Rand, seemingly plain, out of place, and more intelligent than he thinks.

Mat, a coy trickster with a knack for trouble.

And Perrin – sweet, intuitive Perrin.

At first I was intrigued, and then the story lulled some. There was travelling, then a bit of danger, then travelling, why-did-we-get-pulled-from-our-homes thoughts, travelling, they were separated, more travelling, they found each other after some trouble, travelling. You get the picture. I got a bit bored for a while. But then the story-line picked up a bit and I ended up not putting the blasted book down.

Fantasy fiction can be that way sometimes: so boring the pages are sticking together with drool for 200 pages, and then all of a sudden it’s so riveting you barely get any sleep for three days. Oh, how I adore it.

Well anyways, I’m not going to give anything away, because despite what the first 500 pages hint at, the next 400 are awfully enjoyable. I’ll be reading the rest of this series, you can bet. (Not any time soon, most likely, but I’ll finish it nonetheless.)

**Just so all of you faithful readers know, I’ve begun training for a marathon. I’m not telling you this so that you can make fun of my insanity for wanting to run 26.2 miles. This announcement is only being made so that you know why there will be less devouring of books. I know you’re crushed. Hush up that sniveling – it won’t help a thing.**

Happy reading, friends!  :)

Dead Until Dark

Written by Charlaine Harris
Series: The Sookie Stackhouse Novels  (aka The Southern Vampire Mysteries)

Book #17 of 2012

Charlaine Harris's Dead Until Dark

Dead Until Dark

Nationality: U.S.
Publisher: Ace Books
First Edition: 2001
My Edition: 2009
Original Language: English

This lovely little surprise of a book came to me by recommendation of a friend of mine, Ms. Sally.  Being that she is a friend from church, I was a little surprised to find out that it has a TV show based on the series that airs on  HBO (that, gasp, my husband also happens to own). So naturally, I took a week to watch the first two seasons that we had on DVD. I DO NOT KNOW WHY IT TOOK ME SO LONG TO WATCH THOSE! SO GOOD! The show was very different from the book. So different that I’m not going to do a compare and contrast. They were just different and should be thought of as such. And I digress.

The story is about a telepathic waitress named Sookie Stackhouse from Bon Temps, Louisiana who finds peace with (and falls in love with) a vampire named William (Bill) Compton, who was turned during the Civil War. There is a string of murders in her small town and she wonders… is she next? 

Bill is a pretty entertaining character. You don’t learn everything about him all at once. He is a mystery. An onion, so to say. Layer after cold, clammy, vampire layer. He is a “mainstreamer” – a vampire who doesn’t want to kill anymore, so they pull away from other vampires to live with humans and drink synthetic blood called “Tru Blood”. They describe vampires as “forgetting” their humanity – becoming animals who live off of instinct. Bill desperately wanted to change.

For awhile I taped soap operas and watched them at night when I thought I might be forgetting what it was like to be human. After a while I stopped, because from the examples I saw on those shows, forgetting humanity was a good thing.

Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) is the main ch...

Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) is the main character of the series. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sookie is a sweetheart. She loves her Gran, and her brother Jason (nevermind the fact that he’s a womanizing idiot), she goes to church, works really hard, doesn’t judge people by what the media says about them, and keeps a smile on her face even in the worst of circumstances. She’s deeply intellectual, even though she doesn’t regard herself as such. She sees the world for what it is, and doesn’t sugar-coat anything. Honestly, Sookie doesn’t really have the luxury to sugar-coat life – she hears peoples’ thoughts. When she begins to get involved with Bill, her life changes dramatically. The vampires Bill associate with take a dangerous interest in Sookie, and she has to learn how to navigate her way through.

The world seemed a bad and terrible place, all its denizens suspect, and I the lamb wandering through the valley of death with a bell around my neck.

Personally, I think she handles herself really well.

