Monday, December 30, 2019

The Good LiarThe Good Liar by Catherine McKenzie
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I wish we could give half stars. The only reason this didn't get my five stars is because I thought it might have dragged a bit. But it probably had to go that way for the story to evolve.

On October 10th, a building in Chicago has an explosion and several are killed. From this tragedy we start to follow two couples plus a single woman and how all this affected them.

An excellent read.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

The GuardiansThe Guardians by John Grisham
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Guardians are a group that has formed to help free people who have been prisoned wrongly. This story covers a few of those people, but one in particular. This fellow has been in prison for twenty-two years for someone for a crime he didn't commit. We are taken on a ride through the old trial and how the lawyers work, free of charge, to find new evidence to help free him.

I might have given this book four and a half stars until I discovered that it was based on a true case. This made me sit up and take notice even more considering the legal system and how it can be and is, manipulated by corrupt people.

An excellent read.

Friday, December 20, 2019

Watching YouWatching You by Lisa Jewell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What a great story. Every time you think you have it figured out, things change again.

Joey is recently married and her brother, a heart specialist with a pregnant wife, has asked her and her husband, Alfie, to come and live with them until they can get themselves settled. Also an issue is the fact that Joey is a trained infant nurse. This our starting point, but things start to change when Joey finds herself completely infatuated with a neighbour, Tom, who is a head teacher at a nearby school.

As usual you are never disappointed with a book written by Lisa Jewell. An excellent read.

Friday, December 13, 2019

When The SaintsWhen The Saints by Sarah Mian
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a well written book and I wanted to like it much more than I did. It struck me as very close to madcap, going from one thing to the next with little or no intro. The bad language was, for the most part, quite unnecessary.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

The Family UpstairsThe Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I just loved this book.  Have never been let down by a book written by Lisa Jewell. They are all very special.

In this story, be prepared to just sit back and go with the flow. You never know what is coming next. It opens with a woman who had been adopted, turning 25. A letter arrives from a lawyer with news of an inheritance that she basically had no idea about. What a surprise to discover that she had inherited a house, but not just any house. This was a mansion in a very exclusive part of London.

But of course now she wants to know her story; who were her parents; what happened to them; and everything else that goes with it.

At first you might think that this is a very far fetched story, but you only have to think about the Jonesville massacre and you realize that this could very well happen somewhere.

An excellent read.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

The Light Over LondonThe Light Over London by Julia Kelly
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A terrific story about WWII in London. An old diary is found by a company that is clearing out an old house. Cara, the antique dealer's apprentice is very interested in the diary and starts on a journey to learn about the writer and what had become of her. Also, in her quest she discovers a secret in her own family that shocks her, but also wakes her up to realize that you need to live your life on your own terms.

An excellent audio book read.

Monday, December 2, 2019

The Confession Club (Mason, #3)The Confession Club by Elizabeth Berg
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What a lovely book and I was so very happy to revisit Mason Missouri where Arthur Truluv lived. Now Maddy is married to Matthew and between them they love their little girl, Nola.

I should mention that the ladies have a club, a confessions club, where each week one of them confesses to a sin or something they have done and feel guilty about. It is confidential for them and as well they try to help each other with advice and offers of help and especially understanding.

Every word in this book is precious. A beautiful read.

Monday, November 25, 2019

The King of LiesThe King of Lies by John Hart
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

A lawyer's father, who is also a lawyer has been missing for over a year. His body is found and an investigation ensues to find his killer.

I am not a great fan of books written in the first person, however, this was an entertaining story.

Friday, November 22, 2019

Skipping ChristmasSkipping Christmas by John Grisham
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

What a lovely, entertaining story. Since their only child has left for Peru to work with the Peace Corps, mom and dad decide that they will skip Christmas and take themselves on a lovely cruise instead.

Hmmm, great idea. Until their daughter decides to fly home and surprise her parents with not only herself, but her new fiance, a Peruvian doctor.

