The Women in the Castle

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The author, Jessica Shattuck, offers us a rare glimpse into the mindsets of 3 different German women and how they dealt with the onset of Hitler’s war, propaganda and the aftermath of the war. Finely researched and masterfully told, this is one of the best novels regarding women’s role and the role of the average, ordinary German. Hitler’s takeover was incrementally insidious as he divided the people into groups and and touted those of ‘true’ Germanic blood. Many, if not most Germans turned a blind eye to what was happening to those scapegoated by Hitler, to those sent to the gas chambers. They did not want to see what was happening in front of them. By the time ordinary Germans were confronted by the horrors of the war, it was too late.
Bringing this down to the most basic level, it is about judging others and about ill conceived prejudices. Something we should be mindful of today.

Taken By The Wind

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All those yesterdays

Taken by the wind

The relentless, unceasing wind

Of passing days

They slip through my fingers

Even as I struggle,

My fists clenched with nothing but air

Yet, there is a-stillness

In my mind

A gathering place

That no wind can breach

For all my yesterdays

And my tomorrows,

There, for safekeeping.

Mystery and Romance

61Fm3KJ+8kL__SY346_The Stone Arch Secret by K.D. Dowdall is a mystery-thriller that engages the reader from the first page to the last.

With the untimely death of her dear cousin, Dax, Lily travels back to her childhood home, a place that continues to haunt her dreams. Lily grew up in the beautiful farming community of Salmon Brook, Connecticut. But during one Indian summer when she and her young cousin Dax trekked through the woods, something horrible happened. Something so traumatic it caused Dax to fall into a coma from which he never awakened. Lily recovered, but had no memory of the incident, yet she is haunted by half remember dreams that wake her with a pounding heart and terrible fears.

After Dax’s funeral, Lily encounters the town’s handsome librarian, Noah, a boy she remembers from her school days. They are instantly attracted to each other, but Noah has secrets of his own. Lily, an anthropologist, uses her time there to try to uncover what happened during that idyllic summer. The deeper her investigation goes strange things begin to happen. Lily soon finds herself caught up in secrets and lies and a danger she can’t begin to fathom.

Noah and Lily pool their resources to uncover the evil that permeates the town and in doing so, find a deep connection to each other that leads to a romance neither saw coming.

The Stone Arch Secret is an exciting and beautifully written novel filled with historical details and a mystery of evil so terrifying it chills the heart.

I highly recommend this novel. It’s a must read!

Your First Page by Peter Selgin

By Peter Selgin on Jane Friedman site: I read them all the time. Stories where scenes disappear before my eyes, where the point of view is as slippery as a greased tadpole, where authors play hard to get with vital statistics: stories that should be memoirs, and memoirs that should have been stories, not to mention […]

via The Deadliest First Page Sin—Plus a Critique of Two Novel Openings… — Chris The Story Reading Ape’s Blog