Book Reviews – #Legend, Joan Hall #Children, Toni Pike #Poetry, Balroop Singh #Romance, Jill Weatherholt
Our neighbor girl on the right of our house and the couple on the left got mild Covid, but they are recovering nicely. We wear doubled masks when going to the gym and grocery stores. I wear my mask when walking in the neighborhood even when people are not out walking. We have to be patient to get through this crazy Covid. I find more time in reading and watching music or ballet videos. I also started to submit my memoir to my writing group for feedback. Here are the book reviews part 1 for this month.
House of Sorrow
House of Sorrow by Joan Hall is about an elderly widow, Ruth, who lives alone in a Victorian mansion. She lives on the first floor to avoid getting up and down the stairs. Her nephew has suggested to her to move into a care facility, but she ignores him. She has many wonderful memories attached to this home and doesn’t want to leave.
Ruth and her husband Lee moved to Madeira in 1960 when he got a job as the police chief. With her inheritance, they could afford to purchase this home. She loves to decorate the home, plants flowers, and hang plants on the overhang on the front porch. Ruth is friendly and cares about people. She soon makes friends with the neighbor Sam who becomes a regular visitor. He tells her the stories about the deaths of the previous homeowners who were police chiefs. He thinks the house is cursed. Ruth is not superstitious and doesn’t pay attention to it.
She had a life-threatening miscarriage and had a hysterectomy, so she cannot have her own children. Her love of children shows when she makes lemonade and cookies for the neighbor kids on all the holidays. By volunteering at a retirement home, she gets to know Margaret, whose stepfather was also a police chief and lived in the Victorian home. Ten years into his job, Ruth got the shocking news that her husband was murdered.
Margaret told her that her stepfather, Ethan Bass, then the next police chiefs Edward Roberts, Bill Guthrie, and now Ruth’s husband, are dead while living in this mansion.
This story is a prequel to a series. The characters are likable and relatable. The events covered are the news that readers could identify, such as the assassination of Kennedy, America’s first astronaut landing on the moon, and the breakup of the Beetles. It would be interesting to find out the cause of the deaths of the police chiefs. I look forward to reading the rest of the series.
Brody Cody and the Stepmother from Outer
Brody Cody and the Stepmother from Outer Space is a funny story about a boy named Brody. His mother was hit by a bus and died when he was a baby, so he never knew his mother. He thinks he doesn’t need a mother because he doesn’t like rules. His dad doesn’t have any rules for him.
His dad goes to Melbourne for a conference, and he stays at his friend Kyle’s house. Kyle’s mother makes him clean up after himself. He is glad she is not his mother but listens to her. He and Kyle love to read books about aliens.
His dad comes back with his new stepmother. Within the first weeks, she tells Brody to eat healthy food and wear a helmet to ride the bike. He doesn’t like it but listens and does what she asks.
Brody discovers his stepmother Pandora has one blue eye and one green eye. She turns her face in orange color and wears funny clothes. He tells his friends that Pandora is an alien. Every year, his dad plans a big birthday party for him, but his year is quiet. He feels lonely. After school that day, he finds out that Pandora has arranged the biggest alien theme birthday party for him. For the first time, he gives a big hug to Pandora.
Toni Pike has created the fun characters in this book. Young readers can identify with the literature they read, the secrets friends keep for each other, and their fantasy about aliens. They can also identify the feeling of and build a relationship with a stepmother. I recommend this book to young readers.
Slivers: Chiseled Poetry
Slivers: Chiseled Poetry is a collection of poetry that includes poems inspired by the Japanese poetry haiku and tanka, as well as poems in the acrostic form. Readers would find the nature and creatures personified. Ms. Singh’s imagination is vivid, and her descriptions of these emotions are rich. The sky, the clouds, the wind, the flowers, the seasons, the birds, the human heart speaks in their unique language. They speak to each other and communicate with deep emotions. Every spark, every raindrop, every movement of the breeze and gusty wind conveys a message. Every changing shade in the sun, the moon, and flowers expresses deep and meaningful emotions.
Poems in haiku, Tanka, and acrostic that I appreciated are:
The beginning of the poetry briefly explains the metric system of the haiku and tanka and the rules of writing acrostic poems. Readers would find this description informative while appreciating the beautiful poems. I recommend this book to poetry lovers and any readers interested in these poetry forms.
Searching for Home
Searching for Home by Jill Weatherholt is a delightful and heartwarming romance.
Luke is a rock star of the rodeo. He returns to his hometown Whispering Slopes to seek treatment for the neck injury. His agent Reed wants him to play low during the treatment for fear of losing sponsorships. Meg runs a Bed &Breakfast business there and keeps a part-time practice as a physical therapist. Meg is also raising the triplets left by her sister. The girls, Tilly and Tia are doing fine, but the boy Tucker acts out and gets in trouble at school.
Luke checks into the Bed &Breakfast and realizes the owner is Meg. Meg’s heart still aches ever since the high school sweetheart left her. Luke promises not to linger longer than necessary, but his involvement extends beyond the treatment. He volunteers to repair the rooms at the inn and starts a therapist-patient relationship with Meg. He sees the potential to expand the inn business to weddings and events venues and wants to partner with her.
The triplets adore him. Tucker comes out from his shell and finds “Cowboy Luke” to be his hero. The children see in these two adults something they’re blind to see and start some unintentional gossip at school. As much as Luke and Meg try to deny their feelings toward each other, their common interest in the triplets’ wellbeing keeps them in focus.
At several points, the readers would want to wake up these two adults to turn their heads to look at each other. I was glad that the story had a happy ending. I recommend this heartwarming romance.