I will definitely be reading this entire series. I heard the last in the series is being released May 2013. This is a perfect quick-novel series to read back to back to back to back in between other longer novels. :)

Happy reading, friends!

 

The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax

Written by Dorothy Gilman

Book #16 of 2012

Nationality: U.S.
Publisher: Random House
First Edition: 1966
My Edition: 1983
Original Language: English

Let me preface this by saying that this one was my book club’s choice. I would not normally pick up this kind of book. I don’t read mystery books or spy books or books written in the 1960’s by old women. It’s just not my style. If you follow me, you probably figured that out by my review of The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. The point is, I don’t read books like this. But this book was, well, unexpected.

It was charming and hilarious and thoroughly enjoyable.

Mrs. Pollifax is getting up there in age. She is so bored with her life of Garden Club meetings that she actually considers killing herself just to get it over with. But then she reads a newspaper article of an older woman who begins a career as an actress, and is inspired to go apply for the CIA. Yes, apply. She walks right in and asks if they need any spies. Thus begins her adventure:

Never mind if most of the women looked sleek and Parisian and the men dressed exactly like Americans – this was Mexico because she had seen a sombrero. (Page 23)

Smart Man in Sombrero

At one point she got herself into a pickle and had to sneak herself out of a situation by getting down on all fours in the middle of a goat herd.

The boy did most of the work, running backward and forward to keep the goats in a tight cluster. But it was the tightness of the cluster that soon became Mrs. Pollifax’s major concern, for although she had not crawled on hands and knees since she was a child–and never for any distance–it was the goats that proved especially unnerving. They stepped on her, the bleated alarmingly in first her left ear and then her right ear, they playfully nipped her, and over and above these hardships there was their smell. She had never thought of goats as smelling; she had never thought of goats at all, but of course no one bathed goats and this was the dry season. They had a particularly obnoxious odor, and she was surrounded by, and distressingly intimate with, an entire herd of them. (Page 152)

A 2 month old goat kid in a field of capeweed

Goats are probably cuter when you don’t have to be at smell-level with them.

Her goat entanglement continues, and grows increasingly hilarious as her distress rises.

Anyways, the humor is great if you enjoy the prim responses of an old woman to wild adventure.

I urge you to enjoy this one.

Happy reading, friends.

The Last Song

Written by Nicholas Sparks

Cover of "The Last Song"

Cover of The Last Song

Book #15 of 2012

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Nationality: U.S.
First Edition: 2009
My Edition: 2010
Original Language: English

Well…I have been quite a slacker lately. I actually finished this book about a month ago, but got really lazy and didn’t want to write about it. I’m sure you’re all just dying to hear my thoughts. But if I’m to be honest, I don’t remember this novel as crystal clear as I probably would have when I really finished it.

I know this book got all kinds of wonderful reviews, but I don’t fully agree with all the hype. I guess I shouldn’t have ready The Lucky One first, because I thought that book was fantastic, so my bar was set pretty high.

Autographed

Seventeen year old Ronnie, who has her life flipped when her parents get a divorce, remains a mean little brat three years later. Her mother decides it would be best for all involved if Ronnie were to go spend the summer with her estranged father in Wilmington, North Carolina. Throughout the book, Ronnie’s mean, hard shell is chipped away by her new love for Will and her rekindled relationship with her father.

The theme of the book is based on Galatians 5:22-23

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.  (Galatians 5:22-23)

All through the book you learn about Ronnie’s father and his search for God.

…he couldn’t help feeling like an amateur, someone searching for God’s truth like a child searching for seashells.

I can relate to this. There is a feeling of inadequacy that comes with the search for God. And then when you realize that God is in everything, that He is everywhere, the feelings of inadequacy are replaced with feelings of hope and of peace.

As for Ronnie, I thought it was kind of weird, her falling in love so quickly. Who falls in love with a guy in a couple weeks? But hey, I’m a cynic. (A happily married cynic, I’ll have you know.) But Will was pretty head over heels for her, too, so it certainly wasn’t one-sided. Ahhh, the smell of summer romance.

