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text 2021-01-18 07:42
Free E-book - FOREST - Love, Loss, Legend

FREE E-BOOK

 

FOREST - Love, Loss, Legend

 

Free 'til January 19, 2021 at

https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003DS6LEU

 

Matt Bennett grew up in a dying town on the edge of the rainforest on the west coast of Canada. He knows the dark secrets behind that impenetrable wall of green where species can come to life, thrive and die without anyone except God ever knowing they ever existed. Lost gold, lost love and lost hope compels Matt to return home. The Forest is waiting.

 

 

As soon as they can they plan to leave behind the small town and small minds of Pitt Landing. They will embrace life and experience the world, maybe even change it.

 

Man plans, God laughs.

 

Raminder’s father has a stroke and her commitment to her family means she must postpone her plans and stay in Pitt Lake. It’s just the opposite for Matt. A family tragedy leaves irreconcilable differences between him and his father and forces him to leave. They promise to reunite, but life happens.

 

Twelve years later, Matt is an acclaimed war correspondent. He’s seen it all and it’s left him with post-traumatic stress, a gastric ulcer, and an enlarged liver. He’s never been back to Pitt Landing though the memory of Raminder and their love has more than once kept him sane.

 

He’s at his desk in the newsroom, recuperating from his last assignment and current hangover and reading a letter from his father, the first contact they’ve had in over a decade. It talks about a legendary lost gold mine, a map leading to it, and proof in a safety deposit box back in Pitt Lake. He’s sent it to Matt in case something happens to him and cautions his son to keep it a secret.

 

Matt is about to dismiss the letter when the telephone rings. It’s Raminder telling him his father has disappeared somewhere in the wilderness that surrounds Pitt Lake.

 

Lost gold, lost love and lost hope compels Matt to return home to Pitt Landing, a dying town on the edge of the rainforest on the west coast of Canada. Will he find any of these, or does something else await him?

 

Free 'til January 19, 2021 at

https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003DS6LEU

 

#books #bookworm #twitterbooks #newbooksnetwork #goodreads #amreading #readingcommunity #booklovers #newfiction #readers #read #environment #conservation #climatechange #endangeredspecies #habitatdestruction #Interracial #multicultural #environmentalfiction #ecofi #Mystery #romance #Sasquatch

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text 2021-01-17 07:23
Free E-book - Abandoned Dreams

ABANDONED DREAMS

Free ‘til Jan. 19 at

https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003DS6LEU

 

Have you ever wondered what dreams you might have fulfilled

if life hadn't got in the way?

What if you had an opportunity to try again?

 

 

At twenty-seven years-old, George Fairweather is “the voice of his generation”, a poet whose talent has garnered him accolades from the literary establishment and homage from the disenfranchised “hippie” youth of the late 1960s.

 

George is the embodiment of the times with his long hair, rebellious attitude and regular use of mind-expanding psychedelic drugs.

 

Then the sudden and tragic death of Fallon, his friend, his muse and his lover shatters his world, his sanity and nearly ends his life.

 

Katherine is the one person who stands between George and destruction. A hanger-on, a groupie, a go-for, she’s a woman George never considered – for anything.  Katherine idolizes George and makes it her personal mission to keep him alive, doing whatever it takes, twenty-four seven. 

 

Because of Katherine’s sacrifice and devotion, George slowly begins to mend his soul and rebuild a life. But guilt and gratitude make it a much different life than he’d previously led.

 

Thirty-seven years later, George Fairweather is a husband, father and grandfather and a successful copywriter at an advertising agency. Another death, his wife Katherine’s, is about to change his life again.

 

Can dreams be resurrected?

 

Can a life you’ve abandoned be taken up again?

 

Is it worth it?

 

Will they let you?

