I’m joining with Carolyn Astfalk and Catholic Mom for Open Book! Here’s what I’ve been reading for the past month!
A Dawning of Dying by John W. May
Amazon Synopsis: A Dawning of Dying is a collection of poems written over the course of ten years whose themes are intended to be both existentially and metaphysically curious, if not haunting. These are poems that were inspired by feelings of dread, sublimity and elation. The ideas behind many of these works orbit around life and death, beauty and pain, the world of nature and the world of myth and superstition. The collection is also coupled with an appendix of author’s notes relating to the styles, influences, contexts, and ideas behind the selected works within the volume.
My review: This is a beautifully written book of poems, which taken individually are crafted with the author’s unique richness in language and imagery. In his book, May admits that some of the verbiage is archaic. However, taken as a whole, these poems are an artistic beauty. The author also includes an appendix that “supports,” rather than “defines,” any given work. Highly recommend.
The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter
Synopsis: Two girls are forced into the woods at gunpoint.
One runs for her life. One is left behind . . .
The stunning new novel from the international #1 bestselling author—a searing, spellbinding blend of cold-case thriller and psychological suspense.
Twenty-eight years ago, Charlotte and Samantha Quinn’s happy small-town family life was torn apart by a terrifying attack on their family home. It left their mother dead. It left their father—Pikeville’s notorious defense attorney—devastated. And it left the family fractured beyond repair, consumed by secrets from that terrible night.
Twenty-eight years later, Charlie has followed in her father’s footsteps to become a lawyer herself—the ideal good daughter. But when violence comes to Pikeville again—and a shocking tragedy leaves the whole town traumatized—Charlie is plunged into a nightmare. Not only is she the first witness on the scene, but it’s a case that unleashes the terrible memories she’s spent so long trying to suppress. Because the shocking truth about the crime that destroyed her family nearly thirty years ago won’t stay buried forever . . .
My review: I enjoyed this page-turning thriller. I’ve read several of Slaughter’s books and enjoyed them. Her characters are extremely well-developed and the story is a multi-layered one that keeps the reader guessing until the end. I guessed a few plot points and was surprised by others. She uses the verb LOOK way too much (only an author/editor would likely notice). And there is swearing, bad language and intense scenes, so it’s not appropriate for young teens. However, excellent read. 4.5 out of 5.
Island of Two Trees by Brian Kennelly
To be published May 31, 2019
Synopsis: What would happen if you found yourself inside your father’s imagination?
This is the question Connor, Maggie, and Lucy are forced to answer in this adventure story within a story.
After creating a model island in their garage filled with castles, caves, mountains, forests, and villages, their father begins to weave a tale around the intricate craft, introducing a host of brave, mysterious, and wicked characters who serve two different magical trees for which their island is named.
But when their father begins to suffer from mysterious headaches, the children are summoned within the story—within his imagination—by the beautiful and virtuous queen. She informs them that they must confront and conquer a dark power that threatens to rip their father’s imagination apart, and in doing so, gain entry into our world.
The children set out to save their father, journeying across the very island where his story is set. Back home, as his imagination becomes cloudy and distorted, he struggles to see visions of his children and resorts to searching for signs and clues on the tiny model.
The Island of Two Trees is a soaring flight of the imagination and a tale that harnesses the power of love between a father and his children.
Review: on my to-read shelf.
Day by Day with Saint Faustina by Susan Tassone
Amazon Synopsis: These pages bring you a beautiful collection of spiritual treasures drawn from the celebrated Diary of Catholic visionary and mystic, St. Faustina Kowalska (1905-1938).
Arranged by an award-winning and best-selling Catholic author Susan Tassone into a handy, day-by-day form, these selections from Faustina’s writings on Divine Mercy revealed to her over the years in mystical conversations with Jesus himself will help you do what Jesus told Faustina he wants you to do: trust completely in His mercy and show mercy to others.
By means of these daily readings, you’ll come to know and be enriched by St. Faustina’s Secrets of Sanctity, awakening in you the qualities of Divine Mercy that Jesus himself infused into Faustina’s soul: mercy (of course), but also trust, humility, and peaceful acceptance of God’s will for you.
Since her death just over 80 years ago, St. Faustina has been a source of strength and inspiration for millions of souls across the globe, including St. John Paul II who canonized her in the year 2000. Today, she can begin bringing you, too, the strength and inspiration you need.
In Day by Day with Saint Faustina, you’ll learn how to:
- Grow daily closer to Christ in the Eucharist.
- Use your suffering to help others, including the souls in purgatory.
- Grasp the striking details of Faustina’s mystical experiences, prophecies, and revelations and discover what they mean for you in particular.
- Soon you’ll begin to experience in your soul the graces that were poured into hers.
You’ll find yourself becoming, like Faustina, an Apostle of Mercy, teaching others by word and example about the infinite love and compassion of God, who is Divine Mercy.
Review: On my to-read shelf.