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review 2017-04-24 02:02
The Promise of Pierson Orchard
The Promise of Pierson Orchard - Kate Brandes
Jack's family life began crumbling early in his childhood.  When Jack and his brother Wade were four and five years old, Jack's mother walked out on the family due to severe depression.  Later in his youth, their father died in a hunting accident.  Not long after that, Wade disappears. Jack is left to run their apple orchard by himself.  Jack marries a neighbor, LeeAnn and after eight years of infertility, their marriage falls apart.  Then, Wade returns along with his new job at Green Energy with hopes to reconcile his past and help out the town.  Wade is selling land leases for Green Energy to frack for natural gas in the abundant shale deposits of his hometown of Minden, Pennsylvania.  The quick money is a big draw for many of the families and businesses who have seen their town dwindle since the coal companies left.  However, Jack is worried about the effects of fracking on the land, his orchard and LeeAnn's organic apple trees.  He makes the decision to call in his mother, Stella, now an acclaimed environmental lawyer to get some perspective on the issue.  With Wade, Jack and Stella all back together there will be more be more explosions than just the hydraulic fracturing.
 
As an environmental scientist, I appreciate pertinent environmental issues featured in contemporary fiction. The Promise of Pierson Orchard expertly incorporates the slowly leaking and infiltrating toxins of the hydraulic fracturing with the disassembling relationships within Jack's family.  The characters are definitely the focus of the story.  The writing switching between the point-of-view of Jack, Wade, LeeAnn and Stella giving an intimate look into each character's back story and reasoning, making it easy to see everyone's beliefs and why they were convinced they were doing the right thing.  The shorter chapters also made for quick reading and a build of suspense as secrets were revealed.  I was most impressed with the author's ability to come up with a compromise solution for the town and the hydraulic fracturing.  While the dangers of fracking and its many consequences are highlighted, Stella's character is able to come up with a solution that includes fracking done a better way in order to help the community and family that she left behind.  With a heart-pounding and surprising ending, The Promise of Pierson Orchard provides an engaging and thoughtful read.
 
This book was provided for free in return for an honest review. 

 

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review 2017-04-23 21:19
gripping fantasy
Morgan - Lavinia Collins

A totally immersive experience, all three books of the Morgan Trilogy by Lavinia Collins, following one of the lesser known women in Arthurian legend.

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review 2017-04-21 16:40
mysterious mystery
Duplicity - Pete Brassett

The fourth book by Brassett to feature detectives Munro and West, and just as good if not better than the previous ones.
Set in Scotland, the strong brogue of DI Munro contrasts well with the sassy southern attitude of DS West. Battling the rambunctious locals and their insatiable appetite for cholestrol laden fare, the two detectives must suss out the identity of a murderer, and find out the motive - whether a crime of passion, a business deal gone wrong, or perhaps both.
Try this book out, and find a whole new series to absorb oneself in

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review 2017-04-21 16:33
heart-warming
Clam Chowder at Lafayette and Spring - Pete Brassett

A great romance by a crime writer!

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review 2017-04-18 19:30
Everyone We've Been
Everyone We've Been - Sarah Everett

Everything We've Been is the debut novel from author Sarah Everett.  It is one of those books that gives all the feelings, but sorting them out is next to impossible.  Sadness, laughter, anger, disbelief, even horror of the emotional variety.

 

The story is told in two timelines, one from before Addison's accident and the other after.  The accident has caused memory lapses and hallucinations involving a boy no one else can see.   Because of that, she takes some aggressive steps to find out who he is and what is missing in her memory.  And that takes her down a path she never imagined.

 

The twists and turns... I loved them.  Combined with the two timelines, the story was thoroughly engrossing.  At times, it was like reading two different stories.  Pre-accident Addison and post-accident Addison were almost like two separate people.

 

I loved the story, and the premise behind it.  How far would you go to move forward beyond pain?  Should parents be allowed to make that choice for their child?  Does the loss of memories change who you are, who you become?  How much pain is too much?  Erasing memories... is that always the right choice, or is it sometimes just the easy way out?  These are the kinds of questions that this novel makes a reader consider for themselves.

 

My only issue with the book is hard to discuss without fear of spoilers.  It has nothing to do with the book itself, but choices that may or may not be made.  But that isn't a bad thing.  Instead, that is exactly why I enjoy the novel so much.  By disagreeing with a character's actions, or feeling disappointment at their thought processes, I've connected with the character.  On top of that, it makes you consider your own position with the issues at hand.

 

All in all, this was a thought-provoking read that I loved.  I love any novel that makes me think about my own beliefs and views!

Source: thecaffeinateddivareads.multifacetedmama.com/?p=12905
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