We can probably see ourselves in this lovely, madcap, adventure.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

The Water is WideThe Water is Wide by Pat Conroy
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

After graduating from the Citadel in the late 1960's and before becoming a beloved bestselling Southern author Pat Conroy spent a pretty exasperating but inspiring year teaching a group of impoverished and undereducated black children on Yamacraw Island off the South Carolina coast. Put in charge of 18 supposedly higher level kids who could neither read or write and didn't even know that they lived in America, he takes on the challenge with unconventional methods such as movies, music, and even field trips away from the island from which they'd never strayed. To say he didn't receive much support from school board authorities is putting it mildly, in fact it's pretty much an endless dispute, but surely those children lucky enough to have been in his class that year had lives forever changed.
This memoir was written during times when school desegregation and other issues were at play but it must be pretty embarrassing time in history for education administration.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

The Dutch HouseThe Dutch House by Ann Patchett
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Danny and Maeve are siblings who can’t overcome their past. Abandoned by their mother at an early age, Maeve, the oldest, assumes the mother role. Everything changes further when their emotionally distant father marries the evil stepmother and the children are cut out of their inheritance. The pain, bitterness, and anger shapes their personalities and their future. How do they move past such a childhood?

My questions: What does forgiveness look like? Does forgiveness mean you allow toxic people back into your life? Is that healthy? What is required of the person(s) who did you wrong? I have my own thoughts about these issues but you’ll have to read the book and decide for yourself.

The first 75% was riveting reading. But the story took a turn that I found unrealistic and ridiculous. I can’t say more without spoilers. I’ve tried to discern the author’s purpose in writing this book and it either escapes me or it’s one I can’t buy into.

Friday, November 8, 2019

Nine Perfect StrangersNine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I would like to give this book a fair review. The two stars I gave are for character development. I just tried and tried to read and enjoy this book but found it just not possible.

I do love most of the books that I have read by this author and I am sure that this is just not my personal cup of tea. Others might thoroughly enjoy this read.

Very disappointing.

Sunday, November 3, 2019

We Are All Welcome HereWe Are All Welcome Here by Elizabeth Berg
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

An excellent read. Based on a true story of a woman who contacted polio when she was expecting a baby. She lived for years in an iron lung but is determined to still raise her family and be as productive as possible under the circumstances.

As I was reading this story I became very emotional near the end. It is a very powerful story.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

The Library BookThe Library Book by Susan Orlean
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Fantastic book. Opens with the big library fire in Los Angeles in 1986 and continues with a very interesting account of the history of libraries. We learn all about book burning by all different cultures including the Nazis. Too numerous to mention but extremely interesting and heartbreaking.

An excellent read.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Olive, AgainOlive, Again by Elizabeth Stroud
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Olive is one of my favourite characters. I loved Olive Kitteridge and this was a continuation of Olive, and wonderful.

As the story opens Olive decides to remary Jack Kennison. They live quite happily for the next eight years.

In some ways the book is a series of small stories, incidents that Olive is somehow involved in or aware of. Even the Burgess Boys make an appearance and it was lovely to see how their lives had turned out as well as their sister.

An excellent series.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Elevator PitchElevator Pitch by Linwood Barclay
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The newest book by Linwood Barclay is a winner. Elevators across the city of New York are being sabotaged. Several people have already died and there is a rush on to find the perpetrator.

Keep in mind that New York is basically a city in the sky. Most people live and work in high rise apartments and not many people can handle climbing several stories several times a day. If a terrorist was to infiltrate New York, this would probably be the biggest fear that residents could have.

I have read and loved every book by Linwood Barclay. The Zack Wallace series was fabulous, his Promise Falls was great and my all time favourite memoir, The Last Resort, is one that I have read a couple of times already.

An excellent read.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Send Down the RainSend Down the Rain by Charles Martin

An American fellow who was drafted for the Viet Nam war, left his girlfriend and went to Asia and risked his life many times. Received many medals, but became almost a recluse when he finally returned. He has a gift of starting little companies and making a lot of money.

But he has secrets that he carries.

I liked the story, but from about the second half of the book I felt that it was a bit "over the top" and not believable.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Catch Your Death (Detective Jess Bishop #3)Catch Your Death by Kierney Scott
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

FBI agent Jess and her team set out to discover why five students from a very high profile college have taken their lives. Jess and Jamieson, her partner, are very battle weary from another very dangerous case but they always head fearlessly into whatever battle they will face.

One of the students that died was the nephew of Jess' boss, who she admired and was determined to discover the reasons for his tragic death.

A very enjoyable series and hope there will be more from this author.

Friday, August 23, 2019

AlbatrossAlbatross by Terry Fallis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wonderful! Kept me reading constantly until finished.

I have read, and loved, every one of Terry Fallis' novels. A few years ago I belonged to a library book group in Toronto. One night at our monthly meeting, an author visited us named Terry Fallis. He gave us the most wonderful talk that I still remember. From that talk we learned about this new author and then we read his novel, Best Laid Plans, and all loved it. Oh, I must mention that it was the very day that Mr. Fallis received the Stephen Leacock for humour.

