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Disclaimer: I was given an advanced copy of this book from Net Gallery in exchange for an honest review
In my opinion the two best books for writers are Strunk’s “The Elements of Style” and Stephen King’s “On Writing”. Now there is a third that should be on every writers shelf (even if you are not writing the great American novel) Colum McCann’s “Letters to a Young Writer” is that book. Each chapter is starts with a quote from an author and then McCann puts to paper his thoughts for young writers (or maybe even old writers) The chapters are short and can be read over and over in case you miss something with the first read. His sentences are crisp but pack a punch. This book is a must have for anyone who writes and even those that may not write but love to read,
I have read two of Mr McCann’s books and have not been disappointed.. I love his writing style. You get lost in his stories.He has poured his heart and soul into his books. “Letters to a Young Writer” is no exception.
Disclaimer: I was sent this Kindle edition of Gone to Soldiers from the publisher through Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.
I am grateful that this book is now in digital format as 760 pages can be difficult to hold.
Gone to Soldiers by Marge Piercy is an epic novel filled with great prose. We are introduced to the ten main characters(6 women and 4 men) in the beginning chapters.Their voices continue throughout the novel and it is through their eyes that we see WW2 and its effects on an entire generation. There are other characters that are attached to the main characters so keeping them all straight can be a challenge. It wasn’t until I had read all the introductory chapters(about 9 in all) on the main characters that I had a sense of who they were and where the novel was taking us. My recommendation is to keep reading. You will not be disappointed. This book needs not only to be read but absorbed. In the novel you will travel from United States to France and to the European and Pacific Theaters. You will become attached to all the main characters. I began thinking about them even when not reading the book. One of the characters Duvey(a member of Coast Guard ) has a harrowing trip off the coast of Malta. I could not help but compare his journey to St Paul’s shipwreck off the same island of Malta.
What came alive in the telling of this novel was the strength and courage of the characters,most especially the women. They were the stars of this epic novel. The most difficult chapter was the reading of Jacqueline’s telling of the conditions in the concentration camp. It was a necessary telling though as we must never forget the past and man’s inhumanity to man. Since this is historical fiction I found myself looking up information about the WASP’s, WW2 and the French Resistance. Anytime a book increases my knowledge and sends me to Wikipedia I feel the author has completed her/his task.
One last thing that struck me was the bombing of Hiroshima. Two of the characters visit the site and the after effects of the visit are a powerful image as one of them says:”There is nothing left.Not an ant.Not a weed. Not a butterfly.Not a mouse. Nobody was lucky.It’s flat as a pane of glass.” That is indeed a powerful image that the author passes on to us.. This is a book that will stay with you for some time. Do not be intimidated by the size. It is a story that must be told and I am glad that Marge Piercy with her lovely prose was the one to tell it.
DISCLAIMER: I received this Kindle book from the publisher through Net Galley in exchange for an honest review
As a lifelong Catholic I had never heard of this devotion. I first realized it when we talked about it in my bible study group and then saw it mentioned when Pope Francis came to America. I immediately went on line , found and made the Novena to Our Lady,Undoer of Knots. This book helped fit in the missing pieces to this new devotion. The author starts out explaining that this is a living Novena. She traveled to the Holy Land with Pope Francis. What is special about this book is the way the author divided up the 9 chapters to go along with the Pope’s journey and each chapter names a knot that needs to be untied in our lives.such as injustice,confusion etc. The author recommends to read a chapter a day in order to absorb the juxtaposition between the Holy Land journey and the knot that needs untying. The book is so well written and while this is a new devotion for Catholics I think it will become very popular. I love the idea of a” Living Novena” and the 9 knots(based on the pilgrimage) that Fenelon lays out in the book and I plan on using these the next time I pray this Novena. Five stars for sure.
Disclaimer: I was sent this Kindle book from the publisher through Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.
Years ago I read Back Roads by Tawni O’Dell when it was an Oprah selection. I loved it. I have no idea why I have not read any of her other stories but it is my loss.Luckily it can be rectified.
Angels Burning is fast paced and a good murder mystery. Actually there are two mysteries in the plot. Dove Carnahan, the protagonist, is police chief in a small rural Pennsylvania town.She is both feisty and an enigma. She has her own dark secrets in that her mother was murdered when she was fifteen. She has been trying to protect her sister and her estranged brother for years. Now she has to try to solve the murder of a young girl whose body was abandoned in a smoking sinkhole. Enter the redneck Truly family. The young dead girl is a member of this family. They have a criminal history. And the plot thickens from there. O’Dell’s characters are so well developed and portrayed.She has the entire complicated Truly family that she must give voice to and she does this so well. Besides the plot and the good writing I think character development is Odell’s strength. I hope she is considering using Dove Carnahan as a serial character in another book. She is just too good a character to appear in only one book. Meanwhile I have to look for Tawni O’Dell’s other novels. Can’t believe I lost track of this author since reading Back Roads.