He started at her, knowing with certainty that he was falling in love. He pulled her close and kissed her beneath a blanket of stars, wondering how on earth he’d been lucky enough to find her.

Anyways, The Last Song was pretty good. I guess I just had a hard time relating to it, because I didn’t fall in love until I was an adult, and I’ve never been estranged from someone, only to **SPOILER ALERT** have them die after I rekindle the relationship. And it probably didn’t help that I was imagining Miley Cyrus as Ronnie the entire time, either – something that really grated on my nerves. Damn movie.

The Lucky One

Written by Nicholas Sparks

Cover of "The Lucky One"

Loved it.

Book #14 of 2012

Nationality: U.S.
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
First Edition: 2008
My Edition: 2012
Original Language: English

It’s no wonder everyone loves Nicholas Sparks. This story was like CRACK in book form. Ridiculous.

People can relate to this…I can relate to this. The mistrust, the vulnerability, the pain of memories, the excitement of new love, the terror of past mistakes haunting you. Sparks really hit it on the head with this one.

Also, I have to note that I love that he respects the military so much. I don’t know that he understands so much, but he certainly writes as if he does, and for that attempt, I am appreciative.

The lead woman, Beth, was great. She was witty and strong and wary, but not quite wary enough to be a fool. The lead man, Logan, was a seasoned marine with some ghosts. He was described as an intelligent, sexy marine on a mission of his own: to find Beth, the woman in a picture he found.

They met and began spending a lot of time together, doing simple things.

She was struck by the simple truth that sometimes the most ordinary things could be made extraordinary, simply by doing them with the right people.

The comedic relief in the book was definitely Beth’s grandmother, Nana. She’s wise and hilarious.

If relationships were hard, marriage was even harder…it seemed like most couples struggled. It went with the territory. What did Nana always say? “Stick two people with two different sets of expectations under one roof and it ain’t always going to be shrimp and grits on Easter.”

All in all, it was a very good book. I couldn’t put it down! I definitely recommend it.

Happy reading, friends.

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Keeper of the Crystal Spring

Written by Naomi and Deborah Baltuck

Book #9 of 2012

Thank you, local library, for introducing new and interesting books into my life.

Nationality: U.S.
Publisher: Viking Penguin
First Edition: 1998
My Edition: 1998
Original Language: English

This was a fantastic book! Based off of true events, it draws the reader in even more.

The book is set in Enmore Green near Sceapterbyrig, now known as Shaftesbury, during the time in England when King Harold disappeared at the battle of Hastings under William the Conqueror’s army.

They had become pawns in King William’s rearrangement of the political chessboard. It had become legal to wed a woman against her will, and Saxon heiresses had been parceled out as rewards to knights who had supported William’s fight for the English throne. Saxon noblewomen had been dragged to church to wed the butchers who had slaughtered their husbands, brothers, and fathers.

It was during a time of much political strife, where mean-spirited men , the Normans, ruled the lands that peaceful people, the Saxons, had once owned.  It was during this same time when the legend of “Robin Hood” was born – though he has nothing to do with this book, you can imagine the setting now, right?

The beautiful little town of Enmore Green, as it is today.

The main character’s name is Aldyth LightFoot. She is a gorgeous 22 year old woman, a virgin, who believes she has a destiny to maintain her “maidenhood” (aka virginity) for the remainder of her life so that she may be the “Keeper of the Crystal Spring” which is the “Goddess’s” way of healing and maintaining a relationship with her people.

“Your name, Aldyth, means ‘ancient prophecy,’ and the time has come for you to fulfill the ancient prophecy for which you are named. May we both be wise and strong enough for this day, for the stars have completed their dance, the Great Mother has aligned the spheres, the spectators have stepped into play. In other words,” said Sirona wryly, “the pot has come to a boil.”

