Discover Yourself And Push Yourself Further Than You Ever Dared. This title of this review is pretty well exactly what happens in this tale of a forty something mother finally having enough and breaking away from the only life she has known as an adult. Along the way, we get the beautiful and sometimes charming waters and towns along the US Eastern Seaboard – and a *lot* of sailing terminology. The techno-babble didn’t bother me too much as a *long* time reader of military technothrillers (where Clancy infamously spent seemingly dozens of pages on the first *nanoseconds* of a nuclear detonation in The Sum Of All Fears, among numerous other examples), but perhaps it could be more of a problem for someone whose experience is more exclusively within the women’s fiction/ romance genres (where this book squarely resides). An excellent tale that almost begs for a sequel to more fully explore the new setting the characters find themselves in at the end. Very much recommended.
This review of Wherever The Wind Takes Us by Kelly Harms was originally written on October 1, 2022.
Interesting Twist On Dual Timeline Historical Fiction. Over the course of 800+ books in the last three years alone, I’ve read quite a few dual timeline historical fiction books. Generally, one of the timelines is “current”, or at least mostly current – end of the 20th century at its oldest. Here, the “current” timeline is actually much older – the last months of WWII – and the “older” timeline is *much* older – 16th century. The poetic prose here highlights the idealized South of the pre-air conditioning era… and yet also doesn’t shy away from discussing some of its lower points, including both slavery and extrajudicial murders. (I intentionally don’t use a particular “l” word there, as it generally has connotations that do not apply in the particular situation in the book.) All of this is wrapped around the mysterious Dare stones and how so many of them could be judged to be fake… except the first one, Eleanor Dare’s stone and the tale therein inscribed isn’t necessarily so easily dismissed. The care Brock takes to show an atypical yet also completely realistic and plausible tale of what happened and why to Ms. Dare is quite remarkable, and indeed this shines through in the variety of other situations portrayed in this book as well. It quickly becomes readily apparent that Ms. Brock is a Southern storyteller of the best form – one that doesn’t excuse the atrocities of our past, yet one that also respects the real and vibrant cultures of the era, showing that even while misguided on particular points, the overall people were not the monsters many non-Southern (or even Southern of particular political persuasions) writers portray them as. Truly a remarkable work in so many ways, and very much recommended.
This review of The Lost Book Of Eleanor Dare by Kimberly Brock was originally written on April 23, 2022.
This week, we’re changing things up a bit because I noticed that a release wasn’t getting the attention it deserves and the book that was going to go in this spot has a fairly powerful marketing machine behind it. This week, we’re looking at When It’s Time For Leaving by Ang Pompano.
This book is really as laid back as its setting, along the gently flowing waters of the Savannah River just outside Savannah, Ga. It opens in a similar setting in coastal Connecticut, and also has a scene at the edge of the Okefenokee Swamp in southern Georgia and northern Florida. It even references a region upriver from Savannah at Augusta, GA/ Aiken, SC (the two towns are on opposite sides of the River) known to locals as the Central Savannah River Area, or CSRA. Since starting this book blog I’ve lived in the northern Florida area, but I lived in and near the CSRA for several years before that and have been in the Savannah region several times. Since this book is one of few I’ve seen not named Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil set in the region, it had my attention from the beginning.
The mystery and action are just enough to keep the plot driving along – starting with our hero being involved in a major car crash in Connecticut that kills a suspect he is chasing and flowing with dead bodies, people being attacked, mysterious notes being left, and concluding with an epic showdown in the River itself. But the real star here is the area itself, and despite being a Yankee himself, the author really nails the actual feel of the region. Yes, we have our hot summer nights both on the water and not. We have our animals dead set on killing us if we don’t leave them alone. We have our crazy neighbors and our hot coworkers with high libidos. And we have our family members slowly losing their minds to Alzheimer’s.
Truly a great mystery, even if not in the action packed vein of a Reacher novel or the crazy whodunit plot twists every other page Gone Girl mold. But when you’re in the mood for a more relaxed yet enjoyable time, reach for this one. You won’t be disappointed. Very much recommended.
And as always, the Goodreads/ Amazon review:
Continue reading “Featured New Release of the Week: When It’s Time For Leaving by Ang Pompano”
This week we look to an excellent post Apocalyptic zombie tale by a promising debut author. This week, we look to The Post by Kevin Munoz.
This was a book that was very reminscent of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road in terms of overall bleakness. The key difference being that while I often cite The Road as the singular worst book I have ever read, this particular book was genuinely great. While I cop to being a Georgia native – and UGA athletics fan -, I am not overly familiar with most of the particular locales described in this book. That said, it is always nice to see an area you’ve known even a bit to be featured in a book. This book is an excellent examination of how society can rebuild itself from nearly anything, including the dual Apocalyptic events described as having happened years before the events here. Truly an excellent human centered book that happens to take place in a world that has survived the Zombie Apocalypse and is still in the process of rebuilding, this book shows those efforts – and secret efforts that could undo every ounce of progress made so far. I really cannot heap enough praise on this debut work. If you are open to genre, read this book. If you like post Apocalypse, read this book. If LGBT centered stories are your particular bent, you will also enjoy this book. If you’re just looking for a solidly entertaining read, read this book. Seriously, just read this book and hope – as I do – that we get an unnecessary yet welcome sequel.
And as always, the Goodreads/ Amazon review:
Continue reading “Featured New Release Of The Week: The Post by Kevin Munoz”