Monday, April 23, 2012

A Secret Kept

A Secret Kept    By Tatiana De Rosnay    Antoine and Melanie are siblings in their early forties. They have led a life of privilege in Paris and although they have been afforded all the luxuries a prestigious wealthy family possess, they have also lived with a cold hearted father and early loss of their beautiful loving mother. Antoine surprises Melanie for her 40th birthday with a weekend to an island they frequented as small children. An accident occurs and through Melanies recovery a family secret surfaces that will change their lives forever. Thoroughly enjoyed this authors insightful writing, daily Paris life, mid life crises and challenge of familial relationships. It is not Sarahs Key but a good, solid read with extremely likeable characters.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Once We Were Brothers

Once We Were Brothers  By Ronald Balson    Ben Soloman grew up in a small town in Poland in the 1930's. His generous loving parents often helped less fortunate families. Otto Piatek's parents could not afford to care for him and the Solomans raised him as part of the family for his formative years. When Poland was invaded by the Nazi's life changed for all the people and worst off for the Jewish families. Otto went to work for the Germans as he was not Jewish and he initially thought it would help the Solomans. Life took Ben and Otto in opposite directions and very different lives. Throughout WWII, through death and marriage and loss. So much loss. Many years later in Chicago Ben is an older man at the end of his life. He believes he recognizes Otto as a prominent businessman, but this cannot be. Once We Were Brothers is a compelling novel about family, friendship, and faith. It flashes back to the past with accuracy and surmounts to an unexpected suspenseful story that cannot be put down. The historical portions were fascinating, although fiction, they were well researched and the characters extremely loveable. Highly recommend this read.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

History of a Pleasure Seeker

History of a Pleasure Seeker  By Richard Mason    Piet Barol is a highly educated young man in the very early 1900's, living in Leiden. His French, singing instructor mother whom he was very close has passed away. His father is a joyless University employee and Piet is determined to find a new rich life in the world. His mother taught him all the finer pleasures of life as defined in food, music, art and language. Combined with his extraordinary good looks and easy disposition, Piet finds work as a tutor in one of the wealthiest homes in Amsterdam. He becomes mentor to a troubled 10 year old boy and lover to a rather cold and neglected wife of his employer. Reading this story accomplishes what an excellent writer sets out to do. For a few days I was in Amsterdam over a hundred years ago and was able to envision the dress, the homes, the food and the romance of that period. Highly recommend this timeless read about class, determination, love and of course, pleasure.

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Sweetness of Tears

The Sweetness of Tears   By Nafisa Haji     Jo March, named not by accident, unveils the secret that will change her life. Brought up with her twin as devout Christians with a famous evangelical uncle and missionary grandmother, Jo cannot leave this new information to chance. She endeavors on a journey of study, tracing her roots and resolving the mysteries of her life and her family. She embraces the people she meets even though they are different from herself and the world she knows. This well written beautiful story is about family dynamics and genetics. Nature and nuture. We are all connected and we are all on this earth together. Highly recommend this dynamic novel and look forward to reading more from this author.