Archive for the ‘Fiction’ Category

The Lost Manuscript

April 3, 2021

This title is definitely one of the most enjoyable books that I have ever read. It opens with a French woman, Anne-Lise Briard, who has returned a cherished manuscript to its author, Sylvestre Fahmer. Finding it in a nightstand drawer in a French hotel by the sea, Anne-Lise read and loved it and decided to locate its author. Sylvestre had lost it in Montreal in 1983, and the novel is a series of letters written back and forth between these two characters and many more, as they trace the path of the novel from April of 2016 in France, back to its origin in Canada, thirty-three years before. The characters are wonderful; they feel like friends once you have finished reading the novel. I give it 5.5 stars.

Fifty words for Rain

March 29, 2021

In 1948, in Kyota, Japan, a mother leaves her eight year old daughter at her grandparents house with the words: “Promise you will obey: Do not fight. Do not question. Do not resist.” Noriko “Nori” Kamiza has no idea what is in store for her. Her grandmother is a rich, powerful and cold woman, and keeps Nori inside her house for three years, since she is a bastard child. Until her half brother comes to live with them, Nori is miserable. But the relationship that she develops with Akira, her brother, will be a lasting bond. Asha Lemmie’s first novel is brutally honest about the powerlessness of a young girl in 1940’s Japan, and the cruelty that can result from power and riches. But it is balanced by the innocence and love of a brother and sister. I thoroughly enjoyed this well-written novel and look forward to her next book.

Our Italian Summer

March 22, 2021

Jennifer Probst has written a story involving three generations of women within a family. Francesca is a successful head of an ad agency, but work is her life. Her daughter, Allegra, resents her mom’s complete focus on her career, since she is not around all that much. So the burden falls on Allegra’s grandmother, Sophia, to pick up the slack. But Sophia plans a summer vacation for the three of them, a month in Italy, after Allegra gets caught smoking pot with friends. The novel switches between all three character’s point of view, which keeps the reader engaged. A nice “feel-good” story if you are looking for one.

Last Train to Paris

March 15, 2021

Rose Manon is an American journalist who is sent overseas in the early 1930s. While in Paris, her cousin and favorite aunt arrive on a visit, and the cousin is murdered. This actually happened to a distant relation of the author, so she wove a story around it. Some of the characters are real people: Colette and Aurora Sand, and 2 of the lawyers in the story. Rose travels to Berlin to cover events happening in the main city of the Nazis, and falls in love with a Jewish man. As the situation worsens, Rose tries to help her friends and lover escape the regime, but tragedy ensues. I found the novel a little tough to navigate; the writing is very serious and disheartening. Not for the faint-hearted…

The Mistletoe Matchmaker

December 7, 2020

Set in rural Ireland, this is the third title in the Finfarran Peninsula series about Hanna Casey, a librarian living in Ireland. She has returned to the small Irish town she grew up in, to raise her daughter after a divorce. A Casey relative is visiting from Toronto, Cassie, and sometimes it takes an outsider to help with issues that spring up between personalities in a small town. Felicity Hayes-McCoy bases the fictional town of Lissbeg loosely on the Dingle peninsula, where she has a home. This was a light read, and very entertaining.

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