Friday, April 18, 2014

Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen

Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen

Kate has been asleep for a year.  Not asleep like Rip Van Winkle, but she's detached herself from reality since the death of her husband.  Her mother-in-law, Cricket saw it as an opportunity to step in and take control of Kate, and her daughter, Devin and their lives. 

On the day Kate and Devin are scheduled to move into Cricket's home, she finds an old postcard from Lost Lake.  The memories of a summer spent there as a teenager come flooding back.  Aunt Eby and Uncle George own the resort in southern Georgia.  Cricket has carefully planned their move, but Kate disregards Cricket's instructions, packs Devin in the car and heads to Lost Lake. 

Aunt Eby welcomes them with open arms.  The once popular resort has few guests and is in a state of disrepair.  Eby drops the news that she has finally decided to sell and move on with her life.  Since Uncle George died, things haven't been the same.  A casual comment to have a farewell party for Lost Lake, sets the story in motion.

I have to say I am a huge fan of Sarah Addison Allen.  The Sugar Queen is on my list of all time most favorite books.  I love the magical fairy dust she sprinkles into every story.  Lost Lake unfortunately didn't get its fair share of enchantment.  Lost Lake had plenty of potential, with sweet Devin dressed in a tutu and fairy wings in search of the mysterious alligator, and Selma with her box of charms. None of the characters was able to weave enough fantasy to keep me engaged as a reader.  I'm still a fan of Ms. Allen, but not of Lost Lake.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley

I'd been eyeing this book at the bookstore for quite some time.  I love the title and the cover is green, my favorite color, so that's more than enough to draw me in.  When I saw this title on sale for my Kindle, I jumped at it.

What is not to adore about Flavia de Luce?  She is smart, witty, and inquisitive.  Flavia conducts chemistry experiments in a lab in the far reaches of her family's estate.  Mostly she is searching for ways to torment her sisters but when she's hot on the trail of a murder, her knowledge of science comes in handy.  So does her bicycle named Gladys.

When Flavia finds a dead man in the cucumber patch, and a rare stamp turns up missing, the adventure begins.  The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie is fun and has all the components of a good mystery.  I grew up on Nancy Drew.  My friend, Georgia, had every single Nancy Drew mystery which she gladly shared with me.  Flavia de Luce has brought sleuthing into the 21st century.  I felt nostalgic and hip both at the same time.  And I loved every minute of it.

Friday, April 4, 2014

The Weight of Blood by Laura McHugh

The Weight of Blood by Laura McHugh

A social worker tells Lila, a young woman on the verge of aging out of foster care, that she needs to get her life in order.  She finds what she thinks is her ticket out, by signing an employment contract to work in a small town in Missouri.  What awaits her is something very different.

Usually I enjoy reading stories that use different characters perspectives.  But I have to say, in this case I struggled with it.  The page counter on my Kindle read 40% before I figured out that Lucy is Lila's daughter and that the story is not only written from different points of view but that these two main characters were living in different time periods. One thing I have learned is there are things that a writer doesn't reveal to the reader in order to keep them reading.  The setting however, is never one of those things. 

I am not one for reading many mysteries, but I love when a good one keeps me interested.   The Weight of Blood was far too predictable and the ending left me disappointed.  Too much weight for me.

City of Thieves by David Benioff

City of Thieves by David Benioff It's World War II in Leningrad, Russia.  17 year old Lev elected to stay behind in the city when h...