Everyday Tidbits...

The sun is shining and the sky is blue. My doors and windows are open.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Wild Swans...Review

About the book:
Blending the intimacy of memoir and the panoramic sweep of eyewitness history, Wild Swans has become a bestselling classic in thirty languages, with more than ten million copies sold. The story of three generations in twentieth-century China, it is an engrossing record of Mao's impact on China, an unusual window on the female experience in the modern world, and an inspiring tale of courage and love.

Jung Chang describes the life of her grandmother, a warlord's concubine; her mother's struggles as a young idealistic Communist; and her parents' experience as members of the Communist elite and their ordeal during the Cultural Revolution. Chang was a Red Guard briefly at the age of fourteen, then worked as a peasant, a "barefoot doctor," a steelworker, and an electrician. As the story of each generation unfolds, Chang captures in gripping, moving -- and ultimately uplifting -- detail the cycles of violent drama visited on her own family and millions of others caught in the whirlwind of history.

I didn't particularly enjoy this book. I know that I'm in a minority in that opinion though. It's not an easy book to read. Nor is it a fast read. Slow books frustrate me. It plods along, but is fascinating and unsettling. It was interesting to me to see the changes that occurred in China in just a few short generations.

Historically it's fascinating and follows the lives of a woman and her mother and grandmother through the reign and fall of warlords, the Japanese occupation, and the rise of Communism and Chairman Mao. Jung Chang paints a beautiful portrait of not only her mother and grandmother, but her father and grandfather. She really captures the horrors of Communism and Mao and the control exerted on the people.

But, more than anything, it's heartbreakingly sad. It's a well-written, interesting book. I just didn't like it.

Thanks to my local library for having a copy I could borrow.  You can purchase your own copy here.

Read 3/08

* * 
2/5 Stars

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Mrs. Mike...Review

About the book:
A moving love story set in the Canadian wilderness, Mrs. Mike is a classic tale that has enchanted millions of readers worldwide. It brings the fierce, stunning landscape of the Great North to life-and tenderly evokes the love that blossoms between Sergeant Mike Flannigan and beautiful young Katherine Mary O'Fallon. 

I loved this book. I was probably 12 the first time I read this novel. I read it many, many times as I was growing up.

I loved the story of Kathy and Mike. It's not the best written book, but it's delightful and entertaining. Kathy goes to northern Canada as a young, innocent girl and falls in love with a rugged Mountie. The books shares their story of love and hardship in an unforgiving wilderness: friendship and loss; childbirth and death. How much of it is actually true has been debated. Regardless, it's a delightful adventure.

The Freedmans have written a couple of sequels: The Search for Joyful and Kathy Little Bird.

I read my own personal copy, but you can purchase your own copy here.

Last read?

* * * *
4/5 Stars

Tisha...Review

About the book:
The author tells the story as told to him of Anne Hobbs, a woman who went to Alaska in the 1920's to teach, but who had trouble due to her kindness to the Indians there.

 I loved this book when I read it as a teenager. I wanted to be a teacher after I read it!

A true story about Anne Hobbs. She's a wonderful heroine. She goes to Alaska in the 1920s to teach school and as she tries to befriend the people of Chicken, Alaska (what a funky name) she finds that the white people don't like it when others of their kind mix with the Indians. Anne befriends and teaches the Indian children and falls in love with an Indian man. Her strength and character are amazing.

A great book.

I googled "Tisha" and found the following website which talks about Chicken, Alaska and has pictures of the old town, and even has contact info for Anne's adopted daughter. http://www.chickenalaska.com/chicken/tisha.html

I read my personal copy, but you can purchase your own here.

Last read?

* * * *
4/5 Stars

The Prize-Winner of Defiance Ohio: How My Mother Raised 10 Kids on 25 Words or Less...Review

About the book:
Evelyn Ryan, wife of an alcoholic husband and mother of ten children, lived in a small town in a time and place when women did not seek jobs outside the home. When finances ran low, feeling desperate, she turned to her parish priest who suggested she "take in laundry." Ryan had to laugh at the advice because she could barely keep up with her own family's washing and ironing. A lesser woman might have succumbed to poverty, but she was determined to keep her family financially afloat and to teach her children that the life of the mind was important. 

