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text 2017-12-10 23:11
I realize that one snowflake does not yet make a White Christmas ...

... and we're still 2 weeks away, and for all I know this may be all we're due this winter, but I can't help tacitly getting my hopes up.

 

This is what our garden and our neighborhood looked like this afternoon:

 

(The last two photos are the view from my living room window towards the other side of the road, past some of the bells of my terracotta bell mobile.)

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review 2017-12-10 20:04
McDuff Comes Home - Rosemary Wells,Susan Jeffers

 

A nice, simple story with a happy ending.

Like the first book in the series, McDuff finds himself in a bit of a predicament, but everything works out in the end. Very simple writing, but a cute story.

For more reviews, check out my blog Craft-Cycle

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review 2017-12-04 22:02
Review: Home Fire
Home Fire: A Novel - Kamila Shamsie

Home Fire is one of those elusive novels that's difficult to review. The story is told in five parts, each from a different character's perspective, and though each part picks up where its predecessor left off, each change in narrative and style results in a distinctly different feel. It's almost as though one were reading five interconnected stories—though it doesn't feel like that in the slightest. See how confused I am already?

From the opening pages, I was very much invested in this story. Isma's trials at the airport and her perspective of her life at an American university were engaging. Even as her story shifted toward little more than a conservation between her and another character at a coffee shop, I was eager to see where this story was going. I was ready to go with Isma on her journey.

Then the story shifted and became Eamonn's, then Parvaiz's. There was absolutely nothing wrong with each shift and all put together the five narratives make a good story. It's just that some were more engaging than others. Some characters I wanted to be fleshed out more. Some—especially Isma (maybe Karamat)—deserved their very own novel. This is especially true since Isma dominates the first fifty-five pages and then drops back to be little more than a secondary character to the love and politics than envelop the remaining four. Home Fire deals heavily in the subjects of love—both romantic and familial—politics, and religion. That place in between these topics where all things get messy is where you find Home Fire.

Overall, Kamila Shamsie's latest is a stupendous novel and it's a shame that it did not make it on the Man Booker shortlist. It was one of my personal favorites from the longlist, it is both intelligently written and highly readable. The writing style is simple but effective. The story always moves forward. Yes, it is uneven. Also, some of the plot points lack a bit of believability at times, but I don't feel like the novel hinged on realism. I would've enjoyed the story more had it gone in a different direction or been handled a little differently, but I was not displeased at all. My interest in the author has been sparked and I hope to read more of her work soon.

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review 2017-12-01 00:00
Back Home at Firefly Lake
Back Home at Firefly Lake - Jen Gilroy Jen Gilroy takes readers home again. Back to the painful moments, the heartbreaking disappointments and a chance at finding out where a person really belongs. Firefly Lake is the place in the review mirror, that continues to call your name. A place that allows healing, redemption and new beginnings. Cat was the girl who never fit in. Luc was the boy with the world at his feet. Until life got in the way and brought the big hockey star and the single mother, back to their roots. Back Home at Firefly Lake is about being strong enough to move forward, when the world tries to hold you back.
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