Book to be reviewed:
Settling down on the bed, I stroked the plump, still body, watching my mother's face just to make sure she was still breathing. As a 6 year old that was all I wanted, not toys or chocolates or comforts, just to know my mother was still alive was enough. Jane Hersey's biography is told through the thoughts and voice of a traumatized, isolated child, enduring the stresses and strains of day-to-day life under difficult circumstances in 1960s Manchester. As a six year old child with sole care of a mother suffering with clinical depression, diabetes and eating disorders, Jane is ostracized by the Jewish community and the community at large. Breath in the Dark is the heart-rending story of a girl socially isolated, neglected, physically, emotionally and sexually abused and living in poverty. "From the first lines of Breath in the Dark, there is a powerful sense that this is special. The simplicity of Jane's style, the clarity of the child's voice and the intensity of emotion fired in those few words had me hooked from the start. [...] Jane expresses the beautiful mix of confusion, faith and fear that characterises her childhood effortlessly... There is so much I could say about Breath in the Dark, it's excellent narrative, incredible intensity and the unfakeable ring of truth it carries. [...] Every part of it is an extremely powerful reading experience: it is heartbreaking and fascinating in equal amounts." - Review by Harper Collins
Full Circle by Jane Hersey
My body shook with the first kick to my naked body. His boots were heavy. First he kicked at my legs. Then my thighs. I curled in a ball to try to protect myself, his kicks penetrated me, the bones in my back and ribs felt like they were crumbling. I knew I was going to die... Screams echoed around the room as I tried to reach up to the window so I could jump out. Full Circle continues the life story of Jane Hersey which began with Breath in the Dark. It tells the harrowing true tale of a socially isolated young woman, who is neglected, physically and emotionally abused and living in poverty and deprivation. 'I was 16 years old when I left Manchester, struggling with emotional and related physical problems. Unable to hold down a job I found myself homeless. Coerced into a relationship I quickly became pregnant. Soon after my partner turned extremely violent. The emotional and physical abuse was relentless. After a life threatening beating I left in the middle of the night with my 18 month old baby. Refused help by the Homeless Families Department because I had lived out of Manchester for three years, I found myself homeless with a baby, at the mercy of unscrupulous people, forced into prostitution and sexually exploited. Eventually I found an attic flat for myself and my son in a dilapidated, vermin infested house. Three years later the Jewish Social Services got involved and offered me a decent flat on condition that I brought my son up in the Jewish faith, I agreed. I was 25 when I returned to the Jewish community. The first book in this autobiographical series was featured in The Jewish Telegraph, Ireland's Big Issue and Jane appeared on a wide range of radio shows from Newstalk to the BBC. It's been reviewed by the Madness and Literature Network (University of Nottingham) and included on the reading list for mental health nurses and recommended as a key text for clinicians, students, carers and parents.
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Woodstock, 1969: the Festival that defined a decade of peace, love and freedom. The paths of five young English students cross – with devastating consequences. Consequences that eventually reach a climax in an isolated Cretan gorge.
Seventeen years later, in the ‘golden age’ of capitalism, dramatic events conspire to reunite the surviving members, necessitating a perilous return to Greece and to a tiny Greek island, as dangerous secrets and self-deceptions are at last forced into the glaring light…
Steeped in the folklore of the 20th century, A Time of Myths is not solely a historical mystery adventure: it seeks also to examine who we are, and how far we are in control of our actions – and even of our lives.
What I'm Reading right now:
A Light in the Cane Fields-Enrico Antiporda(e-book)
Top Semi finalist, 2008 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award.
