I took a bit of a blogging break, for various reasons, but I had several reviews scheduled to occupy about a little more than a week.
Which was a good thing, as I've since had both computer problems and internet problems. When SuddenLink did an upgrade, their instructions about getting connected again didn't work.
Of course, as a technodunce of the first order, my efforts were fruitless. However, even my husband had difficulty and several phone calls were required. I may go days without wanting to use the computer, but as soon as it is unavailable...I'm frantic.
Finally, Fee got us connected again, and I'm sighing with relief.
Three short reviews:
Safe Harbor by Rosemary McCracken is another debut novel. Here is the book description:
Financial advisor Pat Tierney’s world is shattered when a visitor to her office tells her that Pat's late husband is the father of a seven-year-old boy. Stunned by the revelation of her husband's affair, Pat is even more shocked when the woman bolts from the office, leaving young Tommy behind.
When Tommy's mother is murdered, police tell Pat that the boy may be the killer's next target. In a desperate race to protect Tommy, Pat's searches for the truth.... (I omitted spoilers)
Set in Toronto, the novel deals with legal and illegal immigration as well as the personal crisis Pat faces when she learns about her husband's affair and must deal with the sense of betrayal she feels. The novel also deals with parent-child relationships.
Overall--a moderately entertaining mystery and a fast read.
Fiction. Mystery. 2012. 220 pages. library book.
The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty is the story of Cora Carlisle, a housewife from Wichita, Kansas who accompanies the fifteen-year-old Louise Brooks to New York City in 1922.
I really liked that Cora was one of the orphans on an Orphan Train from New York. I wrote about this fascinating and neglected part of American history here after seeing the documentary.
I also liked the parts about Louise Brooks, that icon of silent movies from the twenties and thirties. I really want to read her autobiography LuLu in Hollywood. Brooks was intelligent, beautiful, arrogant, and unconventional.
An entirely readable novel that involves a kind of coming of age for the thirty-six-year-old Cora who has never questioned much about convention or how to manage certain difficulties in her own life. I enjoyed this one.
An ARC from the Penguin Group.
Historical Fiction. 2012. 423 pages (with extensive bibliography).
The Last Good Man by A.J. Kazinski. I'm only mentioning this one because of the Lamed- Vav Tzadikim (or Tzadikim Nistarim), who in Jewish tradition are the "thirty six righteous ones" in each generation that are responsible for saving the world.
The book was pretty awful, but the coincidence of reading the book at the same time I was watching the last episode of Touched with Kiefer Southerland on Hulu was interesting. I was not familiar with this idea and to have it show up at the same time in a book and a television series was one of those synchronicitous occasions that catch your attention.
When doing a little research on Wikipedia, I discovered that Jodie Picoult, Sam Bourne, Neil Gaiman, and Michael Chabon have all made use of the Talmudic statement about the Lamed-Vav Tzadikim.
I wouldn't even have mentioned this book if it had not been for the fact that the Lamed-Vav Tzadikim was such an intriguing concept.
Mystery. 2012. 480 pages. library book.