Month: January 2016

The Mountain Midwife – Laurie Alice Eakes

In “The Mountain Midwife” Laurie Alice Eakes asks us what makes a family and a community in crafting a story where these two themes play pivotal roles for the characters. Ashley Tolliver descends from a long line of Appalachian midwives and now she is left behind by her family, who have moved away to pursue medical careers. Hunter McDermott finds out that he’s adopted after a mysterious phone call from his mother, asking him to help his sister. “The Mountain Midwife” is a lovely tale, written with great skill, about these two characters and the actions that pull them into this small mountain community. For Ashley, the community is her family. All the women, she has assisted in birthing and their families rich or poor. For Hunter, his thoughts about the family unit are challenged, but he instantly has a connection and sense of responsibility to his biological mother. The Appalachian Mountains are a beautiful backdrop, while the characters try to navigate the tumultuous landscape of their lives. “The Mountain Midwife” makes the second book …

Delivering the Truth – Edith Maxwell

In 1888, a Massachusetts a mill town, known for its carriage industry, is subject to a vicious fire. Soon after the son of a factory owner is stabbed to death with a knitting needle. The main character is Rose Carroll, who is a Quaker midwife. She is a charming heroine and I can easily see how she can be the center of The Quaker Midwife Series. Being a midwife, Rose moves many circles in town, and the police officers purposefully asks her to keep her eyes and ears open, but Rose would have done so anyway; she is curious by nature. Through Rose midwifery, we meet high and low and see behind the façade of the individual households. As the knitting needle used in the murder is Rose’s own, her incentive to solve the crimes is high. I found the introduction to Quaker society to be a wonderful frame for the novel. The Society of Friends with their simple lifestyle and vows of peace and compassion balance the horrible crimes. That said, Rose isn’t a …

Joseph Brodsky

I studied Russian for a single year and I love the way the syllables round over the tongue. Take Brodsky’s full name for example: Iosif Aleksandrovich Brodsky. It tastes good. Brodsky defined himself as Jewish, a Russian poet, an English essayist, and an American citizen. Born in 1940 in Leningrad, Brodsky grew up in Soviet society with extreme poverty and totalitarianism. Brodsky began to write poetry early on, publishing in underground journals. He never really stuck with an appropriate career path. The Soviet government charged him with “social parasitism” in 1964, because he didn’t support the motherland. Brodsky’s poetry circulated in the West, and in his detention in 1964, he also became a symbol of artistic resistance. In 1972, he was strongly advised to emigrate. Brodsky wanted to stay in Russia, but was eventually “evicted” and flown to Austria. From there, he travelled to USA, where he found his future base, writing and lecturing at a number of prominent universities. Brodsky was award the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1987. Brodsky died of a heart …

Miles Away – Addison Kline

Miles Capadonno was sentenced to 17 years in prison for a murder, he didn’t commit. However, Miles spent the time getting smarter and stronger, and now as the end of his term, he is ready to get his revenge against the mastermind behind it all – his father. Miles is a part of the Capadonno crime family with their home base in Carrion, New Jersey. I find that the characters – especially the Capadonnos, who carry “Miles Away”. The family dynamics are exquisite and while the family reads mob all the way, the characters are developed individually. I love the pater familias, who is now bedridden and at death’s door due to cancer, but still the ruthless king and domineering mastermind. Miles’ siblings are equally well defined. Miles as a character is very bound to the music of Springsteen, and it is evident that Addison Kline took inspiration from a lot of mood-defining music throughout the story. There is plenty of Springsteen, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Bat for Lashes, Smashing Pumpkins to guide the reader …

Books v. e-books

Do you know the Hot Dudes Reading account on Instagram? It posts candid photos of hot guys in various public places, reading. As a legal professional, I do have some difficulties with photos posted without explicit consent, but those concerns aside, the Hot Dudes Reading account is a happy note, every time I thumb my way through the photos. I’m not desperately seeking at the moment, merely on the lookout for Mr. Right, but the tantalizing part of the photos isn’t the multitude of different guys, but the fact that they are reading books – not Kindle or e-books, but books. It’s reading books that is hot! And the books themselves! I know there are people out there that salivate over computers and reading devices, but I’m not one of them. The available titles may be the same, and in some cases e-books are surpassing real life books, but it still isn’t the same. You can’t really curl up with an e-book reader in the same way. You can’t flip through an e-book and feel …