Review: A Place Called Winter by Patrick Gale

winter*Note of interest* The kindle edition of this novel has the acknowledgements in the front of the novel. Those acknowledgements gave away a huge part of this novel. If you’re at all familiar with the synopsis, then it probably won’t give anything away for you…However, I hate to know anything other than the title of a novel before reading it, so I was a wee bit peeved at this oversight of the formatters. The DTB copy that I own has the acknowledgments at the end…WHERE THEY BELONG!!!

This novel…I loved it. I was so fascinated by it that I found myself trying to find out more about PG himself…and of how this story was inspired/loosely based upon his grandfather. Knowing these things…and well…because of the book itself, Harry Cale haunted me.

Other reviewers say PG’s writing is beautiful. I’m sorry…I didn’t see his writing as lyrical or beautiful. If you happen to read this review, Mr Gale, no offense meant! I promise! However, I found Harry Cale beautiful. I could hear the silence of his solitude. My ears were deafened by it. I believe Harry will haunt me for a very long time. I so much want to sit beside him. I want him to know how much I admire his strength and his sense of honor. I want him to know that he is not alone.

Yes, this story is interesting. It’s opened up conversations with me and other people. I just had to tell others about this book. It’s made me think. To try to imagine what society must have been like not so long ago. It has made me sad. It has made me admire. It has made me ponder what all of this meant to PG, the author. Has it shaped the man he was…or shaped the man he is…or is it shaping the man he hopes to become? I spent only several hours reading this novel…but I have spent countless hours thinking about it….

Yes, again, the story itself is wonderful. It’s interesting. No, I’m not going to tell you what the novel is all about…you should know by now that’s not how I do reviews! What I will tell you is that, no matter how wonderful and interesting the story is/was…Harry Cale is even more interesting and wonderful…

I’m telling you…he is going to haunt me for a very long time…

Until next time…

Urania xx

Buy it now A Place Called Winter by Patrick Gale

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Review: The Barefoot Sisters Southbound (Adventures on the Appalachian Trail) by Lucy Letcher and Susan Letcher

IMG_1481.JPGIf you’re a hiker or a camper or an outdoor nature lover, you’ll love this book. And even if you’re not (I’m not, really), reading Southbound lets you experience eight months of hiking without *actually* hiking. Which is kinda cool too.

I bought this book for my kindle in November 2011. Three years ago! It got buried under my virtual TBR pile until last week when my friend Maureen said she was going to dig it out of her own TBR pile and start reading it.

The beginning was a little rough reading for me: descriptions of mountains and hills and trails and supplies… Chapter after chapter… Repetitive.

Then about a third in, I mentally hopped on the trail with the sisters, and really felt like I was there. The brutal, bone-numbing cold, meeting up with the Family from the North, rank hiker smell, mountaintops pushing through the fog, and cold streams of water… I could feel it and taste it all.

Southbound is written beautifully, with rich vocabulary, unapologetic candor, and authenticity. I appreciate the gradual piecing together of the journey, the landscape, the relationships. Slow and piecemeal is how real life happens sometimes. The “summit” at the end is much, much less than the sum of its big, glorious, painful, joyful parts.

The sisters yo-yo’d and wrote a book about their trip back northbound. I’ll be reading that next.

-calliope

buy THE BAREFOOT SISTERS SOUTHBOUND

buy THE BAREFOOT SISTERS WALKING HOME
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