A Garden in Paris

A Garden In Paris

Stephanie Grace Whitson

I have to be honest. If I’d realized at the library that this book was marked as Christian fiction, I wouldn’t have taken it home, because I find most overtly Christian fiction to be smarmy and insincere and I dislike being preached at.

This is a case, though, where that would have meant missing a great novel, a fictional travelogue about a woman who returns to Paris, where she’d been a foreign exchange student as a young girl, after losing her husband, and rediscovers not only romance, but her pre-marital adventuresome self.

Yes, there’s relationship angst between the main character and her daughter, but there’s also music, and dashing French men, and cute cafes.

And yes, there is talk of god and religion, but it’s organic, and true to the characters, and didn’t strike me as being preachy or smarmy at all.

I’m not sure I’m willing to read the sequel, but I quite enjoyed this book.

One For Sorrow, Two for Joy

One for Sorrow, Two for Joy

Clive Woodall

If you enjoyed Watership Down chances are good that you’ll like One for Sorrow, Two for Joy, as well.

Set solely among the denizens of Birddom (the world of birds that co-exists with our own), this is an epic tale of politics, romance, and the courage of a young robin named Kirrik. Pretty typically the magpies are evil, the owls are wise and ancient, and the birds in between are all, well, in between.

Enjoyable, if a little tiresome.

The Third Witch

The Third Witch: A Novel

Rebecca Reisert

It’s The Scottish Play from the point of view of the youngest of the weird sisters, a young woman who shocks her elders by bathing twice a week, and doesn’t care for robbing the dead on the battlefield. Has all the requisite romance and heroism, as well as a fairy-tale ending. Cute, but unsubstantial.

Off Balance

Off Balance

Mary Sheepshanks

Mary Sheepshanks usually writes manor house stories laced with humor. In Off Balance, however, the humor is sadly lacking, and it ends up being an unexceptional story of relationships (mainly dysfunctional) in a country house in Scotland. Lovely scenery, depressing story.


Vamped : A Novel

David Sosnowski

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I always enjoy a good vampire story, so when I saw Vamped staring at me from the library shelf, I had to take it home.

In this alternate future, the only humans left are farm-raised for uber-rich vampires (all the others have been vamped already), and a single box of Count Chocula goes for several hundred dollars on ebay. Then Marty, an eighty year old vampire, and the person who was responsible for the vamping of the world, finds a five year old mortal child on the run from one of the farms, and instead of killing her, or vamping her into a Screamer (as other child-vamps are called), he decides to raise her as his daughter.

Plot twists and romance are woven through the story, but the parts that I enjoyed most were the descriptions of societal changes – grocery stores selling mainly bleach and laundry detergent, and apartments built without toilets, for example.

Leap of Faith

Leap of Faith : Memoirs of an Unexpected Life

Queen Noor

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I borrowed this from a friend about a month ago because she seemed to really enjoy it, and I wasn’t disappointed in the least, though I did take forever to really begin reading it, which is rare for me.

In most respects, this is a fairly straightforward tale of the way an American girl named Lisa ends up being Queen Noor of Jordan, and that part of the book was interesting enough. But the first-hand explanations of the political, cultural, and social climate in that part of the world, from the early seventies to today, was really what gripped me.

The events are all well-known to most of us.
The perspective is new, and interesting.