The Light We Lost

“There are moments that shift the trajectory of people’s lives” ~ The Light We Lost written by Jill Santopolo.

Do you ever get the sense that you’re reading a book at the exact moment it will have the most impact on you?? I have been fortunate enough to have this feeling a few books I’ve read and The Light We Lost was one of them.

This is a story of a woman who is lucky enough to find two loves in her lifetime. A love that is all consuming and passionate yet destructive at the same time. And a love that starts with a mild attraction but grows steadily with time and work. Is one better than the other?

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Lucy and Gabe share a bond forged over the shared experience of watching the Twin Towers collapse during the attacks on September 11th. Their attraction is instant and perhaps enhanced by the events of that day. I think all who watched the events of September 11th were reminded of how there are no guarantees in this life. That we must appreciate what we have because tomorrow it may be gone and through no fault of our own. While there is no doubt that Gabe cares deeply for Lucy he is constantly putting his dreams and desires before their relationship. In a way it becomes a destructive pattern that ends with their decision to go their separate ways, yet they are not quite able to cut their ties completely and remain in touch.

Lucy and Darren build their bond over time and come to have a deep and binding bond over many shared events in their life together. It is a stable relationship if not maybe sometimes routine and little disappointing at times. Darren is the person Lucy can depend on to be with her day after day, month after month and year after year. Perhaps there are disappointments on both sides, Lucy is surprised by some of Darren’s expectations and Darren doesn’t understand Lucy’s desire of a career over staying at home with the children.  Throughout their ups and downs Darren pops in and out of Lucy’s life. Then Lucy is faced with an event that leaves her wondering at her own decisions thus far and pondering what decisions she has to make in the future.

This was a heartbreaking read, yet one I desperately needed to help me confront some of my own choices.

The Book of Life

The final book in the All Souls Trilogy did not disappoint!

Diana and Matthew time travel back from Elizabethan London to find much has changed in their time away. They are confronted by loss, old familiar faces and new faces. There is no time to come to terms with their grief or reunions as they must stay a step ahead of the Congregation. Along the way however a dark secret from Matthew’s past threatens Diana and all that they hope for the future.

Along the way Diana also races to find the lost Ashmole 782 manuscript hoping to discover what secrets it contains and its significance to hers and Matthew’s relationship and the Congregation’s stance against relationships between creatures.

How far will Matthew go to protect Diana, will Diana finally be able to face her inner demons and accept the responsibility that comes with her magic or will it consume her?

The last chapter of the All Souls Trilogy did not disappoint in providing answer’s to lingering questions and did not disappoint in the detailed story telling.

The Silver Star

Jeanette Walls novel The Silver Star absolutely captivated me just as The Glass Castle and Half-Broke Horses did.

The Silver Star is the story of Bean and her older sister Liz Holladay. The daughters of Charlotte Holladay they are often left on their own off and on for a few days while their artistically inclined mother seeks her big break.  When Charlotte decides she needs to find herself she takes off leaving her daughters enough money to last a month or two. Bean comes home from school one day to find a police cruiser in front of their house.

The two girls decide it will be best to await their mother’s return in Virginia and take refuge with their Uncle Tinsley in the crumbling family mansion. Bean ever determined to find the positive in any situation takes to their new life in Virginia, making friends and finding her place amongst her dead father’s family along the way. Liz on the other hand becomes more reclusive as time passes. Both girls begin to work for Jerry Maddox a foreland of the town’s mill. As they continue to work for Maddox the discover more of his tendencies to bully his workers and his wife and children.

Liz is eventually as to face an earth shattering event in her life and when she should be able to rely on the adults charged with protecting her safety and best interests it his her younger sister who insists on seeking justice. Together they must face the coming taunts and gossip about that tragic night and as always weather it together.

Shadow of Night

“Change is the only reliable thing in the world” ~ Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness

In Book Two of the All Souls Trilogy Diana and her vampire husband Matthew time walk to Elizabethan London. The plan is to search for a manuscript that may hold the answers to their origins; also to find a witch to help Diana better understand her magic.

Along the way Diana meets ghost’s from Matthew’s past and comes to understand the darkness in the vampire she has come to love.  Along the way Diana discovers the truth about her magic.

Along the way Diana and Matthew become wrapped up in Elizabethan politics and intrigue, yet they can’t change events in the past for fear of changing the future/present. Along the way we are introduced to a variety of historical characters including Queen Elizabeth herself. As with A Discovery Of Witches; Shadow of Night was fascinating to read with its many dimensions and left me with many questions about what is to come.

Maybe I’ll find the answers in The Book of Life?

The Winternight Trilogy

“There are no monsters in the world, and no saints. Only infinite shades woven into the same tapestry, light and dark. One man’s monster is another man’s beloved” ~ The Winter of the Witch, written by Katherine Arden.

Occasionally I find a novel so enchanting I find myself completely immersed. The Winter of the Witch is the third novel in the Winternight Trilogy and was well worth the anticipation. I was transported to the ancient lands of Rus’ and the struggles of Vasya as she forges her own path, refusing to conform to convention.

Katherine Arden’s novels are captivatingly poetic. I loved all the novels in this trilogy I don’t think I can pick just one as my favorite. I loved The Bear and the Nightingale for this was the novel that first introduced me Vasya and the land of Chyerti and ancient Russian fairytales. I loved The Girl in The Tower for the simple pleasure of being able to read of Vasya’s adventures as she travels into the unknown and grows from a girl to a woman. Then finally there is The Winter of the Witch. This novel opened with so much sadness and degradation I felt completely heartbroken within the first thirty pages. I promise you however if you conquer the heartbreak after the first thirty pages and read on to the end you will end this wonderful trilogy with a smile and with a feel of complete satisfaction. Seriously if you haven’t read these novels yet get to your closest book store or library and start reading!!!!

The Silent Patient

In the first novel written by Alex Michaelides we are introduced to Theo Faber. A Criminal Psychotherapist who watched from a distant the media frenzy resulting in the gruesome murder of Gabriel Berenson at the hands of his wife of seven years Alicia Berenson. What was a simple domestic tragedy turns media frenzy by Alicia’s silence during the investigation and trial and even after her conviction for her fashion photographer husband.

Alicia’s artwork prices skyrocket’s once her name becomes a source of public fascination and avid followers of the case are determined to cast judgement on the woman through her paintings. Six years after the trial and Alicia’s confinement to a psychiatric unit at The Grove, Theo Faber who found himself one of the avid distant followers of the case finds himself employed at The Grove and immediately sets about on his mission to help Alicia overcome her silence and find peace. Will Theo be able to guide Alicia through the darkness were others have failed time and again, or will her silence be broken, and someone else’s darkness be uncovered?

I found myself captivated by the different twits and revelations throughout The Silent Patient and was surprised by the ending. A highly enjoyable read, if you enjoy a psychological thriller then this is a must to be added to you to be read list. Enjoy!

The Night Tiger

Journey to colonial Malaysia in the enchanting novel by Yangsze Choo.

“The body must be made whole again when you die. Anything added must be removed, and anything missing replaced – otherwise your soul won’t rest in peace” ~ The Night Tiger written by Yangsze Choo.

Join Ren, a young house boy desperate to fulfill his masters last request and Ji Lin a dance hall girl who unknowingly becomes entangled when she inadvertently comes across a severed finger. Did I mention there is also a mythical man eating tiger lurking in the jungle??

I enjoyed this novel with its intricate plots and twists and found myself fully engaged in the plights of the characters. I love to read stories set in colonial settings, there is so much to discover.