To leave a comment

To leave a comment, please click on the title of the post to leave or read all comments and replies. Thank you :)

Be sure to scroll down the page today

Be sure to scroll down the page

There are TWO posts today...Sorry about that :)

Monday, October 29, 2012

Book Review: The Ruins of Lace by Iris Anthony

My Rating: 97/100
Book Source: Sourcebooks

From Sourcebooks:
The Ruins of Lace reveals the extreme desire for forbidden lace that pulled soldier and courtier alike into its web.  It’s told by sharing the points of view of seven different characters. Some are strangers and will never meet, but they will all ultimately affect the outcome of each other’s lives. 

My Thoughts:

Who knew lace was such a dangerous commodity?  I always knew only the very rich possessed it, and I had always heard of Flemish lace being quite sought after, back in the day.  However, I never knew about the destruction that lace left in its wake.  A terrible legacy to be sure.

The Ruins of Lace is interesting in the way that it's story is told.  Each chapter is a different view point of someone who is immediately affected by the lace trade.  You know those movies that have several plot lines that seem separate and distinct, but at the end they are all related to one another?  That's what The Ruins of Lace is, and I enjoyed it immensely.  The following view points are considered in the story (courtesy of Sourcebooks):

Lisette Lefort: When Lisette was seven years old, she ruined a priceless lace cuff that was owned by The Count of Montreau. It was a mistake that would haunt her family for many years.

The Count of Montreau: Drowning in gambling debt, struggling with his desires towards men and the disappointment of his father, the Count will go to any lengths to make sure he gains his inheritance.

Alexandre Lefort: His love for Lisette will drive him to travel across borders to find the coveted piece of lace that will ultimately free the love of his life.

Katharina Martens: Katharina has lived in a convent for twenty-five years, where she was trained to make beautiful and highly coveted lace, and is considered the best.  Now her eyesight has begun to fail, and it’s only a matter of how long she can hide it.

Heilwich Martens: As Katharina’s older sister, she has been trying to pay for her sister’s release for years but keeps coming up short. How far will she go to earn the money she needs to save her sister?

Denis Boulanger: Denis has been struggling as a border patrol officer and can’t seem to find any of the forbidden lace being smuggled into France. He has searched loaves of bread, coffins, and dogs… Will an accidental meeting with a stranger be the biggest break of his career? 

le chien: Used to smuggle lace into France, dogs paid the biggest price. Le chien’s best friend was killed, and he’s caught between two masters—one loving and one terribly abusive. He longs for freedom from the “bad master,” but first must succeed in his most important mission yet.

Anthony's writing drew me into the story immediately   Each character had their own voice, and because of Anthony's exceptional writing, I empathized with each character for different reasons, even the unsavory Count of Montreau.  I didn't like him but understood where he was coming from.  I am not even sure which character I felt the most sorry for .  I can tell you the fictional dog, le chien,  killed me.  I wanted to cry whenever his turn came up.  I even skipped ahead to see what happened.  Don't worry, no spoilers.

The Ruins of Lace was a wonderful book, and for me it was a page turner.  Almost made me miss my subway stop a few times too.  I love books that find nuggets of history that haven't really been explored as of yet, and Anthony has certainly done that with this story.

Iris Anthony's website:

The Ruins of Lace home page from Sourcebooks:

Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Paperback, 336 pages

Thank you Sourcebooks for my review copy.

 © Jenny Girl - 2012 "All Rights Reserved"

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Book Review: The Shadowy Horses by Susanna Kearsley

Publisher: Reissue by Sourcebooks
Genre: Fiction, mystery/suspense/supernatural
Paperback, 432 pages
Book Source: Sourcebooks
My Rating: 93/100

From Sourcebooks:

Verity Grey decides she needs some excitement in her life and leaves her stable job at the British Museum to join her former fling on an archaeological dig in Scotland. When Verity arrives, she finds out the dig is being led by Peter Quinnell, a widely discredited man who has dedicated his life to finding the final resting place of the mysterious lost Roman legion. To add to the madness, he’s chosen this new dig site based solely on the fact that a local boy named Robbie believes he saw a ghostly Roman soldier on the grounds. Verity is ready to pack her bags, but stays when she meets David Fortune, a friendly and attractive, but emotionally distant,Scottish archaeologist.

But mysterious things keep happening at the site…Could the boy be telling the truth? As she becomes entangled in a subtle web of treachery and danger, Verity begins to believe in the Roman sentinel haunting the site, and he’s there to do more than guard the bodies of his fallen comrades. He is trying to protect the people of the present day, and deliver them a warning…

First thoughts? 

An archaeological dig, a bit of mystery and a handsome Scotsman...What else could you ask for in a book?  This book has a little bit of everything which makes for a good read.  We have the mystery of how the dig came about and whether anything will be found; a supernatural element, which I thought was a nice touch to the story, and a wee bit of romance for the lassies out there.

