Day The Falls Stood Still, by Cathy Marie Buchanan – Book Review

Bess Heath is just seventeen years old at the time her world irrevocably changes.  She leaves the prestigious Loretto AcademyThe Day The Falls Stood Still, by Cathy Marie Buchanan at the end of her junior year knowing that she will never return, and in a manner in which she has not been accustomed in her short life.  Gone is the fancy car with her proud father leaning against it in greeting, waiting to whisk her away for summer holidays.  Instead there is only her mother to sit in on her last school concert, and to help her lug her heavy trunk to the trolley which they will now have to take home.

Bess is ill prepared to face the reduced circumstances and changed personalities of her family.  Though she has been warned by a friend that her father has lost his job at the Niagara Power Company, she doesn’t know that her mother has taken in sewing of the rich friends who were once their social equals, that her once elegant father now dons a rough worker’s coat  and then spends the day and most of the night drinking, shunned by his former colleagues.  Her once vivavacious sister, Isabel, has become a shell of her former self, haunted by secrets that Bess can’t imagine.  As Bess begins the process of adjusting to her new circumstances, the one bright spot in her life is Tom Cole, a working class man whom she meets by chance on the trolley home from Loretto.  Tom and Bess carefully work out a way to start seeing each other, though her family does not approve.  Will she do what is right for them or what is best for her?

If I had to chose one word to describe this book it would be intricatelywovenandmultifaceted. (What do you mean that’s not a word?  It’s in my dictionary just like that!) There was so much going on and so many layers.  The Day The Falls Stood Still is historical fiction at it’s best- when you are just so encased within the fabric of the story, the characters and the history that you are getting an education, entertainment and a little therapy all at once.  Bess, Tom, Isabel and the rest of the characters in this novel face drastic changes in their society due to their own choices, but also external forces like the ongoing war and the resulting privations which all but the wealthy must endure. Every decision that they make is also heightened by the immediacy of death,easily accessible in the raging waters of Niagara Falls, whether or not death is being actively sought.  People are found floating in the river having given themselves over to the Falls, mothers accidentally drop their babies into the water, ice bridges break up and float off with people trapped on them, there are avalanches and rock slides, and adventurers trying to shoot the rapids in barrels. Tom is deeply concerned with the fact that Niagara herself is facing death at the hands of corporations bent on siphoning off  the water to create electricity.

I spent a lot of time thinking about the decisions that I made when I was Bess’s age, and I have to say that while I might have had the basic framework for who I would become, a lot was missing.  I guess the way that we fill in that framework is to have life experiences, make mistakes, change or become more of and reinforce who we are, but it was just fascinating to look at the choices from the remove of a century, and against the back drop of a different society in a place as dramatic as Niagara Falls.  I worried for Bess, and I wasn’t sure that she was making the right decisions, and I wasn’t sure that I wanted the right things for her, but  loved thinking about it all while reading.  The characters and their situations, and not just Bess, were so balanced and well thought out that it was a joy to read and the writing is just beautiful. Cathy Marie Buchanan seems to effortlessly render a society that is changing faster than people can keep up.

Another element that I enjoyed here were the quiet explorations of faith and nature.  As the novel stats out Bess is someone who has always felt the presences of something bigger than herself, and has always been on the verge of confirming that belief when circumstances halt her burgeoning faith and cause her to question its existence and her tendency to believe.  Tom has deep faith in Niagara and the gifts of the river, but also in the spirit of the grandfather that taught him all that he knows.  Faith and beliefs can change over the course of a lifetime and that portrayal here is beautifully related as were the relationships between mother and daughter, husband and wife, and the bonds between friends.  This was a rich and rewarding reading experience and I savored every word.

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In this book, Bess has to make a lot of tough decisions at a young age and under circumstances that are drastically different those which she had been raised to expect.  Under even the best of circumstances I look back at where my head was at seventeen and am seriously mystified by what I was thinking and my very thought processes.

That being said, I have a copy of The Day The Falls Stood Still to giveaway to a lucky reader.  To enter just tell me how you were ruining your life at seventeen what you think about the quality of the choices you were making at seventeen. I’m pretty sure this is probably U.S./Canada only, but my international readers can enter for a shot at winning my so gently used it’s new copy. If you were reading yesterday, you’ll know that I don’t write in books, dog-ear, use bookmarks, eat or any other shady things when I’m reading a book.  In fact I read by osmosis!

