Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The Forgotten Waltz



He is, for a moment, completely himself. He is about to turn around, but he does not know this yet. He will look around and see me as I see him and, after this, nothing will happen for many years. There is no reason why it should.

It really feels like night-time. The light is wonderful and wrong--it's like I have to pull the whole planet around in my head to get to this garden, and this part of the afternoon and to this man, who is the stranger I sleep beside now.

The Forgotten Waltz

Anne Enright

Pg. 13


Beautifully written. The heart wants... No matter the devastation. Looking forward to reading The Gathering.


Saturday, July 11, 2015

A Long Time Gone


We are all separate boats on this river of years, never expecting to see the boat before or behind us except when the current of time unexpectedly pushes us together, touching but never altering our course. We are born to fight the bends and curves of our own rivers, pushing back that which will not give, understanding where we are meant to be only when we let go and let the river take us back to the place where we began.

Pg. 417

A Long Time Gone

Karen White


This is actually the last paragraph in the book. Doesn't it just say it all? It just takes a lot of living before most of us can "let go."


I like this quote a bunch, too.


He gave me a lopsided grin as I turned and headed toward the stairs. "Good night, Booger," he called after me.

If I'd had something to fling in his direction, I would have. Instead I was left to contemplate the relationship between siblings, and how even though we would always get older, our relationship never really would.

Pg. 125



Sunday, July 5, 2015

Whistling in the Dark


I never heard exactly who it was that found Sara Heinemann's dead body over at the lagoon. But it was Willie O'Hara who told us that she was lying neatly on the grass between those rotting red rowboats you could rent for a dollar if you wanted to do a little fishing. Sara's pink undies were wrapped around her neck like a bow and she was naked. And some of her blond hair had been cut off just like Junie Piaskowski's had the summer before.

Something like that wasn't supposed to happen on a Vliet Street. But like Daddy always said...things can happen when you least expect them. Things that can change your whole life. How right he was. Because after they found Sara's body, it seemed like our nightly games of red light, green light and the Fourth of July parade and even cooling off in the Honey Creek on days so hot they'd curl the hair on the back of your neck might become part of the good old days that Granny always talked about. Because one dead girl was one thing. But two dead girls...everybody started wondering who would be next. Except for me. I knew I was next.

Whistling in the Dark

Leslie Kagen


It seems Leslie Kagen always writes in the voice of a young girl. I love Sally O'Malley--her wild imagination and her wise-beyond-her-years insights. There's a lot going on in the O'Malley Girls world this summer. Dramatic and scary things. But, Sally and Troo squeeze the best out of their world; charming the neighbors and finding adventure, intrigue, and empathy in every nook and cranny of Vliet Street and the neighborhood.


Saturday, July 4, 2015

Sea Change


St. Simons Island, Georgia

September 1804

Storms bring the detritus of other people's lives into our own, a reminder that we are not alone, and of how truly insignificant we are. The indiscriminating waves had brutalized the shore, tossing pieces of splintered timber, an intact China teacup, and a gentleman's watch--still with its cover and chain--onto my beloved beach, each coming to rest as if placed gently in the sand as a shopkeeper would display his wares. As I rubbed my thumb over the smooth lip of the China cup, I thought of how someone's loss had become my gain, of how the tide would roll in and out again as if nothing had changed, and how sometimes the separation between endings and beginning is so small that they seem to run together like the ocean's waves.

Sea Change

Karen White


Great storytelling; loved the alternating stories--early 1800s and 2011. Interesting characters; well drawn. Makes me excited that we're going to be on St. Simon's Island for a few days in September. We'll be celebrating your SIL's 65th birthday, and I've already ordered a copy of this book for her.


Monday, June 29, 2015

Island of Lost Girls

Rhonda Farr had two Peters in her life: the Peter she lived but could not have, and now the white rabbit, which she, not unlike Alice in Wondetland,sneezed destined to chase down the joke. But Alice's rabbit was nit named Peter. The only Peter a Rabbit Rhonda had known was the one in the storybook by Beatrix Potter, a common brown rabbit with a white fluffy tail, who just couldn't stay out of poor Mr. McGregor's garden.

On the other hand, Rhonda's Peter Rabbit was Ernestine Florucci's rabbit: all white and, as she would tell the police, about six feet fall.

"A rabbit?" the state troopers would ask, hands poised to scribble notes in black pads. "Six feet tall? Are you sure?"

Though the police were skeptical, Ernestine's mother, Trudy, believed Rhonda's story; she believed her but refused to forgive her.

The lives of Ernestine, Trudy, Rhonda--maybe the lives of everyone in Pike's Crossing--had changed forever in about three minutes. The time it takes to soft-boil an egg.

Island of Lost Girls

Jennifer McMahon


Friday, June 26, 2015

The Bright Side of Disaster



The end began with a plane crash. Just before midnight on a Tuesday in February. A girl I'd never met or even heard of died, along with her miniature dachshund (under the seat) and a plane load of passengers in the kind of commuter plane I'll never fly in again. I've pictured it a hundred times now: the quiet hum of the motor, the sleeping passengers, the sudden jolt, the cabin steward thrown sideways before he could finish his instructions. In my mind, it always looks like a movie, because I have nothing else to go on.