Manuscript Review from Publishers Weekly
"This coming-of-age story chronicling a Filipino boy's wrenching passage from son of privilege to guerilla fighter is a stylistic tour-de-force. From its first lines, the saga of Jando Flores seizes readers with the same chilling intensity as the cold water that wraps around Jando's chest as he hides in a river to escape a gang of pillaging cutthroats. While such murderous militias dispossess cane farmers in the Central Plains of the Philippines, the NPA (a brutal leftist insurgency) combats the government troops of Ferdinand Marcos and the ruthless sugar barons who steal the poor farmers' land. Jando, whose family owns a plantation, is forced into the NPA, but he remains a sensitive soul, brimming with empathy for his fellow countrymen-even as he watches others, like his beloved uncle, morph into fierce, sadistic killers. Incandescent descriptions radiate from the pages of this book. When a wounded Jando wakes, after narrowly escaping a death squad, he sees "marmalade light slicing through the fronds, weaving orange and black tiger stripes." Mountain bandits, sugar warlords, Peace Corps volunteers, dignitaries, and revolutionaries all jostle beneath "mango-colored" skies in this riveting epic of loss and transformation, but it is a masterful and delicate choreography. " –Publishers Weekly
Chapters: 3 out of N/A
Pages: 134 out of 260
Can forgiveness survive lies and unspoken truths?
Until Brenda McAllister’s husband committed suicide, she appeared to have the ideal life: a thriving psychology practice, success as a self-help author, and a model family. But her guilt over her affair with Jack’s best friend prevents her from moving on. Did Jack learn of her infidelity? Was she the cause of his death?
The release of Brenda’s second book forces her into an unexpected assignment with arrogant celebrity author CJ Morrison, whose irritating and edgy exterior hides the torment of his own mistakes. But as she grows closer to CJ, Brenda learns she wasn’t the only one with secrets—Jack had secrets of his own, unsavory ones that may have led to his death. While CJ helps Brenda uncover the truth about her husband, she finds the path to forgiveness isn’t always on the map.
Chapters: 7 out of 29 plus epilogue
Pages: 83 out of 335
Tempted Tigress-Jade Lee
China's Grand Canal saw all kinds of transport-food, slaves, even deadly opium. And when one woman planned to sail it to freedom, her flight would end in the arms of a Mandarin prince. There her true journey would begin.
Orphaned and stranded, Anna Marie Thompson could trust no one, especially not her dark captor. Not when his eyes held secrets deadlier than her own. Though his caress was liquid fire, his arms a steely shield, Anna was still an Englishwoman and alone. She could not trust him when he swore they could tame the dragon, could together unearth the riches of the sweet cinnabar cave. But sadness and fear could be cleansed by soft yin rain, he whispered; safety and joy were but a breath away. And perhaps love. All was here for the taking, if she would just give in to temptation....
Chapters: 3 out of 19 plus prologue
Pages: 35 out of 346
Vitala Salonius, champion of the warlike game of Caturanga, is as deadly as she is beautiful. She’s a trained assassin for the resistance, and her true play is for ultimate power. Using her charm and wit, she plans to seduce her way into the emperor’s bed and deal him one final, fatal blow, sparking a battle of succession that could change the face of the empire.
As the ruler of a country on the brink of war and the son of a deposed emperor, Lucien must constantly be wary of an attempt on his life. But he’s drawn to the stunning Caturanga player visiting the palace. Vitala may be able to distract him from his woes for a while—and fulfill other needs, as well.
Lucien’s quick mind and considerable skills awaken unexpected desires in Vitala, weakening her resolve to finish her mission. An assassin cannot fall for her prey, but Vitala’s gut is telling her to protect this sexy, sensitive man. Now she must decide where her heart and loyalties lie and navigate the dangerous war of politics before her gambit causes her to lose both Lucien and her heart for good.
Chapters: 21 out of 35 plus prologue
Pages: 245 out of 381
Till Morning Comes by Suyin Han
Alone in exotic Chungking, beautiful foreign correspondent Stephanie Ryder is warned to keep silent about the atrocities she witnesses in the city’s teeming slums. Defying a brutal Kuomintang officer, she is swept to an electrifying first meeting with Dr. Jen Yong, a handsome, dedicated and compassionate Chinese surgeon. For Yong, a sexual liaison with an American woman could mean a death sentence. For Stephanie, an affair with an Asian man would cause an irreparable breach with her Texas millionaire father. But just when danger threatens to separate them forever, their passion bursts into flame…and carries them on a fabulous romantic journey from the stormy depths of fear and desire, to the moving affirmation that enduring love is truly a many-splendored thing.