In the early 1950s, Ryan started entering contests, composing her jingles, poems, and essays at the ironing board. She won household appliances, bikes, watches, clocks, and, occasionally, cash. She won a freezer, and several weeks later, she won a supermarket shopping-spree. When the family was faced with eviction, she received a $5000 first place check from the regional Western Auto Store. Ryan's unconventionality and sense of humor triumphed over poverty, and her persistence makes the reader cheer her on.

 A simply delightful book to read. Set in the 1950s, the author's family struggled to make ends meet. Ten kids and an alcoholic husband drained what income they had. Evelyn Ryan, was an amazing woman and by entering contests, she managed to provide an additional income and prizes to support her family. Evelyn's daughter, Terry, tells an entertaining story about her mom. It's clear that she admired and loved her mother a great deal.

Her voice rings true though, and her resourceful mother managed to win shopping sprees to put food on the table and in the freezer. She stockpiled the prizes she won and gave them to her children as Christmas presents. She won a washing machine and a car, which she then sold for the much needed cash.

Evelyn saved everything and the book has pictures of the contests she entered and her winning slogans and jingles. It's an entertaining story of a woman who will do anything necessary to provide for her children, but one who does it all with a happy, positive attitude.

The ending is heartwarming, as the children go through their mother's cedar chest, they discover her notebooks and contest entries, but also the secret to their mother's circumstances in life and what she overcame to raise them. A terrific book.

I read my personal copy, but you can purchase your own here.

Read 2005

* * * *
4/5 Stars

Little House in the Ozarks: The Rediscovered Writings of Laura Ingalls Wilder...Review

About the book:
A collection of more than 140 articles on an array of topics, from the boring task of baking bread and the need to conserve natural resources, to the changes motor cars brought to her small town and role of the women in the work force and politics, sparkles with Wilder's timeless wit and wisdom.

 It was a beautiful day when I walked into my local bookstore and discovered this gem. Much like many other children, I grew up with a love of the Little House books. I was thrilled to discover that Laura's writings hadn't ended and actually hadn't even begun with her Little House books.

This is a compilation of newspaper columns she wrote for a rural newspaper in Missouri from 1911-1925. They are entertaining, and full of good old common sense. Laura is a firm believer in marriage being an equal partnership. She discusses farm life and politics; literacy and the importance of hard work.

You don't need to read it all at one sitting. Just read one or two columns at a time. It's thought-provoking and so many of the issues she writes about are still so relevant for our time today.

I read my personal copy, but you can purchase your own here.

Last read 2006

* * * * *
4/5 Stars

Papa Married a Mormon...Review

About the book:
Born in Price, Utah, in 1907 to a Scandinavian Mormon mother and an Irish Catholic father, John D. Fitzgerald grew up influenced by both cultures. He left Utah behind at age eighteen, working at such varied jobs as playing in a jazz band, working in a bank, and serving as an overseas newspaper correspondent. At the time of his first break into the national literary scene, he was a purchaser for a steel company in California. Fitzgerald began writing Papa Married a Mormon, a family history about his boyhood, to fulfill a promise made to his mother on her death-bed. She implored him to tell the story of those who settled the west. Not so much a story of the Mormons, but of the people themselves – specifically Fitzgerald’s family and members of the Mormon/Gentile community in which they lived.

Set in the fictional southern Utah community of Adenville, Fitzgerald creates a nostalgic picture of small town life in early 1900s. The story tells of the conflicts between the Mormons and gentiles within the community, and how leaders on both sides managed to unify the town, despite their differences and animosities. Because many parts of the book are similar in prose to Mark Twain’s Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn novels,
Papa Married a Mormon fits the mold of a Victorian look at an era long gone. 


My grandmother had this book on her bookshelf and I found it as a teenager. I loved it. It immediately became on of my favorite books, ever, and I was thrilled when she gave it to me. Written by John D. Fitzgerald (of Great Brain fame), it's a somewhat fictionalized family history of his family life growing up in rural Utah.

His mother was Mormon and his father Catholic. Neither one ever converted to the others' faith. He tells the story of their courtship and how he and his siblings were raised. The book is full of humorous tales of childhood adventure, tumultuous relationships and love and forgiveness. There are stories of conflicts between the Mormons and others, but there is also an underlying thread of how to resolve differences and get along.

