Well we are at the midpoint of the week and tomorrow is Thanksgiving for all my US friends so a Happy Thanksgiving to all of you! Today though I have a spotlight on a book I’m looking forward to reading myself. It’s called The Purchase by Linda Spalding and it’s about a Quaker family back in 1798. It sounds so good and I’ve already grabbed myself a copy of the book so I hope to be reading it soon. In the meantime I’m going to tell you a bit about the book and give you a chance at the end of the post to win yourself one of two copies up for giveaway.
THE PURCHASE (from Amazon)
In 1798, Daniel Dickinson, a young Quaker father and widower, leaves his home in Pennsylvania to establish a new life. He sets out with two horses, a wagon full of belongings, his five children, a 15-year-old orphan wife, and a few land warrants for his future homestead. When Daniel suddenly trades a horse for a young slave, Onesimus, it sets in motion a struggle in his conscience that will taint his life forever, and sets in motion a chain of events that lead to two murders and the family’s strange relationship with a runaway slave named Bett. Stripped down and as hard-edged as the realities of pioneer life, Spalding’s writing is nothing short of stunning, as it instantly envelops the reader in the world and time of the novel, and follows the lives of unforgettable characters. Inspired by stories of the author’s own ancestors, The Purchase is a resonant, powerful and timeless novel.
LINDA SPALDING (from Linda’s website)
Linda Spalding, Kansas-born Canadian fiction and nonfiction writer, often explores world cultures and the clash between contemporary life and traditional beliefs. Her most recent book, The Purchase, won the 2012 Governor General’s Literary Prize for Fiction. The Purchase has been published in Canada by McClelland & Stewart and in the U.S. by Pantheon.
Spalding is also well know for Who Named the Knife (2007), the true story of the murder trial of Maryann Acker, a teenager sentenced to life in prison for a murder committed while on honeymoon in Hawaii. Spalding, who served on the jury, tracks down Maryann 20 years later in order to reexamine the murder and the question of Maryann’s innocence. In a starred review, Publishers Weekly called it, a “delicate yet powerful work.” The reviewer for the Miami Herald said, “Spalding is amazing in her ability to seamlessly present a legal paper trail and other research alongside her emotional and honest assessment of herself.” The book was made into a TV movie – Of Murder and Memory – written by Semi Chellis.
Spalding’s earlier books include the novels Mere (2001) co-authored with her daughter Esta Spalding; The Paper Wife (1996); Daughters of Captain Cook (1989); and the nonfiction book The Follow (1998), about renowned orangutan expert Birute Galdikas, one of the three female acolytes of anthropologist Louis Leakey known as “Leakey’s Angels” (along with Jane Goodall and Diane Fossey). The reviewer for the Christian Science Monitor called the Galdikas book, “An intimate and deeply thoughtful chronicle of a woman’s awakening to the many challenges facing orangutans and the earth as a whole.” It was short-listed for the Trillium Book Award and the Pearson Writers’ Trust Non-Fiction Prize.
An editor of Brick, a Journal of Reviews, Spalding has been awarded the Harbourfront Festival Prize for her contribution to the Canadian literary community.
Linda lives in Toronto with her husband, Michael Ondaatje, her dog Jasper and her cat Jack.
GIVEAWAY DETAILS (US/Canada)
I have 2 copies of The Purchase by Linda Spalding to share with my readers. To enter…
- For 1 entry just leave a comment entering the giveaway.
- Tweet, share on Facebook, or blog for 2 extra entries.
This giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents and I will draw for the winner on December 12/13. Good luck!
Source: Giveaway copies provided by the publicist.
The Perfume Collector by Kathleen Tessaro is the She Reads selection for August and it is a wonderful mix of historical fiction and storytelling. It takes us back through time to the 1920′s and the 1950′s and into the lives of two women who are tied together through time. The Perfume Collector is a beautiful story of deeply buried secrets, desires, passion, and the power of fragrance.