This is the feel of the whole book – and I wish people still talked like this:

“Let you wash the dust of the road off your lips with a mug of ale. Then you must tell us how you have fared on your journey.”

The evil William the Conqueror.

The good King Harold Godwinson.

The authors took a bit of poetic license with the real story, but many parts are still the same as the true events. They used as many real names as they could – including the good King Harold Godwinson, William the Conqueror (or King William), Edith SwanNeck (King Harold’s wife), Sheriff Hugh fitzGrip, Abbess Eulalia, and many more.

After the battle of Hastings, King Harold’s body was never found. It was a legend in England for centuries that King Harold would come back and pull England out of the muck when it was needed the most. He never came back. As for King William, he was said to have gone crazy, seeing King Harold everywhere, and it was said that he actually apologized with his dying breath for all the ruin he brought on England.

The book had a little bit of everything. A little bit of romance, humor, history, legend, magic, and heroism. It was fantastic. Actually, I think maybe my husband is glad I’m done with it – I’ve had my face hidden behind this book for four days. :-)

Definitely recommended.

Happy reading, bookish friends.

Treasure Island

Written by Robert Louis Stevenson

English: Photograph of author Robert Louis Ste...

Nationality: U.K.
Publisher: London: Cassell & Co.
First Edition: 1883
My Edition: e-book
Original Language: English

Wow, you guys, I am so sorry it has been so long since my last post! I actually finished this book about two weeks ago, but life just got in the way and I didn’t have time to write (or rather, I didn’t make time to write), so I’m sorry.

Typically, I would really like this kind of adventure story. Maybe it was just my frame of mind while I was reading it, but I didn’t enjoy it too much. I was starting a new job and stressing out about that whole fiasco. So maybe this legendary story was tainted for me. Bummer.

I did, however, enjoy the history behind the book and how it has affected our view of “entertainment pirates” today. For instance, the classic pirate with one wooden leg and a parrot on his shoulder would be Stevenson’s Long John Silver. The classic pirate song “yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!” was also Stevenson’s imagination.  The pirate being stranded on an island with just a single shot in a pistol – who doesn’t love that old story?

Being a Navy Wife, I loved seeing nautical words that I hear on a daily basis in the story – words such as “forecastle”, and knowing it was pronounced like “folk-sul”. Actually, because of this fun little anomaly, I had a really great conversation with my husband about it and learned quite a bit about nautical terms and their history. It was pretty fun.

There were a couple of things in the book that really stuck out to me. One was the theme of a kind of “coming of age” story about young Jim. There were a couple of turning points for him. There were some where he learned his own character – like he was learning things about himself he would not have otherwise known.

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson, Cha...

Courage.

I was now, it seemed, cut off upon both sides; behind me the murderers, before me this lurking nondescript. And immediately I began to prefer the dangers that I knew to those I knew not. (Location 997)

Compassion.

He himself slept peacefully and snored aloud, yet my heart was sore for him, wicked as he was, to think on the dark perils that environed and the shameful gibbet that awaited him. (Location 2061)

Empathy.

This grove that was now so peaceful must then have rung with cries, I thought, and even with the thought I could believe I heard it ringing still. (Location 2293)

I have to make a quick comment about Long John Silver. He was by no means the typical children’s book antagonist.

Laugh, by thunder, laugh! Before an hours out, ye’ll laugh upon the other side. Them that die’ll be the lucky ones. (Location 1374)

At times I wanted to smack the living daylights out of him, and others I just wanted to laugh. He was an extremely entertaining character, and definitely part of the comedic relief of Treasure Island.

As for the story itself, I did enjoy the adventure. The stealing, the zeal for treasure, the salt-coated skin, and the baking-hot days… I felt like I was there. This one was on my list of must-reads, and now I know why. It is the foundation for all of our beliefs of pirates. I’m glad I’ve read it, but I will most likely never read it again, unless to my future children.

