Book Reviews April 2019

In the Midst of Winter by Isabel Allende. Always one of my favorite writers, Allende didn’t disappoint me this time around. The complex, tender, emotions between people of different backgrounds, she introduces us to Richard Bowmaster, a lonely Brooklyn professor, Evelyn Ortega, an undocumented immigrant from Guatemala and Lucia Maraz, a visiting academic from Chile. The tragic past of all three comes together in this novel. Rate: 4.0

Stripped Bare by Shannon Baker. Hmmmm…I saw an article about this author and it said she wrote about the Hopi, however that book was not in the library so I checked this one out because it takes place in Nebraska…land of my roots. (My mother’s family). It was the kind of genre western romance mystery fiction I don’t really love, but sometimes read when I don’t want to put much mental effort into the reading (for a break, in other words.) Anyway…so, so, nothing wrong with it, just like I said, kind of prescriptive genre. I never did figure out what the title actually referred to. Well, maybe I did, but I’m not sure. Rate: 2.8 I am going to try to find her book on the Hopi.

A Trick of Light by Louise Penny. Yep, still plugging away at the Inspector Gamache series. I wouldn’t keep reviewing them, because by now I figure either you like them and you want to read them all or you don’t and it would be difficult to just read one. Altough that is how I started and I loved the first one I read. I have to ask myself “How can I still be so interested in the same characters, in the same small town, dealing with the same (and new) relationship issues? Because, really, truth-be-told, all each book brings is a new murder victim and a twist on the characters. Except that isn’t all each book brings. The characters are growing older, changing, dealing with issues that have been around for a couple of books….and I’m so attached to them I wish someone would put on one of those living vacations and I could go BE with them. That would be soooo much fun. This one was good…I don’t know exactly why but the pace was fast and I read through it in two days. Rate: 4.0

The Baby Pact by Lesley S. King. I met this author when I stayed in her beautiful Santa Fe home. What a treat to discover she was a writer. She writes travel guides, poetry and novels. This one is about two friends who have made a pact…if they reach forty without having a baby they will both get pregnant. A tale of the real meaning of love, the biological urge to have a baby and more. A fun read. Rate: 4.0

The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. What a book! Nearly a thousand pages this is not a quick read. This historic novel is the tale of Phillip, a Prior in England. The story takes place from 1135 to 1174. A complex weaving of several characters and their families is made fascinating by the underlying building of a massive cathedral, the ongoing battles for leadership and the balance of power struggles between church and state. Rate: 4.0

Key for my personal rating system:

5.0 – A book I will never forget, will quote, will tell everyone I know they MUST read it.

4.0 – An excellent book, but doesn’t quite make the best books of all time list.

3.0 – A recommendation, good read, decently written

2.0 – Some redeeming qualities, I finished it, but I’m not likely to seek out more by the author.

1.0 – Don’t wast your time.