Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Pocket Wife by Susan Crawford

The Pocket Wife

What does one do when one is seemingly rational, operating on all fronts normally but suffers from bipolar disorder. Dana is in that situation where a particular afternoon seems to have vanished from her memory leaving her with doubts as to what she did or didn't do. Particularly what she might have done and very conveniently forgotton - the murder of her neighbor Celia.

Celia and Dana are friends - you never know whether good friends or just being neighbourly but they did meet for a massive drinking session of sangria the afternoon Celia was found murdered.  Celia had invited Dana over to show her photos which she had taken on her phone of Dana's husband Peter with another woman at a restaurant. The photos are blurry and Dana's entire focus was on trying to find out who the woman was.

The story unravels slowly - there are several surprising twists in this story and several suspects. All of them having very plausible reasons for getting rid of Celia. The fact that the investigator himself has doubts as to who could be the murderer with so many suspects around raises the question what did Celia do to make herself so disliked or rather hated that someone would want to murder her.

A clever twist in the tale - but the greater emphasis was on Dana herself and the illness she had which made her doubt her own sanity and actions.

Interesting story with two distinct storylines nicely put together.

A book sent to me by Edelweiss.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Mailbox Monday/It's Monday! What are you Reading?

My posts are going to be sans images as long as I am posting whilst traveling.

Today I am at Kalpitiya -  a place renowned for whale watching, dolphin watching and kite surfing. Very popular with the tourists. Locals less so. I too have not been to the beach to watch either but I am not a beach fan!

This weeks mailbox brought in the following

Isabella - Colin Falconer. Powerful queen who has to contend with a homosexual King.

The Nightingale Girls - Donna Douglas

Wylding Hall - Elizabeth Hand

Inside the  O'Briens - Lisa Genova - read about this one in a review. Netgalley kindly sent it on very quickly.

It's Monday! What are you reading?   This meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey introduces you to books otherwise unknown.

Reading Whylding Hall. A 70s style folk/rock band with all its attendant lifestyle reminiscing about a major incident which changed their lives. I've not yet realized or come to the "incident" sO it's quite a mystery as well.

Weather is very very hot. Not a breath of wind even. There is a belief here that rain will come on Good Friday so everyone looking forward to that.

Friday, March 20, 2015

The American Lady by Petra Durst-Benning

I did not know that this was part of a tribology and that I had chosen the second book in the three. It did not however deter in any way to the story which was a separate one.

We have a setting of New York, Lauscha Germany and Italy at the end. Wanda in New York is young and beautiful but she does not want to be just another pretty face much to the dismay of her mother who wants her to conform to the normal pattern of a young debutante - attending tea parties, doing a bit of high profile charity work and being a lady of leisure. It has suited Ruth for all these years and she is perplexed as to why it will not satisfy Wanda till she marries specially since she has a perfectly suited young man in tow.  Wanda wants to do something with her life but all her attempts to take a job and be like any other young woman fails.

It is at this point that her aunt Marie arrives from Lauscha. Marie has been a glass blower all her life. She loves her craft and is world famous for it but she seems to have lost her zest and imagination and a trip to New York the whole family feels would renew her energy and inspiration.

Marie realizes very soon that there are two sides to the city. The one with the ghettos and its ethnic minorities and the freedom of the artistes to which she allies herself and then the stiff world of her sister with its rigid dinners, lunches and elite small group of people. She is happy for her sister who has adapted well after the rigors of Germany but it is not for her. She embarks on a voyage of discovery of New York, unknown to her family and this is where she meets Franco who becomes the love of her life and one who will change her life and lifestyle forever.

The story of Wanda and Marie was a good one. Starting from complete opposites they find a mutual meeting place and it shows the strength of family ties which bind. It also shows that impetuousness can occur not just in the young but even in much older people!

The mixture of adventure with romance and the history of glass blowing made for an interesting story.

The book was sent to me by Netgalley courtesy of Amazon Publishing.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Status of All Things by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke

The Status of All Things: A Novel

The whole post has got deleted (at least when I am looking at it) so I am repeating my review.

I liked this book despite the un-real aspects of it and whilst reading I kept asking myself, now why are you reading this? and strangely enough despite the fact that time travel, fantasy and general magic is not my genre this was a good book!

Sent to me by Edelweiss - a surprising read which panned out to be very nice.

What would one do if one could through Facebook comments and just being online change your world. A bit far fetched but this is the story. 