The Albatross is a great story. One thing that I also appreciate about his novels is that they can be read and enjoyed by any age group.

Alli and Adam have been fast friends since early school days and have their plans to attend The University of Toronto together and join the writers' courses. But things don't always happen the way we plan them. During his last year of highschool, Adam has a physical education teacher who has read an obscure formula of measurements that claim that if you fall into certain categories you can excel at a particular sport. In Adam's case, his particular sport to excel in was golf.

An excellent read.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

The Lost LetterThe Lost Letter by Jillian Cantor
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This was an interesting story taking place just before the Second WW in Austria. A family is torn apart and we learn a bit about what it was like just before Britain declared war on Germany.

I reduced the stars on this book due to the way it was written. I can hardly describe it as it seems to be in the first person, but present/past. Many of the sentences would be spoken by young teens today rather than adults. A very poor word happened at least three times and this would not be used in 1938 nor 1989 and that is the word "grab". For mature adults the word grab is very rude. In 1936 a person would never say "I forgot to grab a raincoat" or "I am going to grab a coffee." The author needs to find some grown up editors for her books.

I did finish the book but a lot of time it felt like fingernails scraping on the blackboard. Very disturbing.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

The ReckoningThe Reckoning by John Grisham
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Another winner by John Grisham.

Pete loves his family and his farm in the south. When the war was declared in Europe he realized that it was just a matter of time before he would be called up. He spent time in The Philipines and fighting the Japanese and was in a Japanese prisoner of war camp. Terrible things happened in those camps. Louis Zamperini told a lot also about these camps in his biography, Unbroken.

Pete was reported as missing in action while in the prison camp. What a wonderful day it was when he was finally sent home, very broken and needing hospitalization for months, but alive.

But something was not quite right. When he was home for only a short time, he sent his wife away to a mental asylum and shot the minister of his church point blank. But why did he do that? That is the question that you keep asking throughout the book.

An excellent read.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

All We Ever WantedAll We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I listened to the audio of this book and enjoyed the characters very much.

Nina is a married lady whose husband is very successful and she and her little family of one son want for nothing. Her son, Finch, has been accepted into Princeton University and the road seems paved in gold for them.

Until the knowledge of a foolish prank comes to light that Finch and his friends concocted and things begin to fall apart.

Most of the characters were not likeable, but the story was interesting enough to overcome this disadvantage.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Me Without YouMe Without You by Kelly Rimmer
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Kelly Rimmer has written another unforgettable story. Callum and Lilah meet by chance on a ferry on their way home from work. Sparks fly immediately and Callum realizes that for him it was love at first sight. Lilah feels the same way but she holds back and tries to avoid another encounter. She has her reasons for avoiding a love affair at this time.

Callum is a 40ish, straight laced advertising/marketing executive who is, not exactly unhappy but not exactly satisfied either. Lilah is a quirky, vegan, bare footed, high powered lawyer. 

Oddly, they run into each other again at another location near her work and it was obvious that they were meant to be together. Lilah's reasons for holding back become the focus of the story.

This was a very sad but important story.

Friday, July 12, 2019

The Things We Cannot SayThe Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Alina Dziak is a young girl in the early days of the Nazi occupation of Poland. She and her boyfriend Tomasz intend to marry when she is old enough and he returns from university in Poland. All that changes when the Nazis invade and all lives must make new plans.

The story streamlined from wartime to current times with the family and the family secrets.

Highly recommended book.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

The Perfect GirlfriendThe Perfect Girlfriend by Karen Hamilton
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I loved this audio book that was read by Ann Marie Lee. It would not have had the same impact with me if I had read the paper book.

The story keeps unfolding and just when you start to ask yourself why she does certain things, the answer comes bit by bit.

Juliette loves Nate and will stop at absolutely nothing to get her man and has a plan. Nate broke up with her several months previously but she will continue to try to win him back.

A great read.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

City of GirlsCity of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert

Unrated. Just not my type of book and when my stomach started to turn I knew it was time to give it up. I did look forward to the book and wanted to like it.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

The Story HourThe Story Hour by Thrity Umrigar
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Maggie is a psychologist working in a hospital and developing her own private practice in her home office. Lakshmi is a married Indian woman whose attempted suicide has brought the two together.

