27 ~ Nor Will He Sleep by David Ashton (#4 in Series)
David Ashton’s stories of Inspector McLevy always have enough drama to keep me interested. It is true that they can sometimes lose me somewhere in the middle for a bit but I always manage to catch up to the characters. I also was intrigued by Robert Louis Stevenson’s character in the book and of course had to google a bit more about his life to get a full picture of who he was. His character added a great deal to this novel and I think Robert Louis Stevenson in real life lived such an exciting life going from a life in Scotland and Britain to exploring Hawaii and Samoa. A great series if you like inspector/mystery novels.
26 ~ The Idea of Love by Patti Callahan Henry
A 5 out of 5 for a summer beach read. I loved Ella and Blake and thought they were really entertaining characters. The lies they told one another just got bigger and bigger until they could blame no one else but themselves for the trap they had created. I appreciated how Ella became more strong willed as the story went on and by the end of the book she realizes that she needs to act in order to accomplish her life goals. The theme of love is threaded throughout the story; it leaves the reader with no answer on what love really is other than a changing and morphing emotion that no one can control. The ending leaves you feeling hopeful and optimistic towards the lives of the characters. A great book for a quick summer read.
25 ~ God Help the Child by Toni Morrison
I read this book in one day. It was a quick read and I didn’t find it difficult to get through. I liked the way Toni Morrison goes back and forth between characters but didn’t care for any of the characters in particular. The book didn’t give me any hope or sense that anything would change for any of the characters. Bride’s behaviour was very self focused. She was successful and didn’t appear to value her own life or those around her. I think Bride’s best quality was that she seemed to genuinely care about the troubles people face but yet she never made the effort to actually help anyone. I hate feeling at the end of a book that the world is a scary place and that there are so many child predators out there. I know these things exist but I wouldn’t normally pick up a book to read about it. I’m left feeling so so about this novel so I gave it a 3 out of 5.
21 ~ All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
*Voted Goodreads best Historical Fiction book of 2014 https://www.goodreads.com/choiceawards/best-books-2014
*On the CBC 2015 Summer Reading List http://www.cbc.ca/books/2015/05/cbc-books-2015-summer-reading-list.html
Anthony Doerr really captures the tones of WWII and what it must have been like to be growing up during that time in history. His story moves between the life of Werner, a German orphan, and Marie-Laure a young Parisian. This story gives us a juxtaposition of individual realities during the war; each character battling against their own fears as their lives are upturned. Werner is an orphan but gets selected to be one of a few hundred children who will be trained up and educated in a special German school. He is gifted with intelligence and is given a position constructing radios so he can catch radio signals for the German army. He leaves behind his sister Jutta at the orphanage who provides the female counterpoint to growing up German during WWII.
Marie-Laure, blind at an early age, has her own strengths of freewill and a determination to live and thrive with her disability. Her blindness heightens her sense of sound and smell which she uses to survive through major life changes. She and her father must flee Paris and move to Saint-Malo and the home of her wealthy great-uncle. When Marie-Laure’s father is taken prisoner and sent to a German war camp, she must learn to survive on her own and learn to discern between those who are trustworthy and those who are not.
I really enjoyed the way the plot of All The Light We Cannot See centers around radio broadcasts and how it ties the story together nicely. I also appreciated the way the author did not sugar coat the story as the reality during WWII for people on both sides was not a positive experience. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction.
20 ~ A Trick of the Light (Inspector McLevy #3) by David Ashton
I have so far really enjoyed the Inspector McLevy series. I find them engaging and they have enough conspiracy and mystery to keep me interested. I found this book a little more predictable than the first but otherwise a great read.
Fall From Grace is the second book in David Ashton’s Inspector McLevy series. The first book of the series is Shadow of the Serpent. With several merging storylines, this novel took me a bit to get into but by the end of the book I was sucked into the story of Inspector McLevy. The setting is Edinburgh, Scotland and the plot thickens around a suspicious bridge construction which will ultimately lead to the Tay Bridge disaster. Inspector McLevy weaves together fraud, theft, murder and faulty bridge construction to bring justice to all involved. His counterparts Constable Mulholland and Lieutenant Roach both have their own share of troubles but all work separately to fit the pieces of the puzzle together. Inspector McLevy comes across as a strange, unsympathetic and unkempt man but his character is well constructed and believable. There is also enough action and conflict in the plot to keep the reader engaged although at times it can be difficult to follow. I have not yet had the chance to read the first book of the series Shadow of the Serpent but I will definitely be excited to read it once I am able to obtain a copy!