"My ideas flow so rapidly that I have not time to express them -- by which means my letters sometimes convey no ideas at all to my correspondents." - Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Review: The Lightkeeper's Daughter

The Lightkeeper's Daughter by Colleen Coble

Synopsis: "With the lies of the past behind her, Addie finds love...and discovers her true Father.
Addie Sullivan leads a quiet life in northern California lighthouse. She mourns the death of her father and endures her mother's bitterness, until the night a storm brings and injured stranger and a dark secret to her home. The man insists she is not who she thinks she is, but rather "Julia Eaton" - the child long lost and feared dead by her wealthy family. Seizing the chance to be reunited with the Eastons, Addie leaves her lighthouse home but decides to keep her true identity a secret until they can unravel the mystery.
Addie Loves the Eatons' palatial home tucked away among the California redwood forests. She feels secure with the jovial family, adores the young boy who is her charge as governess, and finds romance with his father John, a young widower. But sinister shadows overtake Addie's joy. As dusty rooms and secret compartments give up their clues about her past, Addie finds a faith and a love she could never have guessed. To embrace this new world of promise is to risk her life; but to run away is to risk losing the greatest love she's ever known." - quoted from back cover

Introductions: I had seen this book with it's charming cover design in department stores and bookstores over the past month and picked it up once or twice thinking it looked like a good book. Then when Charity over at Austenitis recommended it highly in her review in May I immediately put The Lightkeeper's Daughter on my reading list. I was so happy when I was able to pick a brand new copy up for $3 while I was on vacation in August. It waited a few weeks, while I finished up one of the books I was already reading, but when I started reading it I was totally engrossed in the world that the author had created!

Author: Having never read anything by Colleen Coble I didn't know quite what to expect but I was pleasantly surprised to find a beautifully told story filled with sweet friendships, family fun, adventure, mystery, a bit of suspense and a charming love story! The subjects of the early Edwardian era, Victorian mansions and lighthouses all correspond with my own interests. In a letter at the end of the book the author says she's never written historical fiction before but her tale is told so well and with many historical details that it's so brilliant. I'd definitely read more in this series and by this author!

Characters: The heroine Adeline "Addie" Sullivan is a spunky red-head who loves sewing, reading Elizabeth Barrett Browning poems, playing ragtime music on the piano, caring for people with her medicine skills and running barefoot in the great outdoors while talking to her Savior. The reader immediately identifies with Addie and like her yearns to learn more about the mystery surrounding her past. The hero, John North, is singled out in the first few chapters and is gallant, charming and loves the heroine for being pure and genuine. I wish there was a little bit more about his background but it is very interesting getting inside his head and sometimes hearing his thoughts about Addie. The other character are well drawn out and true to life, there are a few that I really wanted to learn more about!

My Thoughts: I loved this book so much! The style of writing and the story was quite unique, different from other historical romances I've read. While I was reading there were many points where I was even a bit surprised that the author was so imaginative and was writing details that other authors often forget. And the names she uses are lovely! I highly recommend this book, especially if you like historical fiction and a bit of a mystery! The Lightkeeper's Daughter is the first book in The Mercy Falls Series so I'm very excited there's two other books in the series to enjoy (especially since the next book seems to be about a character from the last)! This book is so good it's going to go immediately on my favorites list and I'll definitely be re-reading it some time soon! I hope you all get a chance to read it too!

Very Truly Your's,
Miss Laurie :)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Review: Irish Murders by A.P. Richards

I picked up this paperback volume at a thrift shop for a few dollars. The title caught my attention because it combines two of my interests: murder mysteries and all things Irish.

Synopsis: There are violet events and murders in the history of every country and Ireland is no exception. Through the years, it had its share of violent murders including the murder of its most famous victim, Ellie Hanley or the 'Colleen Bawn', and the recent murder of Tom Nevin, victim of a 'hit' organised by his wife.
Irish Murders presents a series of murders which have occurred in Ireland in the years from the beginning of the nineteenth century - acts of insanity, malevolence, hatred, revenge, desperation, greed and passion, when for someone, somewhere, taking the life of another has seemed the only solution.  - from back cover of book.

My Opinion: I actually really enjoyed this book, it was different from other books I've read. The 27 cases were told factually like a biography or similar to TV documentary programs that tell about old murder cases. Because of the nature of murder all of the stories are quite tragic including tales of hatred, betrayal and sometimes the disposal of the body is rather grotesque. I enjoyed the historical cases more than the modern day cases mentioned toward the end of the book. The cases range in historical eras from the early 1800's to late 1990's. Each chapter covers a different case, they are fairly short and capture the reader's imagination easily. I wouldn't recommend this book for young children because there are some references to sexuality and brutality, but any adult who is a history and mystery buff will find this book very interesting.

Glenveagh Castle in Autumn
I learned a lot of history about Ireland and some about Irish and England law and police practices. I also found a few names of places in Ireland that I now want to visit. One of these is Glenveagh Estate, County Donegal, Ireland which has amazing castle, gardens and walks!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Blog Button

I've been in the blog button making mood today. So for all of you faithful readers out there here is a button so you can link to me. Thanks for reading and following me!

Rather Bookish