Maggie's professional guard is let down in her treatment of Lakshmi and offers to treat her free of charge. Week by week Lakshmi tells stories of her homeland and her life in American with her domineering husband.

With the help of Maggie and her husband Lakshmi's life begins to open gradually like a flower beginning to bloom. But there are secrets that are so disturbing that lives will be ruined.

An excellent read. Thrity Umrigar is at the top of my favourite authors list.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Review: Becoming

Becoming Becoming by Michelle Obama
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved every word of this book. It drew me in and I was living in the whitehouse with Michelle. Her writing makes you feel like you are her good friend. She is so generous in sharing aspects of her life and I can't recommend this book enough.

She starts with her childhood in Chicago, her father who had MS and a devoted mom all living in the upstairs of her great aunt's small house.

An excellent read.

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Review: Favourite Daughter

Favourite Daughter Favourite Daughter by Kaira Rouda
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I looked forward to this book because I loved her book, The Best Day Ever. However it was a disappointment. There were no surprises and you knew almost right from the start who the murderer was. It dragged for most of the book and somewhat repetitive.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Review: Dog on It

Dog on It Dog on It by Spencer Quinn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A very entertaining mystery. Involves Bernie, a private detective and his dog Chet.
Of course I always love a story where the dog is the protagonist.

There has been a kidnapping. Unfortunately the parents believe that its a runaway.
The father is in very deep with gangsters for a lot of money and they want their money back any way possible. Kidnapping is not beneath them. Did I mention they are the Russian mofia?

Bernie finds himself in some deep trouble and its a good thing that he has Chet, a very smart cookie.

An excellent read.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Review: Pay It Forward

Pay It Forward Pay It Forward by Catherine Ryan Hyde
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this book so much and I actually did cry a few times in the reading.

A teacher, Reuben, gives his junior students an assignment for extra credit. He asked them to come up with an idea that would change the world.

Trevor, the son of single mom Arlene, takes up the challenge and starts his own experiment to see if his idea could actually change the world. His simple idea is to do a good deed for three people. Those people are not to pay him back but must forward the good deed on to three people they find that need help.

You never know how something you do for someone will affect lives.

A gem of a book. Excellent read.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Review: The Secrets Between Us

The Secrets Between Us The Secrets Between Us by Thrity Umrigar
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a story that I absolutely loved. It was a surprise when I realized that it was the second book with the same characters and basically a continuation of the first book, The Space Between Us byThrity Umrigar. You could read this as a stand alone, but would be better to read the first book as well.

Bhima continues to do housework and cooking and raising her granddaughter in the slums in Mumbai, having lost her daughter and her husband to AIDS. We do get a much better insight into how Bhima lost her good job of many years with the same family and especially losing what she always thought of as her family. She was an integral part of that family and loved the children just as her own.

Years before Bhima's husband had left her and had taken their son with him. He had been doing a lot of drinking and Bhima had "shown" him up in front of his buddies. That left Bhima alone and had to face the death of her daughter and son in law on her own and assume the raising her her granddaughter.

An excellent read.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Review: I Will Always Write Back: How One Letter Changed Two Lives

I Will Always Write Back: How One Letter Changed Two Lives I Will Always Write Back: How One Letter Changed Two Lives by Caitlin Alifirenka
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wonderful book. It is the one book that I think everyone should read, especially the young ones.

Caitlin at the age of twelve was given a project by her teacher to write a letter to a pen pal. Martin, a student in Zimbabwe was the recipient of her letter and he responded. This started an absolutely wonderful friendship that has stood the test of time.

Highly recommended, a superb read.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Review: I Liked My Life

I Liked My Life I Liked My Life by Abby Fabiaschi
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A very enjoyable debut novel. I liked my life opens with the aftermath of a wife and mother, Maddy, committing suicide. She is still in the atmosphere and is somehow able to transmit thoughts and feelings to her family who are completely devasted by her death.

Her family consisted on Brady, her husband, Eve, her daughter and Meg, her sister. Everyone loved Maddy and she was very wise. Each of the members of the family have to learn to continue living without Maddy to help and encourage them and each one has guilt feelings that they didn't do enough for Maddy and took her for granted.

The story is told in alternating voices in the first person and this was the best way to get close to each character and understand each of them.

A very unique story and good read.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Review: The Lightkeeper's Daughters

The Lightkeeper's Daughters The Lightkeeper's Daughters by Jean E. Pendziwol
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Terrific book. The setting is perfect Lake Superior and its easy to see that the author comes from that area in Canada. Her descriptions and the way she can make you "feel" the lake is fantastic.

