Nice Goodies Came Today

These are the books that came to my mail box last week, I was thrilled, so many books so little time

Instrument of Darkness
By Imogen Robertson

From the flap:

In the year 1780, Sussex England, Thornleigh Hall, the ornate and forbidding seat of the Earl of Sussex, dominates the surrounding countryside. Thought its heir has been missing for fifteen years, and the once vigorous family is reduced to a cripple, his whore and his alcoholic secound son, its power remains. When dead bodies begin turning up, the stage is set for an unlikely forensic duo to uncover the family's deadly secrets.

Sounds like a great gothic read.

The Other Life
By Ellen Miester

From the publisher notes:

Meister introduces Quinn Branverman, a young married mother, who is keeping two secrets from her loving husband, Lewis. One is that the real reason she chose him over Eugene, her neurotic, semi-famous ex-boyfriend, was to prove to her mother that she could have a happy, stable relationship with the guy next door.

The other is that Quinn knows another life exists in which she made stayed with Eugene. The two lives run in parallel lines, like highways on either side of a mountain. On one side, the Quinn who stayed with Eugene is speeding through her high drama, childless life in Manhattan. On the other, Quinn who married Lewis lives in the suburbs, drives a Volvo, and has an adorable young son and another baby on the way.
But, the most important part of the secret- the part that terrifies and thrills her- is that Quinn knows it's possible to cross from one life to another.  So, far she played it safe, never seeing what's on the other side. Then a shocking turn of events rattles.

Lipstick in Afghanistan
By Roberta Gately

This novel was written by a author's own experiences as a nurse in third world war zones.

Gripped by hauting magazine images of starving refugees, Elsa has dreamed of becoming a nurse since she was a teenager. Of leaving her humble working class- Boston neighborhood to help people whose lives are far more difficult than her own. No one in her family has escaped poverty, but  Elsa has a secret weapon: a tube of lipstick she found in her older sister's bureau. Wearing it never fails to raise her spirits and cement her determination. With lipstick on, she can do anything- even travel alone to war torn Afghanistan in the wake of 9/11.

But Violent nights as an ER nurse in S. Boston could not prepare Elsa for the devastation she witnesses at the small medical clinic she runs in Bamiyan. As she struggles to prove herself to the Afghan Drs, and local villagers.

I can't wait to read this one. Since I was a nurse this novel interests me.  My brother is a photo journalist for the Army Times(part of Garnett publishing). He was embedded with Army with 101, after 9/11, at the Kandahar Airport. He took many pictures of the military and civilian life there. Saw how bad the living conditions were. Took many pictures.   This novel, will give me a glimpse of what Afghanistan is like.

The Madonnas of Echo Park
By, Brando Skyhorse

The novel is the story of a L. A. neighborhood and the intimate glimpse into the lives of the men and women who struggle to lose their ethnic identity in pursuit of the american dream. Felicia, a housekeeper, and her daughter, Aurora Esperanza are caught in a gang shooting crossfire and struggle to find common ground in its aftermath.  Aurora's estranged father, Hector, a day laborer, witnesses a murder and must choose between deportation and complicity.

The Bird Sisters
By Rebecca Rasmussen

Milly and Twiss are known to everyone in Spring Green, Wisconsin, as the bird sisters, for their special gift for nursing injured birds- and sometimes, the damaged owners- back to health. But it wasn't always this way. In the summer, 1947. Milly, Goldilocks, because of her beautiful hair, and Twiss, the explorer, pretended she and her gold pro father were Lewis and Clark out on the course. Milly and Twiss's mother dreamed of drinking Chateau Margaux on the banks of the Seine, as she once did in Parism and their father, a dreamer and charismatic philanderer, desperately hopes to recover his golf swing, which hasn't been the same since his car acccident.

Along with the immediate family, the author paints a vivid picture of the unique folks in Spring Green, whose lives intersect with Milly and Twiss's that fateful summer.

When Tito Loved Clara
By Jon Michard

This novel is written by the head librarian of the New Yorker. This is his debut novel. It is rich in mystery, passion, secrets, and heartbreak.  A lively novel with themes centered on immigrant experience and identity.

