Monday, March 30, 2015

First Chapter First Paragraph

"Come quick before he starts looking for you!" my grandpa hissed in a frantic whisper from below my bedroom window, where he stood on an overturned wheelbarrow with outstretched arms while my father roared drunkenly downstairs."

Teaser Tuesday

"Even if he had access to the latest technology, I know Rafe wouldn't use it. Forensic science is an unnecessary distraction in his eyes. He believes anything can be found out by asking enough people enough questions. His crime-solving philosophy is based on one simple belief: no one can keep his mouth shut forever."

Aunt Dimity: Detective by Nancy Atherton

It's always fun to read a cozy from Nancy Atherton's Aunt Dimity series. I'm glad to see Aunt Dimity's writing is still going strong. Also glad that Reginald is still around, the pink stuffed rabbit. In Aunt Dimity: Detective,  Prunella Hooper is the mean, nosy woman who lives in Crabtree Cottage. She has a swinging brick for a heart. Her window looking out on the square seems to give her fodder for gossip. Anyway, there is more to learn about her in Aunt Dimity: Detective.

The twins are doing well. However, Bill is away on a working trip in London. He's Lori's husband. Lori is the  sweet sleuth in Finch, England. While Bill is gone, Lori meets Nicholas the nephew of the vicar and his wife. There is murder in the village. Each page becomes more exciting as Aunt Dimity scrawls away in her journal using blue ink. Thank goodness, Lori has such a wonderful confidante. Looking forward to getting back to other Aunt Dimity cozies.

Friday, March 27, 2015

The Other Shakespeare by Lea Rachel

The Shakespeare family live in Stratford, England. William Shakespeare is one of the siblings. Although William Shakespeare is world famous, this Historical novel is not about his life. It's about his sister, Judith's life. As a matter of fact, there isn't much in the book about William Shakespeare. Mostly his name appears  in the letters he writes to Judith while she lives and works in London.

Judith Shakespeare's passion is writing. She dreams of writing for the theater one day. However, women are not thought of as playwrights and little else except homemakers. At this time, women were thought of as far inferior to men. Therefore, women did not need an education. A woman should do fine needlework, take care of the children, go to church. There is even a question of whether a woman can love another person as completely as a man.

This part of the novel is very sad. Judith's heartbreak is evident throughout the novel. Yet, Judith  continues to fight and struggle to make her dream come true. Since there isn't a short bibliography or any way to tell how much of the novel is fiction vs. non-fiction, I felt frustrated. For example, in The Other Shakespeare by Lea Rachel, Judith is the author of the famous play, "Romeo and Juliet." What a shock to me. Since I have little knowledge about William Shakespeare's life, I only had knowledge that had been picked up here and there over the years.It is my understanding William Shakespeare wrote "Romeo And Juliet."  So, did he write the play? Did his sister, Judith, really write the play? Is there a controversy still brewing today about who wrote the play? Surely, it is  understandable that readers would wonder about the truth and seek extra information about this play.

It would have also been helpful to see a family tree. Of course, I am aware that Historical novelists have the right to bend the truth, but I have the right to know where they are bending it. This novel has no Foreward, no Prologue,  no Family Tree. Without any type of references, I felt frustrated. Because the novel, The Other Shakespeare, is written beautifully, I enjoyed every page. My enthusiasm led me to write a note of thanks to the author. With a few proper references, I feel this would have been a five ***** novel, at least, for me.

Again, there is a quote at the end of the novel. "The author of this text made sure to embed at least one Shakespeare quote (if not more) within the narrative of every chapter. Can you find them all?" No, I didn't find them. Because I am not a Shakespearean student or professor. I've only read about three or four Shakespearean plays in my life. The question titillated my senses. I wondered which plays were quoted from and who had spoken the words. It would have delighted me to finish the book with the above question.

Once again, without my curiosity about what was fact and not fact especially about one of our most esteemed plays, I would have enjoyed the novel immensely. Did Shakespeare have a sister who wrote plays? Did Judith exist? Anyway, I really enjoyed the novel. I have to write that the ending left me nonplussed as to the rest of Judith's life. I felt dropped. Perhaps, there is a sequel coming up for the future. If not, why the drop off the cliff? Please Lea Rachel, what happened to Judith? Did James Burbage save her?

Let me state again, I fell in love with this character, Judith Shakespeare, who can speak  so clearly to women in our contemporary times about inequality. Thank you for introducing me to her in such a wonderful writing style. I felt as though my feet were walking the lanes of the "real" Stratford.
Writer's Design / Cadence

Friday 56

This is a Friday meme for Freda's voice. Pick page 56 out of any book and write a few sentences on your blog. You can hook up by using Freda's linky on her blog.

Chad laughed. "You leave Loco to me, big brother. He's unpredictable, but I'm telling you this horse can run. He's going to help me win that five-thousand-dollar purse this year, or my name's not Chad Aaron Carter."

Book Beginnings
 Every Friday share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author’s name.

September 1873

"Father was the tallest and strongest man in the whole world. Dressed in his fancy dinner clothes, he was also the most handsome." KREGEL

Little girls haven't changed. Most girls think their father is the best at everything.


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Wondrous Words

"Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme where you can share new words that you’ve encountered or spotlight words you love.  Feel free to get creative"

like my mind with its pitiful
     searching for an exit
from itself, and thinking these
     days of Pavese

Pavese -   (chā`zärā pävĕ`sā), 1908–50, Italian novelist, poet, and translator. A major literary figure in postwar Italy, Pavese brought American influence to Italian literature through his translations. He himself was strongly influenced by Melville. Pavese's flight from the Fascists and subsequent imprisonment were reflected in his writings, which dealt with social struggle and revealed his sympathy for the oppressed. His major works include Il Compagno [the comrade] (1948), Tra Donne Sole (1948; tr. Among Women Only, 1953), and La luna e i falò (1950; tr. The Moon and the Bonfire, 1952). Pavese's recurrent theme in these novels is the search of urban man, who is caught in continually changing situations, for permanence and

and now it grows, the
odd broken castle
through whose doors peered a
     Caribbean blue,
and the name Ortigia that
rings like crystal
in its fragile balance.

 Ortygia (Italian: Ortigia) is a small island which is the historical centre of the city of    Syracuse, Sicily. The island, also known as Città Vecchia (Old City), contains many historical landmarks. The name originates from the Ancient Greek ortyx (ὄρτυξ) which means "Quail".