Kate is 35 years old, obssessed with social media. She has also found the love of her life, meticulously planning a wedding of a lifetime where everything has to be just so. No run of the mill stuff for her. Everything is being pre planned, pre organised, down to the last second and maybe just maybe this has miffed or scared her husband to be. Max breaks off the wedding at the rehearsal dinner - it comes as a bolt from the blue to Kate who is heart broken and goes immediately to her FB account to recount her despair. At this point Kate realises her power when she goes back in time to a month before the wedding and begins to see how she could put things right having the knowledge of what will happen one month hence.

It got a bit confusing for me at this point as Kate also had wishes that could come true and she uses these not just for herself but for her friends. She also tries to use it against the love interest of Max her fiance but it backfires on her and she begins to understand that with power comes responsibility and you cannot use these powers viciously or nastily!

A bit quirky and eccentric but at the same time if you want to step out of your comfort zone, this is an ideal quick read.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Mailbox Monday/It's Monday! what are you reading?

Mailbox Monday. Just one book. Unusual title - The Marriage Hearse.

My posts till I get to Colombo are going to be brief. I don't think my copy and paste is going to work here and on my iPad.

The other meme I follow hosted by Sheila at Book Journey - the image is not coming up at all. My posts are going to be rather flat without these images.

Reading The Guest Cottage by Nancy Thayer. Courtesy of Edelweiss.

Will try to be more descriptive in future posts!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Rebel Queen by Michelle Moran

Rebel Queen

I've read all the books by this author but I did not think this would be available to me through Edelweiss. Thank you for sending it on to me.

The story of Rani of Jhansi is breathtaking. A woman in conservative India - not in purdah, taking on the role of ruler whilst her effeminate and obviously homosexual husband whiles the time away taking part in plays (the woman's part naturally), dresses like a woman bejewelled and beautiful and she as a ruler takes on mediation, meting out justice and administration of Jhansi.

Rani also has her own coterie of female guards - versed in all the martial arts of the time with the sole purpose of protecting her - even against her husband or anyone else. Their first priority is to her. This the Durgavasi take very very seriously. The parallel story of Sita a village girl from very rural India, trained by her father from a very young age in all the arts needed to become a Durgavasi and just awaiting the next vacancy that will arise in the Court.  How Sita succeeds and her break away from the village, entering court life and the changes that occur in her life parallel with that of the Rani and the huge impact of Britain in their lives is this story.

Rani of Jhansi appears at a time in the cross roads of Indian history. The English have all but taken over the majority of Northern India and Jhansi is just one more garrison town in their quest to take over supremacy in India. Her appeals, even sending two of her Durgavasi to England for an audience with Queen Victoria does not gain the results they hope for and eventually Jhansi is lost to the English and with it Rani's life.

Rani of Jhansi is a brave, clever, most diplomatic woman. Trying to maintain a balance between the rebels who seek to destroy the English and the English who just want more and more territory she tries to maintain peace as far as possible. She is a woman of strong will, willing to go against public convention - her stand against sati when her husband dies a case in point. Her cleverness in adopting a little boy when her own son dies and when she knows her own husband is at death's door is with the idea of providing an heir for Jhansi so that the English will not have another strength in claiming that their are no clear heirs to the throne.

Whilst the story of Rani is of paramount importance in this story, the supporting role of Sita and the other durgavasis is almost of equal importance. With them, comes the detailed descriptiveness of court life and how a court in India conducts itself.  Beautifully told, heartbreakingly emotional, full of history and bravery, I loved the story.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Saving Grace by Pamela Fagan Hutchins

Saving Grace (Katie & Annalise #1)

Katie is an attorney and now a partner in a highly recognized law firm. She has a very bad drinking habit which she refuses to acknowledge and thinks of it as something she can control as and when she wishes. It is far from so. Katie is alcoholic and refuses to admit it. When a case of hers goes drastically wrong, she is shown up in front of the whole legal fraternity as a joke. On top of that her rejection by someone she is attracted to shoves her over the edge and professionally and personally Katie is a goner.

Katie lost her parents in a tragic car accident in the Caribbean and this has been always at the back of her mind that she should go visit the place where her parents died. She from the very onset felt suspicious of her parents death - and now feels that the time is right to go and see what she can come up with.

Katie's adventures in St. Marcos are too over the top to be true but it does happen to her. No sooner she starts investigating her parents death, trouble seems to follow her. She falls in love with a derelict house which has a resident "jumbie" local parlance for a spirit that seems to look out for Katie and protects her, her best friend on the island is arrested for murder, and the man who is investigating her parents death - the only investigator on the island seems to be in cahoots with everyone against Katie and is determined to get rid of her following up on her parents death.

A simple story line that did not do anything very much for me reading wise. An Amazon download.