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review 2013-10-25 01:12
Secrets of Catalpa Hall - Lori Lapekes



This was actually a good story to read when you are sick and stuck at home with a sick hubby and toddler. It required no thinking, all I had to do was read and follow the storyline. And being called upon right in the middle of a chapter isn’t a deal breaker in any way. It wasn’t a Great whodunit mystery; okay, it was predictable but the ‘Beauty and the Beast’ spin to it kept me entertained. I am partial to ‘Beauty and the Beast’ but not exactly the fairy tale or the Disney version but rather the miniseries which I loved back in the 90s (oops, showing my age here)



The book opens with an interesting picture of Gideon creeping down a secret stairway and as a recluse. Gideon is just like the Beast – a huge purplish birthmark which marked him as ‘ugly’, shunned society in general but has his own small circle family and friends who loved him dearly, and is basically a gentle giant with a burdensome secret. As he found the love of his life again, he will need to find the courage to face his past but will he be able to keep her by his side?


Melody Moon returned to her childhood home which was filled with many good memories but also some pretty awful ones. It’s been a very long time and whilst some things are vague, some are just as bright like Gideon. She came for healing for her daughter but also for herself. She hoped to confront the past and to move on. The past, however, had hid a lot more secrets than she ever knew.


I love alternative POVs in books. I just feel privileged in knowing both sides of the story but sometimes it also drive me nuts because so very often all they needed to do was to talk openly… yeah, all misunderstandings in life will be so easily settled if we all just sit down and talk openly. Whilst I like Gideon well enough, I actually found Melody to be quite annoying and weak. I got quite frustrated with her –she earned some ‘eye-roll’ moments. The characters I was actually fond of this book are actually the minor ones: Sandra, Melody’s friend, and the 3 crusty old poker buddies of Gideon. I reckon they are the gem in this story.


The romance is kind sweet and I was kept entertained enough at home not to feel cooped up so overall it is a good light read for a restful [though many timed interrupted] day.


Thank you, Astraea Press, for copy of the book in exchange of honest review.

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quote 2013-09-04 21:49
Back Yard

Shine on, O moon of summer.
Shine to the leaves of grass, catalpa and oak,
All silver under your rain to-night.

An Italian boy is sending songs to you tonight from an accordion.

A Polish boy is out with his best girl;
They marry next month;
tonight they are throwing you kisses.

An old man next door is dreaming over a sheen
That sits in a cherry tree in his back yard.

The clocks say I must go-
I stay here sitting on the back porch
drinking white thoughts you rain down.

Shine on, O moon,
Shake out more and more silver changes.

Picture of the Catalpa


Carl Sandburg was born in 1878 and this poem has the word catalpa in it.  I read this poem and wondered what a catalpa was. I went and found the following picture.



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