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review 2018-02-06 23:09
French Exit by Patrick DeWitt
French Exit - Patrick deWitt
FRENCH EXIT by Patrick DeWitt
I just couldn’t get interested in this book or the characters in it; Frances, a middle aged widow, and her son, Malcolm. While clearly drawn, neither was likeable or very interesting.
 
Their situation (about to become bankrupt) and their reactions were also not interesting. I finished the book all the while wondering why I kept reading. I can’t in good conscience recommend this book.
 
Frances is a snide, snobbish and selfish person. Malcolm is a man/child who has no ambition and no desire to do anything including attend to his long suffering fiancé. The entourage they acquire is made up of misfits and ne’er-do-wells.
 
The conclusion is a relief.
2 of 5 stars

 

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review 2018-02-05 05:29
The Lost Castle - Book Review

This story is spread out between three women - three women who are strong willed and unwilling to conform to the world around them. They fought, loved, and lived through some of the most troubling times in history. Aveline who has her life arranged for her by her family, but wants something different. Vi, who refuses to sit back and watch the world change around her. Ellie - who wants to unlock the secrets of her grandmothers life, but unwilling to budge on what she sets her mind to.
Ellie wants to know about her grandmothers past, and the secrets that are locked within the confines of her mind. Alzheimer's has ravaged the once clear and brilliant mind, leaving her millions of miles away - not always knowing her granddaughter, or where she is. The secrets that haunt her grandmother send Ellie off on a search for the answers - all the way to France.
Once there, she encounters Quinn, who holds almost as many secrets as her grandmother. As the stories flip between Aveline, Vi and Ellie, the past comes to life once more.

Aveline's story really spoke to me. The French Revolution was a dangerous time. But her concern was not the money or the social standing. She bucked convention and tried to help those who needed it the most. Instead of marrying the man that was set before her, she found love in one of the most unlikely places, with someone who was willing to look past the scars and accept her for who she was.
Vi was someone who wanted to do her part in the war, no matter the cost to her, because she believed in what they were fighting for.

I really enjoyed reading through this book. It held my attention throughout, and the flipping back and forth was not really hard to follow at all.

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review 2018-02-03 16:08
The "ideal diplomatist"
Lord Lyons: A Diplomat in an Age of Nationalism and War - Brian A. Jenkins

As a career diplomat during the Victorian era, Richard Lyons served as one of the figures who defined and represented British power in the 19th century. The son of a Royal Navy admiral, Lyons entered the diplomatic service after an indifferent educational performance. He quickly proved a good fit for his new profession, serving first in Greece and then in Rome before gaining appointment as minister to the United States in 1858. In this post, Lyons soon found himself at the center of the turmoil surrounding secession and civil war, and he played a prominent role in representing British interests while steering Britain clear of greater involvement in the conflict. Such was the growing regard for Lyons that after his resignation he was appointed to run the embassies, first in Constantinople, then in Paris, where he spent two decades as ambassador during a critical period in French history.

 

In an era when diplomats exercised considerable autonomy, Lyons played a prominent role in shaping British foreign policy throughout his career. For this reason alone Brian Jenkins is to be commended for giving Lyons the attention he deserves, yet this is only one reason why Jenkins deserves praise for this book. He has written an exemplary biography of his subject, one that draws upon the full range of primary and secondary sources available to him. He strikes an ideal balance between context and personal detail, situating Lyons within the constantly changing context of the political and diplomatic environments in which he served. Nor does he neglect Lyons as a person, showing him as a man devoted to his career yet one who was an individual with his own quirks and problems. The result makes it clear why Lyons was lauded upon his death as "the idea of a pattern and ideal diplomatist," one who established the standard by which modern diplomats are judged. In that respect Jenkins's book is an unqualified success, one that should be read by everyone interested in diplomatic history and the history of British foreign policy.