Enter by Sunday, September 20th, anytime, your time and I will wait a few days to make sure it’s not Sunday anywhere and then e-mail a few winners.  Good Luck!

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All About Books, and Me, and Me & Books.

BBAW Celebrate Books

Do you snack while you read? If so, favorite reading snack?

Not really.  Maybe some popcorn.

Do you tend to mark your books as you read, or does the idea of writing in books horrify you?

Not horrifying, but don’t mark.

How do you keep your place while reading a book? Bookmark? Dog-ears? Laying the book flat open?

None. I just know.

Fiction, Non-fiction, or both?

Both. But lots more fiction.

Hard copy or audiobooks?

Both. Hard copies are love though.

Are you a person who tends to read to the end of chapters, or are you able to put a book down at any point?

I can just stop anytime.

If you come across an unfamiliar word, do you stop to look it up right away?

Is the context good enough?

What are you currently reading?

Crossed Wires, by Rosy Thornton

What is the last book you bought?

Angelica, by Arthur Philips.  Totally Vivienne’s fault.

Are you the type of person that only reads one book at a time or can you read more than one at a time?

I can read many books.

Do you have a favorite time of day and/or place to read?

Anytime.  Anyplace.

Do you prefer series books or stand alone books?

I stand alone.

Is there a specific book or author that you find yourself recommending over and over?

Kindred – Octavia Butler. The Heretic’s Daughter – Kathleen Kent.

How do you organize your books? (By genre, title, author’s last name, etc.?)

No order.  All over the place.

Wow!  I was concise, for once.

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City of Refuge, by Tom Piazza – Book Review

SJ Williams and his family have lived in New Orleans all of their lives.  Their roots and ties in the community are very strong.  AllCity of Refuge that SJ has left of his immediate family is his sister Lucy, who has struggled over the years with drug and alcohol dependency, her son and his nephew, Wesley, and a grown daughter who has moved away from New Orleans. Wesley is a teenager, a little lost from growing up amidst the uncertainty of his mother’s lifestyle and love, and chafing at the strict example and path of discipline that his uncle would have him follow. He is struggling to find a place in New Orleans society that is his own and stumbling along the way.  SJ lives a strictly regimented life as a way of keeping the haunting demons of war and the death of his wife at bay, his only wish to keep his remaining family in one piece.

Craig Donaldson and his wife, Alice, are a couple on the brink of losing it all.  Their marriage, and the life in New Orleans which had once been a fulfilling and exciting adventure is crumbling slowly under the weight of festering anger and resentment, exacerbated by the changing visions each has for their family.  Even as they are working on their marriage with a counselor, it is an exercise in force of will for them to communicate civilly with each other. Craig is satisfied with the life they have made in New Orleans, he loves the culture, his friends and the environment- he’s also happy enough in his position as editor of a local New Orleans Magazine.  Fatigued by frequent hurricane evacuations, Alice is increasing stressed about the violence in the city, their quality of life and the safety of the couple’s two young children, Annie and Malcolm. Both families are at the edge and doing the best they can to hold it together when their lives are further devastated by Katrina.

I read Nine Lives: Life and Death in New Orleans, by Dan Baum earlier this year and I was blown away and spent weeks talking it up to my mom and my friends.  So when Lisa from TLC Book Tours  asked me if I would like to read City of Refuge by Tom Piazza I jumped at the opportunity to read more on the subject of New Orleans and Katrina, and then immediately started to worry that I wouldn’t like the book.  Nine Lives is non-fiction, extremely well written, and shed so much light on the culture and workings of New Orleans, both before and after Katrina, that I would know immediately if City of Refuge wasn’t authentic.  I worried that the fiction wouldn’t hold up to all my newly learned facts.

My fears were groundless because Tom Piazza gets it.  He gets New Orleans, he gets fiction, and good dialogue, and intricate and conflicted characters, and lots of other things that made this a wonderfully touching and interesting book, which was very hard to put down.  It was also grey!  And I love grey in books because it means that I will talk to myself constantly about the characters and what is going on, and what they should have done, and how I love them but they are wrong, or hate them but have to admit that they are right- and I did that with this book right from the beginning! Every time I picked it up I was completely absorbed in the lives and heartaches of these families as they tried to find their way.

