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Thursday, August 31, 2017

Patty Pick is The Forgotten Room by Karen White, Beatriz Williams & Lauren Willig

I really liked this book! Karen White is one of my favorite writers anyway, so when I saw this book written by her and two other terrific writers, I was definitely interested. Karen White has a really nice way of introducing female characters you can relate to and her female characters are usually facing some type of emotional crossroads. In this book, "The Forgotten Room," we meet three, interesting strong women who seem to have a connection from the start.

It took me a while to get used to going back and forth from one
generation in time to another and that relationship between the main characters. I guess my old brain just doesn't keep ahold of the facts like it used to! Once I had them down, the jumping back and forth with the characters made more sense, and I loved seeing how they were related. The intertwining relationships were fascinating to watch/read. The novel revolves around Olive, Lucy and Kate. Their lives, connections, families and the world around them unwinds to show us the effects of the decisions from the women and men in the earlier generations and how those touched the life of their daughters and granddaughters.

Our tale opens with Kate saving the leg of Captain Ravenel against the judgement of her boss. She is a doctor working in the old Pratt mansion that is now a hospital. Needless to say, a female doctor during this time in our history, World War II, was rare. Kate had to fight hard for the respect she deserved as a doctor in a man's world and she had to suffer through discrimation for being a woman doctor from her fellow male doctors and female staff. She is drawn to Captain Ravenal and he to her. Copper Ravenel has her image in a portrait belonging to his grandfather, but it couldn't possibly be
Kate, right?

The story revolves around the choices each woman made over the years, going back to the first character Olive. Olive's father was a well-respected architect and built the house for the Pratt family who lived in the house. The house later became a rooming house, which rented a room to Lucy later to live in and was now the hospital that Kate works in. We watch how each woman makes choices that effect later generations and themselves, all the time this house plays a part in their lives. I enjoyed very much reading this historical fiction. Thinking about the ways my mother and grandmother's choices effected my life, made this story resonate with me. I don't want to ruin
the story for anyone, but this well-written book deserves a read! 4.5 Stars!!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Patty Pick for 8/17/17 is "Making It Work" by Kathleen Glassburn

I am very lucky to have a wonderful friend who sent me this book by Kathleen Glassburn to read. Don't you just love friends who love books as much as you do?! To make it even better, she unknowingly sent it during one of my more difficult times of the year - the anniversary of my Dad's death. Every year it makes me sad and I think about all the times I wish that he were still here. So what an awesome treat to open up this package and find "Making It Work" from my dear friend, Amy. If you have a good friend, you are blessed. Let's just say that I am blessed many times over. 

In "Making It Work" we grow to know Sheila Gallagher as she makes her way from a struggling home life to marriage and then unto divorce and living on her on. Sheila is a product of her turbulent 60's generation. She 
yearns to head out on her own and start life. She is a smart, talented girl who is studying for a music career when she decides to marry her high school sweetheart, Jim. With her college plans on hold she follows her new husband to Long Beach. Jim joined the Navy during the Vietnam War and they must move to California for his first assignment. 

The newlyweds find that life is hard in California and people are not always who you think they are. Sheila finds a job to help support them and makes friends with her co-workers. After Jim is deployed, she leans on them to help her endure the separation, but soon finds that her musical talent and drive will shape her future. This is a story of the times, the turbulent 60's and 70's as told by someone who shows that she understands the feeling of the nation during that time perios.  

This is also a story of Sheila and her quest to live, to be valuable and to have a voice of her own. As she matures, we watch the paths she will follow and the actions that her choices will force her to take. Sheila takes us on a visual tour of the times as she journeys toward her future. No matter the year, we are all taking this same journey everyday. "Making It Work" shares with us a new feminine voice in Sheila as she reaches for her dreams. This is a well written book that will allow us to follow Sheila's journey through ten years and to watch the choices she makes and her dreams, no matter where they take her. A solid 4 stars!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Patty Pick for 8/3/17 is "Little Black Lies" by Sandra Block

Zoe Goldman has secrets, some she doesn't even know she has. The nightmares have returned with the pressure of residency. Zoe is a resident in the psych ward of a hospital, working her way to being a Psychiatrist. Her mother's death haunts her and she feels guilty wanting to know the details, since her adopted mom is dealing with dementia. Discussing that night always upsets her mom and Zoe knows that time is running out to find out the answers she wants to know about her real mother and the night she died. Her dreams make it seem like the answers are so close, but even with therapy Zoe can not discover what is right there in her memory and unlock the secrets to the past.
As the plot twist and turns, many secrets and lies will be revealed to Zoe. Zoe lives with her step-brother in the town where she grew up. She is separated from her longterm boyfriend, Jean Luc since they finished college and went their separate ways. Even though she can spend more time with her adopted mom, being back in Buffalo has made her nightmares return. The nightmares about the night her real mother died. Her 
brother is worried about her.  

One of her patients, Sofia, is trying to win her own freedom from her past. Sofia, a violent killer who has been locked away since she was a teenager, has been on her best behaviour for a while. Zoe's boss wants to set her free, but there's something about Sofia that does not set well with Zoe. All the while, Zoe is dealing with her own personal issues, like ADHD, and since her return all of her inner demons seem to be torturing her. With Zoe's family and the characters she works with at the hospital, you are going to like them all. Well most of them. Don't let the cover fool you, prepare to stay up and finish this one like I did. 

I know that the story of Zoe Goldman has been turned into a trilogy by the talented author, Sandra Block. I can't wait to read the next two as I loved this one and Zoe. You will, too but beware there are many scary twists and turns coming your way. "The Girl Without A Name" and the soon-to-be released, "The Secret Room" will give us more time with Zoe. I can't wait! All 5 Stars are shining or rather burning for "Little Black Lies"!