From Catherine Given
Author: Howard Norman
Title: Next life might be kinder
Some books are easy – they give us free choice to dip into their pages — others hold us captive. This one’s hold was surprisingly fierce. In Next Life Might Be Kinder, Sam, a newly married writer/birdwatcher and Elizabeth, his gentle wife who is writing her dissertation, set up housekeeping in an apartment in an old Halifax hotel.
Howard recounts their dreamy, Zen-like existence, enlivened once a week by dance lessons, shattered to smithereens by Elizabeth’s murder. Norman depicts Sam’s devastation in a spell-binding, no-frills, stream-of-consciousness style.
Peter, an egomaniacal filmmaker, breaks through Sam’s numbing grief when he makes him an offer for the couple’s tragic story – one Sam feels he can’t refuse. Violation of Sam’s privacy and desecration of his memories of Elizabeth ensue, putting Sam’s ethics and his patience with Peter, to the test.
From Rosemarie Jerome
Author: Harlan Coben
A broken hearted college professor, Jake Fisher, watches is ex-lover, Natalie, marry another man, Todd. He tells her that he loves her and she makes him promise that he will never contact her again. He keeps that promise for six years until a momentous event occurs, he sees Todd’s obituary online. Jake attends the funeral but another woman is the grieving widow. Where is Natalie? His search for her unearths lies, secrets, conspiracies and violence. His world and reality is destroyed but he knows that he must discover the truth about the woman that he loves.
The narrator of this suspense, Scott Brick, is a master storyteller who navigates the listener through these plot twists and draws you into the story. His intense delivery captures you from the very beginning and he gives each character their own distinct voice by just using a subtle change in tone, pitch or dialect. His narration is very natural, never over the top, but you really get to know the characters by their (his) voice. I loved the characters with attitude like our hero.
From Ellen Druda
Author: Erin Morgenstern
The Night circus [sound recording CD]
This is the story of the romance between a man and woman destined as children to become opponents in a magical game in which only the winner will survive. We follow them through their studies and formative years as they develop their skills as illusionists, able to manipulate the physical world around them. Their stars cross and uncross and cross again working in the Cirque De Reves as the story draws to its fantastic conclusion. Told in lush descriptive passages, the images are vivid of this turn-of-the-century steam punk night extravaganza, filled with eccentric characters, arcane magic spells, and dramatic love. Narrator Jim Dale weaves the dialog around the plot points with a talent that enhances the richness of the text.
From Rosemarie Jerome
Author: N.M. Kelby
White truffles in winter : a novel
This literary gem needs to be shared. It is a quiet, intense portrayal of a man who loved two women but whose passion was food. This man is the great French chef Auguste Escoffier and this is his elegant “memoir in meals.” Like his magnificent culinary creations, there is a complexity to this story that evokes the spirit of the time and captures the essence of the man. His was a life of extremes: suffering and captivity during the Franco-Prussian War; wealth and splendor communing with royalty, high society, the powerful, and poverty in his declining years. The cornucopia of images and feelings bombard the senses and creates a rich realism that you could almost touch and taste. Escoffier did not want to be forgotten, this story makes you want to know more about the man who was an epicurean genius yet a sad, idealistic romantic.
From Rosemarie Jerome
Author: Leanna Ellis
Plain fear : forsaken
Vampires and the Amish, sounds bizarre and I was skeptical at first but the story slowly lured me in until I was hooked. It begins with a young man running for his life and evolves into a young Amish woman haunted by her dead boyfriend and an ex-cop from New Orleans hunting for his wife’s killer. It is a dark story of secrets, love, faith and a battle to save a woman’s life and her immortal soul.
From Margaret Mezzacapo
A Wedding In December
I’m an Anita Shreve fan, but this book doesn’t seem up to her usual quality. Quite frankly, it’s dull.
Ftrom Rosemarie Jerome
author: Raybourn, Deanna
The Dead Travel Fast
Theodora Lestrange wants to be a writer. When her childhood friend, Cosmina, invites her to Transylvania she sees it as an opportunity to explore the world beyond Scotland. Cosmina told her stories of vampires, werewolves, strange rituals and exotic landscapes, this would be the perfect place for inspiration. She soon realizes that legend and truth are entwined and murder and secrets abound. Who do you trust when everyone has a motive to kill? Is falling in love with a monster? Can she escape? Does she want to? This gothic suspense will keep you guessing till the end and beyond.