When a book is really good, sometimes there isn’t much that can be said without, I don’t know, gushing.  This is book where the writing is wonderful, rich and intimate, as are the relationships between the characters.  You will easily learn a lot about New Orleans’ colorful history and the politics and circumstances which made Katrina in particular so devastating, you will learn about the changing attitudes the people of this country had toward Katrina and the people of New Orleans, and frankly you will learn things that will have never occurred to you before because they are just not within your realm of experience.

I have never lived in a place afflicted by large storms, with 55 mph winds, that is in actuality beneath sea level.  Who knew that if you can afford it that you book a hotel room outside of town for when you evacuate?  It makes sense when you think about it, but the thought never occurred to me, and it’s what people have to do, sometimes several times a season.  I’m not even sure if I would be able to swing that.  I did know that you have to prepare your windows for when storms come, but who knew that you had to worry about someone stealing the piece of wood that you use to secure your window?  That’s what happened to SJ and it’s probably happened to someone else too.  There were a lot of little details like that, which contributed to making this story so real.  I just loved it.  So much work would have to be expended to rebuild in New Orleans and each family had to decide whether it was ultimately the right place for them, and whether they could go back and create a life there. Believe me, you will want to know what they decide.

You should read this!  It’s highly recommended.

TLC Book ToursThis review was a part of a blog tour! Check out other reviews and tour stops for City of Refuge, by Tom Piazza at  TLC Book Tours.

I just realized that I don’t know how to spell grey.  This message board put it to a vote. Do you know how to spell grey?  Which do you prefer grey or gray? It might be sort of wrong, but I like grey, so that won out for me.

In other random thoughts, this book is a strong case for why you can learn so much from fiction, and why I would just as soon, or maybe even sooner, read a fiction book to get the “facts” as I would a non-fiction book.  Thoughts?  Do you prefer fiction or non-fiction to learn your “facts”?

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Chit Chat! Wherein Margaret of Creative Madness Gets the Third Degree


BBAW Celebrate Books
Book Blogger Appreciation Week, for me, is all about getting to know new blogs and new bloggers, so of course I was really excited at the prospect of participating in an interview exchange.  I chit-chatted with Margaret of  Creative Madness. Margaret just welcomed a new addition into her life (yay, new baby!) and has added a few reviews to her site which spotlight products which might be of particular interest to moms, but mostly she is all about the books, and boy does she love her historical fiction!  Please welcome Margaret to Linus’s Blanket.
Congratulations on your new baby!  How are you doing it all?

Thanks for the wishes! I am still excited and cannot believe it has been six weeks, everything is still so new. As for doing it all, well I feel completely overwhelmed and fully behind. I have stacks of books to read as promised for reviews and even more books that I am just desperate to read because they just look that good and have not a clue when I will get to it all. I used to read a book in a day or two, but now I am lucky if I get one in a week with all of AppleBlossom’s little demands. She is very snuggly and quite the attention hog, but so worth it.


If you had 4 sentences to describe your blog, what would you say?

A new SAHM who reads a lot, quilts occasionally, gushes over her newborn, and from time to time does genealogy research putting it all into an electronic format makes up my blog. It is not so much a diary, as a place to share what I am currently attempting to be creative with in my madness.  My blog is a comfy cozy place to find out about the latest Christian Historical Fiction as well as almost every other genre Christian or General Market. Now, it is also a place of reference for Cloth Diapers and other baby/family products that are must haves.

You have a very eclectic blog.  How did you get into blogging about books?  Did you know that’s what you wanted to do from the start?

Creative Madness was started so that I would have an easier way to show my sisters and my mother pictures of quilts and cross stitch that I was working on. It was much easier to up load and send a web address than to send the big picture files. I was reading lots too and got involved on Goodreads at the same time and started writing book reviews, and then just started blogging the book reviews and I have been addicted ever since. So I probably blogged a few weeks before being bookish. Then books have been my main theme until a few months ago when I started reviewing maternity products as well during my pregnancy. In the future, I definitely plan to be mostly books, with a few reviews, opinions, and craftiness thrown in from time to time.


How long have you been blogging?

