A Piece of the World

Christina

Andrew Wyeth’s  iconic painting, Christina’s World, has always fascinated me. The image of a girl in a pale pink dress crawling through a field of grass toward a distant house on the horizon raised a number of speculations.  The answer to those speculations are answered in this wonderful piece of historical fiction. The author has painstakingly reconstructed the life of the actual Christina and her world.  Here, we also get glimpses of Andrew Wyeth, the man behind his art.

There is a fine comparison between the life of an isolated girl and that of an artist who spends hours alone with his work. But it is Christina herself who emerges as a complex woman-girl who desires love but is incapacitated by a debilitating illness. In many ways, Christina is as stubborn and as enduring as the generations old home she is irrevocably tied to.

A Piece of the World is a wonderful accounting of the life and times of Christina Olson. It is rich in detail and pathos. The reader is immediately immersed in Christina’s world, the unending labor of farm life and the heartbreaking details of thwarted love.

All in all, this is a compelling read.

The Life We Bury

61kacypw28l-_sx331_bo1204203200_What happens when a simple college English assignment turns into a life and death struggle. University of Minnesota college student, Joe Talbert has been assigned to write a biography of an elderly person. As it happens, the only elderly person available at the nearest nursing home is convicted rapist and murderer, Carl Iverson who was released from prison after 30 years because he is dying of cancer.

Carl asserts his innocence and the more Joe investigates the more he believes Carl is not the person who murdered 14 year old Crystal Marie Hagen 30 years ago.

As Joe uncovers more evidence, he puts himself, his autistic brother and his new friend, Lila into the crosshairs of the real killer.

The Life We Bury is a suspenseful and beautifully written novel about a fallen military hero who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. I loved this novel and I just couldn’t put it down.

All The Light We Cannot See

all-the-light-we-cannot-seeAnthony Doerr’s brilliant novel, and it shines brilliantly in every word, paragraph and page, takes the reader, body and soul, into the nightmare that was Germany and France in the years leading up to and during WWII.

A young French girl, Marie-Laure who is blind and a young German boy, Werner who is an orphan find their lives inter connected  not only by the war, but by a radio broadcast forbidden by the Third Reich. And by a rare diamond sought after by Germany.

Werner is a mathematical genius used by the Nazi’s to enhance their radio technology. Marie-Laure becomes the unwitting keeper of the diamond, The Sea of Flames which some believe is cursed.

It is the story of their mutual struggle for survival during the atrocities of war and of what they learn about the nature of humanity.

Surprisingly Entertaining

517ekyx7elStalking Jack the Ripper, a well researched novel for young adults, is historical fiction and if you like bloody details, this one fits the bill. The author did her homework not only on the details, but with the setting. James Patterson is selecting and promoting young adult mysteries. This is his first, and he definitely got it right. I hope to see more from this debut novelist. 4 stars for accuracy and entertainment.

 

Reality

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Civilized life, you know, is based on a huge number of illusions in which we all collaborate willingly. The trouble is we forget after a while that they are illusions, and we are deeply shocked when reality is torn down around us.

Will You Miss Me?

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When I am long in my eternal repose

Will you still miss me?

When the leaves dash against your window, unaccountably

Will you pause?

When the clouds blanket the sun, though a shadow passes over

Will you wonder?

When a cold spot lingers near your bed in the heat of summer

Will you shiver, just a bit?

When a favorite book flutters from my desk to the floor

Will you simply turn away?

When from the corner of your eye, you glimpse a movement

Will you deny, it might have been I?

Hunting and Gathering in America — Wine and Cheese (Doodles)

Over the past few days I’ve watched several Trump surrogates attempt to deflect questions from women, young girls, and reporters about the recent allegations against Donald Trump. Mike Pence, when given a question asked by an eleven year-old girl who felt disheartened by Trump’s language, switched to a conversation about foreign policy. Ben Carson, when […]

via Hunting and Gathering in America — Wine and Cheese (Doodles)