12. September 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Contemporary Fiction, Drama, Fiction, Literary Fiction, Mystery, Noelle · Tags:

Weight of Blood by Laura McHugh, 306 pages, read by Noelle, on 09/09/2014

“The Dane family’s roots tangle deep in the Ozark Mountain town of Henbane, but that doesn’t keep sixteen-year-old Lucy Dane from being treated like an outsider. Folks still whisper about her mother, a bewitching young stranger who inspired local myths when she vanished years ago. When one of Lucy’s few friends, slow-minded Cheri, is found murdered, Lucy feels haunted by the two lost girls–the mother she never knew and the friend she couldn’t protect. Everything changes when Lucy stumbles across Cheri’s necklace in an abandoned trailer and finds herself drawn into a search for answers. What Lucy discovers makes it impossible to ignore the suspicion cast on her own kin. More alarming, she suspects Cheri’s death could be linked to her mother’s disappearance, and the connection between the two puts Lucy at risk of losing everything. In a place where the bonds of blood weigh heavy, Lucy must decide where her allegiances lie”

26. September 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Mystery, Tammy · Tags: , ,

Blueboy by George Pica, 461 pages, read by Tammy, on 09/25/2013

blueboyThis detective novel set in 1964 Tacoma, Washington introduces the reader to Tacoma Police Captain Thomas Gaston. He is the chief of detectives and a war veteran returned home. It’s been a rough year. He’s separated from his wife and living with his dad. A childhood friend has been murdered. Then he is charged with helping to bomb his favorite watering hole ten years ago and the charges just keep piling on. He has been stripped of command of the TPD’s detective bureau and replaced by his best friend. His new “office” under the stairs is shared with one of the janitors. Just when he thinks it can’t get any worse his father has a stroke.  Two shadowy figures may be trying to kill him and all his friends and family. Who really killed his friend? Is it related to the bombing he’s being set-up for? In spite of the cover art the book is a hard-boiled detective novel. Nothing in the book is fantasy or horror.

Written by a Missouri author. : )

09. July 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Tammy · Tags: , ,

A Good American by Alex George, 387 pages, read by Tammy, on 07/08/2012

Growing up in a small Missouri town with a family history of German immigrants coming to Missouri (my great-great grandparents)I was surprised at how well the author captured life in a small German-heritage town, since he is an immigrant to the US as well – from England. But we all search for what it means to call a place home and to find a place we fit in… in our communities and in our own families.

You follow a young couple in 1904 who flee her disapproving family to America. They plan to settle in New York but end up taking a boat to New Orleans… not realizing how different that could be and end up taking a journey up the Missouri River and finally settle in the fictional small town of Beatrice, Missouri, a town with many other German immigrants.

The story is narrated by the couples’ grandson, James who discovers at the end that he doesn’t really know his own story and his own family at all. You follow the family through prohibition, WWII when Frederick joins up because he wants most of all to be a “Good American”, the Kennedy assassination and beyond. Throughout the story, music plays an important role in how the family members relate to the community and to each other. Each member of the family has to find their place in this new country, in their town and in their family and what it means to be a “Good American.” If you’ve ever felt like an outsider in your own hometown, your school or even your own family you will relate to these characters search for a place to call home.

30. April 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Tammy · Tags: ,

Clair de Lune by Jetta Carleton, 276 pages, read by Tammy, on 04/29/2012

A long-lost novel of innocence threatened, by the author of the beloved classic The Moonflower Vine. Found after her death.

This novel is set in 1941 prior to America’s entry into WWI at a southwest Missouri junior college. The author takes a note or two from her own life and writes about a young single woman teaching English in Missouri but yearning for a writing career in New York City. Allen Liles has taken a job as a junior college teacher in a small town, although she dreams of living in New York City. She has always done what was expected of her by her family and by society. Then she meets two young men: George, a lanky, carefree spirit, and Toby, a dark-haired, searching soul with a wary look in his eyes. Soon the three strike up an after-school friendship, bantering and debating over letters, ethics, and philosophy, enjoying current music such as Debussy’s Clair de Lune.  Everything is innocent at first, but soon develops into a giddy flirtation,  despite the rules of teacher conduct especially for a young female teacher with her own apartment off campus. Will Allen follow her heart or conform to everyone’s expectations of her?