Happy reading, friends. :)

 

The Golden Compass

Written by Philip Pullman

Book #5 of 2012

Nationality: U.K.
Publisher: Ballantine Books
First Edition: 1995, Great Britain
My Edition: 1997
Original Language: English

The Golden Compass is Book 1 of the “His Dark Materials Trilogy.” It was formerly titled “Northern Lights.”

Let me begin by saying that the only reason I grabbed this book off my local used book store shelf was because I knew it came with a lot of controversy, which is always intriguing to me. I come from the Christian community, and a couple years back when the book was released as a movie there was an awful lot of hubbub about whether or not people should go see it. (Now, as far as I’m concerned if it looks good, watch it. If you’ve got a strong enough faith, then you won’t be swayed just by watching a movie for goodness’ sake.) My pastor made a church-wide announcement on his view of the movie, and media was going crazy over the Church’s reaction to the movie.

*Let me put in a little note here to say that the fact that there was an introduction by Terry Brooks is a big deal, and it was one more thing that helped me pick up this book.*

I thought it was GREAT! It was thoroughly entertaining, written very well, and was extremely creative. What I loved most, however, was that it had a little fact, and a little fiction, mixed together. Most fantasy books do not do this – it’s found in regular novels, spy novels, romance novels, but never fantasy novels. It had quotes from the Bible that were slightly altered, and spoke of Biblical history in a familiar, but unusual, way.

But think of Adam and Eve like an imaginary number, like the square root of minus one: you can never see any concrete proof that it exists, but if you include it in your equations, you can calculate all manner of things that couldn’t be imagined without it.  (Page 327)

It had regions of the world (African, northern, etc.) that were comparable to the real world. It had gyptians, a mixture between gypsies and pirates. Anyways, as far as I can tell, all that hubbub and excitement was for naught. People tend to get worked up about things they know nothing about. And once again, my favorite quote comes to mind…. “People are dumb.”

Anyways.

Cover of "Northern Lights (His Dark Mater...

Cover of Northern Lights, before the name was changed.

Lyra was an incredibly well-developed character. She had a big, adventurous, kind, brave, fighting spirit. And I loved her. People were drawn to her. All through the story she knew how to speak to people and act around them, and they were drawn in.

In Lyra’s heart, revulsion struggled with compassion, and compassion won. (Page 189)

Being a practical liar doesn’t mean you have a powerful imagination. Many good liars have no imagination at all; it’s that which gives their lies such wide-eyed conviction. (Page 217)

I loved Lyra’s relationship with the Armored Bear, Iorek. He was passionately devoted to her. Secretly, I think he did not just do it because he was sworn to, but because he truly cared for Lyra. He was strong and stately and powerful, and as it turns out, a prince. Or a king, however you wish to look at it. But what I really enjoyed was the extra depth of character that Pullman added to his character at his introduction: he was a hollow bear without his armor.

If I knew where they keep it, I would tear down the town to get it back. If you want my service, the price is this: get me back my armor. Do that, and I shall serve you in your campaign, either until I am dead or until you have a victory. The price is my armor. I want it back, and then I shall never need spirits again. (Page 159)

And then, of course, there is a twist at the end. And that twist (of course!) makes me want to read the next book in the trilogy. So there you have it. I thought this book was fantastic. Yes, I said it – I am a CHRISTIAN and I LOVED this book. And I’m going to read the rest of them, too. And while I’m at it, I might as well say that I loved the Harry Potter books, and pretty much every other kind of book with magic and talking animals. So there.

