Archive for May, 2015

Matrons and Madams

I was really intrigued when I heard about Matrons and Madams. First time writer Sharon Johnston is the wife of our wonderful Governor General David Johnston. This means, in addition to the many duties involved as the wife of the Governor General, dealing with 5 daughters and who-knows-how-many grand children, and running Rideau Hall, she found time to write a book! And it’s supposedly the first of three she intends to write. You think you’re busy. So you can see why I was intrigued. It turns out – she can write! Her story, based on her family history (talk about strong women!), recounts the struggles of veterans returning to Canada after the Great War. Clara Durling, a British widow with a daughter in tow, arrives in Lethbridge as the new superintendent of their hospital just as wounded souldiers are returning home. Lily Parsons, a widowed school teacher originally from Nova Scotia, ends up in the same city managing a brothel.  (Yes, from school teacher to brothel manager.) The lives of these 2 women intertwine and the story is wonderful. It involves drinkers, prostitutes, gamblers, union organizers, hospital big-wigs, amorous bachelors and wounded souldiers. Quite the picture. And the picture she paints is fascinating! I really hope book #2 comes along soon because I want more. Your Excellency – Bravo!

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The Mountain Story

I couldn’t decide originally if I wanted to read The Mountain Story by Lori Lansens, but I decided to give it a go, and I’m happy I did. I love it when you think a book is OK, only to come away at the end thinking wow, the author really pulled it off well. I’m ashamed to admit that I can’t remember if I’ve read Lansens’ previous books or not. Her first, Rush Home Road, was written in 2002, and there’s a lot of water under the bridge since then. On his 18th birthday Wolf Truly takes the tram up to the top of the mountain above his home in a desert trailer park on the edge of Palm Springs, intending to end his life. He hasn’t had an easy go of it, especially witnessing the death of his best friend Byrd on that very mountain. But fate intervens when he spots Nola, Bridget and Vonn Devine, 3 lost women who are not by a long shot prepared for the adventure they are about to endure. They all end up spending 5 days together without food, with little water, and no way down the mountainside. Trapped as they are with all their personal stories, Lansens weaves a wonderful tale of love and endurance. It’s funny at times, gripping with emotion, and full of respect for nature. Wolf, now a grown man, decides it’s finally time to tell his son what really happened on that mountain. Get rid of those demons and clear his conscience once and for all. It’s a wonderful story. No doubt about it, Lansens is a wonderful writer. I really enjoyed this.

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Mightier Than the Sword

Mightier Than the Sword is the 5th book in Jeffrey Archer’s Clifton Chronicles. Considering the fact that I thought there were only going to be 3 books, each subsequent book has been a real treat. They’ve all been fantastic. Building on the story of Harry Clifton and Emma Barrington, Archer continues his easy reading intrigue, with lots of twists and turns and surprises to delight his loyal fans. And yes, even cliff hangers! No doubt he is a fantastic writer. I won’t give anything away, not even the beginning, since I may ruin it for new Archer readers who haven’t read the previous 4 books. Get with it guys. Book 6 comes out next year, I can’t wait, but I don’t want this series to end. This is a definite must read!

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