A terrific read.

I read my personal copy that was given to me by my grandmother years ago, but you can purchase your own copy here.

Last read?

* * * * *
5/5 Stars

A Joyful Mother of Children...Review

About the book:
This newly revised edition, which includes insight from thirty years of mothering, will add humor, perspective, and a little magic to the lives of mothers in all stages. A special section for mothers of young children offers stress reducers, suggestions, and motivational challenges that can make day-to-day mothering easier. Mothers of teenagers and those on the verge of being empty nesters will also find invaluable information about managing after the days of diaper duty and toddler temper tantrums have passed.

I loved this book. Honest and entertaining, but with a lot of great ideas for being a better mother. I've enjoyed the Eyre's books and this one is just a fun read. At the end, she includes 12 ways to reduce stress and actually become a joyful mother. Who doesn't want to be a happy mom, and who can't use practical ideas to help you along the way?

There are LDS (Mormon) references throughout, but you don't need to be LDS to appreciate it or learn from it. One of those books that is good to read over and over again. I think that you'd get different things from it depending on what stage of motherhood you happen to be living!

I read my personal copy, but you can purchase your own copy here.

Last read 05-06

* * * *
4/5 Stars

Summer of the Monkeys...Review

About the book:
The award-winning story of fourteen-year-old Jay Berry Lee, his dog Rowdy, and their unforgettable summer along an old Ozark river. A heartwarming family story, Summer of the Monkeys recalls a time and place when miracles were really the simplest of things. 

This is probably one of my most favorite books from my childhood. I loved it and I read it over and over again. It's better than Where the Red Fern Grows. When Disney came out with a film adaptation, I was thrilled. The book is still so much better than the film though.

It's a wonderful "coming of age" book. Jay Berry Lee wants nothing more than to have his own pony and .22 rifle. The book is about his summer adventure of trying to capture some lost circus monkeys, in order to receive the reward. It's hysterical at times.

Jay's relationship with his twin sister Daisy is heartwarming. The ending is beautiful and each time I read it, I cry. A wonderful book to read aloud to your children.

I read my personal copy that I received as a birthday present from my mom back in 1977, but you can purchase your own here.

Last read???

* * * * *
5/5 Stars

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Carpe Demon...Review

About the book:
Lots of women put their careers aside once the kids come along. Kate Connor, for instance, hasn't hunted a demon in ages.

That must be why she missed the one wandering through the pet food aisle of the San Diablo Wal-Mart. Unfortunately, he managed to catch her attention an hour later-when he crashed into the Connor house, intent on killing her.

Now Kate has to clean up the mess in her kitchen, dispose of a dead demon, and pull together a dinner party that will get her husband elected to County Attorney-all without arousing her family's suspicion. Worse yet, it seems the dead demon didn't come alone...

It's time for Kate Connor to go back to work.


Entertaining horror-lit. Sort of the horror version of chick-lit, I suppose. It's obvious the author drew on the Buffy the Vampire Slayer lore to write this: her hunter/alimentatore relationship is just like the slayer/watcher one, along with the holy water, stakes, demons, research, etc. She takes the premise of what would happen if someone like Buffy grew up, had children and didn't tell her family about her previous life. A little far-fetched, but it worked.

The premise that stay at home moms are super women is fun. I loved the interaction of the play date when Kate wants to take out the stupid Mom who tries to bargain with her daughter to return the toy. Too funny. That she kept everything from her husband was a bit unbelievable, as was his relative stupidity in never questioning her odd behavior.

Light and entertaining. An easy read, and somewhat predictable, but it kept my attention and I wanted to keep reading to find out what happened.

I'm an Angel/Buffy fan, so I enjoyed this little romp into demonland. (I will confess that I prefer the Angel/Cordelia 'ship, which is a much more mature, believable relationship than the wide-eyed crybuffy/moody Angel, but I digress.)

Thanks to my local library for having a copy I could borrow.  You can purchase your own copy here.

Read 3/08

* * *
3/5 Stars

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Identical Strangers...Review

About the book:
Elyse Schein had always known she was adopted, but it wasn’t until her mid-thirties while living in Paris that she searched for her biological mother. What she found instead was shocking: She had an identical twin sister. What’s more, after being separated as infants, she and her sister had been, for a time, part of a secret study on separated twins.
 

