Goodreads Monday – August 28, 2017

Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme hosted by Lauren’s Page Turners . To take part,  simply choose a random book from your TBR and show it off.  Be sure to check out Lauren’s blog and link back to add your own links!

Today the book I’m going to show off is : Aquarium by David Vann

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Published March 3rd 2015 by Atlantic Monthly Press

 

Goodreads Description:

I was going to be an ichthyologist when I grew up. I was going to live in Australia or Indonesia or Belize or the Red Sea and spend most of my day submerged in that same warm water. A fishtank stretching thousands of miles. The problem with the aquarium was that we couldn’t join them.

Twelve-year-old Caitlin lives alone with her mother in subsidized housing next to an airport in Seattle. Each day, while she waits to be picked up after school, Caitlin visits the local aquarium to study the fish. Gazing at the creatures within the watery depths, Caitlin accesses a shimmering universe beyond her own. When she befriends an old man at the tanks one day, who seems as enamoured of the fish as she, Caitlin cracks open a dark family secret and propels her once-blissful relationship with her mother towards a precipice of terrifying consequence.

In crystalline and graceful prose, Aquarium takes us into the heart of a brave young girl whose longing for love and capacity for forgiveness transform the damaged people around her. Relentless and heartbreaking, primal and redemptive, Aquarium is a transporting story from one of the best writers working today.

 

My thoughts:

I’ve had “Aquarium” on my TBR for quite a while. It seems to have mixed reviews, but I’m very intrigued by the book description and hope to get my hands on it soon.

Have you read this one?

Any thoughts?

 

REVIEW – If the Creek Don’t Rise by Leah Weiss

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If The Creek Don’t Rise by Leah Weiss

Published August 22nd 2017 by Sourcebooks Landmark

5 Stars !!!

 

Wow. What an incredible read!

As soon as I read the first page, the first line, I knew it was going to be quite an emotional story.

“I struggle to my feet, straighten my back, lift my chin, then he hits me again. This time I fall down and stay down while he counts”

Sadie Blue is picking foolish pride at first when she stands up with her chin high until her good for nothing husband, Ray hits her again. When she falls this time she decides to stay down. Ray finally stops and leaves. Slamming the trailer as he walks into the woods.

Her daddy’s spirit comes to her telling her she needs to get away.

“If I could follow the bastard and kill him for you, I would, sweet girl, but it don’t work like that.”

She tells us her daddy treats her better in death than he did when he was alive…which is putting it mildly considering he once used a night with her in place of the five dollars he didn’t have for a hand in poker. Thank God he won the hand, but she felt he would have paid up if he’d needed too (she was ten).

And now I knew this wasn’t just going to be an emotional read but a heartbreaking one. But also one that I was going to have a very hard time putting down.

Her daddy wasn’t the same after Momma.

“He got nothing from loving mom cept me left behind”

When Sadie tells us about the night her daddy ended up dead ….well it’s heartbreaking too. Sadie Blue has had a hell of a start in life and so far the future isn’t looking much better. She knows she was a fool to fall for Ray, with his sassy grin that made her heart flutter. Her Granny could see his evil…

“You knock them fake stars outta your blind eyes, Sadie Blue, or you gonna lay with the devil and live in hell.”

Gladys Hicks is Sadie’s grandmother. There’s a good reason she’s able to see evil in people like Ray Tupkin right away. Life hasn’t been easy for Gladys. She’s a hard woman, not prone to cuddles and warmth. She figures that Sadie didn’t listen to her and now she’s made her bed and needs to lay in it or find her own way out of it. But all that doesn’t mean she don’t worry. She doesn’t like when her “ruminating” and “rememberings” take her places she don’t wanna go ….or don’t wanna leave.

Marris Jones is a second cousin by marriage and lives down the road. She’s full of sunshine and it irritates the heck out of Gladys.

I LOVE Marris. She’s full of love for everyone, including Gladys. She takes care of everyone, cooking and offering her support. And Marris knows things…things people don’t realize she knows. Marris is really worried about Sadie Blue. She loves her like she’s her own and hates seeing the life she’s living with Roy. She wants to help Sadie but doesn’t know how.

Sadie loves Loretta Lynn. She likes Loretta’s life story. How she grew up in a log cabin in a Kentucky holler and now she has a wonderful life.

“Miss Loretta is rich, but she’s my kinda people. She won’t turn up her nose at a simple life like mine.”

Now, Sadie has been married to Ray Tupkin for fifteen days…..and it’s already beating number three. But she’s making a plan.