 

Abandoned Dreams - Free 'til Jan. 19, 2021at

https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003DS6LEU

 

 

#books #bookworm #twitterbooks

#newbooksnetwork #goodreads #amreading #readingcommunity

#booklovers #newfiction #readers #read

 

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review 2020-10-09 21:35
The Lost Shtetl by Max Gross
The Lost Shtetl - Max Gross

The book begins with the tale of an unhappy marriage in the isolated shtetl of Kreskol. Gross lovingly depicts the tiny community with all its faults and blessings. Readers will know the "reveal" is coming. In all respects Kreskol is an ordinary 19th century community, but in reality it has simply been cut off from the modern world and bypassed by the horrors and (perhaps dubious) wonders of the 20th century.

 

Three individuals, the unhappy Lindauers escaping their unhappy marriage and the judgement of the village respectively, and the worthy, but unloved, Yankel is sent after them, or at least to find a magistrate to deal with the unprecedented crisis. They discover a very different world from the one they've known, but filled with many of the same dangers. Modern civilization is a thin veneer over what the Jews of Kreskol have been taught to expect from gentiles.

 

Modern Poland, and the world, does not know what to do with such a community. The novel in discussing how Kreskol was spared for a hundred years talks of the deprivations of war, racism, and progress that swept up their peers in the years before and after the Holocaust. The Holocaust itself is a terror of such great magnitude, how can it be explained to one who had never heard of it before? How can Kreskol survive when faced with the pressures and temptations of the modern world?

 

Gross has created a wonderful novel here that reminds us of the past, but also forces us to think about the lies we ourselves can prefer over the truth.

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review 2020-08-25 12:10
Black Sunday
Black Sunday - Tola Rotimi Abraham

by Tola Rotimi Abraham

 

A story that takes us into a different culture in Nigeria. Identical twins take different paths in life after circumstances break up their family, one into modern life and the other into Yoruba tradition.

 

It's an interesting concept and the language and structure suggests translation from a West African language, but after the first few paragraphs it settles into present tense.

 

Oh.

 

Despite this, I was able to read it in small snippets and follow the story of the twins and their separate lives. The chapters change pov among four siblings so you get the contrast of events that leave them in the care of their Yoruba grandmother. There are some disturbing realities of what it's like to be poor and female in a third world culture.

 

Overall I found the story interesting, but depressing. The present tense writing makes it feel like someone telling a story in a monotone, but with enough horror of events, including sexual assault, that you can't help but listen.

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review 2020-07-08 15:24
A challenging and beautifully diverse reading experience
Matt: More Than Words - Hans M. Hirschi