My only complaint is that I feel I have read this story previously, or something quite similar. The Light Between The Oceans comes to mind. Although the stories are different, there did seem to be a "theme".

But anyway, back to this book. It is a terrific story and I could never have anticipated the ending. The main characters are twins Elizabeth and Emily. Elizabeth is now in a nursing facility and has been given a set of journals that her father wrote during his life when working as a keeper at Lake Superior near Thunder Bay. Since Elizabeth is almost blind, a young girl who is doing community service duties, has been reading from the journals aloud for her.

An excellent read.

Monday, April 8, 2019

Review: Don't Let Go

Don't Let Go Don't Let Go by Harlan Coben
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I have read many Harlan Coban novels and loved most of them.

Fifteen years ago Nap's twin brother was killed, or, he could have committed suicide. Nap has been searching for the reasons for many years.

Unfortunately I found the story was drawn out and very far fetched.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Review: A History of Loneliness

A History of Loneliness A History of Loneliness by John Boyne
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

John Boyne is one of my all time favourite authors. He has really hit the target with this book.

When Odran Yates was a boy in Ireland, his father committed suicide taking his youngest son with him. This was a huge blow to the family. His mother turned to religion and eventually influenced Odran in joining the church and to become a priest.

Over the years Odran has had hints of the behaviour of some of his colleagues but always turned the other way. Eventually though, he does have to admit that he was aware of certain abuses that the priests were guilty of. How awful to have to realize that you were in a position to stop the abuse of small children and were able to change their lives, but that you did nothing.

An excellent read.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Review: Water from My Heart

Water from My Heart Water from My Heart by Charles Martin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have loved every book that I have read by this author. It is a story with many sides. Charlie is a drug dealer and has done a lot of bad things. Not the least of which was bankrupting a coffee plantation in Nicuragua and robbing many people of their livlihood. Eventually he is made to see clearly exactly how it affected people and it was an awakening for him.

The story at the back of the book tells the true events that happened in 1998 in Nicuragua from a hurricane and mud slides that killed thousands of people.

An excellent, eye opener and an excellent read.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Review: The Abduction

The Abduction The Abduction by John Grisham
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Interesting YA story. Theo's friend April seems to have been abducted and the whole town is looking for her. They are afraid that she had been taken by an excaped prisoner who was a distant cousin of her family. April doesn't have good parental guidance and is left on her own most of the time.

There were some very funny aspects to the story that made me laugh right out loud.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Review: A Spark of Light

A Spark of Light A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I was excited to get this book from the library after being on hold for ages. I really wanted to like it as I have liked so many books from this author. Unfortunately I just didn't click with the book. I wondered if my book had been published incorrectly because it seemed to be very repetitive saying the same things over and over in much the same ways. It was very preachy as well. It seemed to use a reverse chronology (or something). The abortion scenes were a bit much IMO as well.

I know that most people will love this book so I am in the minority with this one.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Review: The Next Person You Meet in Heaven

The Next Person You Meet in Heaven The Next Person You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another feel good, thought provoking story by Mitch Albom.

Annie, the girl who had the accident in the amusement park years before, finally finds her true love. But on the first morning of their marriage a terrible accident occurs. Annie is transported to the next step of her journey in heaven. This is a continuation of his book, The Five People You Meet In Heaven.

Mitch Albom books often (to me) feel like warm water being spread over a cold body and giving such a feeling of comfort and peace.

An excellent read.

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Review: Valentina

Valentina Valentina by S.E. Lynes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a terrific story.

Shona is a single girl and rooms with her friend. One night her friend asks her to go to an amateur play with her and there she meets the love of her life, Mikey.
Before long they are involved and move in together. Shona was made aware that he had broken up with an ex girlfriend recently.

This plot becomes thicker and thicker, things happen that you would not predict.
A true psychological weird thriller of a story.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Review: If You Knew Her

If You Knew Her If You Knew Her by Emily Elgar
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A very unusual story. Cassie seemingly is doing very well in her life until an accident lands her in the hospital in a coma. Frank, another patient in a coma actually hears everything that is going on in the ward but can't communicate to anyone. He hears visitors as they come to Cassie and he is the only person who could tell someone that she was in danger. To complicate Cassie's problems they discovered that she is expecting and even her husband didn't know about that. They must care for her very carefully in order to keep the baby growing and healthy.