Chapters: 5 out of 27
Pages: 93 out of 620
Determined to erase the painful, lonely memories of childhood, unbreakable Lola Stocking vows to make a better life for herself. She plots a path that includes an ascent up the Las Vegas casino corporate ladder. Lola follows her design tenaciously until she falls for a man who was not part of her plan. Adoring Jackson Sterling steps into her life when she least expects it, forcing her to reassess her life course. Shattered by catastrophe on her wedding day, her life's dreams come to a screeching halt. Driven by sheer will and strength, her new direction brings everything she ever dreamed of only to learn that it had been there all along...she just didn't know it.
Chapters: 7 out of 55
Pages: 31 out of 220
The Good Earth- Pearl S. Buck
This tells the poignant tale of a Chinese farmer and his family in old agrarian China. The humble Wang Lung glories in the soil he works, nurturing the land as it nurtures him and his family. Nearby, the nobles of the House of Hwang consider themselves above the land and its workers; but they will soon meet their own downfall.
Hard times come upon Wang Lung and his family when flood and drought force them to seek work in the city. The working people riot, breaking into the homes of the rich and forcing them to flee. When Wang Lung shows mercy to one noble and is rewarded, he begins to rise in the world, even as the House of Hwang falls.
Chapters: 3 out of 34
Pages: 32 out of 357
Future Books I will read:
Rosemary Fernandes is a real estate agent with the ability to communicate with lost souls, the spirit of deceased people who can’t or won’t move on. With a deal in escrow and buyers to work with, her business is taking off. All she has to do is avoid the spirits, who call to her, but her ability is getting stronger, and their voices are getting louder. The dead are attracted to her and so are the undead.
Marcus Lyons is a vampire who needs an assistant, and he wants Rosemary. He will do anything to have her, exclusively. Rosemary has no choice but to agree to his terms, but her life will never be the same. Soon she realizes the vampire is no monster but a man with many…talents.
Cassandra Huckabee is a murdered stripper, who won’t leave this world until she knows her daughter is safe. Her essence is hot and her moves hotter. Cassandra’s spirit takes Rosemary to places she’s never been before and teaches her that there is more to her ability than just talking with ghosts. With the help of her best friend, Laura Toste, Rosemary searches for a way to help Cassandra move on and find her killer.
Frank Perez knows all about Rosemary and he’s still interested. Will he still want her when he meets her gorgeous best friend and the sizzling spirit? Can Rosemary keep her life as a human servant separate from her friends and family? And how long will the vampire put up with Rosemary’s silly escapades with ghosts, strip clubs and serial killers? When Cassandra’s killer comes after Rosemary, help comes from an unexpected place. And then sometimes even the predator needs help.
If you like Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum, then you’ll find a kindred spirit in Rosemary Fernandes.
Killer Rumors by Antonello Fiore (e-book)
Father D’Angelo and Bakeman, two devoted priests were brutally murdered while going on one of their nightly walks. Detective Frank Rinelli is called to the case- not only due to his close friendship with the priests, but with his expertise of tracking psychotic killers. Rinelli suddenly discovers these murders were based on a scandal that occurred several years ago at the same Church where the two murdered priests preached. And it doesn’t stop there. The list of people being murdered in connection with the scandal continues to grow until the killer has his ultimate vengeance- and the truth released.
Chapters: 99 plus epilogue and prologue
Dirtball is an intriguing tale of one man’s pessimistic journey to see the glass half full. Discover EO, as he struggles to break through the negative walls in life and find the level of happiness that he so desperately desires. Explore his life of heartache, deception, and triumph. In this captivating autobiographical novel that only mature audiences can truly embrace.
