Monthly Archives: April 2016

We all have family secrets…right?

image  Here is another mystery novel by Laura Lippman called Wilde Lake.  This one revolves around a prominent political family in Columbia, Maryland.  It spans over several decades and focusing on Luisa Brant, the first woman state’s attorney for Howard County.  He father was a previous one.  Lu grows up motherless…her mother died a week after she was born.  Her older brother, AJ, is a all-American boy: clever, funny, outgoing, kind, athletic, and friends with everyone.  Lu is almost the opposite…she is smart, but more of a loner and one tough cookie.

The story involves a night of teenage partying that ends badly and those events come back to the present to haunt Lu and her family.  Lu has a new murder case which seems quite simple, and yet there is so much more involved that keeps her digging deeper and deeper until she not only uncovers the truth about the current case, but it creates an intriguing trail of bread crumbs that goes back to her birth and will reveal things about herself, her brother, her father, and all those around her that she never knew.

This novel was well-written and the characters were well-developed and all very flawed.  I love when an author writes the characters with flaws and unappealing qualities…that is reality…this makes them so authentic.  Perhaps not as likable, but you cannot argue that these characters are not realistic.  They make poor decisions and these decisions impact their entire lives….this is reality.  Good read.

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Beautiful tribute to family

image   My Grandfather’s Wisdom: Lessons From a Short Life Lived Well by George F. Knight is a collection of advice, motivational quotes, and ancestral stories….a journey to the past.  George F. Knight never met his paternal grandfather who passed away 15 years before he was born, and he and his sibling knew little of him.  It was not until his own father’s death, that he discovered a scarlet journal of his grandfather’s.  In this journal, his grandfather scribed words of wisdom from his own experiences in such detail….what a tremendous find!

This little book means a lot to me…not because it is my family that this man writes about.  Instead it is the legacy of his own family that he writes about.  If you know me, you know I am always up for sifting through old letters and photographs.  I love going to antique stores and reading about the past both nonfiction and historical fiction.  I love going to visit historical sites and getting lost in the stories of those who have come before.  This is a big reason why I love books….and bookstore and libraries.   To wander around a place with so much wisdom and history and smell the pages and the book glue…to touch the worn spines and wonder about the people who have been here before…that is an amazing feeling.

I hold George F. Knight in high regards because he took the words written by a man he never met…words that were written in the late 1800s, and he preserved them and honored them in a beautiful book for the future to read.  There is meaning in the words his grandfather wrote, and family or not…this book is a treasure.

Here are a few of my favorites quotes from the collection:

“There is no greater nuisance than the fluent man who excels in ignorance.”

“”To know enough to realize that you do not know it all will many times save you from making a fool of yourself.”

“There is so much bad in the best of us and so much good in the worst of us that it hardly behooves any of us to talk about the rest of us.”

This is a book I recommend for all to read….pick it up when you need some advice…some inspiration… some laughter.  You’ll be better off for it.

 

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Filed under Memoir, nonfiction, Uncategorized

Murder Mystery Hollywood Style

image  Another book by Hallie Ephron that had me hooked from the beginning..she has a way of weaving a story of suspense filled with twists and turns.  I like this book because it bounces between two decades:  the 60s and the 80s.  Fun stuff to read about.  But it was the characters and the story that kept me reading…I cared about them.  Not in a friendly-way…but I truly wanted to know the truth…find out the secrets.

It is 1985 in Los Angeles, and Deirdre is coming to help her father pack up his Beverly Hills house in order to sell.  When she arrives, she finds her dad floating face-down in the swimming pool…dead.    This is when it gets good….a cast of characters enter into the story.  Her older brother, Henry, who lives with dad and works on Harley Davidsons, her childhood best friend Joelen and her movie star mom Bunny, the family friend and lawyer, Sy, and her hippie mom Gloria.    All well-developed and have authentic voices.

Arthur Unger’s swimming pool death is not a an accident and more tragic events are about to unfurl, and they all go back to 1963.  In 1963, there was a murder at Bunny and Joelen’s house…and that murder and its secrets have been kept hidden until now.  I love this story and how the ending is not candy-coated and does not rise to higher moral ground…making it more realistic.

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Filed under adult, fiction, mystery, Uncategorized