Happy reading, friends.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Written by Mary Ann Schaffer & Annie Barrows

 

Book #4 of 2012

 

Nationality: U.S.The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
Publisher: Dial Press (a division of Random House)
First Edition: 2008
My Edition: 2009 e-book
Original Language: English

 

This was a beautiful book! It was composed entirely of letters, which was very unusual, and it gave you a whole new perspective. You were able to know the characters much better than would otherwise be allowed, because you were reading their innermost thoughts and most raw feelings. The book was set (mostly) on the island of Guernsey, a Channel Island, right after World War II. It talks about the war, the effect it had on the island and the people, even the people of London a bit, and how they formed a “literary society,” aka book club, to keep themselves out of trouble, and ultimately to help cope with the war. There was even a little love woven in. It made me laugh, it made my cry, it made me so angry I wanted to spit. It made my sympathize and it made me understand. And it opened my eyes.

 

“I can’t think of anything lonelier than spending the rest of my life with someone I can’t talk to, or worse, someone I can’t be silent with.” (Location 148)

“I wonder how the book got to Guernsey? Perhaps there is some secret sort of homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers. How delightful if that were true.” (Location 177)

“That’s what I love about reading: one tiny thing will interest you in a book, and that tiny thing will lead you onto another book, and another bit there will lead you onto a third book. It’s geometrically progressive – all with no end in sight, and for no other reason than sheer enjoyment.” (Location 193)

“I realized that hundreds of thousands of people all over Europe must be fed, housed, and clothed, but privately I resent it that so many are Germans.” (Location 277)

 

I thought about this particular quote for a while. How often do I have secret anger towards someone who has wronged me? How often do I hold an entire group responsible for only a small percentage’s faults? The answer is quite often. I do it all the time.

 

“Men are more interesting in books than they are in real life.” (Location 754)

“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad books.” (Location 763)

“I think you learn more if you’re laughing at the same time.” (Location 1241)

“And down the street – I’m not averting my eyes now – a man in a patched jumper is painting the door to his house sky blue. Two small boys, who have been walloping one another with sticks, are begging him to let them help. He is giving them a tiny brush apiece. So – perhaps there is an end to war.” (Location 1372)

“Not even the Germans could ruin the sea.” (Location 1452)

“This summer, gorse will begin to grow around the fortifications, and by next year, perhaps vines will creep over them. I hope they are soon covered. For all I can look away, I will never be able to forget how they were made.” (Location 1453)

“I turned to a man sitting against a fence nearby and called out, ‘We’re saved! It’s the British!’ Then I saw he was dead. He had only missed it by minutes. I sat down in the mud and sobbed as though he’d been my best friend.” (Location 2077)

“This obsession with dignity can ruin your life if you let it.” (Location 2764)

 

English: A Guide to the Island of Guernsey, be...

The Island of Guernsey

 

There were a few things that struck me as I was reading. One, the main character, Juliet, was a woman of strong character. She was asked for a character reference, and instead of asking someone who liked her to give her reference, she asked, also, someone who despised her, just for a well-rounded view. What kind of character would one have to have for that kind of transparency?

 

There was a man named Christian in the book, who we never met but was referenced quite a bit, who was a German soldier, but a good man. I wonder, could I look past the horrors of a man’s countrymen to the heart of the individual, and not judge him for his nationality, or the fact that he was a soldier in an enemy’s army? Honestly, I don’t know. That would have to be one outstanding man.

Just one last note – it seemed to me that the islanders needed outside influence to come onto their small island, so they could heal. They were all broken, wallowing in their own misery and memories. Juliet allowed them to heap their sorrows onto her, and channel those horrors into a healthy outlet. Her, and her outside influence, were this island’s saving grace.

I thought this book was lovely. It was witty and morose, clever and heart-wrenching. I would definitely recommend it for a historical, emotional read.

**Dawsey Adams is a new favorite character of mine. He’s one of the most handsome characters I’ve ever read about. He’s quiet, and compassionate, and kind, but has this overwhelming manliness about him. He has the power of persuasion down to an art, but rarely uses the talent. And he has a winning smile and grey eyes (not unlike my Ian). 

Happy reading, friends.

p.s. As you can see by the format of this post, I’m becoming more comfortable with wordpress.com. Yay me!