I have been blogging for just shy of two years now. October 18th will mark my two year blogoversary. My celebration this year is a huge book giveaway going on all month and maybe then some…


From the beginning of your blogging until now, in what ways has the experience of blogging changed for you?

At first I did not know nor care about followers. But as time went on and I started wanting more specific titles I needed a larger readership to impress the publicists. I have worked harder at getting more followers. When in the first year of blogging, I am shocked in retrospect about how many posts I have without trying. In the past few months it has been more difficult to post, but then can be related to my new addition. My blogging experience has really changed in the matter of it is more of a networking community to share things when before it was just my talking to myself hoping my sisters were listening. The funny thing is now, when I had made things for three sisters and my mother, I find out only one sister actually reads the blog. *Grin*


Who were some of the bloggers that you got to know blogging?

My first blogging buddies are the people I am still closest to in the blogging realm. That would be Deena of A Peek at My Bookshelf, Rel of Relz Reviewz, and later Ruth of Bookish Ruth and my closest blogging buddy Lindsey of Kindred Spirit’s Thoughts and Reviews. It seems every week I am making another blogging acquaintance, and I am pleasantly shocked at how close of friends my blogging buddies can be.

What’s the most useful piece of advice that you have ever gotten blogging about books?

I do not know if it is necessarily anything that someone out right told me as advice, but the best advice that I have gathered from watching and reading other bloggers is to write a book review, not a book report. People are for the most part going to read blogged book reviews to get an idea whether or not they should read the book and they do not want to read the entire plot and ending in a post, because then there is no purpose in reading the book. That has become a huge pet peeve to me as well, when I see so many “supposed” reviews that are just detailed synopsis.

It looks as if you read a lot of historical fiction, is there a special appeal in the genre for you?

My daddy is very much into history. All my life I can recall his explaining one piece of history or another, whether from something we passed driving down the street to just a picture we saw somewhere. My fondest memories are of his anecdotes on one thing or another. From there he also taught me a love of genealogy. In school, I may have never been that good of a student in history, but in researching genealogy with my dad, I could never get enough of the events surrounding the people. From there it just sort of blossomed. In my love of historical fiction, I prefer the escape to a time and a place elsewhere, when I can imagine the clothing, speech, and lifestyles. I try to avoid the historical stories of realistic pain dealing with war and hardships and pretty much stay in the realm of romance and fairly happily ever after within reason.


What do you look for when choosing a book?

Covers play a big part in my book choosing, but would not deter me completely if a book blurb sounds just that good. I look to see if I know the author and have read them and liked them or not. The endorsements are something I glance through, and I only read the ones from people I have heard of, either other authors I appreciate or what is really influential to me is when an endorser is a fellow book blogger. Another thing that can influence me about choosing a book is what the publisher is depending on the genre. Some almost always have good books in one genre or another.


What authors have you read this year are authors you would read again?  Does anyone stand out?

Goodness, let me think. This year I have read dozens of authors in the last nine months. Authors that I have read and would read anything else they published would be Michelle Moran, Mary Connealy, Julie Lessman , Deanna Raybourn, Tracie Peterson, Deeanne Gist, Rebeca Seitz, Julie Klassen, Stephenie Meyer, Tamera Alexander, Kathleen Y’Barbo, and Kaye Dacus. Some I have know about a few years, some I have only discovered this year. New authors that stand out to me that I will look for future books from are Catherine Gilbert Murdock, Craig Parshall, Matt Bronleewe and DiAnn Mills. There is also a billion others, but I know you do not have all day. *grin*

What’s your review process like?  What do you think are key elements to include in a book review?

As soon as I finish a book (almost always) even at two AM, I go write a review on Goodreads. Then I blog it. Then I post it on Amazon, BN.com, Borders, PaperbackSwap, Shelfari, and Google Reader. If it is Christian, I also post it on CBD.com, and if it is Christian Fiction I also submit it to be posted on ChristianBookwormReviews.com and NovelReviews of NovelJourney. Automatically from my blog, my reviews are also posted on my various ning accounts, Facebook, and Twitter too.

My actual process for writing the review is different for each book. At one point I thought about making myself a rubric to go by, but really each book calls for different things to be mentioned. I talk a little bit about a basic book blurb and then give my opinion. The good and the bad. Why I read the book, why I think others would like it and so on. My purpose is to convince others about the quality of a book so that they’ll go buy a copy and I hope some of my reviews achieve that.


