Friday, August 3, 2012

The Secret River - Kate Grenville

This was my most recent audio selection. I'd probably give it 3 1/2 or 4 stars. It was interesting and entertaining but it had it's slow moments. I also was frustrated with the main character for not having the morals I hoped he'd demonstrate towards the natives in the story. I wanted him the one voice of reason and kindness and....

Well for the period it's set in, the fact is that Thornhill is written as a real man, and acted exactly how he would have realistically acted at that time.

Which makes sense, since this novel is based on real people and real experiences.

The Secret River is set in and near Sidney, Australia, at it's beginning, when it was where Great Britain dumped it's convicts to rid the country of them.

It's a story of colonial settlement, of reaching beyond the circumstances life plants you in and making the most of them. It's a survival story. It is also an interesting little glimpse into Australia's history.

The Secret River is the first in a trilogy, based on the author's family. I'm not certain if I'll read the other two. I would possibly be interested in listening to them on audio, but my library doesn't always have all the books in a set available. If I can't get them from the library, I don't know if I'll pursue reading them or not. I'm curious to hear the rest of the story, but their are so many other books on my wish list, that if I can't get these for free, I probably won't spend money on them in order to finish the story.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Scent of Rain and Lightning - Nancy Pickard

Ventured forth from my historical novel norm to read a modern day murder mystery. Then again, I didn't get to far from my standard because it's set in a little farming town in Kansas. :) Can't help myself.

Really enjoyable read, just enough suspense and mystery to keep you attentive. About half way through I thought I had it figured out, only to have my theory totally blown out of the water at the end.

Really likable characters who seemed like real people, not so made up for a book. You know what I mean?

So here's the basic gist of the story and then you decide if you want to read it or not, but I really enjoyed it so I'd encourage you to go for it. I've got another of Pickard's mystery novels on my wish list now, another one set in Kansas.

Jody is suspicious of happiness because it always seems to deceive you so that the bad things that follow can sneak up on you. And the bad always follows. When she was three, life was good and happy and then one stormy night her father was murdered and her mother vanished, and she's never trusted happiness since.

Twenty-three years later, life is going well and Jody is happy and suspicious. She's landed a job teaching high school English in her home town, she's surrounded by her loving grandparents and uncles, and has been loved and cared for by the citizens of her home town. But happiness is deceiving and now her uncles are standing in her living room telling her that the man who killed her father is being released from prison and he's coming back home to Rose, KS. His son, Collin, now a lawyer and the one responsible for his father's early release is coming too, convinced his father is innocent of the murders, and determined that Jody is going to take a closer look at the events that happened that night so many years ago.

I checked this book out from the library for my Kindle so you can get it in that version if you want to.