Posts Tagged With: good book

Book Review: I Shall Be Near To You – 4.5 of 5

I Shall Be Near to You: A Novel by Erin Lindsay McCabe


My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

This book is such a good example of why I love historical fiction. Historical fiction can take the liberties needed to craft a really excellent story, while still teaching me a little about the lives and actions of past history. For me, nothing makes things like love or loss ring more true than when I’m reading it in a historical context. McCabe does a truly wonderful job of making all that happen in this book.

I Shall Be Near to You is clearly well researched, but you’re not overwhelmed by facts. The book isn’t about the Civil War in of itself; it’s about Rosetta. She’s a feisty woman who wants nothing more than to run a farm with her husband, Jeremiah, a local boy she’s loved forever. Their lives promise to be happy, if it weren’t for the war.

Rosetta’s voice is incredible. McCabe does a wonderful job of using language of the time and of Rosetta’s upbringing (which would have consisted of only an average education). But her farm-like manner doesn’t hinder the reader from seeing how strong, resourceful, and passionate Rosetta is. And never, not for one moment, do we doubt her love for Jeremiah.

Romantic as it is, this isn’t a book for the weak of stomach or for someone who doesn’t have any tissues handy. About half of this book takes place marching or on the battlefield and McCabe provides us with a myriad of visions, sounds, and smells (especially smells!) of what is going on. It’s gut wrenching and I guarantee you heart is bound to break. In all honesty, I didn’t think what happened was going to happen and I was astounded when it did. I think it was best for the story, but I can tell you it was not what I wanted.

What can I say? This is a great story and adds just a little to what we know and think of when it comes to the Civil War. An excellent read.

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Book Review: Tell the Wolves I’m Home – 4 out of 5

Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt


My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My writing doesn’t tend to have a lot of “plot.” I always find my stories to be much more character driven, with dialogue and thoughts progressing everything much more than outside occurrences.

This is how I feel this book is driven. It’s from the perspective of a young girl named June. The premise is simple: June’s beloved uncle, Finn, has died and we watch as June copes with this tragedy.

It sounds like it’s going to be simple but it’s not. Not even close. June has a lot going on in her life – dealing with Finn’s death just being one of them. Her relationship with her sister, her parents, her uncle’s boyfriend, and most, importantly, herself make this story a whirlwind. Just when you think she’s coming to grip with one area some other character will knock it all to pieces.

Perhaps the part that I found the most fascinating was the way the characters understood and reacted to AIDS. I’m from a generation where I grew up without a lot of those initial misconceptions of the disease. I’ve never thought I could get AIDS from someone just by touching them or kissing them. I’ve never thought of it as only a “gay” disease. This book takes place in a time when AIDS was just beginning to be known. I think it does such an incredible job of understanding the hurt and devastation that misunderstanding AIDS and homosexuality caused on so many lives.

Overall, I enjoyed the book. At times it was hard to read and I also felt it to be a bit long for the events. Still, it’s a book that will stay with me in a very good way.

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Book Review: I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella – 5 of 5

I’ve Got Your Number
by Sophie Kinsella


My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Can’t help it. Love this book.

I read this book over the course of two days, during which time the following happened:

1) I snort-laughed on the rush hour commuter train to work. I also gasp-laughed, guffawed, and tittered.
2) I read this book, at my desk, at work, over my empty lunch container, pretending I was still eating so I could keep reading. (mind you, I love my job and usually happily work through lunch.)
3) On the rush hour train back from work, I laughed maniacally, and loud enough, to make my seat-mate jump.
4) I had hard, set plans to go to the gym tonight. Instead, I sat for two hours and finished the book. Needless to say, I’m still on the couch.


I adored Poppy. She was ridiculous and psychotic and so damn real. Sure, there were a couple parts where I said, no, not possible, but I rolled with it. She was a wonderful protagonist with such a great sense of identity. When you pick up a chick lit book you don’t always anticipate, or even hope for, real character growth and development. But I think Kinsella really nailed it.

There is one part in particular where she really nailed it. I had to go back and re-read. Kinsella had me totally fooled. I mean, don’t get me wrong, you know how it’s going to end when you start it, but the way she got there was just wonderful. Excellent author sleight of hand there.


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