Monday, September 30, 2013

Review: The Girl Who Married an Eagle, by Tamar Myers

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The Girl Who Married an Eagle by Tamar Myers
THE GIRL WHO MARRIED AN EAGLE
by Tamar Myers
William Morrow Publisher
May, 2013 
pb, 288 pp, $13.99 
978-0-60-220385-4.







Julia Newton, a recent American college grad, attends a lecture about missions in Africa and decides she has found her life’s purpose. At the airport she is met by Hank, a widower and minister who will be her main contact and support. He lives with his quirky daughter, Clementine, otherwise referred to as the Great Distraction. Nine years old and very bright, she warmly welcomes Julia.
Julia finds herself teaching at an all-girls boarding school in the Belgian Congo comprised of runaway child brides from the Bashilele people. Chief Eagle is the leader of the tribe, members of whom are known both for their attractiveness and their gruesome headhunting practices. He has just chosen his 23rd wife, an eight-year-old beauty called Bukane. Bukane escapes, but in her flight she is attacked by hyenas. She is discovered by the missionaries and, after her wound heals, she attends the mission school. Shortly afterward, Chief Eagle arrives in full regalia to claim his property. A confrontation between the impulsive Julia and the arrogant Chief Eagle has dire repercussions.
The Girl Who Married an Eagle is the final book in the author’s Belgian Congo Mysteries and easily stands alone. Tamar Myers draws on her childhood experiences growing up in the Congo to dramatize this captivating story. The characters are vivid and three-dimensionally tangible. Clementine is an endearing, clever imp whose irresistible charm exudes cuteness, but her humor and bantering with adults mask an unimaginable grief. Myers captures many touching moments with keen wisdom and sensitivity, and she paints brutality and violence with an impressionist’s palette. The Girl Who Married an Eagle also provides valuable insight into the value of women in the male-dominant culture of pre-independence Congo in the 1960s.

© [Wisteria Leigh] and [Bookworm's Dinner], [2008-2013]. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to [Wisteria Leigh] and [Bookworm's Dinner] with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Disclosure: A copy of this book was provided by HNR for review in the May 2013 issue of Historical Novels Review.

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Sunday, September 29, 2013

Review: Shrapnel

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Shrapnel by William WhartonSHRAPNEL 
By William Wharton
William Morrow
May 2013
Hardcover, 272 pages
(US) 9780062257376
(US) 23.99





William Wharton died in 2008, but the memoir he wrote about his experiences in World War II will live forever.  These are intimate letters, personal and unfiltered.  He reminds the audience that many of his stories were kept secret, even from his family; his book was released posthumously. Shrapnel is a short work but nevertheless a strong and robust accounting of his relationships, fighting experience, and deepest sentiments. He never wanted to be a soldier, never felt compelled to throw himself in harm’s way, but regardless became a decorated veteran.
I must admit, I had doubts about reading about WWII from a personal perspective. However, this is a rare and candid portrayal of war, unembellished and humble. I am impressed with the author’s storytelling ability, as each page compels the reader to continue. Although there are many WWII books available in print, Shrapnel should be required reading for any students of American history. It is at once shockingly modest and highly inspirational.  Wharton bares his soul and shows how the war theater played out as one of America’s greatest tragedies.



Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to [Wisteria Leigh] and [Bookworm's Dinner] with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
© [Wisteria Leigh] and [Bookworm's Dinner], [2008-2013]. 

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Thursday, September 5, 2013

Review: CRIES OF THE LOST and DEAD ANYWAY by Chris Knopf



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  SOON TO BE RELEASED....AVAILABLE ON PRE:ORDER





CRIES OF THE LOST, Chris Knopf

The Permanent Press, November 22, 2013, $28.00, Hardcover, 288 pages, 978-1579623326.


In his much awaited sequel, CRIES OF THE LOST, Chris Knopf takes the reader on the quest to find out “who was Florencia?”  Arthur Cathcart teams up with companion Natsumi Fitzgerald and together assume multiple disguises to elude discovery.  All Arthur really knows about his wife is that she came from Chile.  As the story begins the two are headed to the Cayman Islands to attempt the retrieval of whatever was left in her safety deposit box. Although he successfully obtained her assets from her secret account at the First Australia Bank electronically, the box  from her account, required his appearance. 

Chris Knopf is an inventor of complex intrigue in a digital age. The journey Arthur begins, leads him and Natsumi on a daring escapade as if they are on a global scavenger hunt. Each revelation uncovered,  presents another question to chase. The two manage to stay one step ahead of the killer, and one step ahead of the law. The action is swift with continuous “in the nick of time” close calls. An armchair gripping novel that will compel you to read on.  The author balances the danger and unknown with the humorous witty banter, delivered in a natural cadence between Arthur and Natsumi.  

CRIES OF THE LOST is an engrossing novel that will challenge your cognition as you attempt to solve and unravel the plot. Chris Knopf’s has a gifted imagination that promises spectacular and unexpected adventure to engage readers. With the successful pairing of Arthur and Natsumi, a third book would be welcomed.  CRIES OF THE LOST will undoubtedly be a 2013 Best Pick.



DISCLOSURE: I received an advance copy of this novel from The Permanent Press.


September 5, 2013
Wisteria Leigh



Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to [Wisteria Leigh] and [Bookworm's Dinner] with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

© [Wisteria Leigh] and [Bookworm's Dinner], [2008-2013].

A short review of DEAD ANYWAY.....how it began. Who killed Florencia?

 

DEAD ANYWAY, Chris Knopf

 The Permanent Press, September 12, 2012, $28.00, Hardcover 248 pp, 978-1579622831.


With an explosive and unexpected beginning through to the end, DEAD ANYWAY, is a complicated and brilliantly conceived mystery.  Arthur Cathcart, critically wounded, his wife Florencia murdered when she fails to reveal information demanded by an intruder.  After a long recovery, he comes to terms with the tragedy, and is determined to track down his wife’s killer. His world turned upside down, Arthur is slammed with a realization that his beautiful wife Florencia, an intelligent woman, who owned her own insurance company, had a secret and dangerous life. One that she led apart from him.  His injuries bring him near death, however, he devises a plan that includes his faked death. Thus with an incredible advantage he is able to pursue the killer. Chris Knopf ‘s conception for imaginative plot has established him as an outstanding writer.  His mysteries leave me anxious for the next one…..soon!

DISCLOSURE: I received an advance copy of this novel from The Permanent Press.

September 5, 2013
Wisteria Leigh



Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to [Wisteria Leigh] and [Bookworm's Dinner] with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

© [Wisteria Leigh] and [Bookworm's Dinner], [2008-2013].


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