Friday, 18 August 2017

The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr

 An unforgettable story about a girl who can't remember.

Imagine that surgeons remove a brain tumour to save your life, yet at the same time they also remove your ability to form short term memories.  Ever since that fateful day, Flora Banks lives only in the present.  She doesn't remember what she did hours earlier yet alone yesterday, last week, nor last month.  Her last memories were formed when she was ten.

This all changes the night she kisses a boy.  The next morning she remembers she kissed Drake.  Wow, this is huge for Flora.  It changes her life.  From that moment she knows she has to find that boy and determine if he is the key to unlocking her memories.

This is an outstanding novel.  I was captivated by Flora's unravelling story.  I had to bribe myself to put it down when real life called to me.

Author Emily Barr has done a terrific job of getting inside Flora's head.  At one moment if felt as though I was listening in on ten your old Flora, and then when she remembered the kiss, she once again 17 and I'm listening to a teenager.  The coping strategies she uses are exactly those that a family friend, with almost no short term memory, uses.  I can see some parallels in their experiences and the confusion that they experience.

It is interesting to see how those around her respond.  Her parents almost smother her, leaving her with essentially no choice, and no life.  Her friend Paige and her brother Jacob respect the individual within Flora and encourage her to live in the present.

One important theme in the novel is the power of lies.  Several characters in this story are caught telling lies.  All of them harmful   Even Flora lies when she tells people that she remembers them  Without giving away any plot points, lying to protect someone, even ones self will always end up harming another, often in unseen or unexpected ways.

I highly recommend this book.  It will make you wonder about your own daily life, how much you have changed over the years and how important your memories of those changes are.

Cover image courtesy Penguin Random House Canada.

I received an advanced readers copy of this book from Indigo Books & Music Inc., in exchange for an honest review.


Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Needlework Tuesday: Too Easily Distracted

 It didn't take much to distract me from my needlework goals this week.  Mostly it was due to daughter and hubby taking a short trip east to explore a possible university for her grad studies.  The trip was a major success.  The smiles in her photos told me everything I needed to know.

I'm surprised how much of my emotional and physical time this trip took of me and didn't even travel with them.  I am greatly relieved that she loves the location.  Mother's are always concerned about their children's well being even when said kids are adults.

I did manage a wee bit of stitching while I was following their progress via social media channels.  I finished the third pair of fittens using the purple and green yarn and still have enough for a fourth pair.

Last night, I started this cotton trivet.  It's a free pattern from Ravelry called Cotton Trivet by Sarah Edelmaier.   It took a bit to get used to her writing style; one of those cases where a line of explanation would have gone a long way.  She doesn't start rounds with the typical chain 2 or 3, so I at first assumed she missed writing that step.

If you like doing back post and front post double crochets, you'll love this pattern.  I'm part way through row 4 and finally have the hang of the technique.  I do think this is a pattern I'll be making again and again.

I didn't get much accomplished on my leaf, a few more buttons, but not enough to share a photo.  I have no idea how many more buttons I'll add, but I'd safely guess 150+.  I'll keep counting and keep hope to have more progress soon.  Not sure if that will be next week as that is my yearly volunteer week which keeps me hopping.

 Needlework Tuesday is a regular weekly post where I share the progress of my various needlework projects over the past week. I enjoy the encouragement that I receive from my readers and in return visit their blogs and cheer them on with theirs. You are welcome to grab the cute little mouse and create your own Needlework Tuesday post. Leave a comment with a link and I'll be sure to visit with you.

 Mister Linky is waiting below for a link to your current needlework post.

Monday, 7 August 2017

Highland Master by Amanda Scott

 I think I've mentioned at least a few times previously that I like a man in a kilt.  Books with men in kilts work as well.  That led me to highland romances long ago.  Every now and then, I need a highlander fix, this week was one of those times.

Lady Catriona Mackintosh is used to having her way and tends to act on impulse.  When she finds a wounded man near the river, she immediately bends to help him, heedless of her safety.  She doesn't know it at the time, but he is a member of a clan that hers has been feuding with for far too long.

Sir Finlagh Cameron is on the way to find the head of the Mackintosh clan when a wayward arrow fells him.  Luckily, Catriona finds him and leads him to safety.

This begins our tale of the two unlikely romantic figures.  While I enjoyed the tale of how the two founded and worked out their romance, I found that the politics of the time cast too large of a shadow over their story.  It was had to follow who was who with characters having common names, plus official titles and often nicknames as well.  I was a third of the way through the book before I realized who most the people other than Cat and Fin were. This took away from my enjoyment of their tale.

I found that Cat was too head strong.  Not that that is not a good trait to have, but that she ignored warnings and guidance almost all the time.  Didn't seem realistic to me and it got annoying at times. 

On the whole and enjoyable story.  This is the first book author Amanda Scott's  Highland Knights series.

Cover image courtesy Hachette Book Group.


Saturday, 5 August 2017

The Reason You're Alive by Matthew Quick

As I was reading the opening chapters of this book, I thought I'd made a mistake and selected the wrong book.  I couldn't  identify with David Granger, the main character and wasn't comfortable with his colourful language.  I had pondered abandoning the book but recalling how much I had enjoyed one of his previous novels, I decided to read at least a few more chapters.

With each passing chapter, David's abrasive cover was chipped away and I began to meet the proud Vietnam vet who thrived below.  I was soon hanging on every word of this man I had thought I couldn't like.  There was so much more to him than first appearances could convey.  His frank way of talking and his colourful choice of words combined for a refreshing character.

By the time I reached the mid-point of the book, I could not put it down.  I had to learn how he would resolve his greatest regret.  At time, I did have to stop reading to wipe away copious tears. Some how, a man I didn't think I could understand made me care about him.

An excellent story.  It brought me face to face with a time, and soldiers I had only seen portrayed in movies.

Also by Matthew Quick

Forgive me, Leonard Peacock

Cover image courtesy Harper Collins Canada.


Friday, 4 August 2017

Special Offers: Coursodon Dimension #1 by M. L. Ryan

Who knew ebook readers could offer such danger and adventure.  After being invaded by a being from a another dimension via her new Kindle, Hailey Parrish found her life in a turmoil and her heart racing.

Sebastian was a bounty hunter and was killed on the job, more or less.  His protege came looking for him and found Hailey.  Sparks flew, but they had to first resolve Sebastian's dilemma before they could carry on with their relationship.

It was like eating popcorn, I couldn't stop reading this fun and quirky store.  Is chinchilla milking and cheese making really a thing?

The only part of the story I didn't enjoy was when Alex reveals about being an alien.  It didn't fit in with the rest of the writing style at all.  It was as though the author had no idea how to incorporate it in to the story so she just blurted it out and then moved on.  It took me a while to get over that interruption to the flow of the tale, but by the end of the book I was already eager to learn more of Hailey's adventures with the Coursodons.

Cover image courtesy of author M. L. Ryan