Saturday, April 30, 2016

Review: Devil in the Grove Thurgood Marshall the Grovelend Boys and

Devil in the Grove Thurgood Marshall the Grovelend Boys and Devil in the Grove Thurgood Marshall the Grovelend Boys and by Gilbert King
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Gilbert King did an amazing job chronicling Thurgood Marshall's involvement in the case of the Groveland Boys. In 1949, among the orange groves of rural Florida, a young, white couple stopped alongside the road, getting their car stuck in the mud. Two young, black men, on leave from the Army stop to help. Tensions rise between the man and the two young men and accusations of rape against the wife are made the next morning. It was a case known throughout the country and the stellar Thurgood Marshall, then an attorney with the NAACP - LDF, comes to Florida to help defend the boys and two others that got caught at the wrong place and the wrong time.

King puts the reader smack dab in the middle of the Lake County, Florida, a hotbed of racial tension where the long arm of southern justice ruled the area. This should be a must read for everyone. It is a difficult topic to read, but it shows the reader how far we have come in the fight for Civil Rights and how far we still need to go. Marshall was a hero to many and his tenacity is something to be admired.

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Saturday, April 23, 2016

Review: The Charm Bracelet

The Charm Bracelet The Charm Bracelet by Viola Shipman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A charm bracelet. Each charm tells a different story. Each charm is a link to the past and offers hope for the future. A family heirloom that is unique for each wearer. For Lolly, her daughter Arden, and her granddaughter Lauren, each charm has a significance in their lives. Three generations of women reconnect during a Memorial Day weekend at Lolly's place on the shores of Lost Land Lake in Minnesota. Lolly is getting older and have troubles remembering, so Arden and Lauren make the trip back home to check on Lolly, while the concerns and stresses in their own lives are never far away. During their visit, Lolly reveals the stories of each charm on her bracelet and gives the girls some hope and guidance for their own troubled lives.

I really love the concept of this story. My own mom had a wonderful charm bracelet that she filled (two actually) as I was growing up. Much like the story, each charm was a beautiful memory for my mom. Once I was married, I started my own charm bracelet, that sadly I've not kept adding to in recent years (that's about to change). As I was reading this book, I would remember my mom's own bracelet jangling in the wind, much as Lolly's did. Viola Shipman did a wonderful job of bringing that bracelet to life. This was a heartfelt story with a clear message to remember the past, have faith in what the future holds, and to hold dear the important people in your life.

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Monday, April 11, 2016

Review: Virgins: An Outlander Novella

Virgins: An Outlander Novella Virgins: An Outlander Novella by Diana Gabaldon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Virgins is a short story in the Outlander series that provides a little bit of background on Jamie and Ian's early friendship. They are both in military service in France and this is before either of them are married. They are tasked with getting a Torah scroll and a beautiful doctor's daughter to Paris. Of course, they come up against unexpected odds along the way.

This is a very short story and it's never long enough for me, but it does provide some background on the friendship between Ian and Jamie. I don't think there is anything in this one that is necessary to know for the entire series.

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Friday, April 8, 2016

Review: Mother Knows Best

Mother Knows Best Mother Knows Best by Karen MacInerney
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the second installment of Karen MacInerney's mystery series centered around full-time mom and part-time private investigator Margie Peterson. Margie is a mother of two who is barely keeping it together. Her marriage is on the rocks, her daughter pretends to be a dog, and there's a pig problem for her to deal with. Her boss has wrangled her in to a case dealing with a dead man dressed as Aquaman and her vegan mother has come to visit to fix the bad karma in the house. There seems to be a connection between Aquaman and Margie's daughter's new private school and Margie has just one week to figure out who the killer is and get her daughter out of that school.

Karen MacInerney has a great sense of humor and it really comes out in this book. It's full of quirky characters and improbable situations. What will Margie get herself into next?

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