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ASPENHUGGER's Photo ASPENHUGGER Posts: 6,283
7/15/17 6:05 P

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Just finished A Shower Of Summer Days by May Sarton. Here's my review:

"This is the story of a house and of three people intricately bound to each other, and to the house itself, by a mesh of memories and remembered passion, stretching far back into the past.

"Violet Dene Gordon, returning to Dene's Court with her husband, Charles, after an absence of thirty years, intensely loved her childhood home, but had reason to fear the long shadow of her unhappy sister, Barbara. Now Barbara's child, Sally, was coming for a visit, supposedly to make her forget her infatuation with an American actor.

"Much had to be settled in one brief encounter -- a marriage, a love affair, a career, the meaning of four lives. No single influence was more important than that of Dene's Court itself.

"May Sarton has created a novel of shimmering beauty, a story of human relationships written with a poet's artistry."

I agree, this book was written with a poet's eye. Unfortunately, at least from my perspective, a great deal of it was about Sally's teenage angst and first (unfortunate) love. Lots of mental whitering? and whencing?, which I generally find tedious and nonproductive. I also found the character of the American actor difficult to understand, and certainly not a sympathetic one.

Final opinion: well written but not my cuppa tea.


Kate, in Citrus Heights California

If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.
Lao Tse

The measure of success is not whether you have a tough problem to deal with, but whether it's the same problem you had last year.
~ John Foster Dulles

To ignore the facts does not change the facts
~ Andy Rooney

Our lives are a sum total of the choices we have made. ~ Wayne Dyer



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ZANNACHAN's Photo ZANNACHAN Posts: 13,916
6/23/17 6:15 P

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The last fiction book I finished was The Girl with the Make Believe Husband by Julia Quinn, which is a prequel (sort of) of her Bridgerton books. I say sort of because while it follows the other prequel (Because of Miss Bridgerton) it only ties into the Bridgerton books tangentially as it is the story of the male protagonist of the first one's sibling... who is a captain in British Army fighting against the American Revolution.

The basic story line of this one is that a young lady comes to the Americas because of a combination of news that her brother, who is another officer for the British army, has been injured in battle, and the fact that the death of her father puts her in a very precarious position as the estate is entailed and she doesn't trust the heir. She arrives in the Americas only to find no trace of her brother, and his best friend, whom she has gotten to know through letters from her brother, is unconscious in the hospital. Unable to help her brother, she tries to at least help her friend, only to be told that only family could be with him... so she blurts out that she's his wife. When he wakes up, she figures that is the end of it--but he wakes up with months missing from his memory and he assumes that they are, in fact, married, and with his higher rank/class makes it easier to get cooperation on the search for her brother, she doesn't correct him.

Despite the backdrop of war, this is a reasonably light hearted story. I thoroughly enjoyed it though I don't know that it's my favorite of the things she wrote.

Before that, I read the Queen's Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner, which are fantastic, but hard to really describe without massive spoilers.

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CATFISH_FAN's Photo CATFISH_FAN Posts: 12,966
6/21/17 7:02 P

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The last fiction book I read (just finished today) was titled Schizo by Nic Sheff. It is about a teen who develops and lives with schizophrenia, of course, and the topic is close to me because my best friend lives with schizophrenia. Each person is different and this was fiction but I don't think mental illness was inaccurately portrayed in the story, even though my friend and the main character are nothing alike. This character loses touch with reality (called psychosis) and is hospitalized after trauma, in that sense the illness was pretty well described. Most people don't know much or anything about mental illness besides what they get from inaccurate portrayal in the media (television and movies), this was a different take. I enjoyed the short read, aimed at the YA crowd, and rated it 4 stars on Goodreads.

Tell us about some fiction you've recently read.

Doug
West Michigan

“My only wish is that we leave room for hope. There is good and bad in all things. We find what we expect to find. We see what we expect to see. I have learned that if I tilt my head just right and squint, the world outside is beautiful. The future is bright. There are good things to come.” -- Hugh Howey, Dust


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ON_A_DIET's Photo ON_A_DIET Posts: 11,712
9/1/16 8:32 P

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ASPENHUGGER's Photo ASPENHUGGER Posts: 6,283
9/1/16 4:48 P

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The last fiction book I read that I really enjoyed was The Bachelor Brothers' Bed & Breakfast by Bill Richardson. Here's my review:

"Welcome to the Bachelor Brothers' Bed and Breakfast, a rustic retreat on a beautiful island. Your hosts are the endearingly eccentric Hector and Virgil, twins by birth though not by nature. Their B&B attracts a particular and sometimes peculiar clientele."
~~back cover

I adored this book! Which was quite a surprise -- I didn't remember why this book had wound up on my wishlist & I thought it was going to be an attempt at humor about two inept men trying to run a B&B for some idiotic reason. It isn't.

It's a series of reflections by the brothers and their guests. The vignettes are charming, thoughtful, and slyly funny. And if this B&B was real (& it might be) & if I could find out where it was, I'd go spend at least a week there, so quick your head would spin! The prologue says it's a real place, so there's hope!

"The brothers who own and operate this B&B, which is located on one of the islands that populate the Strait of Georgia, between Vancouver Island and the mainland, ... are twins, now in their fifties. As you may have surmised by the name of the enterprise, they are bachelors. They inherited their house, as well as an income, from their mother. Untroubled by the odious necessity of working, but possessed by humanitarian instincts, they decided to open their doors to the public as a refuge, a retreat, a haven for bibliophiles. ... They share the oppression felt by the gentle, sometimes confused people who are their paying guests; people who see the ratio of books available to time available as terribly skewed. Hector and Virgil think of their B&B as a way of redressing that dreadful imbalance; a way of offering readers the chance to finally revel in Silas Mariner or A la recherche du temps perdu or Persuasion." Doesn't that sound like heaven?

Edited by: ASPENHUGGER at: 9/3/2016 (15:59)
Kate, in Citrus Heights California

If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.
Lao Tse

The measure of success is not whether you have a tough problem to deal with, but whether it's the same problem you had last year.
~ John Foster Dulles

To ignore the facts does not change the facts
~ Andy Rooney

Our lives are a sum total of the choices we have made. ~ Wayne Dyer



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ON_A_DIET's Photo ON_A_DIET Posts: 11,712
8/31/16 3:44 P

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Talk all about the latest fiction book that you have read!

Graduated With Highest Honors In Fitness And Nutrition From Stratford Career Institute.

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