Alena by Rachel Pastan

AlenaNew book – story is a reflection on the past and involves art and a mystery. I enjoyed learning more about art history and the uniqueness of a certain genre of art – contemporary.

But the contemporary “in gross detail” was a little much sometimes – describing such artists that use real blood and dead birds on the wall.

It is a story of a young woman who loves her profession – curator – yet really knows little about it. She is named as a new curator, replacing a woman who had no faults, and is basically left on her own to manage the place.

What I liked was the descriptions of the ocean and her feelings. What I did not like was the fact that she took a long time to “get” it! Stand up for herself.

All together – a 7 on my top of a 10. Good beach/vacation read.

Reviewed by Kathleen

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Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen

Lost LakeUnique story! I read right through this one. Giving it an 8.

It is the story of women trying to understand themselves and their past. The location is Lost Lake – in the swamps of Georgia. The characters are clearly depicted.

I loved the multi-generational tie-in between the different ages of the women, all with baggage and a past, making them hide behind others some whom are controlling their lives. The main character has just about given up on life for other people. It takes a little girl, some magic, sacrifice, and facing the truth in order to bring relationships to fruition.

This is definitely a comfort novel – quick read and lifts the spirit!

Reviewed by Kathleen

The Night Guest by Fiona McFarlane

The Night GuestI found this on the new shelf –┬áthird floor. A first novel for author McFarlane. She is my daughter’s age so I wonder where she gets her insights into the older generation?

She does a beautiful job of telling a story of old age and remembrance of youth and love. Her handle of the English language is with grace and ease. But…it is a sad book and one that I put down not intending to finish as I could see where it was going the moment Frida (the supposed help) enters the scene. Nonetheless, the story is about growth during the twilight of life. It is about recognizing we’re not what we use to be; however, we are strong, resilient and do have our wits about us – we just need to rely on our intuition. It is a tale that I believe happens more times than we think to all kinds of people at that age – duplicity. It is a mystery as well that keeps me questioning what happens. I encourage you to read it for two reasons most of all.

1. The author knows how to write! It is not written in slang or how many authors write these days with coarse language. 2. It makes one aware of the nature of deceit and may encourage a ‘look out’ for yourself or someone you love.

Reviewed by Kathleen

Garment of Shadows by Laurie R. King

Garment of ShadowsI am fascinated with Sherlock Holmes – always have been. In fact, I now have a dog named Sherlock. When I discovered Laurie King’s books on the infamous sleuth and that she married him off and that his wife helps with the investigations – well, I was sold and wait patiently for her newest novel. The Garment of Shadows is her latest, although dated 2012 and unique because the author, King, places her protagonist in a state of amnesia and the story works backwards from the beginning. The ambiance is critical to the story line as we soon see that Sherlock must discover where his wife is and then how she came to be in this unusual state.I love books where the characters are placed in other countries. In this book it is Morocco – a city that is surrounded in the unknown and the plot is interwoven in the culture.I often read King’s books quickly because of the heightened emotion I am placed in while reading and all the various intricacies that go along with them.

Reviewed by Kathleen

Morning Yoga Workouts by Zack Kurland

Morning Yoga WorkoutsMorning yoga workouts is a fantastic book to use for the new yoga student or to use as I did for teaching. It takes basic poses and explains them accurately and clearly. Also, you have the option to do a short or longer practice from easy to medium to more difficult. I took the asanas and incorporated into my yoga classes because they are easily adaptable. I am going to buy this book on Amazon to use as reference.

Reviewed by Kathleen