Books Worth a Mention
Posted April 19, 2013on:
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
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
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
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.”
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.
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?