Do you plan out your reading or do you prefer to be more spontaneous?

It was spontaneous, although I get in kicks. Meaning, I will crave historical fiction, and probably spend a week reading four of five books of historical fiction in related eras and areas. Or maybe I read a chicklit and then after that I will crave other contemporary romances. I still live by this habit, but it is a bit more structured now as I read books by deadline for various publishers. Sometimes I am just not in the mood for a certain genre, but the non-mood usually passed once I get started and then I can sway myself to just about anything.


What are you top five favorite books, and have they changed or stayed the same over the years?

Goodness. The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, by Avi. Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer. Scarlet by Stephen R. Lawhead. Princess Ben by Catherine Gilbert Murdock. The Shape of Mercy by Susan Meissner. Most of these just came out in the last year or so, but The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle has been a favorite since I first read it at age twelve or so. It is the book that I read and after that loved reading. I list these as favorites, but so many others come to my mind, it is hard to just leave it there. Pretty much anything by Michelle Moran, Deanna Raybourn, Mary Connealy, and Julie Lessman are considered pure favorites as well.


What does your next year in book blogging look like in your head?

The next year may not be as full or exciting as previous because of less time to read with AppleBlossom in my life, but I definitely plan to have a minimum or a book review a week and have many more book suggestions and announcements through out the weeks. I absolutely love to find out about the coming soon books and post about them to let my friends now. Truly, as the C.S. Lewis quote on my header states, there is never a book long enough. Yet at the same time, there are so many books and too little time.

Nicole, Thank you so much for doing this with me! It feels great to go through all this stuff, and really makes me think. There are so many good authors out there and I love reading. I cannot wait to find more authors to become addicted to as well. It is great having many favorites, because then while one is writing and waiting to publish, I can read another to keep me busy and patient!



Thanks Margaret!  I loved reading your answers. It’s so funny to me that so many book blogs start off as something else. You can see what I had to say over at Margaret’s blog, Creative Madness.
My blog didn’t start off as a book blog either.  Did yours?
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Spotlight! AKA…A Few of the Blogs I Really, Really Adore.

BBAW Celebrate Books

So you know how some days you wake up and you have a plan?  There are certain things you want to accomplish and you have a list in your head.  Yes? Yes. Well my list this morning was to get up have a little breakfast, finish and post the review that I had half started on Shutter Island, by Dennis Lehane, and then write my BBAW Blog Spotlight post (yes, this one here that you are finally reading) and prep my BBAW interview for tomorrow. The plan was to have that finished by…let’s say… 11am. Well, I did manage to have breakfast anyway! I made the mistake that I always make when I don’t manage to get a post up in the morning.  I opened my google reader and started reading everyone’s posts on blogs they love, and then I had to click on the links and visit those blogs that were mentioned and those blogs would have posts of blogs they loved and then I had to go and read those too and subscribe to all of them.  It is a vicious, vicious circle, but I loved it!

I couldn’t deal with the pressure of choosing which books to spotlight, so I chose the first 8 blogs that came into my head, and if they hadn’t been shortlisted, they went onto my  list. Luckily, it took me a few tries since so many of my favorite bloggers made the short lists. Unluckily, there are still many that I can’t include here. I love spotlighting other bloggers, so with my reviews I include links to other blogger’s reviews of the same book. You can also check out my Recommended Reading sidebar where I share other great reviews and blogs which I have been reading.

Jenclair @ A Garden Carried in the Pocket – I love the name, because that’s the way I feel about books. I also love that Jenclair reads a variety of books that I haven’t heard of before but sound really interesting.  She has such thoughtful commentary on the books she reads and I always have a great time reading her reviews- even the ones of the books that might not particularly interest me.

Jackie @ Farmlane Books – I trust Jackie to keep me up-to-date on all of the prize winners out there.  I am in awe.  I love reading her reviews because they are so thoughtful and smart and I think we probably like and dislike books for the same reasons.  When I get ready to start going through the prize winners I know that I will be checking back in to get some recommendations.

