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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Patty's Pick - 10/31/2013. "Defending Jacob" by William Landay

This is not a feel-good book! But this is a great book! The suspenseful story line,      twists and developed characters all weave into one big murder mystery that turns into a family in crisis and a page-turner of a book! 
The happy, perfect family of Andy, Laurie & Jacob face a situation that no family wants to face. When a schoolmate of Jacob's is found dead, clues put the suspicion on Jacob and eventually lead to Jacob's arrest. How the family responds this event makes for soul-searching thought. Each member of the family reacts differently to this family crisis. Family secrets are revealed and cracks widen within the family unit. 
My Discussion Divas Book Club had some revealing discussion with this book. Do you always support your child no matter what? Are we blind to our children's flaws? Do we miss danger signs from the ones we love? Did the justice system railroad an innocent child just to have someone easy to pin this crime on? These are all valid questions that provided much discussion. But it's all wrapped up in the guise of a fast-paced, constantly changing mystery. 
You may close the back cover on this book and think "Wow!" But I can guarantee you will have an opinion. I think we all will be reading more from William Landay!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Just started Nicholas Sparks' latest book!
Enjoying the dual story lines so far!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Patty's Pick 10/24/13 - "Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker" by Jennifer Chiaverini

Cover image of Mrs. Lincoln's DressmakerI was really looking forward to reading this book by Jennifer Chiaverini after having read many good reviews. My family saw the movie, Lincoln,  and thoroughly enjoyed it. It was definitely one of the best movies we have seen to date. That said, this book seemed true to the times and thoughts of the characters. The dressmaker, Elizabeth Keckley, who was a former slave was brought into and became a large part of Mary Todd Lincoln's inner circle.

Elizabeth's life as a slave was lightly mentioned. Her life after she became a freed woman was the emphasis of this historical novel. It evolves around her relationship with Mrs. Lincoln. In "Washington City" directly prior to the start of the Civil War, we are introduced to our main character. Elizabeth describes her thoughts concerning slavery, the War, and the Lincoln's White House. She becomes the exclusive dressmaker and modiste of Mary Todd Lincoln. This novel does portray the heartbreak of the Lincoln family and the hardships of the war. After the assassination of President Lincoln, Elizabeth takes care of Mrs. Lincoln and her dressmaking business suffers. It is hard to believe the suffering Widow Lincoln endured and still she lived into old age.

I expected this book would read like a novel but it mostly read like a history book. The thoughts and life of Elizabeth Keckley were entertaining and I really wanted more from her thoughts and experiences. I just wanted more of her life, but that was not the intent of this novel. It does give one a glimpse into the behind-the-scenes look at Mary Todd Lincoln and her extraordinary "modiste", Lizzie Keckley.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Patty's Pick for 10/10/13 is "Necsssary Lies" by Diane Chamberlain!

Necessary Lies by Diane ChamberlainI became acquainted with Diane Chamberlain's writing when my book club read, "The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes."  I enjoyed that book so much that I decided to explore some of her other books. I love to read North Carolina authors and Southern lit. Diane Chamberlain has written some southern-based books with realistic characters and North Carolina locations I know. 
"Necessary Lies" touches on the poverty of rural North Carolina that still exists in some places today and our infamous Eugenics program. It's hard to believe that this program was ever started but it did exist. The struggling characters of  Ivy and Jane bring this program and the juxtaposition of poverty and wealth to the forefront in this book. These characters also show the growing realization during this time in our history that women want to make their own decisions. 
Of course, even today we are still having some of these battles.  es, this book has a lot of layers, but do not think it is preachy or dull. It has been a pleasure to read. Sometimes it reads like a thriller and all of the time it reads well. Diane Chamberlain has written another best seller that should not be missed!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Patty Pick - 10/17/13 "Sister" by Rosamund Lupton

After her free-spirit sister, Tess, is discovered missing, Bee rushes to London to help find her. Bee is the methodical sister and she is determined to find Tess. Bee feels responsible that she was not there when her sister needed her.  What she discovers is that her sister had many secrets. Tess was having an affair with a married man and was pregnant. What happened to her? Where did she go? Is she hiding from everyone? 

When Tess is discovered dead, the police rule it a suicide. Her sister, Bee, will not accept this and is determined to find the truth. She ends up uncovering many of her sister's secrets along the way. This book reads like a love story between sisters - not perfect but strong. It also reads as a psychological thriller. When you finish you are shocked and bewildered. What is the truth? 

My book club had much discussion about this book and we differed on the twist at the end. Let me know what you think or thought when you read it! 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Diane Chamberlain writes another good one!

Reading "Necessary Lies" by Diane Chamberlain and it's good! While I have enjoyed all her books, this one is going to be one to remember! 

Saturday, October 5, 2013


Should be the perfect place to write! But I am letting myself be totally distracted.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Patty's Pick for 10/3/13

Life After Life by Jill McCorkle had my interest from the beginning. 
I love her writing and the North Carolina spin she puts in her novels.
The characters and location add the southern touch that I enjoy 
Even though Joanna Lamb, a reformed Hospice volunteer, takes most 
of the center stage, I enjoyed the residents of the nursing home more. 
The thought of your loved one gently being ushered into the next world 
by their favorite pet or by loved ones that went before is appealing. You
want something good for them as they leave you behind. 
The residents recalling their lives, finding love again, and 
interacting with each other are some of my favorite parts. 
Retired schoolteacher Sadie and her positive outlook on life provided
some of the book's rememberable quotes. She stated early in her 
introduction, "The pain of losing people you love is the price of the
ticket for getting to know them at all." Even though several of them 
die during the book, you are wrapped up in the telling and it seems 
a natural part of the book. 
This book has a lot to offer - southern charm, lovable characters, 
familiar places, and a little bit of mystery to stir it all up. The only 
part of this book I did not like was the ending. Let me know what you 
think after you read it!