Paula Bernstein, a married writer and mother living in New York, also knew she was adopted, but had no inclination to find her birth mother. When she answered a call from her adoption agency one spring afternoon, Paula’s life suddenly divided into two starkly different periods: the time before and the time after she learned the truth.
 

As they reunite, taking their tentative first steps from strangers to sisters, Paula and Elyse are left with haunting questions surrounding their origins and their separation. And when they investigate their birth mother’s past, the sisters move closer toward solving the puzzle of their lives.

Fascinating. Absolutely fascinating. A memoir of twin sisters who, until the age of 35, didn't know the other existed. The story is told by both sisters' alternating viewpoints. Their voices are compelling as they share how they reacted to the news of discovering they each had a twin. The journey they then undertake together, to discover their history and birth mother is amazing and heart wrenching at the same time.

They were part of a psychological study that not only looked at twin separation, but also whether mental illness is hereditary. I can completely understand their anger and frustration at the absolute abhorrent decisions which were made, arbitrarily, about separating siblings and then studying them as if they were laboratory experiments. Horrific.

There is a great deal of information included about the science behind the study and the psychological outcomes not only of adoption, but of being twins. Well written and, at times, poignant.

Thanks to my local library for having a copy I could borrow.  You can purchase your own copy here.

Read 3/08

* * *
3/5 Stars

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Don't Bet Against Me!...Review

About the book:
The wife of Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre, Deanna was inadvertently thrust into the spotlight when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004. Now cancer-free, Deanna is one of breast cancer’s leading activists, speaking and raising financial support for women who are "medically underserved" (uninsured or under-insured). Deanna’s story shares the role her faith has played in her life--from her years as a single mom and her high profile marriage to Brett, to her battle with breast cancer and the work she is currently doing through the HOPE Foundation. Includes 24 pages of color photos, a foreword by Brett Favre, and an afterword by Brittany & Breleigh Favre.

This happened to be on the shelf near the checkout counter at the library and looked interesting. It's a quick read, but a good one. I enjoyed it. It's autobiographical about her life with Brett Favre, but also about her experience with breast cancer.

She's a very Christian person, and so there are many biblical examples and scriptures used in regards to faith, hope and enduring trials. I didn't mind that so much, others might.

It's a phenomenal book for someone who has breast cancer. There is so much information about treatment and dealing with the situation.

A good, easy read.

Thanks to my local library for having a copy I could borrow.  You can purchase your own copy here.

Read 3/08

* * *
3/5 Stars

Friday, March 21, 2008

PS, I Love You...Review

About the book:
A novel about holding on, letting go, and learning to love again.
 
Holly couldn't live without her husband Gerry, until the day she had to. They were the kind of young couple who could finish each other's sentences. When Gerry succumbs to a terminal illness and dies, 30-year-old Holly is set adrift, unable to pick up the pieces. But with the help of a series of letters her husband left her before he died and a little nudging from an eccentric assortment of family and friends, she learns to laugh, overcome her fears, and discover a world she never knew existed.

The kind of enchanting novel with cross-generational appeal that comes along once in a great while,  P.S. I Love You is a captivating love letter to the world!


Very much a chick-lit novel, although not as shallow as many others. I found this book both entertaining and poignant at times. The premise is interesting: after her husband's death, a young woman receives a packet of letters from him. Each letter is to be opened at a particular time and has something for her to do. All of these tasks are to prepare her to let go and move on. Cecilia Ahern nailed the poignancy of losing a husband and trying to come to terms with living life again.

I found the scenes with Holly and her girlfriends entertaining, for the most part. Not being a party or drinking person, I don't relate to that life, but the obvious love and close friendship between these women was refreshing. The family relationship was so true. You and your siblings often don't have a lot in common, but love and support each other just the same

And how's this for weird: my maiden name was Holly Kennedy and one of my best friends is named Denise. I'm not Irish though.

Updated: There is prolific use of the "F" word, and others. It was the one thing that bothered me. Vulgarity never adds positively to a story and, for the most part, it is so unnecessary in life anyway. My understanding is that the language is equally bad in the film adaptation, so that is one reason I'm not going to see it.


Thanks to my local library for having a copy I could borrow.  You can purchase your own copy here.