All of the characters are interesting and likable  even the ones that made me a bit disappointed by their behavior.  It was explained int he end.  Our heroine Verity Grey, is very likable   She is just your average smart woman who is good people.  You could not help but like Verity.  She was not whiny  or silly; she acted like a normal person, which apparently I haven't come across too often lately. On the dig she meets David Fortune, the Scotsman.  Quiet, unassuming, gentle, the perfect gentleman a lass could fall in love with.  Family man too.

I could talk about all the characters, because I have something good to say about each and every one.  Kearsley described them all so perfectly so they were easy to picture while I was reading.  This book drew me from he start and I enjoyed it immensely.  Last thing, the supernatural element.  To me it was  totally believable, and not corny or ill placed at all.  The setting is Scotland, where there is already a belief in the supernatural.  The way this piece comes about in the story was well done.  Not what you typically see in today's more popular supernatural books.


Absolutely! this was a fun enjoyable read, that sucked me on the first few pages.  Easy to lose yourself in, and nicely paced. Several of Kearsley's books have been published lately, and I will be sure to read them soon.

Would I change anything?

Nope!  Not one thing.  But I would enjoy reading about Verity and David again.

Thanks to Sourcebooks for my review copy.

 © Jenny Girl - 2012 "All Rights Reserved"

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Announcing the Bleak House Read-a-Long

Another read-a-long?  Really?  Yes, really, but only if you want to.  This classic has been on my must read  list for some time.  Bought the book over two years ago, and I think it's high time I read it.  Plus I got all fancy, and took the picture above for this read-a-long.
So here are the particulars if you're thinking of joining in:

Who: This idea was cooked up between me and Trish.  We both want to read it and would like some company.

What: Bleak House by Charles Dickens.  According to the back cover of my edition, this novel is considered to be one of  Dickens'greatest works.

When: November 1st to December 31st, 2012.  My copy is 881 pages, so I think 400 pages per month is reasonable.

Where: Right here at this blog beginning with an intro post on November 1st, a mid-way post on December 1st, and a wrap up post on or around December 31st.  It may not be the exact date, but close enough since, it's New Year's Eve and all.

Why: This classic has been on my list for some time, and I bought the book over two years ago.  Several years ago, Masterpiece Theater did a mini-series of this book, and I can't possibly watch it until I read the book.  Plus I've never read Dickens.  A Christmas Carol doesn't count in my book.

How: Write up a quick post saying you're joining in and leave a link in the comments so we can visit each other.  You can read the old school paper back like me, listen to the audio, or go techie and read digital.  Whatever works for you.

So what say you?  Are you in for a right 'ole classic guv'nor?

© Jenny Girl - 2012 "All Rights Reserved"

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Suddenly Sunday - finally feels like Fall edition

Hello!  How the heck are you?  I am fine and no I haven't fallen off the face of the earth.  Sorry, but activities in real life take precedence over the blog, especially when it's your job.  Got to pay those bills.  It's  struggle to juggle everything including crazy coworkers, but that's a topic for another day.  Anyways, here's me catching up:

It along: Ah no, this book was so not for me.  I got to page 300 and threw the book in the trash.  Literally.  This book reminded me why I stopped reading King.  Too long and drawn out, and sorry not frightened in the least.  There's one more King book I'll try but not until at least next year.  Maybe it was the back-to-back of The Stand and IT, not sure, but certainly didn't help.

Demise of Feedburner: Wth?  I really have been busy.  Not sure what to do about this, but I guess make sure everyone can resubscribe some way?  I assume Blogger has a gadget for that?

TV: Bit too busy for new TV shows, so going with the old standards of Homeland, Sons of Anarchy, Fringe (last season sniff-sniff), Once Upon a Time.  Tried Revolution, and couldn't do it.  In the middle of episode 2, I realized I liked no one, and wanted them to all die.  That's when you know the show is not working for you.  I will say Giancarlo Esposito...I love you baby, but even you can't save this show.

What I'm reading now: Ruins of Lace by Iris Anthony, and enjoying it quite a bit.  I've read quite a few good books lately, and yes reviews are coming, even if they are short and sweet.

Future reading: I have two big classic chunksters I want to read: Bleak House and The Three Musketeers.  I was going to start Bleak House in November, and do a read-along, but I think this may be too sad for holiday time???  Whereas sword fighting and camaraderie is good anytime of the year, especially the holidays.  Plus, I know Trish has both of these on her list of classics to read.  So, let me know in the comments your choice is.  Whatever has the most votes will be read starting  November 1st.  since both are quite big and it's the holidays, the read-along will go until January 31st.  Check-in posts maybe every two weeks, or is that too much?

Well I think that's all for now, at least all that's important.  No one wants to hear about work.  Soon, I'll update you on the knitting front.  Speaking of, for any of you knitters out there, I'm going to Stitches East next weekend with my knitting posse, so if you're going to be there, drop me a line.

What's new with you this Sunday?  Hope all is well for you and thanks for hanging in there with me and my sporadic blogging and commenting.  You are da best!  Have a wonderful week and happy reading :)

(Trish, thanks for poking me.  Sorry I didn't make that Wednesday deadline.)

 © Jenny Girl - 2012 "All Rights Reserved"