I write this review as a member of Rosie’s Book Review Team and I freely chose to review an ARC copy of this novel. I have read quite a few of Hirschi’s novels and have enjoyed them all, and some are among my favourites in recent years. He combines some of the characteristics that I most admire in authors: he writes strong and diverse characters, no matter what particular challenges they might be faced with; he carefully researches the topics he touches on (even when some of them might seem only incidental to the novel, he makes sure nothing is left to chance) and uses his research wisely (never banging readers on the head with it); and he does not shy away from the ugliest and harshest realities of life, while at the same time always dealing sensitively and constructively with those. His stories are not fairy tales, and they force us to look at aspects of society and of ourselves that perhaps we’re not proud of, but if we rise to the challenge we’ll be rewarded with an enlightening experience. And a great read. This novel is no exception. We follow the life of Matt, a young man diagnosed with cerebral palsy due to birth complications, for a few rather momentous months. The book, narrated in the third person, is told from three of the main characters’ perspectives. The novel is mostly Matt’s, or at least as good an approximation at what Matt’s experience might be as the author can achieve. It is a difficult task, and he expresses it better than I can in his acknowledgements at the end (‘How does one write about someone in whose situation you’ve never been? How do you give voice to someone who has none? And maybe, most importantly, how, without being insensitive, without objectifying, generalizing, stereotyping, in short without being a “dick”, do you tell a story that needs telling, about someone who could actually be out there, right now?’). He also explains that he shared his early drafts with experts (people with cerebral palsy and their carers), and, in my non-expert opinion, he manages to depict what the daily life of the protagonist would be like. The other two main characters, Timmy, a professional carer who is Matt’s personal assistant at the beginning of the story but gets removed from his team due to a misunderstanding, and Martha, Matt’s mother, are also given a saying and some of the chapters are told from their perspective. Timmy is a lovely young man, a carer in the true sense of the word, and he has a real calling for the type of job he is doing. Martha is a devoted mother who found herself in a tough situation when she was very young and who has poured her heart and soul into looking after her son. Neither one of them are perfect (nor is Matt for that matter), and they make mistakes, lose heart and faith at times, and can feel overwhelmed or despondent, but they never give up and always have Matt’s best interests in mind. Of course, I’ve already said that this is not a fairy tale. Far from it. We all know and have heard about some of the terrible things that happen: abuse, neglect, lack of resources, and although in this case there is no political and/or social oversight (Matt has access to a package of care and the family is reasonably well-supported, something that unfortunately is not the case everywhere), somehow things still go wrong, and we get to see what it must be like to be the victim of such abuse when you are totally unable not only of physically defending yourself but also of even talking about it. Terrifying. Not everybody is suited for this kind of work, and it is sad to think that those in the most vulnerable circumstances can be exposed to such abuse. And yes, because of the level of need and the limited resources, sometimes the vetting procedures are not as stringent as they should be. (The current health crisis has highlighted how much we expect of some workers and how little a compensation they receive for their efforts). Communication and how important it is to try to make sure everybody can communicate and become as independent as possible is one of the main themes of the book. The experience of living locked up inside your own body, with other people not even aware that you know what is going on around you and always making decisions for you comes through very strongly in the book. Matt knows and worries about how he is perceived by others, has internalised many of the attitudes he’s seen, and the comments he has overheard, and many aspects of life we take for granted are like an impossible dream to him. Speaking, going for a walk, even deciding what to watch on television, are tasks beyond his scope. The research into ways to facilitate communication and to increase independence is highlighted in the novel, and the role new technologies (including AI) can play is explored. With the appropriate investment, there’s little doubt that this could make a big difference in the lives of many people. Martha’s difficult situation (she wishes her son to fulfil his potential and be able to do what any other 23 years old normally does, but she’s also fiercely protective of him and does not want to get her hopes up for them to only be crushed again), the personal price she has to pay, the way she has to sacrifice any semblance of a normal life to keep looking after Matt, her worry about the future… are also convincingly depicted. And Timmy’s own feelings and his acknowledgment of his own limitations ring true as well. Family relationships feature strongly not only in the case of Matt, but also of Timmy, originally from Africa and adopted by Caucasian parents, a loving couple who accept him as he is, and Chen, Timmy’s friend and ex-boyfriend, whose parents are more understanding than he thought they’d be. The writing style is compelling and descriptive, although the descriptions are focused on the emotions and feelings rather than on the outward appearance of people and things. I found the story moving, and although it is not a page-turner in the common sense of the word, I was totally engulfed in it and couldn’t put it down, even when some of the events were horrifying at times and made me want to look away. The novel ends in a positive note, and I hope that in real life everybody in Matt’s situation will have access to a fulfilling life, if not now, in the very near future. As a society, we can do much to help, and we should. This novel reminded me of Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo (yes, the famous screenwriter who ended up in the blacklist, one of Hollywood’s Ten), whose movie version I saw as a teenager (also directed by Trumbo), and I’ve never forgotten. The main character there is a WWI soldier who is so severely injured during the war that he ends up unable to move and to communicate, or so those around him think. Although the circumstances are very different (the main character there had led a normal life before and has many memories, although if that makes his life better is a matter of opinion), and I’m sure this novel will appeal to people looking for a book focusing on diverse characters and exploring the world beyond our everyday experiences. As I’ve explained, it is not a comfortable and easy read, but one that will challenge us and make us look at life with new eyes. If you are up for the challenge, the rewards are immense.

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