An excellent read and with an unpredictable outcome.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Review: Escape

Escape Escape by Linwood Barclay
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a continuation of  Mr. Barclay’s first book in the series “Chase”. It picks up where “Chase” left off. Chipper is a dog that has been altered by “The Institute” – he is still part-dog, but also part-robot. He escapes and finds 12-year old, Jeff, whose parents passed away not long ago. The Institute is now looking for Chipper and Jeff.

It’s fast-paced, but it is meant for younger readers, so it is more simple than his adult books, but he still throws a couple of twists into the story, as well.

Excellent read.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Review: Chase

Chase Chase by Linwood Barclay
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Linwood Barclay may have written this book for a younger audience but I am not young and I loved it. Of course I always love stories that feature a dog, but this has the elements of intrigue and danger, plus some very interesting characters.

Jeff is living in the aunt's fishing camp as his parents had died the previous year in a plan crash. Mr. Barclay always does such an excellent job in creating the atmosphere of a camp and probably, or maybe, that is due to his early childhood and his actually living and growing up at a camp in Ontario. Whatever the reason, this story frames the scene so well and puts you right in the midst.

Chipper, an experimental dog from a lab is scheduled to be "put to sleep" and on his own he decides that escape is his only option. He does have an idea of where he will go and with all the computer equipment at his disposal, off he goes. He is determined to find a boy named Jeff Conroy as he knew his parents and knows what really happened to them.

An excellent read. There is a part two called Escape which I am just about to start now so will soon know how the story ends.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Review: A Simple Favor

A Simple Favor A Simple Favor by Darcey Bell
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

A single mom, Stephanie, whose husband died in a car accident makes friends with another mom and is so happy to have found a best friend. The friend, Emily, is not at all what she seems on the surface.

Emily is not at all what she seems to be and actually has a twin sister that she has not told anyone about. She has some very creepy schemes up her sleeve and because Stephanie is really not the crispiest chip in the bag, she believes everything that Stephanie says and goes along with her.

This was quite a frustrating read for me.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Review: A Noise Downstairs

A Noise Downstairs A Noise Downstairs by Linwood Barclay
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Linwood Barclay is one of my favourite authors and I have spent many hours enjoying his novels. The newest story kept me on the edge of my seat and I can say that this book didn't disappoint.

Charlotte and Paul are a married couple that have been having trouble since a few months previously Paul had been attacked with a shovel when he inadvertently discovered a colleague of his in the midst of a serious crime. The friend went to prison but Paul was seriously injured and is still in the process of recovery.

Paul had a previous marriage that went wrong and he has a little boy, Josh, from that first marriage. He is not doing well with his recovery and his friends and family feel that he has extreme psychological problems now, possibly brain damage. But does he?

A thoroughly enjoyable read.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Review: Still Me

Still Me Still Me by Jojo Moyes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was the conclusion to Louisa Clark's story and I absolutely loved this three book series.

After many setbacks, Louisa is living and working in New York, just for a year. It is something that she wanted to do. She needed an adventure after all the unfortunate things that she had dealt with. But things don't always turn out the way we want them to.

Louisa has left behind her boyfriend, Sam and she hopes that their relationship can become stronger through correspondence.

This is a humorous love story. An excellent read.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Review: The Pact

The Pact The Pact by S.E. Lynes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love this book. It drew me in right away. Two sisters live together and the youngest, Toni, is the widowed mother of a teenaged girl, Rosie.  The little triangle family sticks together and the older sister, Bridget is devoted to helping her sister raise her daughter. The two sisters border on over protectiveness to Rosie. But danger lurks and the three discover that it can be very close to home.

Highly recommended if you like a bit of psychological thriller. The book peels away bit by bit but be patient as all will be revealed.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Review: The Martian

The Martian The Martian by Andy Weir
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this book. It was very detailed technically about a trip to Mars gone bad. But Mark, the main character endears us to himself with his ingenuity.

Some type of accident happened while on their Mars mission.  The commander, believing that Mark has died, gives the order to evacuate the planet. When Mark finally revived he realized that his mission crew members had left for their main ship and left him on his own on the planet with some life preserving tools but with no communication system or any way of letting anyone know that he had survived.

An excellent read and also an affirmation that we should never give up hope and should always try our very best no matter how hard the circumstances.

Review: The Other Side of the Bridge

The Other Side of the Bridge by Mary Lawson My rating: 5 of 5 stars A beautifully written novel. A book ...