I’m joining with Carolyn Astfalk and Catholic Mom for An Open Book.
Here’s what I’ve been reading during the past month!
The Name of God is Mercy – Pope Francis
Synopsis: This book is a conversation between Pope Francis and a Vatican reporter Andrea Tornielli about mercy and forgiveness.
My review: I enjoyed this book very much. Although Pope Francis has said some things off the cuff over the years that I have not necessarily agreed with, this book (which he had the opportunity to review before publication) is a beautiful book on the mercy and forgiveness of Our Creator.
Go Set a Watchman – Harper Lee
Amazon Synopsis: Twenty-six-year-old Jean Louise Finch—“Scout”—returns home to Maycomb, Alabama from New York City to visit her aging father, Atticus. Set against the backdrop of the civil rights tensions and political turmoil that were transforming the South, Jean Louise’s homecoming turns bittersweet when she learns disturbing truths about her close-knit family, the town, and the people dearest to her. Memories from her childhood flood back, and her values and assumptions are thrown into doubt. Featuring many of the iconic characters from To Kill a Mockingbird, Go Set a Watchman perfectly captures a young woman, and a world, in painful yet necessary transition out of the illusions of the past—a journey that can only be guided by one’s own conscience.
Written in the mid-1950s, Go Set a Watchman imparts a fuller, richer understanding and appreciation of the late Harper Lee. Here is an unforgettable novel of wisdom, humanity, passion, humor, and effortless precision—a profoundly affecting work of art that is both wonderfully evocative of another era and relevant to our own times. It not only confirms the enduring brilliance of To Kill a Mockingbird, but also serves as its essential companion, adding depth, context, and new meaning to an American classic.
My review: Like most of the other reviewers, I was disappointed in the writing and the characters. Without giving too much away, the writing is clearly not as polished as To Kill a Mockingbird. It definitely reads like a first novel, although I found it interesting how Jean Louise interacts with her father and beau, who do not seem to be on the same page as her regarding important life issues. I got this on the Bargain shelf of my local bookstore and couldn’t resist buying the hardcover for $8. I recommend it for those who are interested in finding out what sort of person Jean Louise grows up to be.
The Shattered Tree: A Bess Armstrong Mystery by Charles Todd
Amazon Synopsis: World War I battlefield nurse Bess Crawford goes to dangerous lengths to investigate a wounded soldier’s background—and uncover his true loyalties—in this thrilling and atmospheric entry in the bestselling “vivid period mystery series” (New York Times Book Review).
At the foot of a tree shattered by shelling and gunfire, stretcher-bearers find an exhausted officer, shivering with cold and a loss of blood from several wounds. The soldier is brought to battlefield nurse Bess Crawford’s aid station, where she stabilizes him and treats his injuries before he is sent to a rear hospital. The odd thing is, the officer isn’t British—he’s French. But in a moment of anger and stress, he shouts at Bess in German.
When the French officer disappears in Paris, it’s up to Bess—a soldier’s daughter as well as a nurse—to find out why, even at the risk of her own life.
My review: I’m currently reading this book, and I’m enjoying it immensely. I’ve read most of the Bess Armstrong Mysteries by Charles Todd and his mother, Caroline. They’re an excellent, polished writing team and usually come up with some intriguing plot lines. And for me, the cover is absolutely stunning!
The Face of the Earth by Deborah Raney
Amazon Synopsis: When Mitchell Brannon’s beloved wife sets off for home after a conference, he has no idea that his life is about to change forever. Mitch returns from work early that evening, surprised that Jill’s car isn’t in the garage. But her voice on the answering machine makes him smile. “Hey, babe, I’m just now checking out of the hotel, but I’ll stop and pick up something for dinner. Love you.” Hours later, Jill still hasn’t returned, and Mitch’s irritation turns to dread.
When the police come up empty, Mitch enlists the help of their next-door neighbor, Jill’s best friend, Shelley, to help search. As hours turn into days and days into weeks, Mitch and Shelley’s friendship grows ever closer—and decidedly more complicated. Every lead seems to be a dead end, and Mitch wonders how he can honor the vows he made to a woman who has seemingly disappeared from the face of the earth.
My review: On my To-Read shelf.