Read 3/08

* * *
3/5 Stars

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Spring Reading Thing 2008

Katrina at Callapidder Days is hosting the Spring Reading Thing. Having just finished the Winter Reading Challenge, I'm up for another great motivation to read. Not that I need one, but hey, it's fun.

The books I'm going to read are listed on the sidebar, and it's a list that will constantly be updated. My Goodreads file is always current and up to date as well. Those lists are also on the sidebar. Each book I read will then be reviewed here. It's what I would do anyway, but a challenge is always fun, especially if there are prizes involved. But, this is also a chance to meet new people and find other good books to read. Who's going to join me?

Winter Reading Challenge Wrap-Up

Karlene hosted the Winter Reading Challenge and it was a blast. I read 33 books. My goal was simply to read as many books as I could manage and to review all of them. I did that.

What I really enjoyed was simply reading. I love to read and this challenge really got me back into the swing of reading just for fun. I've come to know my public library system well too!

I loved the Abrams Daughters series. I tolerated the Twilight series, and I really didn't like Escape or Bridget Jones's Diary. There were a lot of others in between that I really liked and some that I didn't.

Thanks for hosting this Karlene. I can't wait for other reading challenges.

The books I read are as follows (in reverse order) and all have been reviewed here on the book blog:

Escape, Carolyn Jessop
The Revelation, Beverly Lewis
The Prodigal, Beverly Lewis
New Year's Quilt, Jennifer Chiaverini
Christmas Quilt, Jennifer Chiaverini
The Diary of Mattie Spenser, Sandra Dallas
Bridget Jones' Diary, Helen Fielding
An Assembly Such as This, Pamela Aidan
The Quilter's Homecoming, Jennifer Chiaverini
The Sacrifice, Beverly Lewis
Eclipse, Stephenie Meyer
The Betrayal, Beverly Lewis
Circle of Quilters, Jennifer Chiaverini
How to take the Ex out of Ex-Boyfriend, Janette Rallison
New Moon, Stephenie Meyer
Hush, An Irish Princess' Tale, Donna Jo Napoli
Dancing in the Light, Anita Stansfield
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Robert Louis Stevenson
Harriet and Isabella, Patricia O'Brien
SAHM I am, Meredith Efken
Wednesday Letters, Jason Wright
The Observatory, Emily Grayson
The Ladies Auxiliary, Tova Mirvis
Northanger Abbey, Jane Austen
The Covenant, Beverly Lewis
Sugar Camp Quilt, Jennifer Chiaverini
House of Mirth, Edith Wharton
New Mercies, Sandra Dallas
The Runaway Quilt, Jennifer Chiaverini
The Quilter's Legacy, Jennifer Chiaverini
The Master Quilter, Jennifer Chiaverini
A Time to Dance, Anita Stansfield
Daughter of Venice, Donna Jo Napoli

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Escape...Review

About the book:
The dramatic first-person account of life inside an ultra-fundamentalist American religious sect, and one woman’s courageous flight to freedom with her eight children.

When she was eighteen years old, Carolyn Jessop was coerced into an arranged marriage with a total stranger: a man thirty-two years her senior. Merril Jessop already had three wives. But arranged plural marriages were an integral part of Carolyn’s heritage: She was born into and raised in the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (FLDS), the radical offshoot of the Mormon Church that had settled in small communities along the Arizona-Utah border. Over the next fifteen years, Carolyn had eight children and withstood her husband’s psychological abuse and the watchful eyes of his other wives who were locked in a constant battle for supremacy.

Carolyn’s every move was dictated by her husband’s whims. He decided where she lived and how her children would be treated. He controlled the money she earned as a school teacher. He chose when they had sex; Carolyn could only refuse—at her peril. For in the FLDS, a wife’s compliance with her husband determined how much status both she and her children held in the family. Carolyn was miserable for years and wanted out, but she knew that if she tried to leave and got caught, her children would be taken away from her. No woman in the country had ever escaped from the FLDS and managed to get her children out, too. But in 2003, Carolyn chose freedom over fear and fled her home with her eight children. She had $20 to her name.

