Friday, October 15, 2010

Foster













Foster by Claire Keegan
purchased from Kennys Bookshop
Synopsis from the publisher:
A small girl is sent to live with foster parents on a farm in rural Ireland, without knowing when she will return home. In the strangers’ house, she finds a warmth and affection she has not known before and slowly begins to blossom in their care. And then a secret is revealed and suddenly, she realizes how fragile her idyll is.


Winner of the Davy Byrnes Memorial Prize, Foster is now published in a revised and expanded version. Beautiful, sad and eerie, it is a story of astonishing emotional depth, showcasing Claire Keegan’s great accomplishment and talent.

My Take:
This was a very short book - a story, really.  I started reading it just because  it was the shortest book in my Kennys parcel. I was hooked from the first page. This is a simple story told from the little girl's point of view. Don't be fooled by the simple style and the brevity of the story. This is such a moving story. The girl has a stressful, chaotic life before she goes to live with the foster parents. The difference this couple make in her life is amazing. And in such simple, down to earth ways. This is a touching and memorable story.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Fall

The Fall: Book Two of the Strain TrilogyThe Fall by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan
purchased
Summary from Goodreads:
From the authors of the instant New York Times bestseller The Strain comes the next volume in one of the most imaginative and frightening thriller series in many, many years.  Last week they invaded Manhattan. This week they will destroy the world.

The vampiric virus unleashed in The Strain has taken over New York City. It is spreading and soon will envelop the globe. Amid the chaos, Eph Goodweather—head of the Centers for Disease Control's team—leads a band out to stop these bloodthirsty monsters. But it may be too late.

Ignited by the Master's horrific plan, a war erupts between Old and New World vampires, each vying for control. At the center of the conflict lies a book, an ancient text that contains the vampires' entire history . . . and their darkest secrets. Whoever finds the book can control the outcome of the war and, ultimately, the fate of us all. And it is between these warring forces that humans—powerless and vulnerable—find themselves no longer the consumers but the consumed. Though Eph understands the vampiric plague better than anyone, even he cannot protect those he loves. His ex-wife, Kelly, has been transformed into a bloodcrazed creature of the night, and now she stalks the city looking for her chance to reclaim her Dear One: Zack, Eph's young son.

With the future of humankind in the balance, Eph and his team, guided by the brilliant former professor and Holocaust survivor Abraham Setrakian and exterminator Vasiliy Fet and joined by a crew of ragtag gangsters, must combat a terror whose ultimate plan is more terrible than anyone has imagined—a fate worse than annihilation.

My take:
I think I liked The Fall as much as I liked The Strain.  This, the second book in the trilogy, goes into more of the history behind the strange happenings of The Strain. I could slow down to read and enjoy the back story presented in The Fall whereas the pace of The Strain seemed just frenetic to me.  We find out how Setrakian first encountered the Master and what happened to his wife and just exactly why he goes to such extremes to be prepared.  But then, naturally, towards the end, the pace picks up and leads to the ending which has me anxious to see how it all ends.

The vampires in these books are nothing like many of the vampires I've been reading about lately. I wouldn't say that they are "better", but they are most definitely creepier and dangerous and very worrisome. This is a dark book with little hope for the future of humankind.  There is this thing that the vampires do -- going back for their "Dear Ones" - family members, those they were closest to in life - because of a need to bring them into the new group. And, in this book the vampires are the victims of a parasite - so they are no longer really themselves, but controlled by the parasite from inside. The description of this parasite is very gross, but actually seems to be based on something that exists in nature - making it even creepier.

The struggle between the Master and The Ancients is interesting and I hope there will be more history about them in the third book.  I really enjoyed the storyline with Angel, the Mexican wrestler turned movie-star and the local gang members who are new and interesting characters and kept the action and tension going in this book.

This is not a feel good type of book, but it you are in the mood for a creepy, dark tale in time for Halloween, you might give it a try -- after reading The Strain, of course.  I am eagerly awaiting the next book, The Night Eternal. The title doesn't sound very optimistic.

Monday, October 11, 2010

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.

This is my first IMM post - and it may be the only one for six months or so. I got my parcel from Kennys Bookshop in Galway and I won't get another until March. All of these books were purchased by me through Kennys Book Club. Many of the books I receive are not generally available in the states so Amazon usually doesn't have cover images.

Foster by Claire Keegan
Ghost Light by Joseph O'Connor
Storm over Belfast by Mary O'Donnell (signed!(
You by Nuala Ni Chonchuir
The Oxford Book of Irish Short Stories
South of the Border by James Ryan
The Big Chapel by Thomas Kilroy


I can't wait to start reading from my new Irish To Be Read Pile.

Storm over BelfastThe Oxford Book of Irish Short Stories (Oxford Books of Prose & Verse)The Big Chapel (Revival)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Update and an Award

If things here seem to have slowed down somewhat, that is because they have. As I state in my "About Me" section, I am a homeschooling mom and things get very busy with the start of each new school year. We are busy with learning, music lessons, dance lessons and rehearsals. Much more of my time is taken up with planning, researching, school-related-reading, etc., so my time to blog is more limited right now.

I am still reading towards my R.I.P. V goals as well as Reading the Romantics. I have a review in the works for The Fall by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuch Hogan and I am still reading The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that Mandy of Mandy's Escape had passed an award on to me! So, thank you Mandy for thinking of me for The Versatile Blogger Award!

So, here's the drill for all award winners:


a) Thank and link back to the person who gave you this award.
b) Share 7 things about yourself.
c) Pass the award along to 10 bloggers who you have recently discovered and who you think are fantastic.
d) Contact the bloggers you've picked and let them know about the award.

And now, seven things about me:
1. I'm the oldest child in my family.
2. I've been to more concerts than my husband.
3. I have very curly hair and hate it -- even though I think curly hair is adorable on other people.
4. I hate doing laundry.
5. I love candles.
6. I used to work in accounting.
7. I am of Irish and Scottish descent.

I am happy to pass this award along to:
1. Book Chick City
2. Little Squeed
3. The Book Frog
4. Mindful Musings
5. Another Book Junkie
6. The Nerd's Wife
7. Blkosiner's Book Blog
8. Bewitched Bookworms
9. A Little Bookish
10. The Allure of Books