Review: The Death of Santini by Pat Conroy

  
Only Pat Conroy can write such terrible things so beautifully. Only he can turn a phrase in such a way that he makes his point succinctly and eloquently at the same time. Conroy’s inner conflicts imbue this autobiographical work with the love and hate he has for his father, and to a lesser degree, his mother and siblings. 

I think Conroy is a master wordsmith. I appreciate the beauty and flow of his writing in all the Pat Conroy books I’ve read. But I struggle with The Death of Santini because it’s almost like hearing a child whine. I can read a spectacular passage, and then be disrupted by Conroy’s complaints and persuasion, trying to convince me that his childhood really did happen the way he says it did, that it was as bad as can be, that he is indeed telling the truth.  

I believe him. I don’t need to be convinced. I think his father needed to be convinced. I think his siblings and his extended family need to be convinced. I think Conroy is whining to the wrong crowd. 

Unless. Unless this book isn’t meant for me or you or anyone EXCEPT his family… and Conroy himself. And I think it is. 

That doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate it. I just don’t feel like in the intended audience. I do think that if Santini admitted his transgressions while Conroy was a child, the psychological damage would have been minimized, and The Death of Santini would not have had to be written. 

The Death of Santini offers a window into the moments of Conroy’s early life that inspired his best-selling novels, and moments of Santini’s later life that inspired Conroy’s love and forgiveness for his father. 

-calliope

Buy THE DEATH OF SANTINI

Review – The Little Paris Bookshop, by Nina George

23278537This isn’t my usual type of read at all. However, past experiences of dipping my toes in other genres have proven successful in finding one of my favourite reads (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel), so I thought I’d give it another go! Now, I’ll tell you upfront, this book didn’t turn out to be a favourite read of mine, but a solid choice nonetheless.
Nina George is German based writer, and so I was initially concerned that this book may get lost in translation (remember my experiences with the Dutch novels?), however, it remains rather neutral.
Set in modern day Paris, The Little Paris Bookshop follows Jean Perdue, a bookseller that sells his products from a river boat. Jean is very in-tune with his customer’s feelings and knows exactly what they should read in order to make them feel better, much like a chemist, but the prescription is books!
We learn that Jean’s wive left him quite a few years ago, and one day he finds a letter that explains a lot. This sets of a trip he takes down the river Seine and throughout France.
Along the way he meets a host of characters and experiences life like he never had whilst in Paris.

George writes a good story and I will be reading further offerings from this author. The characters are realistic (to a point), and are given enough emotion so that the reader cares about them. If you’ve never been to Paris, or France in general, you will want to go after reading this, so start saving those pennies! If you’ve been before, you will want to re-visit, so again, I say to you, start saving those pennies!

This novel is a mixture of heartbreak, comedy, and passion. Passion for fellow human beings and indeed passion for books. Sometimes, an eye roll did almost occur, however, this is a nice light read and should be taken for what it is. If you’re looking for something different, but not too different, then definitely give this one a chance!

Pegasus.

The Little Paris Bookshop: A Novel

Review: The Beautiful Daughters by Nicole Baart

  
Like my blogmate Thalia who reviewed The Beautiful Daughters a few months ago, I had read and loved some of Baart’s earlier novels, and so decided to pick up this one recently. 

Well. It had my heart racing. I was angry, scared, and shaking in my boots. The subtle and sick mental anguish that Adri and Harper are put through — by themselves and by others — was disturbing and heart-wrenching. 

The Beautiful Daughters is ostensibly a story of friendships and family, castles and kings. Really, though, it’s a commentary on the things we do for love, or the illusion of love. 

Despite me being a total fraidy-cat and shuddering at some parts of this novel, I stayed up past 2 a.m. more than once because I couldn’t put it down. Excellent read. 

-calliope

Buy THE BEAUTIFUL DAUGHTERS

Review: Another Kind of Hurricane by Tamara Ellis Smith

51lNSiGFQjL._SX340_BO1,204,203,200_Anyone who knows me knows all too well the love that I have for New Orleans. So whenever a book about or set in New Orleans comes onto my radar, it immediately goes onto my must-read list. And bonus points if it’s a book written for kids or young adults.

We have two ten-year-old boys in this story. Although they are in different parts of the country, each is dealing with tragedy and loss. Zavion has lost his home and very nearly his life during a hurricane. And Henry has lost his best friend in a tragic accident. Their worlds collide when Henry travels to New Orleans as part of a hurricane relief effort.