 

Escape exposes a world tantamount to a prison camp, created by religious fanatics who, in the name of God, deprive their followers the right to make choices, force women to be totally subservient to men, and brainwash children in church-run schools. Against this background, Carolyn Jessop’s flight takes on an extraordinary, inspiring power. Not only did she manage a daring escape from a brutal environment, she became the first woman ever granted full custody of her children in a contested suit involving the FLDS. And in 2006, her reports to the Utah attorney general on church abuses formed a crucial part of the case that led to the arrest of their notorious leader, Warren Jeffs.

I didn't particularly like this book. It was an uncomfortable book to read and at time even laborious and mundane.

I do have a great deal of compassion for Carolyn Jessop and the unfortunate circumstances into which she was born. That she was able to escape the FLDS wackheads was fortunate. The book provides an incredible insight into the polygamist lifestyle, and the price that is paid by these polygamist wives and children. They are under the control of truly scary men, and aren't even considered people most of the time.

I can't even recommend it. I'm sure that others will find it fascinating and compelling. And, in truth, it is. It's also disturbing and sad. I gained nothing by reading it. I simply wanted it to be finished.

Thanks to my local library for having a copy I could borrow.  You can purchase your own copy here.

Read 3/08


1/5 Stars

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Revelation...Review

About the book:
Spanning three generations, the compelling novels of the Abram's Daughters series feature five courting-age sisters, their extended family, and their quaint Old Order community, whose way of life and faith in God are as enduring as their signature horse and buggy. Or so it seems... In this suspenseful conclusion to the series, readers will thrill to another gripping story with Lewis's trademark captivating twists and turns, and startling answers to the compelling questions set into motion in the first book, The Covenant.

The final chapter in the Abram's Daughters series and, by far, the best book of the 5. I couldn't put it down. I was so anxious to find out what happened to Leah, and if things would finally come together for her and Jonas. The story wraps up neatly, but not without some heartbreak, confession, reconciliation and forgiveness. I was so happy to see Sadie finally find her own happiness as well.

I found the absolutely rigidity of the Amish faith interesting. I also found it interesting that people in different localities, all who consider themselves Amish, could live and worship so differently. I found myself frustrated that the Bishop held so much power over his people, even when his decisions seemed contrary to Christ-like behavior. That many of the characters in this book found their own way to Christ didn't surprise me.

Beverly Lewis has captured a glimpse of the Plain people so completely. Her characterizations are terrific. As I've said before, her prose is plain and concise, but not simple. She says what needs to be said, and she does it so well.

I definitely recommend this series. It was one that I hated to see end.

Thanks to my local library for having a copy I could borrow.

Read 3/08

* * * *
4/5 Stars

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Prodigal...Review

About the book:
Book 4 in the bestselling Abram's Daughters series. The compelling and continuing chronicle of Abram Ebersol’s family, beginning in the mid-1940s, moves forward in time and scope to the late 50s. The devout Ebersols have faced sometimes-painful divisions and separations--if not geographical, those of the heart. Leah, possibly most of all, has borne losses and revelations that would have undone another whose faith was not firmly established in the God her beloved mother knew so fervently. Leah also has endured the ultimate test of her fortitude, the unexpected return of her shunned sister, Sadie, and the renewed sense of betrayal that arrives home with her. But since the close of The Sacrifice, Leah has occupied her heart and hands with the overseeing of the Ebersol Cottage and the raising of her motherless younger siblings. This includes vivacious Lydiann, who has arrived at the traditional rumschpringe, the time for testing her wings and her willingness to commit to the Old Ways. Will she take the sorrowful path of her older sister Sadie, or will Mamma Leah’s good judgment guide Lydiann safely to her baptismal covenant?

I have loved this series. And this fourth book did not disappoint me. In many ways, I think this one is my favorite so far. It continues the story of Leah and her sisters. Her mother has died and she has raised her youngest brother and sister. Her sister Sadie has returned, and her father has mellowed a little. Thank goodness!

I thought I had the story figured out a couple of books ago, and while I was correct in at least one of my assumptions, I was surprised in other ways. There are twists and turns, heartbreak and love, and even some reconciliation.

Beverly Lewis has created a wonderful story, with characters you can like. Her prose is plain and concise, but not simple or shallow. The first book is a bit of a slow starter, but the rest make up for it. Completely.

I cannot wait to read the 5th and final book of the series.

Thanks to my local library for having a copy I could borrow.

Read 3/08

* * * *
4/5 Stars