Darlene Foster's Blog

Books Worth a Mention

Posted on: April 19, 2013

I have been reading some very good books lately and thought I should share them with my readers. I write children’s books and read them as well, but lately I have been devouring some worthy adult novels. These stories have one thing in common, they are all well written and have characters you care about. You might want to check them out.

Gifts of the Peramangk, by Dean Mayes

 

From Goodreads

In 1950s Australia, during the height of the divisive White Australia Policy, Virginia, a young Aboriginal girl is taken from her home and put to work on an isolated and harsh outback station. Her only solace: the violin, taught to her secretly by the kind-hearted wife of the abusive station owner. However, Virginia’s prodigious musical gift cannot save her from years of hardship and racism.

Decades later, her eight year old granddaughter Ruby plays the violin with the passion Virginia once possessed. Amidst poverty, domestic violence and social dysfunction, Ruby escapes her circumstance through her practice with her grandmother’s frail, guiding hand. Ruby’s zeal attracts the attention of an enigmatic music professor and with his help, she embarks on an incredible journey of musical discovery that will culminate in a rare opportunity. But with two cultural worlds colliding, her gift and her ambition will be threatened by deeply ingrained distrust, family jealousies and tragic secrets that will define her very identity

My review:

Once in a while you read a book that makes your heart sing and weep at the same time. Gifts of the Peramangk by Dean Mayes, is one of those books. The story centres around two young girls with incredible musical talent. One, an aboriginal girl cruelly taken from her family at a young age and the other, her motherless granddaughter. The story shifts between the early 1950s to present
day Australia. The heroine of the story is Virginia, the family matriarch, who does whatever she can to keep her dysfunctional family together and to preserve the musical talent that has been passed down through the generations. Her strength and perseverance, even in deplorable situations and failing health, is remarkable. Dean Mayes has crafted a fine tale of hope. Hope when all is lost, hope against all odds, and hope when many would have given up. This is a must read.

Scarborough, by Ellen Ekstrom

 

From Goodreads:

When Quinn Radcliffe shows up in a village somewhere in the Cotswolds or Dorset, he knows he’s been there before. It’s a place out of a Thomas Hardy novel – or the imagination. There’s the Curiosity Shop with The Proprietress and her famous guests, the church at the end of the lane, and unbelievable but necessary journeys that test and affirm.  Now the conductor of a world-renowned orchestra, Quinn isn’t surprised by his surroundings – the love of his life, Alice Martin, told him all about the village but he has always and secretly thought it was the best part of a dream she shared after her life-threatening illness.
Until now. There are two sides to every love story.  This is the other side of the haunting and poignant romance that began with “Tallis’ Third Tune.”

My review:

If you loved Ms Ekstrom’s Tallis’ Third Tune, as much as I did, you are in for a treat with her latest novel, Scarborough. Once again the reader encounter’s the star-crossed lovers, Alice and Quinn, the curiosity shop with historical figures popping in and out, and wonderful scenes from York and Scarborough. This time, however, we hear the story from Quinn’s point of view. The author’s superb writing takes us into the mind of a brilliant, talented, tortured young man. His inability to make clear decisions and choices causes him much heartache. With the help of the likes of Thomas Wyatt, Richard III, Janis Joplin and Jane Austen, to name a few, he has a chance to make things right. You will not be disappointed in this, the second in the Midwinter Sonata series.

An Illusion of Trust, by Linda Cassidy Lewis
In this sequel to The Brevity of Roses, Renee Vaziri discovers that even when your dreams come true your nightmares remain.
When Renee Marshall locked the door on her dark past and married Jalal Vaziri, she hoped for a quiet life in a California coastal town. Now, with a sexy, adoring, wealthy husband, one beautiful child and another on the way, she dares to believe happily ever after could be her future. But doors don’t always stay locked. As the stress of living in Jalal’s high-society world increases, the traumas of Renee’s past begin to poison the present and threaten to destroy everything she treasures.Is it her imagination or is Jalal keeping a secret that will end their marriage and rip her children from her life? And could it involve Diane, the woman who reminds Renee too much of Jalal’s beloved first wife?
My Review:
This long-awaited sequel to The Brevity of Roses, is a must read. It is a story about how the past can destroy the future, if allowed to. Renee Marshall has done well for herself; a gorgeous, sexy husband, two adorable children, in-laws who provide the family she always longed for, a healthy bank account and a fabulous house in a privileged community. Then why isn’t she happy? She can’t seem to get rid of a past that haunts her and is bound to destroy her and everything she cherishes. This well written story is raw with emotions and seasoned with believable characters. I could not put this book down as I needed to know, will Renee be able to confront the past and make peace or will she lose everything? Thanks for writing this book, Ms Cassidy Lewis. It was worth the wait!
Have you read any good books lately you would like to share?