Staci @ Life in the Thumb – Staci has an eclectic bunch of reviews and, and the lovely Six Sentence Saturday, which has recently become a meme.  Go Staci!  I love reading them, but  I just don’t think I can do one.  My short reviews are usually 600 words. 😛

Wendy @ Musings of A Bookish Kitty – I must say that I love reading Wendy’s Sunday Salon posts.  They want to make me want to step inside her blog and curl up with a cup of tea as she takes me through the books she has read, the challenges she’s working on and other little literary related tidbits.  Wendy also reads a variety of great books and has great reviews to go along with them. And her blog header…I approve!

Vivienne @ Serendipity – Vivienne blogs about things that I love reading about.  Good books (of course) and scrap books and scrapping.  Vivienne’s reviews damage my pocket book.  I ran out to get Angelica, by Arthur Phillips on her say so and I am also eying a few other books she has recently reviewed. She also gets bonus points for having the most yummy looking cupcakes on her header.

Dot @ Scribbles – Dot reads a little bit of everything.  I love the way she compares books with other books or to other subjects that she has read. She also reads lots of fun and lighter books, so it’s nice to look to her blog for a recommendation when I’m in that mood.

Veens @ Giving…Reading -A Chance – I love Veens!  She is the most enthusiastic book blogger and commenter out there.  Her reviews are so sparkly and full of life and she reads a great selection.  I love the way she loves books. She lost her blog earlier this year, and I was so happy that she made her way back to us.

“Rose” @ Rose City Reader – Does the general public know your name yet, “Rose”?  I don’t want to out anybody.  🙂 I have been reading Rose City Reader for so long.  I marvel at all the prize lists and author lists there.  Some are very obscure. The reviews are so good and often thought-provoking.  I’m always learning something and being entertained when I stop by here.

Okay I said 8, but I have to mention…

Kathy @ Bermudaonion – Kathy was nominated for Best Commenter, so I felt I could include her here because she is so much more. Kathy is the first blogger that  I “met” (on a book blogger conference call) and the one whose voice I have known the longest. I can always hear her when I read her reviews.  She has eclectic book tastes and I love how she gets to the heart of the matter in her reviews- and I just love her humor.  It comes through in her reviews and in the comments that she generously leaves everywhere. I love Kathy- she is the best!

P.S. Tell me more blogs!

P.P.S. Congrats to Amy and Co. for organizing a fabulous week of festivities celebrating and appreciating the efforts of book bloggers and the book blogging community! I won’t even say anything about Amy’s blog, My Friend Amy, because I know it would be rather pointless since you are already reading it and thinking it’s fabulous, and that she writes these great reviews about so many different kinds of books, and she does fun weekly events, and talks about Dean Winchester Supernatural.  Just sayin’.

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Time of My Life by Allison Winn Scotch – Book Review

Time of My Life, by Allison Winn ScotchTime of My Life, by Allison Winn Scotch.

Jill Westfield should be happy with her life. She has the home of her dreams, a loving, albeit distracted and insanely busy, husband, and a beautiful toddler whom she adores. But lately, it’s just not working for her. Though she chose to give up her career to be a stay-at-home-mom, Jill has moments where she feels less than fulfilled, and with her husband always on the go, she feels as if she is doing it all alone. Things get bad when she finds out that Jackson, her “ex” before marrying Henry, has just gotten engaged, and even worse the owner of the laundry that she uses tells her that she’s looking rough and needs more sex. Yikes! What’s a girl to do?

Probably something like what I would do, since she immediately books it over to the spa to get some relaxation, a massage, and to ponder the greener grass she could be enjoying with Jackson, whom she fantasizes about all the time.  Jill relaxes so much that she ends up going back 7 years into the past – where she is living with Jackson, about to land a major account at her ad agency, and without her baby, Katie.  However, even with all of her knowledge of the future, Jill doesn’t find that  it ‘s easy  to know what to do or  even what she wants.

I think that I like time-travel novels and that’s not something that I would have said about myself.  It definitely falls into the “who knew?” category for me.  But I loved Kindred, enjoyed The Time Traveler’s Wife Remembrance, and I was eager to read this book and see how Jill handled going back into the past. So now I am adding this novel to the list of time-travel books I have thoroughly enjoyed.

