The Fountains of Silence

December 7, 2019 by


I am currently listening to the audio version of Ruta Sepetys newest book The Fountains of Silence. As per usual – it is historical heaven! Sepetys always weaves together multiple characters to make a riveting story – and so far this one one is no different.

“Madrid, 1957. Under the fascist dictatorship of General Francisco Franco, Spain is hiding a dark secret. Meanwhile, tourists and foreign businessmen flood into Spain under the welcoming promise of sunshine and wine. Among them is eighteen-year-old Daniel Matheson, the son of an oil tycoon, who arrives in Madrid with his parents hoping to connect with the country of his mother’s birth through the lens of his camera. Photography–and fate–introduce him to Ana, whose family’s interweaving obstacles reveal the lingering grasp of the Spanish Civil War–as well as chilling definitions of fortune and fear. Daniel’s photographs leave him with uncomfortable questions amidst shadows of danger. He is backed into a corner of difficult decisions to protect those he loves. Lives and hearts collide, revealing an incredibly dark side to the sunny Spanish city. Includes vintage media reports, oral history commentary, photos, and more.”


Andrew Clements

December 5, 2019 by

Frindle Children’s author, Andrew Clements, died November 28th, 2019 at age 70.  Best known for his ‘school’ stories, Clements gave credit to the smart aleck class-clown (“Frindle”) and exposed the ‘bad’ teachers (“The Landry News”).  The plots of his books often centered around school settings with middle school-aged kids dealing with every day situations.  His writing was always accessible and compassionate.  He was a dependable writer for his audience and was said to have been at work on a sequel to “Frindle” at the time of his death.

A Single Thread

December 4, 2019 by

indexTracy Chevalier, author of The Girl With A Pearl Earring, has written a novel set in 1932 England about a young woman trying to support herself on her own. Violet Speedwell lost both her fiance and her brother in the Great War and struggles as a typist to earn enough for her rent and two meals a day. She finds a friend, Gilda, among the broderers, a group of women who embroider cushions and kneelers for the local cathedral. Through Gilda, Violet meets Arthur, a bell ringer at the church, who becomes very special to her. Chevalier’s characters are well-developed and they provide the reader with a snapshot of the difficulties faced by single women in 1930’s society.

National Book Award winners

November 30, 2019 by

indexAnd here they are: the National Book Award Winners of 2019:

Fiction: Trust Exercise — Susan Choi
Non-fiction: The Yellow House — Sarah M. Broom
Poetry: Sight Lines — Arthur Sze
Translated Literature: Baron Wenckheim’s Homecoming — Ottilie Mulzet & László         Krasznahorkai
Young People’s Literature: 1919 The Year That Changed America — Martin W. Sandler

The Bookshop

November 27, 2019 by

indexBased on the novel by Penelope Fitzgerald, the movie stars Emily Mortimer as Florence Green, a widow with a desire to open a bookshop in a small coastal town in England in 1959. She faces opposition from the town matriarch, Violet, played by Patricia Clarkson, who does everything she can to thwart Florence, but the Old House bookshop opens successfully. But Violet is a schemer, and she refuses to give in. Bill Nighy is wonderful as Edmund Brundish, an town recluse who gallantly comes to Emily’s aid to combat Violet. It was a very entertaining film, but have a box of tissues nearby, for there are some sad scenes. The film ends with a twist; one I did not see coming…

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