22 Responses to "Books Worth a Mention"

I will get out the Amazon card or perhaps find them in our local library. Thank you. I can’t wait to find Gifts of the Peramangk.

Thanks for sharing these books with us. I always love to find a new (to me) author and have Linda’s second book on my To Read List.

When I read a good book, I always want to tell everyone about it!

An Illusion of Trust sounds like something I’d like. Thanks for sharing these books, Darlene. I tend to read children’s books and adult’s interchangeably, too. I’ve been reading Joyce Carol Oates lately, and my next adult to-read is by an Australian writer, Randolph Stow — The Merry-Go-Round in the Sea. Don’t know how it is yet, but will find out soon. Happy reading!

Sounds like you have a good TBR list going there. Happy Reading to you as well.

I haven’t read anything for such a long time – these all look so enticing but I think the middle one is possibly calling me the most. I’m going to have to try to join a library again (I’m too far away from the one I used to go to). I don’t buy novels because I have nowhere to put them when I’m done and its a rare book that I read more than once!

I go through phases of reading tons of books and then not reading anything for awhile. My friends and co-workers often share books, so one book gets read many times I have way too many books in my house, I know. Soon I will have to take a trip to the used book store and make a donation. You would love Scarborough! I hope you find another library to join in your new neighborhood.

I also sneak in adult reads. Love recommendations, especially the first book. And, Illusion of Trust sounds good too.

Do you like Kristin Hannah? She has a new book coming out next Tuesday, “Fly Away.” Did an interview with her on my blog last May on her book “Home Front.”

I am not familiar with Kristin Hannah but will look her up. Thanks for the suggestion Patricia.

My very favorite Hannah book is “Winter Garden.” It’s her best.

I just added Winter Garden to my Goodreads to read list. It looks like a book I would enjoy. Thanks for introducing me to a new author.

Every now and then some prominent person tells us that reading is old hat and it’s dying out (I heard this recently, although I can’t remember who the source was), but it’s so untrue. I think humans will always be fascinated by stories, and reading a book for yourself is a truly wonderful experience. Of the three books you’ve reviewed I find myself most drawn to the first one. I only wish I had another lifetime in which to read everything I want to read.

You and me both Lorna. I will never live long enough to read all the books I want to read. I agree, reading is not dead. I see people reading all the time, on the bus, at coffee shops, waiting in line etc. The book from Australia is a very good read.

Thanks for bringing these to my attention, Darlene. I’ve been meaning to read Tallis’ Third Tune for a while now, and your review of Scarborough just bumped it up on my TBR list.
Reading is something I would love to spend more time on, but life is keeping me busy. I keep buying books and finding out about books I want to read, but I never have enough time to read them! There are so many novels I’ve never read just sitting on my bookshelf…I feel like a terrible person. 😉

You are not a terrible person, you are a normal person! You have no idea how many stacks of unread books are in my house and now on my e-reader too. “Too many books – not enough time” is my motto. I have been reading on my commute by public transport so that gives me some time. I do hope you get a chance to read Tallis’ Third Tune soon as you will love it!

Gifts of the Permamangk sounds intriguing.

It is very good and I’m sure you would enjoy it.

Thanks for sharing these, I’m always looking for new authors to try.

There are so many books out there, it is good to have a few recommended. I like to read new writers, not just popular writers.

I’m sorry I didn’t see this post sooner, Darlene. Thank you so much for the word of mouth. You have a lovely mouth. 🙂

You are more than welcome. I did really enjoy the book.

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