The writing in this debut novel was simply beautiful. The author writes poetically about the joy and sadness of New Orleans, the laughter and tears of friendship. Her characters make you laugh and cry at the same time as they are so vividly brought to life. The story is full of cultural references that pull you in and make it seem as if you are actually there.

So obviously this book is about a hurricane, Hurricane Katrina to be exact. But it’s about so much more than that. It’s about loss, both physical and emotional. It’s about losing hope and wanting to give up. It’s about friendship and how friendship can give you the courage to go on. And it’s about standing up for what you believe in and doing the right thing. A great story!
~Thalia

Buy It Now: Another Kind of Hurricane

Review: When You’re Back, by Abbi Glines

01 whenTHIS!!! This is what I was waiting for. I am very happy with the way this book transpired. I knew Mase was going to have a good story.

“Before Reese, I didn’t know the world could be full of dreams. That you could wake up every day excited to breathe. That one little smile from her could make me feel like a fucking king. Loving her is worth…it’s worth it all. Living in fear of love isn’t living.”

I like Reese in this book. She was strong and trying to move past her setbacks, by taking control doing something with her life that she never thought she could do. I love that she had Mase to encourage and support her through this. That boy would do anything for her.

That cowboy loves fiercely. He will do anything within his power to protect those he loves as well, even if that means dealing with his dad, so his sister doesn’t have any added stress. He loves his sister so much, that he still tries to protect her.

I was glad to see the past characters throughout this book. I like to keep up on them and see how they’re doing.

The theme of this book, however, was crazy family. No joke. Well, maybe crazy isn’t the right word. Maybe wild?? Either way, family members had a way of causing all sorts of trouble in this book. Mase’s “cousin”, Aida, thinks she loves him and tries to do anything to get him to notice her. Then have Captain(River), Blair’s brother, who decides to set his eyes on Reese. But with Captain, it was friendship bordering on a little something more. But I did like his character. I didn’t always like his actions, but I understood them. I am DYING for his story. I know there’s a perfect girl for him.

There are quite a few heart stopping and dropping moments and a twist or two in here, that I never saw coming. And seeing how this ended, I am seriously dying for the next book. THAT ENDING!!!!! I can’t wait!!!

~Melpomene

Buy When You’re Back: A Rosemary Beach Novel (The Rosemary Beach Series Book 12)

Review: Elude by Rachel Van Dyken

01 elude How am I supposed to type when tears are pouring down my face?? And it’s not the simple cute tears. No, it’s the big fat ugly crocodile tears. The ones that make your eyes all puffy and your head hurt. That’s what this book did to me. But it wasn’t all sad tears. Oh no, this book had many beautiful moments that made me cry lots of happy tears as well.

This story is a story of love, family, heartache and hope. It’s about coming together, because you’re family. It’s about forgiving yourself for the past and finding a way to have a future.

But mostly, this book is about love. A love that sneaks up on you, when you least expect it.

Sergio was the ghost. He was always called in to handle difficult situations that no one wanted or couldn’t do. He was an outsider. He had no one but himself. That is a horrible way to live and die. But in the mafia, things can change like the snap of a finger. Like one day, all is fine and next thing you know, you’re being told you have to marry a Russian mob’s daughter, in order to protect her. All in a day’s work, right?

Andi is dying. She knows it and accepts it, but now she’s in danger and has to marry in order to live out the rest of her life on her terms. But what she doesn’t plan on is actually falling for the guy. I mean, he’s cruel and insensitive. Why would anyone want to be with him??

I have been a fan of the Eagle Elite books from the very first moment Nixon opened his mean mouth. I knew these were going to be great, but I had no idea how much they would suck me in. The characters are so real and crazy, but they’re family. These people fight like cats and dogs, but the moment you need them, they would fight to the death for you. They will cheer and celebrate with you and make you laugh when you’re about to lose it. And when you finally lose it, they will hold you up when you fall apart.

Elude has more heart than all the other ones combined. I was not prepared for the emotions that ran through this entire story. This book had me feeling everything. One minute I was swooning and fanning my face, the next I was hugging my pillow and crying. I was put through the ringer. But I loved every moment.

~Melpomene

Buy Elude (Eagle Elite Book 6) for only 99 cents!! Grab it before the price goes up!!