Clara grew up in a home that would have rattled the most grounded of children. Brought to NY from a pastoral childhood in the Dominican Republic, she was raised in grim circumstances in northern Manhattan. Through brains and determination, she long ago slipped the bonds of confining neighborhood and since made a quiet life for herself and her American husband and young son in the suburbs of NJ.  However librarian Clara's desire for a existance as orderly as the Dewey Decimal System is constantly being thwarted by her hugely entertaining constellation of relatives who don't understand her gringa ways.

When Clara meets up with Tito, her old flame. The blast from the past meet up with her. He was destined to stay in the old neighborhood. While Clara went off to Cornell University on a full scholarship. But now 15 yrs. later, a series of coincidences throw these people together again Clara harbors a secret from the past. Their reacquaintance set in motion an unraveling in both their lives and reveals what the cost of assimulation- or the absence of it - has meant for each of them.

Claude and Camille
A novel of Monet
By Stephanie Cowell

In the mid 19th century, a young man Claude Money decided that he would rather endure a difficult life painting landscapes than take over his father's nautical business in a french seaside town.  Against his father's will and with nothing to but a dream and a insatible urge to create a new style of art that repudiated the classical realism of the time, he set off for Paris.

I appreciated Monet's art work, and did not know the story of the man.  I am looking forward to this. His art work with the landscapes are beautiful.

Caleb's Crossing
By Geraldine Brooks
will be published in May

In 1665, a young man from Martha's Vineyard. He became the first Native American to graduate from Harvard College. Upon this factual snippet of facts, comes the story of this young man from Martha's Vineyard.

The narrator of the story is Berthia Mayfield, growing up in the tiny settlement of Great Harbor amid a small band of pioneers and Puritans.  Possessed of a restless spirit and quick curious mind, she years after an education that is close to her by her sex.  As often ash seh can, slips away to explore the island's glistening beaches and observe its native Wampanoag inhabitants. At 12, she encounters Caleb, the young son of a cheiftain, and the two forge, a tentative,  secret friendship that draws each into the alien world of the other.

Her father, a minister tries to convert the Indian nation to Calvinism, awakening the wrath of the tribe's leader.
One of his projects becomes the education of Caleb, and a year later, Caleb is in Cambridge, studying Latin and Greek among the colonial elite. There, Bethia finds herself reluctantly indentured as a housekeeper and can closely observe Caleb's intellectual and spiritual crossing of cultures with it's risks and losses, triumphs and turmoil.

 I am looking forward to this one. This novel sounds rich in history. I always wondered how inhabitants came to be in Martha's Vineyard. The formation of the island( from the very earliest beginning to the coming of inhabitants). I have always had a interest.

 I was at Martha's Vineyard, twice.   Very different going to the main land in a tourist area in the summer, compared to being on the main land during the summer. Very different. Can't explain it, but you feel a difference being at Cape Cod and Marha's Vineyard.

The Man from Saigon
By Marti Leimbach

It is 1967 and Susan Gifford is one of the first female correspondents in Saigon, dedicated to her job and passionately in love with an American TV reporter. Son, is a  Vietnamese photographer anxious to get his work to the American press. Together they cover every aspect of the war from combat missions to the workings of field hospitals, Then one November morning, after narrowly escaping death, Susan and son find themselves the prisoners of three Vietcong soldiers. Helpless in the hands of the enemy, they face the jungle, living always with the threat of being killed and the slow realization that their complicated relationship is the only thing, sustaining them both.

Lately I have been seeing  many novels set during the Vietnam war. This novel intrigued  me. Lately I have been seeing many novels about Vietnam. It is about time. Probably because it is not a sore subject in the general public. Safe to talk about it. Rather than write about what is going in the middle east right now.   I hope more novelists will be writing about this time period. I was very little when Vietnam started. I did not know what was going on.  I was too young too comprehend.

My house is busting at the seams with all these books.
Happy Reading!!!


bermudaonion said…
Holy cow, they all look so good! How will you decide which one to read first.
Just Mom said…
Wow, you really raked it in - what a haul! Enjoy them!

Popular posts from this blog

A Walk Across The Sun

We Band of Angels: Book Review

The Story of Beautiful Girl