My Reading Pal
• May 25, 2002 - Oct 22, 2010 •
Forever in my heart
I am a true fan of horror. Always have been and always will be. Consumption by Heather Herrman, which released today, fed that love of mine to perfection. Consumption is a fantastic debut novel that offers up a pulse pounding thrill ride through its pages. Evil is definitely lurking and it kept me glued to this classic horror story until the very last page!
John and Erma are trying to piece their lives back together and start a new life somewhere after going through a particularly hard time. Their road trip doesn’t go quite as planned when they find themselves stranded on the side of the road due to car trouble. Finding help seems impossible until the local sheriff shows up and while he’s very helpful they find that they will still have to spend the night in Cavus. Cavus seems like a really charming town though and the people are friendly and ultimately John and Erma decide to stay a bit longer. Maybe this is a good place for the two of them to mend their broken marriage…
NOT! It doesn’t take long for both John and Erma to notice some strange things going on around them. Things that can’t be explained. There is something seriously wrong with the people in town. Turns out there is an evil that has been waiting for years to escape again … and it’s feeding on the people of Cavus. If it continues to thrive what will be the fate of the world it wishes to control?
John and Erma find themselves, along with the sheriff, two teenagers, and an old man with the weight of the town’s secrets on his shoulders, in the fight of their lives. The problem … who can be trusted? And that includes each and every one of them too.
It is said that Consumption is being compared to Stephen King and Joe Hill and I think that’s a fair comparison. I was riveted to this story from beginning to end especially as all the horrors began to unfold and I enjoyed every minute. If you’re a horror fan then Consumption is a book you’ll want to read and Heather Herrman an author to watch! Highly recommended!
The Butternut Lake Trilogy by Mary McNear is one of my favorites. The latest book, the third in the series, entitled Moonlight on Butternut Lake is just as wonderful as I thought it would be. It’s about finding yourself again even when you feel you are broken beyond repair, of healing a broken soul, and of family and love.
Mila hasn’t had an easy life. Her childhood was hard and now she’s trapped in an abusive marriage with no way out. Or is there? Thankfully Mila finds help from a woman who has suffered abuse herself and sends her to Butternut Lake to work as a home health aide.
Back in Butternut Lake Reid is recovering from a serious car crash in which he almost died. So far he’s managed to send two home health aides running due to his horrendous attitude. It’s understandable that Reid is angry and miserable. He’s a man used to taking care of himself. It’s just that he doesn’t seem to even want to make an effort to get better. He can’t see beyond his self pity to know how lucky he is to be alive and have the support of a loving family. Will Mila be the one to break the impossibly high wall Reid has built around himself?
Mila hopes Butternut Lake will be a new start for her. A place where she can put her life back in order. She finds Reid just as nasty as she had expected and at times it’s hard for her with what she’s dealt with in her past. She has to learn to stand up for herself. When she finally does Reid sees a different woman – one unlike any he’s known before… and she begins to inhabit a place in his heart. Will these two broken souls find peace and healing through each other?
Moonlight on Butternut Lake is a beautiful story. I loved the characters and Butternut Lake itself sounds like a little piece of heaven. While this book can stand alone I think a reader would really miss out on a lot of back story by not indulging in Up at Butternut Lake and Butternut Summer first. Highly recommended!
Trail of Broken Wings by Sejal Badani is an emotionally powerful book that portrays the effects of domestic abuse on a family throughout their lives. It is an extremely well written book and despite the subject matter this is a book well worth reading. You always think you know people but a family can look perfect on the outside and yet the inside is completely broken. It’s a vicious cycle that destroys lives.
Sonya hasn’t been home in years and probably still wouldn’t be if not for her father being in a coma. Sonya, a photographer, has been traveling the world and living her life as she wishes. It’s not as if she really cares what happens to her father having spent years living with his abuse as did her sister Marin. Only one sister seemed to be his favorite and escape the abuse and that was Trish. And in the background always was their mother Ranee who never lifted a finger to stop the abuse that she, along with her children, suffered. Of course the abuser always has an excuse for his actions and in Brent’s case, having immigrated to America to give his family a better life, failed under the pressure of not fitting in and took it out on his family.
With Sonya home and the women all sitting with their father they find their memories of the past rushing to the surface. None of them have gotten past the horrific violence they suffered at his hands and it’s invaded their lives. Sonya doesn’t seem capable of having a relationship in her adult life, Marin feels she has to control everything in her family to the point of alienating both her daughter and her husband, and Trish is bent on destroying her marriage. Even more disturbing both Ranee and her daughter Trish are harboring a secret that has the power to destroy them all. As Brent’s condition worsens all of them have their own private thoughts on whether they want this man to live or die and in doing so – in bringing the past into the present – they might all be able to finally move on from the horrors of their past and look to the future.
I could not stop listening to this book. It’s one of those books that even though the subject matter is disturbing you are still drawn into it. The author really lets you get to know her characters so you become emotionally involved with them and the audiobook makes this story all the more real. It is narrated by Karen Peakes who does a fabulous job of bringing all the emotion to this book that it deserves. I highly recommend Trail of Broken Wings.
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Having read Pamela Schoenewaldt’s first two books When We Were Strangers and Swimming in the Moon and loving them I was excited to read her newest novel Under the Same Blue Sky. As with her other books her wonderful storytelling shines through as she weaves fact and fiction in this emotionally wrought tale.
Hazel is a German-American living with her parents in Pittsburgh as World War I begins. Life changes for Hazel and her family as they are shunned because of their German heritage. Still Hazel has her dreams – dreams where she’s at a castle. Her mother just tells her it’s a dream but Hazel could swear it’s a memory. When an old family secret comes to light Hazel realizes her dreams may be more real than she ever could have imagined.
As Hazel searches for answers to her past she first takes a teaching position where she finds a town that she feels she fits into until her gift of healing instead becomes a curse. She moves on and discovers some answers to her past as well as beginning to find her place in the world. She also finds many new friends that become a very important part of her life, especially one young man named Tom. When he goes off to war she is left worrying about him all the time. When the opportunity to take a trip across the sea with her benefactor and boss arises she take it in the hopes of being able to find Tom who has gone missing. What the trip does is bring to light the horrific effects of the war and the devastation it has left everywhere.
What I enjoyed most about this book was the historical aspect. The author vividly brings to life how the war affected people during and after it ended. I liked Hazel’s story although I never really felt a connection to her until the end of the novel. I also felt it moved around a bit too much. While the characters are well developed I felt a bit jarred with the changing scenes maybe wishing that the book had been more focused. Still the story is an excellent one that showcases just how devastating the war was and specifically how it affected German-Americans and the soldiers.
Recommended for those who enjoy historical fiction. I’ll be excitedly looking forward to Pamela Schoenewaldt’s next novel once again!