When I started reading this, I wondered what direction it would go in because it wasn’t readily apparent to me from the set-up.  Was this going to be a silly and fun romp in the past, or a serious examination of a life and what caused it go off-track? While it was fun to see Jill embrace and revisit her old life with the added bonus of all of her accumulated knowledge, I was pleasantly surprised with the depth of the novel as Jill struggled to approach her past in a way that would satisfy the ennui felt by the future Jill, and to try things differently- to see the people in her life more completely and more compassionately.

Jill’s characterization is strong, and even though I haven’t had her experiences I’ve had her doubts and reactions in similar situations. I felt as if I really knew her and that she was a pretty good representative of  the audience, and how anyone would have handled the experience of being granted a second chance at life. In the beginning, I was really curious to see what the big deal was about her old life, and I wanted her to let go of her future and be more fully immersed in the experience, but I’m glad that it didn’t turn out that way because I realize that there is no way I would have been able to go back and live my past differently. I too would have made painstaking comparisons to my future, and minutely examined how things were better or worse? Can anyone not do that? This aspect of the book made it so real for me, and it was so absorbing to see as Jill grew, and as she started to get a handle on herself/learn what it was that she wanted.

An interesting set of secondary characters serve as both supplement to Jill, and I believe, aspects of herself which she needs to address.  As she deals with her ex-lover, meets with her husband before he’s her husband, and struggles to help doomed friends and unhappy co-workers, Jill has to come to terms with who she has been and who she will be in the future. This search for herself is framed by the damaged and mysterious relationship she has with her mother and the longing for her daughter Katie, whom she is unsure if she will ever see again due to the way her past is unfolding the second time around.  This deceptively light and charming novel had a wonderful mystery element to it and explored issues and questions about relationships which I am still thinking about a month after having put it down.  I just love it when books are like that. Recommended.

1DA652C2516038AE4D02F55645591F39 Bring Up The Bodies by Hilary Mantel, Simon Vance (Narrator)  Audiobook Review

Check out other reviews and blog tour stops for Time of MyLife, by Allison Winn Scotch at TLC Book Tours.

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So My Blog E-Mailed Me…

and asked me why I don’t love it anymore. And I said, “I still love you Linus!”

August completely got away from me. I posted a grand total of  4 times in August and now it’s September 7th! How in the world did that happen?!?!

Well…have I got a story for you.  Don’t worry, it’s a short one- well actually several very little stories just to get my feet wet again with blogging.

  • The first week in August, WordPress updated its blogging software and I thought I would update as well.  Good idea?  Maybe not so much.  The new version of WordPress absolutely hated my blog.  I thought I was about to lose the whole thing, and it took me forever to figure it out… revert back to an old version and then fix everything that fell apart during the transitions.  It was all so tedious and painstaking that I thought I was going to lose my mind, but the most overwhelming thing I felt was relief that I had not lost ol’ Linus.
  • Then…I upgraded the operating system on my computer.  More drama, hair-pulling and gnashing of the teeth. Enough said.  You would think that I would learned by now not to upgrade things myself.  Ha!  So there goes week two of August. I managed one more post after this for my tour stop on Wife of the Gods by Kwei Quartey.  Good book, by the way.
  • I have been on vacation that last two weeks of August with only sporadic access to internet, and not enough time to blog.

So, to recap, the first two weeks of August were stressful, and the last two weeks have been divine- a much needed relaxation and rejuvenation.  I have to say that the Catskills in Upstate New York is some of the most gorgeous scenery and lands and towns that I have ever seen.  I kept feeling like I was right in the middle of someone’s lush and luxurious painting. I, of course, brought my camera, and, of course, left the batteries at home, so  I have only memories.  I guess I was supposed to have a real technology free experience because let me tell you there was no tv, cell phone or internet service, and…get this, the phone was rotary!  I don’t know when is the last time that I’ve seen one of those. Does anybody have one?

I can’t believe that we are 7 days into September already.  I went to the beach this weekend, and that was a wonderful thing. I brought along The 19th Wife, by David Ebershoff and didn’t read a page.  I just love feeling the sun on my back.  What did you do this holiday weekend (for my U.S. peeps)? And the rest of you too, anything fun?

I think I only finished one book in August, and at the moment I can’t even remember what it was, but it’s good to be back. And just in time to vote in the Book Blogger Appreciation Awards.  Did you vote? Vote! Voting closes Saturday September 12 at 11:59 PM EST.

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