Taking place in the 1950′s we find Grace, a London socialite, who is trapped in a loveless marriage and a life she really doesn’t think she fits into. Grace is an intelligent woman but that isn’t what her husband is looking for. He wants only a wife with a good background who looks goods on his arm and is an asset to his career ambitions. When she receives a substantial inheritance from a woman called Madame Eva d’Orsey she is bewildered. This woman is a complete stranger and yet has left her enough money so that she will be financially stable in her life and able to do whatever she wants. Just who is this woman and how does she know Grace? Grace can’t just take the money and move on – first she must unravel the mystery of who this woman is. She can never imagine that the answers to her questions will be found in an old perfume shop in Paris and that they will forever change her life and how she sees herself.
The 1920′s introduce us to Eva d’Orsey who we first meet as a young girl working in a hotel. It is there that Eva will meet a man who becomes one of Paris’s greatest perfumers and she his muse. Eva’s life is very different from Grace’s privileged upbringing. Things never came easy for Eva and she had to fight for everything she had but the question still remains as to why she’s left all this money for Grace and why is it so important to Eva that Grace have financial independence?
I liked both Eva and Grace. Both were easy to like and as a reader you find yourself sympathizing with them both. By far though my favorite part of the story is the information on fragrances and how they are made as this has long been a fascination of mine. This was a very enjoyable novel and I would recommend it in a heartbeat! I’ll leave you with a favorite passage of mine from the novel…
‘Perfume should tell a story – the story of who you are, who you might be, perhaps even of who you fear becoming… all of these things are possible.’ (taken from eBook copy)
Source: My own personal copy. No compensation was received and all thoughts are my own.
Letters from Skye by Jessica Brockmole is a beautifully written novel that captivated me from the very first page. This story is told in letters and takes us from one world war to another years later and weaves together the past and present of a family and a couple in a way that speaks to the bonds of love. I was very lucky to get the audio of this novel from my library and the audio production is amazing. It is narrated by Elle Newlands, Katy Townsend, and Lincoln Hoppe and they do such a great job in bringing this story alive. I would have loved this book whether it was in print or in audio but the audio truly brought time and place to the forefront in a much more riveting way.
In 1912 we meet Eslpeth Dunn who lives on the remote Isle of Skye in Scotland. Although being a poet who has had her works published she’s not hugely popular and is stunned when she actually receives a fan letter. This letter comes from David Graham, a college student from America, and it will ultimately change both of their lives. As David and Elspeth continue to communicate with letters back and forth they begin to learn much about each other and learn that they are very like minded. They take it further though and share their hopes and dreams and it isn’t long before they realize they also share a deep bond of love. However there are obstacles to their love with a big one being the war and Elspeth finds herself waiting and hoping that David will come back to her.
Fast forward to 1940 where we meet Elspeth’s daughter Margaret who is also in love with a man fighting in the war. When a bomb hits her mother’s house a box of letters that had been hidden are discovered and for some reason that Margaret can’t imagine her mother simply up and takes off. However one letter remains and it is this letter that gives Margaret enough of a clue to set her off on a journey to discover more about her mother and their past. What Margaret learns has the power to change her life forever.
Letters from Skye is a book I won’t soon forget. I’ve always been drawn to books that are told through letters or diaries and this one is such a beautiful love story that shows the bonds that that can be built between people through words alone. This is the debut novel of Jessica Brockmole and if this book is any sign of what we can expect from her in the future then she is definitely an author to watch! I loved this novel!
Letters from Skye by Jessica Brockmole is on tour with TLC Book Tours so be sure to pop in to the other tour stops to see what they are saying about the book. You can find Jessica on her website, Facebook, and Twitter. You can purchase your own copy of Letters from Skye at Amazon or Amazon Canada.
GIVEAWAY DETAILS (US/Canada)
I have one copy of Letters from Skye by Jessica Brockmole to share with my readers. To enter…
- For 1 entry leave me a comment entering the giveaway.
- Tweet, share on Facebook or blog for 2 extra entries.
This giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents (no PO boxes) and I will draw for the winner on August 3/13. Good luck!
Source: Audio from my library.