I love to read and escape into another time and place. Authors and publishers, I would be very pleased to receive books for review. If you would like me to review a book please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I mean to make you sigh as though your heart would break, and scream with the wanting, and at last cry out in my arms, and I shall know that I've served ye well.
And when my body shall cease, my soul will still be yours. Claire, I swear by my hope of heaven, I will not be parted from you.
I wept bitterly, surrendering momentarily to my fear and heartbroken confusion, but slowly I began to quiet a bit, as Jaimie stroked my neck and back, offering me the comfort of his broad, warm chest. My sobs lessened and I began to calm myself, leaning tiredly into the curve of his shoulder. No wonder he was so good with horses, I thought blearily, feeling his fingers rubbing gently behind my ears, listening to the soothing, incomprehensible speech. If I were a horse, I'd let him ride me anywhere.
"You are my courage, as I am your conscience," he whispered. "You are my heart - and I your compassion. We are neither of us whole, alone."
"Seems I canna possess your soul without losing my own."
"D' ye think I don't know?" he asked softly. "It's me that has the easy part now. For if ye feel for me as I do for you - then I'm asking you to tear your heart out and live without it."
"I do not know if the wound is mortal, but Claire - I do feel my heart's blood leave me when I look at you."
I am at the auto body shop and I have to stop to contain myself. I wipe the beginnings of tears from the corners of my eyes and take a deep breath. I am on page 326 and I'm about to cry amidst the smells of gasoline and oil. "Control yourself", I think. Yet...I continue on... I can't stop reading. The universal theme of loss of loved ones hits me like a ton of bricks. I cannot help but be affected by this story, one of motherhood, loss, guilt and grief. I am getting closer to the end of the "fairy tale" within the tale, and I find myself at odds....I want to know the ending, but I dread the knowledge of a terrible event that must be revealed.
Meredith and Nina are sisters, yet not very close ones any more. They lead very different lives, yet they share one thing...a need, a need to be comforted and loved by their seemingly cold-hearted mother. These sisters tried not to care that their own mother never looked at them and barely spoke to them. Nina makes a promise to her dying father to listen to her mother's "fairy tale" one last time, yet this time, she must hear it to the end. Little do these three women know that the telling of this tale will force them to reexamine their lives and thus change them forever.
This is one of those books that will stay with me long after I have turned the last page and cried my last tear. The author, Kristin Hannah, has done a marvelous job of moving between the past and present, from an apple orchard in Washington State to war torn Russia and finally to modern day Alaska. The way she interweaves the daughters' personal struggles with the mother's telling of her past in Leningrad is well done. She tackles many themes in this wonderfully written book....the ravages of war, the strength of women, the pain endured by mothers, forgiveness and healing. After reading this book, the reader learns how one's past affects one's future. As Kristen Hannah says, it all began with a sentence: "Sometimes, when you open the door to your mother's past, you find your own future." I highly recommend this book to those who enjoy books that are "part epic love story, part family drama, part historical novel". However, be warned...have a box of Kleenex nearby!