Truth be Told: Adam Becomes Audrey-Alexandra Bogdanovic
Chastity Bono is now Chaz. Her decision to "become" a man made headlines around the world, but she is not alone. Transgender men and women frequently appear on television talk shows and reality programs to share their stories. By doing so, they inevitably get the attention they seek, but not necessarily the kind of attention they want. While some come forth in an effort to promote tolerance, acceptance and understanding in mainstream society, their decision to live as or in some cases have surgery to become - the opposite gender often sparks curiosity and more visceral reactions born out of ignorance. But this is the other side of the story. Truth Be Told: Adam Becomes Audrey is a tragedy, a comedy and a love story. It is my story. In vivid detail, I recall how I met, fell in love with and married the man of my dreams, only to find that he self-identified as and wanted to become a woman. Read what happened after I learned the truth. Originally from the New York City suburbs, Alexandra Bogdanovic is an award-winning reporter based in Connecticut. Her next book is based on her father's life as a staunch anti-Communist and political refugee in post-World War II Europe.
Chapters: 28 plus epilogue
AZLANDER is a fantastical esoteric journey throughout the realms of Faerie, of Hell and the virtual worlds. Snapshots of magic, spiritual insights - telling of the elven Puck who was formerly known as Robin of the Forest and his travels throughout the mortal world today.
Imperfect Pairings by Jackie Townsend
Winner, Chick Lit, Indie Reader Discovery Awards 2013
Can love cross borders? In "Imperfect Pairings" a woman’s love for an Italian leaves her confronting this question. He’s Jack in America, but he’s Giovanni in Italy; understanding him means understanding his culture, his language. It means losing the foundations of her identity to become entangled in the deep-rooted vines of his family’s troubled past when she’d vowed to remain disentangled. Her career and autonomy had always come first, and she fell in love thinking she could control it, not give in to it. Is she losing herself? Or is she finally giving in to the woman she’d been all along.
This is an adult love story, one that will leave you thinking long afterwards about the oceans that separate us from the ones we love
The Tale of Genji was written in the eleventh century by Murasaki Shikibu, a lady of the Heian court. It is universally recognized as the greatest masterpiece of Japanese prose narrative, perhaps the earliest true novel in the history of the world. Until now there has been no translation that is both complete and scrupulously faithful to the original text. Edward G. Seidensticker's masterly rendering was first published in two volumes in 1976 and immediately hailed as a classic of the translator's art. It is here presented in one unabridged volume, illustrated throughout by woodcuts taken from a 1650 Japanese edition of The Tale of Genji.
Living Reed: A Novel of Korea-Pearl S. Buck
The Living Reed follows four generations of one family, the Kims, beginning with Il-han and his father, both advisors to the royal family in Korea. When Japan invades and the queen is killed, Il-han takes his family into hiding. In the ensuing years, he and his family take part in the secret war against the Japanese occupation.
Pearl S. Buck's epic tells the history of Korea through the lives of one family. She paints an amazing portrait of the country, and makes us empathize with their struggle for sovereignty through her beautifully drawn characters.
Chapters: 3 plus epilogue and historical note
Second in the trilogy that began with The Good Earth, Buck's classic and starkly real tale of sons rising against their honored fathers tells of the bitter struggle to the death between the old and the new in China. Revolutions sweep the vast nation, leaving destruction and death in their wake, yet also promising emancipation to China's oppressed millions who are groping for a way to survive in a modern age.
A House Divided-Pearl S. Buck
"A House Divided," the third volume of the trilogy that began with "The Good Earth" and "Sons," is a powerful portrayal of China in the midst of revolution. Wang Yuan is caught between the opposing ideas of different generations. After 6 years abroad, Yuan returns to China in the middle of a peasant uprising. His cousin is a captain in the revolutionary army, his sister has scandalized the family by her premarital pregnancy, and his warlord father continues to cling to his traditional ideals. It is through Yuan's efforts that a kind of peace is restored to the family