The Bright Side of Disaster

Katherine Center


Another in my list of summer reads. Light, told with humor and uncommon perspective. I'm looking forward to reading more from this author, too.





Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Sound of Glass



Another really good summer read by Karen White. And, it's the second to last paragraph that caught my attention, rather than the first.

It is in darkness that we find light. I itched to write the words in my journal, to fill the pages with everything I'd learned, how we are all tumbled about by the waves of life, earning scars that show where we've been. And we learn. With each scar we learn. With etched faces we turn toward the light, unbending and unbearable, strong at the broken places.

Karen White


I read this in my Amazon Cloud app. Just because I was impatient and ready to read NOW. I do still love holding a book, though.


Saturday, June 20, 2015

The One I Left Behind



The first thing she does when she wakes up is check her hands. She doesn't know how long she's been out. Hours? Days? She's on her back, blindfolded, arms up above her head like a diver, bound to metal pipe. Her hands are duct taped together at the wrist--but they're both still there.

Thank you, thank you, thank you Jesus, sweet, sweet Mother Mary, both her hands are there. She wiggles her fingers and remembers a song her mother used to sing:

Where is Thumpkin? Where is Thumbkin?

Here I am, Here I am,

How are you today, sir?

Very well, I thank you,

Run away, Run away.

The One I Left Behind

Jennifer McMahon


Another quick read; well-written. Jennifer McMahon has an extensive backlist--some I've already read and more to anticipate.


A serial killer. Suspense. A bit of a psychological thriller.



Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Tomorrow River


I'm sure you've heard it said that a person can't begin to understand another's troubles until they take a stroll in their shoes. Also maybe you'd . . . would you do me the favor of slipping on my little gal sneakers and taking forty giant steps backwards in time? Go stumbling around the summer of '69 the same way I did? Once you see what I was up against, I'm hoping you'll come to believe that my heart was tender and my intentions pure, and that's got to count for something.

Tomorrow River

Leslie Kagen



That's Shenandoah Wilson Carmody speaking, twin sister of Jane Woodrow Carmody, daughter of Evelyn, who's been missing for just about a year, and His Honor Judge Walter T. Carmody.

You gotta love Shenandoah. She's a whiz with words, passionate about all that she loves and experiences, protector of Woody, and determined to find out what happened to her mother just one year ago, come the Founders' Festival.

A quick and very satisfying read. Looking forward to more great storytelling and beautiful stories by Leslie Kagen.


Thursday, May 7, 2015

The Aviator's Wife



Historical fiction. Anne Morrow Lindbergh. Her story, through her eyes.



I love Gift from the Sea; it's quiet tone and deep insights. Of course, anyone born in the 20th Century recognizes the name of Charles Lindbergh, and many his wife, Anne. Forever in his shadow, yet so much more than just the aviator's wife.


Melanie Benjamin (Hauser) writes a thought-provoking and sensitive novel about a real woman, an artist, a daughter, sibling, wife, aviatrix, mother... But, most importantly she crafts the story of a real woman. A woman earnestly seeking to be complete. To be enough, in her own eyes.


Friday, April 24, 2015




An amazing book.


The French Revolution. Modern-day Brooklyn. Time Travel. Loss. Grief. Angst. Music history. Resolution. Redemption.


Jennifer Donnelly is a superb writer and researcher. She takes writing, as an art form, to its highest level. Her characters are complex and compelling; she brings stark and vivid reality to dusty, ambiguous history.


If only the French Revolution and any war before or after could have really changed the world. This Revolution insists we can only change ourselves.




Saturday, February 14, 2015

The Pink Suit

For those of us who fell under her spell.


"What a strange power there is in clothing." Isaac Bashevis Singer

November 1963

There was that odd thing where he seemed to tilt to one side as if to whisper something to her, as lovers often do. Her head turned, the perfect hat still in place, and she, out of instinct, leaned in as if for a kiss.

His face softened.

It took a moment for her to understand.

It was then that something--gray, dark--tumbled down the back of the limo. She pushed him away and followed after it. Held it in her hands as if it were a broken wing.

The film shows this: the agent jumped onto the 1961 Lincoln and pulled her back into the seat. Unseen are the thirty-six long-stem red roses tumbling to the floor and the agent pushing her on top of her husband and then covering them both with his own body.

Heartbeat upon heartbeat. Then silence.

"Oh, no," she whispered.

It was not a wing at all.

In the chaos of the moment, the agent focused on the suit. He knew she was crushed beneath his weight. He couldn't help that. He knew her face was pressed into her husband's. He couldn't think about that. But he could focus on the pink beneath his body.

She was so quiet. He expected her to scream, but she didn't.

Beautiful suit, he would later write in his memoirs.

Most who can recall that day in Dallas think of the film's grainy black-and-white footage. Those who were there remember the suit.

Nicole Kelby

My Amazon Wish List

It was time to sort through my Amazon Wish List. I researched each book title, eliminated a bunch, and ended up with 27 books that I still want to read.

The few weeks after New Year's compel a lot of us to clean and sort, and eliminate. That's good. That's great. Now when I go to the library or online to buy a book, I have a go-to list that is real and possible.