Thursday, October 17, 2013

What Kind of Sacrifice Would You Make?

The Last Camellia by Sarah Jio is a featured Read For Pink book this year.  I am
becoming a fan of Sarah’s writing and I hope you will too!


The narrators of this story are Addison and Flora.  Let me tell you about Flora’s story first.  Her story begins in the 1940s.  She comes from modest means where her parents own a bakery in New York City.  One day a customer offers Flora a very special job.  All she has to do is go to England and become a nanny to the children at the Livingston Manor.  Flora must also identify the camellia there named Middlebury Pink.   So Flora arrives and begins her search.  What will Flora find?  Will it be the Middlebury Pink or something much more precious?

Addison is married to Rex her husband.   Her story takes place in the present. She also has a secret from her past.  One that could possibly destroy the happiness that she has carefully fought for.   Rex’ parents now own the Livingston Manor house.  The happy couple decides to make a trip there.  It will also let Rex explore a new novel that he wants to write.  There are many mysteries to the house.  Will Addison be able to solve the mystery of The Middlebury Pink or will her past catch up with her?

My Thoughts:

This novel is good!  I just had a hard time keeping my interest in it.  Sarah does a great job of telling a story from two different perspectives  and time periods.  One being Flora’s from the 1940s and then Addison’s from today.  The tone set in this novel totally brought out that there is something mysterious.  I just had a hard time liking the characters or wanting to fight for them.

Botany is one of the main subjects in this novel.  This supports the history mentioned about the Middlebury Pink Camellia.  I thought it was interesting that both Flora and Addison had an interest or had studied Botany at one point.

Readers will enjoy this novel and it is worth a read.  I will definitely read more by Sarah Jio in the future.



Please visit Sarah on her Facebook page, Twitter, or Her website.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

How Does It Really Begin?

How It All Began by Penelope is a thought provoking fictional account of how the
lives of multiple people can be impacted by a random accident. It reminds me of widening ripples after a pebble has been thrown in a pond.

Charlotte Rainsford is walking down a street in London, when she is mugged by a teenager. She falls and breaks her hip, and her life is understandably altered due to her injury.  She cannot live alone while her hip is mending and mobility is severely limited. The reader also finds that the mugging incident triggers actions that lead to a marriage on the brink of divorce, the possible bankruptcy of an interior decorator’s business, the less than stellar performance at a lecture of a well-known historian, and how an immigrant's attempt to improve his life in the UK impacts the course of a twenty year marriage.

My Thoughts

"How It All Began" is the perfect book to read while curled up in your favorite chair with an afghan and a hot chocolate.  The reader will want to time with this book to allow full immersion in the story.  The characters are ordinary people living ordinary lives.  A random incident changes all their lives and the reader is compelled to keep reading to find out how the story unfolds.  Will the couple on the brink of divorce end or mend their marriage?  Will the interior decorator be able to save her business or will she have to change career direction?  Will the historian be able to restore his reputation in the academic world or will he fade into obscurity with a blemish on his record?  Penelope Lively answers these questions in such a way that reader has additional questions.  Ms. Lively leaves her readers wanting more, an excellent achievement for any writer.

By Celeste Thomas



Please visit Penelope on her Website


Sunday, October 13, 2013

In My Mailbox October 13, 2013

The Happy Birthday Mailbox!  I hope everyone has enjoyed the weekend and the possible holiday tomorrow.   We are staying busy at Writer's Corner here are the new arrivals:

Tempt me Cowboy by Megan Crane

My Big Greek Family by Maria Constantine

These books are on our Virtual Night Stand:

Next To You is being read by Celeste