Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Wolves of Andover / Review

Author: Kathleen Kent
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Reagan Arthur Books
(November 8, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0316068624

Book Description:

In the harsh wilderness of colonial Massachusetts, Martha Allen works as a servant in her cousin's household, taking charge and locking wills with everyone. Thomas Carrier labors for the family and is known both for his immense strength and size and mysterious past. The two begin a courtship that suits their independent natures, with Thomas slowly revealing the story of his part in the English Civil War. But in the rugged new world they inhabit, danger is ever present, whether it be from the assassins sent from London to kill the executioner of Charles I or the wolves-in many forms-who hunt for blood. A love story and a tale of courage, The Wolves of Andover confirms Kathleen Kent's ability to craft powerful stories of family from colonial history.

About the Author:
Kathleen Kent is the author of The Heretic's Daughter. She lives in Dallas.

My Review:

The Wolves of Andover is a well-crafted tale of history, hardship, suspense, political revenge, and an unusual love between two desperate people.

Part adventure and part love story, it pulls the reader quickly into turbulent colonial America. It becomes somewhat complicated and a little slow at times, but still a good read. 4 stars****(5 being the highest).

(Thank you to Hachette Book Group for my review copy.)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Red Garden by Alice Hoffman

Author: Alice Hoffman
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Crown
(January 25, 2011)
ISBN-10: 0307393879

Book Description:

The Red Garden introduces us to the luminous and haunting world of Blackwell, Massachusetts, capturing the unexpected turns in its history and in our own lives.
In exquisite prose, Hoffman offers a transforming glimpse of small-town America, presenting us with some three hundred years of passion, dark secrets, loyalty, and redemption in a web of tales where characters' lives are intertwined by fate and by their own actions. From the town's founder, a brave young woman from England who has no fear of blizzards or bears, to the young man who runs away to New York City with only his dog for company, the characters in The Red Garden are extraordinary and vivid: a young wounded Civil War soldier who is saved by a passionate neighbor, a woman who meets a fiercely human historical character, a poet who falls in love with a blind man, a mysterious traveler who comes to town in the year when summer never arrives.
At the center of everyone’s life is a mysterious garden where only red plants can grow, and where the truth can be found by those who dare to look. Beautifully crafted, shimmering with magic, The Red Garden is as unforgettable as it is moving.

About the Author:
ALICE HOFFMAN is the acclaimed author of twenty-nine works of fiction, including The Story Sisters, The Third Angel, Practical Magic, Here on Earth, The Ice Queen, Turtle Moon, Illumination Night, and Blackbird House. Her work has been translated into more than twenty languages and published in more than one hundred foreign editions.

My Review:
The Red Garden is not only the history of Blackwell, Massachusetts, but it's also a collection of love stories--magical, mysterious, unforgettable, consuming. It is the story of family love; passion between lovers; the loyality of beloved pets. It tells the story of a pioneer woman who loved bears; a dog who would not leave the grave of his mistress; the ghost of a little girl in a blue dress; mismatched lovers who would never let go of the past.

Chapter by chapter I was pulled into the lives of the fascinating characters who lived along the Eel River from which the first families found food, profit, and romance. Poetic and haunting, this is a page-turner. I could feel the love Ms. Hoffman poured into her beautiful novel, and couldn't stop reading until it was finished. Excellent!
(Thanks goes to Alice Hoffman for my review copy.)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Did You Know?

Did you know you can find more reviews at my four other book blogs? You can find the links in the right-hand column on this page. Happy reading!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Rescue / Review

Author: Anita Shreve
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
(November 30, 2010)
ISBN-10: 0316020729

Book Description:
A rookie paramedic pulls a young woman alive from her totaled car, a first rescue that begins a lifelong tangle of love and wreckage. Sheila Arsenault is a gorgeous enigma--streetwise and tough-talking, with haunted eyes, fierce desires, and a never-look-back determination. Peter Webster, as straight an arrow as they come, falls for her instantly and entirely.

Soon Sheila and Peter are embroiled in an intense love affair, married, and parents to a baby daughter. Like the crash that brought them together, it all happened so fast. Can you ever really save another person?

Eighteen years later, Sheila is long gone and Peter is raising their daughter, Rowan, alone. But Rowan is veering dangerously off track, and for the first time in their ordered existence together, Webster fears for her future. His work shows him daily every danger the world contains, how wrong everything can go in a second. All the love a father can give a daughter is suddenly not enough. Sheila's sudden return may be a godsend--or it may be exactly the wrong moment for a lifetime of questions and anger and longing to surface anew.

What tore a young family apart? Is there even worse damage ahead? The questions lifted up in Anita Shreve's utterly enthralling new novel are deep and lasting, and this is a novel that could only have been written by a master of the human heart.

About the Author...
Anita Shreve is the acclaimed author of 15 previous novels, including A Change in Altitude; Testimony; The Pilot's Wife, which was a selection of Oprah's Book Club; and The Weight of Water, which was a finalist for England's Orange prize. She lives in Massachusetts.

My Review:
In my opinion, this is not as substantial as her previous work, but nevertheless, an enjoyable read.

(Thank you to Hachette Book Group for my review copy.)