Friday, May 30, 2014

Necessary Lies by Diane Chamberlain

Working on a North Carolina tobacco farm in 1960, teenager Ivy Hart lives with her ailing, temperamental grandmother, mentally ill sister, and this sisters small child.  Jane Forrester, their social worker, is married to a doctor who would rather she did not work but Jane is determined to.  She becomes deeply involved with this impoverished family and her actions cause conflicts with her husband and her boss. Jane questions this states Eugenics Sterilization Program which eventually causes much drama in this story. I enjoyed this book and plan to read more books by this author!

Thursday, May 29, 2014


Have you ever wanted a do-over? So have I.
This delightful movie tells the story of Tim, a young man who discovers that the men in his family can travel through time. Not back in history, but only in their own lifetime. This affords Tim the ability to go back in time and do something over if he doesn't like the way it turned out the first time.
I found the movie very interesting, funny at times and ultimately very touching. I recommend it as one to watch if you are looking for something a little different and unique.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Dancing Fish and Ammonites: A Memoir by Penelope Lively

Lively states in the beginning of the book that this is not really a memoir but a reflection of life thus far.  From growing up in Cairo to escaping with her mother during WWII, Lively gives keen observations about bombed London and how the Suez crisis during her Oxford years awakens her political interest.  She reiterates the importance of books and reading alongside with history and memory.  Looking back from her eighty years, Lively isn't sentimental about old age but welcomes its sensibilities.
In the last section on 'Six Things,' Lively shares a few of her treasures with pictures.  From the duck kettle-holders from Maine to the blue lias ammonites and the leaping fish shard, we come to understand how an object intertwines with one's past and holds significant meaning.  This is an insightful book!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty

    Cecilia's perfect life hits a bump when she finds a letter from her husband addressed to her to be opened in the event of his death.  So begins the interwoven stories of Cecilia, Tess, and Rachel:  three women from the same neighborhood whose lives are all afftected by an event years before.  Moriarty writes alternately about each character, and we see from the outside how another person's actions create unexpected cause-and-effect reactions.
    The characters are well-developed, and very real.  I enjoyed the story, and had a hard time putting the book down.  This was the first book I'd read by this author, and now I look forward to reading some of her previous works.

Practice to Deceive by Ann Rule

Ann Rule is well-known for her true crime writing.  This story is from Whidbey Island, off the coast in Washington state.  The day after Christmas in 2003, Russel Douglas is discovered dead of a gunshot wound to the head.  Police classify it as a homicide, and a long investigation ensues.
    A number of interesting people come into play as investigators try to figure out who killed the man and why.  Rule spends a lot of time developing the background of these people and families.  A lack of physical evidence and no clear motive, however, allow the case to drag out over the course of a decade.
    I looked forward to reading this book.  Rule is a best-selling author and I’ve always been interested in this type of a story, but was disappointed in this book.  There were many instances of redundant information.  And while the backgrounds of those involved are meant to help you understand them better, some of it seems tangential to the main story.  In the end, I wondered if the writing of this book should have waited for a clear sense of motive to be given to us from those convicted.  I will try some earlier works by this author, though.