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review 2016-12-21 22:24
Dark, perverted tale
The Lonely Hearts Hotel - Heather O'Neill

This story takes place in 1914. Rose and Pierrot are the children of poor, unwed teenagers and both end up at the same orphanage when they’re abandoned by their mothers.  There’s a strong bond between these two children as they face their loveless days with the nuns.  The nuns are determined to keep Rose and Pierrot apart and to thwart their love and happiness in any way they can.  But this is a love that can’t be beat down, even when Pierrot is sent to live with a wealthy man and Rose is sent to work as a governess.


Rose and Pierrot are very imaginative characters and their journey through life is written much like a fairy tale, with dancing bears and magic at every turn. But it’s a truly tragic story, filled with child rape, child abuse, animal abuse, drugs, prostitution, etc., etc., etc.  It’s very profane, blunt and sexually graphic, which I felt was done in a way that seemed to be specifically for shock effect, though I’ve read where others have thought it lyrical.  The writing consists of far too many metaphors, though some of the metaphors are quite beautiful.  On one hand, the book can be seen as a story of two entrancing characters trying their best to struggle through a depraved world.  On the other hand, it’s just a perverted, tragic mess, with one atrocity following another.  I just wanted the book to be over so I could escape the horrendous world created by the author.


Sorry, but I can’t recommend this one. I was caught up in the comparison to “The Night Circus” but this is a much different type of book.  This book was given to me by the publisher in return for an honest review.

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review 2016-07-29 00:24
Great cookbook!
Pure Delicious - Heather Christo

This cookbook has over 150 allergen-free recipes, without gluten, dairy, eggs, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish or cane sugar. I’m not allergic but am trying to go vegan so was interested in these recipes for that reason.


This is much more than a cookbook. It also tells the author’s story of how she transformed her cooking for her family after her daughter’s scary allergy attack.  It then goes on to describe in detail what a food elimination diet should be, how to set up your kitchen, how to help children transition, tips on eating out and 8 weeks to a new normal.  My favorite substitutes that she suggests are coconut milk for dairy, beet sugar instead of cane sugar, garbanza bean flour as a thickener and pumpkin and sunflower seeds instead of nuts.


It’s a beautifully designed cookbook with gorgeous photos that will spike your appetite. I don’t cook much in the hot summer but I did try the zucchini chickpea fritters with red onion marmalade that was very good.  There are quite a few meat recipes and being a vegetarian, I won’t be making use of those.  But there are plenty of others that I’ll be trying once the weather cools down.  I’m particularly looking forward to the spicy tomato, lentil and rice soup, which I’ll probably make less spicy, sweet corn and yellow tomato soup, quinoa with oven-dried tomatoes and smoky tomato vinaigrette and green onion sweet potato biscuits.  There are lots of unique pasta dishes, too.  And an awesome chocolate zucchini bundt cake.


All in all, this is a winner!


This book was given to me by the publisher through Blogging for Books in return for an honest review.

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