“Roy Tupkin’s gonna be sorry he ever messed with me and Loretta Lynn.”

Everyone wants to get a look at the new teacher that has come. The previous teachers haven’t lasted and no one expects this one too either. The Preacher, Eli Perkins keeps trying to get a decent teacher for the kids and really hopes this one will stay. The teacher, Kate Shaw is described by some of the other folk as a tall, big woman with short hair who wears pants.

Will Kate find her way and decide to stay? Or will the locals drive her out like they did to the other teachers. And what will happen to Sadie Blue?

So many great characters. The author did a wonderful job of bringing her characters to life. I enjoyed their individual stories, though I wanted to know even more about some of them.

As emotional and hard as it was to read at times, a lot of the writing was touching and heartwarming. The kindness and compassion that many characters showed each other. I became very invested in their lives…especially Sadie Blue. I wanted things to turn out well for her and couldn’t read fast enough to find out how it would play out.

***Warning: the abuse was hard to read about. Men cold as ice with liquor, anger, and jealousy running through their veins. Full of hate, but so weak that they would take it out on someone who couldn’t or wouldn’t fight back.

Honest and gritty with a great plot. “If The Creek Don’t Rise” is an excellent novel. The story and fantastic characters will stick with me for a very long time.

Thank you to Netgalley and Sourcebooks Landmark for an advanced readers copy of this book for me to read in exchange for my honest review.

View all my reviews

REVIEW: Angels Burning by Tawni O’Dell

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Angels Burning by Tawni O’Dell
Published February 1st 2016 by Gallery Books 

 

4.5 Stars!!

This was the first my first read from Tawni O’Dell, but I doubt that it will be the last.

“Angels Burning” opens with the horrifying discovery of the body of a 16-year-old girl. The murdered girl, Camio Truly a member of the notorious and extremely dysfunctional Truly family that resides in the small Pennsylvania town. Police Chief Dove Carnahan, who has lived in the same small town for 50 years is determined find who killed Camio and why.

Dove and her team are investigating the case with Police Detective Nolan Greeley. Throughout the investigation some of the demons from Dove’s past pop up, and we learn more about the tragedies in her family’s past.

The author did a great job showing the dynamics of the small town and a great portrayal of the dysfunctions in some troubled families. The characters were quite detailed and I had an interest in all of them. Tawni O’Dell brings a lot of life to her characters and I understood them for who they were, even though most of them were people I would never want to know. I was rooting for Dove.  I enjoyed her  sister’s character as well as many others. One of my favorite characters was the young Derk Truly. The author’s description of him and his antics were priceless. Although this was a thriller, I found there were many entertaining and funny moments.

A lot of twist and turns both with the present murder case and also with Dove’s past. The book deals with some very upsetting issues but I thought that the author really handled them well. Of course as well as you can handle issues like murder and abuse etc.. In my opinion she gave the details but didn’t seem to go overboard in her descriptions.

It took me a little while to get into the story but once I did I found I had a hard time putting it down. My Kindle died when I only had about 20 percent left and I was right in the middle of an important part! I was excited to get back to this book. There was a lot going on but I never felt lost or confused. There were a lot of great twists and turns both with the current case as well as with Dove’s past. I liked the fact that I wasn’t able to guess what was going to happen next.

The plot was intriguing and compelling and I will definitely be reading more by Tawni O’Dell.

 

Throwback Thursdays: Kiss Mommy Goodbye

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Throwback Thursday is a meme created by Renee at It’s Book Talk to share old favorite books rather than just the new shiny ones. This is a great idea to bring back to life some much-loved books. Please feel free to join in.

My choice for this week is: Kiss Mommy Goodbye by Joy Fielding

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Published June 1,  1982 by Signet

 

Goodreads Description:

Donna and Victor were once madly in love, but after years of mental abuse, divorce is the only way out for Donna. Despite Victor’s threats, Donna wins custody of their two children, but when Victor takes the children for a weekend away, Donna has no idea what nightmare has just begun.

My Thoughts:

I am pretty sure that this is the oldest book I’ve used for “Throwback Thursday”. Released in 1982, I didn’t read it until the mid 90’s sometime. But I remember how it stopped me in my tracks. I’ve read all of this author’s books. But there are a couple that have really hit me hard, and this is one of them. When I read this I didn’t have any children yet. So I imagine it might be an even more emotional read for me now. I can remember the ending of this book like I read it yesterday. That’s saying a lot considering I have the worst memory.

In my opinion this was a great read that checked all the boxes for a great suspense novel.

I can’t wait to read it again!!