Thursday, April 25, 2019

Two more by t. greenwood

Ok, I think that these are the last two books by t. greenwood that I will read for awhile!  Both were quite good stories and were tied together by some characters and location.

Breathing Water was written in 1999 and is the story of Effie Greer. Effie had left Lake Gormlaith after no longer being able to remain in a relationship with her boyfriend Max after a terrible tragedy occurred at the lake.  Max was a drug addict and abusive and Effie had thought that she could save him.  When she left, she wandered across the country, never staying too long anywhere so that Max could not find her.  Finally, after three years of running, Effie felt safe to return to Lake Gormlaith.  She went to her grandparent's rundown cottage where and began renovating it.  She slowly allowed others, including her widowed grandmother Gussie, to enter her world and hope and forgiveness began for Effie.

Breathing Water: A NovelBodies of Water

Bodies of Water was written in 2013.  This is a story about Gussie's sister, Billie.  Billie was married at eighteen to Frankie, a verbally abusive alcoholic.  Together they had two daughters.  One day, in the summer of 1960, Billie's world changed when Ted and Eva Wilson and their children moved into the house across the street.  Very quickly, Eva and Billie and their children spent all their time together. Billie and her children always spent time at Lake during the summer, providing Billie with some reprieve from Frankie. After Eva moved in, Billie invited her and her children to come for two weeks. During that time, Billie and Eva acted upon their feelings for each other.

Later, after Billie and Eva's secret relationship was revealed, all hell broke loose.  Ted moved his family away and Billie had little contact with her.

Fifty years later, Eva's son contacted Gussie looking for Billie.  He wanted to meet with her.  Eva reluctantly flew across the country at Gussie's urging and there Billie learned some surprising secrets from the past fifty years.

Both of these books are beautifully written and both use water as a metaphor.

"Memory is the same as water.  It is a still lake bathed in moonlight, a vast ocean, a violent river ready to carry you away.  It can calm you or it can harm you; it is both more powerful and weaker than you'd think.  It is a paradox."

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

The Golden Hour

The Golden Hour

As promised, I read another book by T. Greenwood, this one being The Golden Hour.  I usually really like her books and this one was no exception.

This novel is about Wyn Davies.  Wyn was a young girl when she went on a shortcut in the woods and was harmed.  Twenty years later, Wyn was living in New York, working as an artist and married with a four year old daughter.  She and her husband were recently separated, when Wyn learned that her assailant may be released from prison based on new evidence. And that she may have to testify and tell what really happened that day.

Wyn's best friend had recently purchased an old cabin in Maine and needed a caretaker for it, so Wyn agreed go up there and stay for awhile.  The cabin had been empty for years and was in pretty bad shape.  While cleaning up in the basement of the cabin, Wyn came across a box full of old film canisters.  The box was labeled "Epitaphs and Prophecies".  Of course, Wyn was both curious and fascinated, so she began having the film processed and as she examined the photos and/or negatives, she began to put together the story of the former owner of the cabin.  In that process, Wyn also began to piece together her own life.

Another good book!  I love finding good books!

Two books: At the Edge of the Orchard & The Hush

At the Edge of the Orchard

At the Edge of the Orchard by Tracy Chevalier was a book I picked up while on vacation last month.  I wish, once again, that I had read the author's notes at the end of the book to learn that some of the characters were based on real people.  If I had known that I would have enjoyed the book a little more.  The novel is divided into several sections, going back and forth in time.

The novel began telling the story of James and Sadie Goodenough who settled in Ohio in 1838.  James was determined to grow fifty apple trees so that the family could stake a claim on the property.  He was also determined to attempt to grow hybrid apples. Sadie loved the applejack (alcohol) which brought out a mean side of her.  James and Sadie had ten children so along with the struggles of trying to grow apples in the black swamp land, they had a large family to provide for.  James and Sadie ended up not caring for each other much.

By 1840, the youngest son, Robert, was traveling from Ohio to Canada, then to Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin, Missouri, and Texas, until he finally settled in California in 1850.  He spent a few years gold mining there, then worked dozens of other jobs until one day he heard of the big trees in Calaveras County.  When he got there, he happened to meet William Lobb who made his living selling seeds and saplings to people in England.  He and Robert became friends, and William recognized that Robert knew about working with trees and hired him.

I don't want to give anything away, but there is a lot that happens in this novel.  It's a good read.  I recommend it!

The Hush by John Hart was a book that I was very anxious to read because I usually like his books very much.  I had a harder time liking this book because it has some mysticism in it (which is an element I usually enjoy in a book) and it just didn't seem true to his novels.  However, I still am finding myself thinking about parts of the book, so I think that I liked it better than I first thought.  The novel is based on two characters that Hart has written about before: Johnny Merrimon and Jack Cross, ten years later. 

Johnny and Jack had always been best friends, although their lives went in different directions.  Johnny lived on six thousand sacred acres, in a cabin, but sometimes up in the trees.  He was removed from other people and some were afraid of him.  Jack had gone to college and then law school and was a brand new lawyer starting a new job in a law firm.  Johnny showed up at Jack's office asking for help.  He had inherited his land when he turned eighteen, but it was sacred land and now the Indians who had come from the land wanted it back.  Johnny wanted Jack to act as his attorney.
The Hush (Signed Book)

This sacred land had many secrets, some considered it magical.  It was certainly mysterious. And dangerous.  Unexplainable things happened in the Hush.

It's a good mystery.  Another book I would recommend.
Johnny and Jack had always been best friends even though their lives took different paths.  Johnny was living on six thousand acres (Hush Arbor) of his family's sacred land.  He was fairly removed from others and had a reputation as being rather strange.  Jack had gone on to college and law school and was a brand new lawyer just starting out in a law firm. n