Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Rain Queen

By Katherine Scholes.


Here's a book that I absolutely loved reading! I am hopeless with words and can't describe the many emotions I felt while reading this book. Once you start on this book you can't put it down. It takes you to places that you have never been before and a place that you probably won't want to leave....that's the way I felt anyway!! The book is about witchcraft and christianity (...?), different cultures, intense love, real life and much, much more. I reccommend this book to everyone; I can nearly say that it has been the best book I have read in a long time (and I read all the time). So visit the library, go to the book shop, borrow it from someone; but make sure you read it!


EASTER, 1974


On a remote medical mission station in Tanzania, De Michael Carrington and his wife Sarah are savagely murdered. A white woman visiting the couple that night inexplicably survives the brutal attack, and a bloodstained fetish found with the bodies is adorned with locks of her long red hair.

The Carringtons' last guest is Annah Mason. Once an idealistic missionary nurse, she is now an outsider. Europeans view her with suspicion. But the Africans know her as a gifted healer, a friend of witches - and the great love of Mtemi, chief of the Waganga. They call her the Rain Queen.


Twenty years later, the Carringtons' daughter, Kate, is living in Melbourne. She has buried her childhood grief and no longer yearns to know what really happened to her parents on that terrible night. But then she meets her new neighbour - an eccentric old woman who cooks over a fire in the garden and shoots at snakes. Kate soon learns that she is not the only one with an African past - the Rain Queen has crossed the world to find her, to tell her a story that will finally set her free.....





Wednesday, September 21, 2011

just to make you smile...


ok.
so this is normally something i would put up on my own blog.
it gave me a giggle... and with the obvious subject reference i thought i would share it here.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Tuscan Rose
Belinda Alexandra



Just finished reading this gripping novel. Here is the basic plot:

A mysterious stranger known as ′The Wolf′ leaves an infant with the sisters of Santo Spirito. A tiny silver key hidden in her wrappings is the one clue to the child′s identity ...

Rosa′s only family is the nuns who have raised her. When she turns fifteen, she must leave them and become governess to the daughter of an aristocrat and his strange, frightening wife. Their house is elegant but cursed, and Rosa - blessed with gifts beyond her considerable musical talents - is torn between her desire to know the truth and her fear of its repercussions.

And all the while, the hand of Fascism curls around beautiful Italy, and none of her citizens is safe. Rosa faces unimaginable hardship: her only weapons her intelligence, intuition and determination ...and her extraordinary capacity for love.

A tale of sacrifice and reward, of beauty and horror, and of redemption as only Belinda Alexandra can deliver.

I have read three other books by Belinda Alexandra, all very intriguing and excellent reads:
Silver Wattle
White Gardenia
Wild Lavender

This latest saga doesn't disappoint. Plenty of twists and turns and very well written. Great character development. Probably the only downside to this book is the lasting images it created in my mind of the war atrocities committed by the Germans under the command of Hitler - these are described rather graphically in places and I don't deal too well with descriptions of human torture....

But if you like a great story that will have you reading late into the night, then have a look at Tuscan Rose or any other Belinda Alexandra novel. I'm hooked on them!

A final observation - Alexandra always manages to include Australian connections into her European historical themes. Gives it a sense of familiarity :)

Would love to hear form anyone else who has read her works....

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Mistress of Rome

When I borrowed this book from the State Library of Tasmania, I must admit that I was rather sceptical as to the writing style and genre.  For those who can’t read between the lines...is it “bloke’s book” with action, blood, suspense and intrigue.  Or “chick’s book” full of florid details on the love lives of the two main female characters (Thea and Lepida) who want the barbaric gladiator (Arius) as a lover.  Thea wants Arius for love, whereas Lepida wants him as another one of her trophies.
As the story unflolds these two women cross paths many times and each time they meet there is a shifting of power and status.
Here is a review from GoodReads:
First century Rome: a world of depravity, blood, and secrets. The enigmatic Emperor Domitian watches over all, fearing murder from every side . . . except from the woman who fascinates him most.
Thea is a slave girl from Judaea; musical, wary, and passionate. Purchased as a toy for the spiteful heiress Lepida Pollia, Thea and her mistress will become rivals for the love of Arius the Barbarian, Rome’s newest and most savage gladiator. His love brings Thea the first happiness of her life – quickly ended when a jealous Lepida tears them apart.
As Lepida goes on to wreak havoc in the life of a new husband and his family, Thea remakes herself as a polished singer for Rome’s aristocrats. Unwittingly, she attracts another admirer in the charismatic Emperor of Rome. But Domitian’s games have a darker side, and Thea finds herself fighting for both soul and sanity. Many have tried to destroy the Emperor: a vengeful gladiator, an upright senator, a tormented soldier, a streetwise child, a Vestal Virgin. But in the end, the life of the brilliant and ruthless Domitian lies in the hands of one woman: a slave girl who has come to be called the Mistress of Rome . . .
Based on the life and death of one of Rome’s most depraved Emperors.
So, what did I think?  I thoroughly enjoyed the book.  At times it the plot was contrived and predictable; however, there was enough suspense and intrigue to keep me engaged and keen to complete the book.  This is a good recommendation, as I will not read a book that doesn’t keep me enthralled or cognitively engaged.

And the verdict on “bloke’s book” or “chick’s book”?  It is a well crafted book that either gender will find enjoyable.  If you are into historical fiction, then I am sure that you will enjoy Kate Quinn's Mistress of Rome.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Great Expectations...


One of my favourite descriptive pieces in a book is from Great Expectations by Charles Dickens.
(I read it again on my holiday in Holland.)
It is an excerpt from the book where Pip is describing the scene he finds in Miss Haversham's house when he firsts visits:

"The most prominent object was a long table with a tablecloth spread on it, as if a feast had been in preparation when the house and the clocks all stopped together. An ├ępergne or centre-piece of some kind was in the middle of this cloth; it was so heavily overhung with cobwebs that its form was quite undistinguishable; and, as I looked along the yellow expanse out of which I remember its seeming to grow, like a black fungus, I saw speckled-legged spiders with blotchy bodies running home to it, and running out from it, as if some circumstance of the greatest public importance has just transpired in the spider community.
I heard the mice too, rattling behind the panels, as if the same occurrence were important to their interests. But the black beetles took no notice of the agitation, and groped about the hearth in a ponderous elderly way, as if they were short-sighted and hard of hearing, and not on terms with one another."

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Welcome

Hello and welcome to The Book Place.

This space gives you an opportunity to share great books you have been reading and find out about what others are enjoying. I look forward to your thoughts and musings :)

This blog has a home page (this one) for discussing books, a tab for borrowing books so you can see who has a book and ask for a loan if you wish, and a space for great quotes you discover along the way :)

Please join us and share your insights

Enjoy
Heidi