Monday, April 29, 2013

Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger

Frankie and Jake were brothers with Frankie being the braver of the two but not necessarily the ethical one.  ORDINARY GRACE takes place when times were simpler but when problems still occurred in families and towns.

This specific summer in Frankie and Jake's life had adventures as well as misfortunes. Frankie was a character you will love. Frankie always seemed to be in the right place but never managed to figure out what was going on. He was growing up, being a boy, getting into and out of trouble, learning about life, and also learning how to deal with adult situations. His brother Jake was timid, adored his brother, and joined him on most of his adventures.

The book had a wonderful story line and great characters.  The characters can be described as unique, loveable, different, and ones you would want to have for friends. Frankie was the narrator, Jake kept the story going, and Gus seemed to be the person Frankie and Jake looked up to.  Frankie and Jake's parents were the typical couple of this era.  All characters complemented each other.  

The writing was extraordinary, the storyline was sweet, just like the era that pulled you in, and the storyline unquestionably kept your interest.  You won't want to put the book down mainly because of the nostalgic theme.  Keeping the storyline going are murders, deaths, a disappearance, a summer that would never be forgotten, and a mystery to solve.  

I thoroughly enjoyed the book.  The writing  was moving, expressive, and powerful.  The storyline moved effortlessly, and I loved the glimpse back into the 1960's.

ORDINARY GRACE is a book that will be on your mind long after you turn the last page.  Don't miss this extraordinary book filled with the exploring of one's conscience and also with learning how to forgive.  It is noteworthy and remarkable. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Trompe L'oeil (To Fool The Eye) by Caroline Miller

Hidden tunnels, a castle, Paris, a mystery, deceit, and a questionable inheritance.  Rachel Farraday was the lucky one to be chosen by Madame de Villier to assist in researching the history of her chateau and also in a surprise that may have or may not have been planned and a surprise that turned out to not be a good one. The fun began along with mystery and tragedy not too long after Rachel arrived.

The writing was excellent as usual when it comes to Caroline Miller, but I enjoyed Gothic Spring much more. The characters and plot were unique, but the plot was also a bit confusing....perhaps over my head??? Mrs. de Toi, the cook, was my favorite character because of her demeanor and the delicious foods she prepared.  Madame de Villier was a bit eccentric and moody. Rachel was trying to be helpful but not always succeeding. Mathiam was a bit on the odd side. Christian and the other characters were frightening and quite shady.

This book was filled with all my favorite things: castles, family secrets, cooks, cooks and butlers with secrets, surprises, and many twists and turns.  At times, the plot became a bit tedious, but Ms. Miller again didn't disappoint as the ending revealed it all and the book stood up to its title.

The book was part history, part mystery, and just plain good old European living.  All the things I enjoy reading about.  4/5 

This book was given to me free of charge by the author without compensation in exchange for an honest review.