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text 2018-01-31 15:53
Books I Read This Month: January 2018
Faithful Place - Tana French
Not Ready for Mom Jeans - Maureen Lipinski

Hmm, well hopefully Booklikes let's me get my book covers in this post. I was having issues sizing them down the other day.


So far this year, I read 33 books. I only decided to have 50 books for my challenge this year, so if I hit a slump (it happens) I can just ride it out without pushing myself to read.

 

I also have to say that Ann Rule's book covers are atrocious. Glad I got that off my chest. 

 

5 stars

 

The Prize by Julie GarwoodBut I Trusted You by Ann RuleNo Regrets by Ann RuleDear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

The Fifth Witness by Michael ConnellyBitter Harvest by Ann RuleConfessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie KinsellaAshes to Ashes by Tami Hoag

We're Going to Need More Wine by Gabrielle UnionFaithful Place by Tana French

 

 

 

4 stars

 

Worth More Dead and Other True Cases by Ann RuleThe Hanging Tree by Ben AaronovitchA Rage To Kill And Other True Cases by Ann RuleThe Gods of Guilt by Michael Connelly

Too Late to Say Goodbye by Ann RuleThe Girl Next Door by Elizabeth Noble

 

3 stars

 

A Kingdom of Dreams by Judith McNaughtSmoke, Mirrors, and Murder by Ann RuleMidnight Curse by Melissa F. OlsonStrange Weather by Joe Hill

Mortal Danger and Other True Cases by Ann RuleRemember Me? by Sophie Kinsella'Til Death Do Us Part by Amanda QuickTesting Kate by Whitney Gaskell

True Love by Whitney GaskellA Bump in the Road by Maureen LipinskiSecrets in Death by J.D. RobbAn Irish Country Love Story by Patrick Taylor

 

2 stars

 

The Lying Game by Ruth Ware

 

1 star

 

Whitney, My Love by Judith McNaughtHow the Light Gets In by Louise PennyThe Burial Hour by Jeffery DeaverNot Ready for Mom Jeans by Maureen Lipinski

 

I did read one book for the Horror Aficionados group read. So glad to be back with them.

Strange Weather by Joe Hill

 


And I also read one book for the (Mostly) Dead Writers Society 52 weeks challenge. 

 

Faithful Place by Tana French

 

My favorite book this month was "Faithful Place" my least favorite was "Not Ready for Mom Jeans."

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review 2018-01-30 02:07
Exiled
Faithful Place - Tana French
Fantastic from beginning to end. I couldn't even finish the second book (sorry whole plot was unbelievable) but this one was fantastic. Tana French has her third book focusing on Frank (Francis) Mackey. 

Mackey still carries some pain due to his first love leaving him behind to head to England. Mackey still leaves his family behind with o contact except for random visits from his youngest sister in 20 years. When Mackey is called home he finds out that maybe his first love Rosie never left him behind and someone is still there who will kill to keep things hidden forever. 

Mackey's ability to read people is great in this. Being an undercover allows him to put on personas. But in this case Mackey uses words and some times even the threat of violence to get to the truth. Mackey feels vulnerable still from Rose leaving him and you can see how it affected his first marriage. 

We get a look at Mackey's messy family and you will feel sympathy on why he left and never looked back as well as some sympathy towards his family. Since Mackey is seen on the other side of things from Faithful Place due to his job, you see how he wants to be free of the place, but also not rejected. 
 
I also read this for the Mostly Dead Writers Society 52 week challenge: Two Word Title.

I loved all the characters we get to look at. French does a good job ensuring that you can see all sides to some seriously gray situations. And the author manages to make Rosie come alive and someone you care about. 

The writing was great and French does a great job showing past and present scenes. The flow was great. I held my breath the last couple of chapters.

It seems in the end Mackey may be forever exiled from Faithful Place, but something good may come from it.
 
 I read this for Mostly Dead Writers Society 52 Weeks Challenge: Two Word title.
 

 

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