Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Reading - The Virgin Blue

The Virgin Blue by Tracy Chevalier

Meet Ella Turner and Isabelle du Moulin—two women born centuries apart, yet bound by a fateful family legacy.

When Ella and her husband move to a small town in France, Ella hopes to brush up on her French, qualify to practice as a midwife, and start a family of her own. Village life turns out to be less idyllic than she expected, however, and a peculiar dream of the color blue propels her on a quest to uncover her family’s French ancestry. As the novel unfolds—alternating between Ella’s story and that of Isabelle du Moulin four hundred years earlier—a common thread emerges that unexpectedly links the two women.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Reading - Girl with a Pearl Earring

Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier

It tells the story of sixteen-year-old Griet, whose life is transformed by her brief encounter with genius . . . even as she herself is immortalized in canvas and oil.

When Griet goes to work as a maid in the home of the city's most renowned painter, she is expected to know her place.  But in the Vermeer household, dominated by his mercurial wife and her formidable mother, Griet soon catches the eye of the master.  Captivated by Griet's quiet manner, intuitive spirit, and fascination with art, Vermeer begins to draw her into his world - a rarefied place of exotic color and dazzling light, shifting shadows, and unimaginable beauty.

As Griet becomes a vital part of Vermeer's work, their growing intimacy spreads tension and deception in the ordered household and even, as the scandal seeps out, ripples in the town beyond.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Reading - The Road of Bones

The Road of Bones by Anne Fine

In school, Yuri is taught that the revolution liberated his country. He learns how the new leaders are always working for the greater good. But the truth is that life for his family and those around him is a brutal, poverty-stricken struggle. The government does nothing except punish those who protest. And one day, to his shock and horror, Yuri himself is branded an “enemy of the state” simply for dropping a few careless words.

The Road of Bones as an adventure-escape story set in “a sort-of Russia, in a sort-of 1930s, under a Stalin-type leader.” This chilling political thriller follows the frantic footsteps of a teenager on the run, a criminal who hasn’t committed a crime, a young man on a path to discovering the truth about how far he will go in order to survive.

Saturday, August 05, 2017

Reading - Still Alice

Still Alice by Lisa Genova

Alice Howland is proud of the life she worked so hard to build. At fifty years old, she’s a cognitive psychology professor at Harvard and a world-renowned expert in linguistics with a successful husband and three grown children. When she becomes increasingly disoriented and forgetful, a tragic diagnosis changes her life—and her relationship with her family and the world—forever.

At once beautiful and terrifying, Still Alice is a moving and vivid depiction of life with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease that is as compelling as A Beautiful Mind and as unforgettable as Ordinary People.