Review of Sailors Of Stonehenge by Manuel Vega

From the publisher:

Former scientist and monk, Manuel Vega sheds new light upon prehistory, on the mystery that shrouds our ancestors the builders of megalithic monuments such as Stonehenge, Carnac, Avebury, Newgrange, Almendres or those at Orkney Islands. He also exposes the information hidden in the classical myths like Jason and the Argonauts, Hyperborea or the Twelve Labors of Hercules, and even in the legends of Atlantis and King Arthur, discovering in the process the cosmic roots of Christianity and Western Civilization. “Sailors of Stonehenge” contains more than a hundred images and figures. Continue reading “Review of Sailors Of Stonehenge by Manuel Vega”

April read list, plus updates

Where the heck does time go, anyway? Here I am not even quite a week into my new blog (!) and I’ve started to slack off on my reading already. Ah well, I guess old habits die hard. March is almost gone, and I figured I would start April off with a clean slate. I’ve got a pile of ARCs to review, which of course means they need to be read, and I thought if I posted my read list for all the world to see I might somehow shame myself into staying on a regular reading schedule and get it all done in a timely fashion. Heh. Hey, a girl can dream, can’t she? Continue reading “April read list, plus updates”

Review Of Sand Dollar by Sebastian Cole

 

 

From the publisher:

Noah Hartman, eighty years old, lies sick in a hospital bed recounting his life of love and loss to Josh, in his sixties, a wise and compassionate orderly who stopped in to bring him dinner. As Noah’s loved ones arrive one by one to see him, they listen in on his story, and we’re transported back in time to Noah’s younger years.

Though outwardly seeming to have it all, Noah, now thirty-five, is actually an empty, lost, and broken man running on automatic pilot. He has no true identity due to having allowed his powerful, wealthy parents to manipulate, control, and brainwash him from a young age. With the threat of disinheritance and withholding love and approval if he doesn’t comply with the plan they have for his life, Noah is lured in by the reward of great wealth and the illusion of running the family business empire some day. In truth, however, Noah is like a regular, everyday guy living a life that was not meant for him.

Enter Robin, twenty-five years old, who — in direct contrast to Noah — is a vivacious, free spirit. Full of life and always living in the moment, Robin’s love saves Noah by inspiring him to stand up to his parents and live his own life at all costs, reclaiming his true self.

While snorkeling in the Caribbean, the captain of the boat warns them not to disturb anything in the sea. Ignoring the exhortation, Noah dives down and snags a sand dollar from the ocean floor, whereupon it explodes in his hand. With the fragile sand dollar taking on new significance, Robin inexplicably leaves Noah shortly after returning from their trip. Like a passing breeze, she disappears out of his life without a trace, seemingly forever.

Years pass, and Noah still can’t get her out of his mind and out of his heart. After all, she’d always be the one who got away, the one he loved the most. That’s when he finds out about her hidden secret, an underlying condition responsible for her having left. Noah has no choice but to move on with his life without her, meeting Sarah and pursuing a relationship with her.

Years later, it’s Noah and Sarah’s wedding day, and Robin discovers a clue that Noah had surreptitiously sent her, inspiring her to race to the wedding to try to stop it. With the wedding in shambles, the scene jumps back to present day, with both Robin and Sarah placed in Noah’s hospital room. But which one did he choose?

Things are definitely not as they appear as Noah discovers a far greater truth about his past, present, and future. As Noah finishes telling his story, we are brought up to present day, where the pieces of a shattered love are put back together in the remarkable final chapter of his life. Continue reading “Review Of Sand Dollar by Sebastian Cole”

Review Of In the Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner

 From the publisher: For seven-year-old Raami, the shattering end of childhood begins with the footsteps of her father returning home in the early dawn hours bringing details of the civil war that has overwhelmed the streets of Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital. Soon the family’s world of carefully guarded royal privilege is swept up in the chaos of revolution and forced exodus.

Over the next four years, as she endures the deaths of family members, starvation, and brutal forced labor, Raami clings to the only remaining vestige of childhood—the mythical legends and poems told to her by her father. In a climate of systematic violence where memory is sickness and justification for execution, Raami fights for her improbable survival.

Displaying the author’s extraordinary gift for language, In the Shadow of the Banyan is testament to the transcendent power of narrative and a brilliantly wrought tale of human resilience.

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Review of North of Hope by Shannon Huffman Polson

From the publisher: After her parents are killed in a rare grizzly attack, the author is forced into a wilderness of grief. Turning to loves she learned from her father, Polson explores the perilous terrain of grief through music, the natural world, and her faith. Her travels take her from the suburbs of Seattle to the concert hall where she sings Mozart’s Requiem, and ultimately into the wilderness of Alaska’s remote Arctic and of her heart. 

This deeply moving narrative is shot through with the human search for meaning in the face of tragedy. Polson’s deep appreciation for the untamed and remote wilderness of the Alaskan Arctic moves her story effortlessly between adventure, natural history, and sacred pilgrimage, as much an internal journey as a literal one. Readers who appreciate music or adventure narratives and the natural world or who are looking for new ways to understand loss will find guidance, solace, and a companionable voice in this extraordinary debut.

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