Monday, February 27, 2012

Lori's Book Sense

Welcome to this months edition of Lori's Book Sense.
I hope you enjoy these great titles I've chosen for you this month.

The French Girl by Felicia Donovan ~ The heartwarming story of a young French girl, Etoile, raised in a world of prejudice and despair, who becomes orphaned and is sent to live with her distant cousin and her cousin's partner. Embraced by their love and warmly welcomed by their community of lesbian friends, Etoile slowly discovers the true meaning of family – until the state abruptly threathens to take her away.

The French Girl is a beautifully written story of one little girl’s journey from inattentive mothering to unconditional, without reservation, instantaneous bonding. The author writes with such passion, such heart, that it is so easy to get caught up in this magnificent story  that it becomes not about whether there are two mommies or  two daddies, or a mommy and daddy in the home, but rather about the love, compassion, understanding, and guidance that the child is given. And that it truly does take a village to raise a child. The author does an amazing job of telling a story with such a difficult subject matter that you can actually feel the character’s joy, and your heart will break with their sorrow.

 You will remember this book long after you finish the last word. 

Before She Dies by Mary Burton ~ In death, they are purified. Holding his victims under water, he washes away their sins as they struggle for their last breath. Then he stakes their bodies to the ground, exposing them for what they really are. Witches, sent to tempt and to corrupt. No one knows about defence attorney Charlotte Wellington's murdered sister, or about her childhood spent with the carnival that's just arrived in town. For Charlotte, what's past is past. But others don't agree. And as a madman's body count rises, she and Detective Daniel Rokov are drawn into a mission that's become terrifyingly personal.

Before She Dies brings together a diverse cast of characters.  Along with Charlotte and Daniel, there is Grady, the owner of the carnival that comes to town, Sooner, someone from Charlotte’s past she never thought she’d see again, and Daniel’s Russian grandmother, a seer – the one person who truly can see and know things others can’t; making her a wonderful addition to the story.

 While I was able to figure out the culprit fairly easily, it didn’t stop me from enjoying the book at all. Instead, I quickly raced through the pages to see if I was correct, and to figure out just how the author would bring us to the explosive conclusion. Before She Dies is an electrifying thriller that clearly defines romantic suspense.

Lone Wolf by Jodi Picoult ~ In the wild, when a wolf knows its time is over, when it knows it is of no more use to its pack, it may sometimes choose to slip away. Dying apart from its family, it stays proud and true to its nature. Humans aren’t so lucky.

Luke Warren has spent his life researching wolves. He has written about them, studied their habits intensively, and even lived with them for extended periods of time. In many ways, Luke understands wolf dynamics better than those of his own family. His wife, Georgie, has left him, finally giving up on their lonely marriage. His son, Edward, twenty-four, fled six years ago, leaving behind a shattered relationship with his father. Edward understands that some things cannot be fixed, though memories of his domineering father still inflict pain. Then comes a frantic phone call: Luke has been gravely injured in a car accident with Edward’s younger sister, Cara.

Suddenly everything changes: Edward must return home to face the father he walked out on at age eighteen. He and Cara have to decide their father’s fate together. Though there’s no easy answer, questions abound: What secrets have Edward and his sister kept from each other? What hidden motives inform their need to let their father die . . . or to try to keep him alive? What would Luke himself want? How can any family member make such a decision in the face of guilt, pain, or both? And most importantly, to what extent have they all forgotten what a wolf never forgets: that each member of a pack needs the others, and that sometimes survival means sacrifice?

Another tour de force by Picoult, Lone Wolf brilliantly describes the nature of a family: the love, protection, and strength it can offer—and the price we might have to pay for those gifts. What happens when the hope that should sustain a family is the very thing tearing it apart?

It is clear that Ms Picoult did her research when writing this book. The understanding of the wolves and the lives they lead is incredibly detailed, right down to the positions the wolves take when feeding on a recent kill.  The info related to traumatic brain injury, the options families have, and what happened to some that were deemed incurable who have made remarkable recoveries is fully explored. With each chapter written from the perspective of a different character, Lone Wolf is the story of one family’s destruction and a tragedy that could bring it back together again. It’s the story of parents choosing sides, brother versus sister, life versus death, hope versus revenge, and finding forgiveness from those that matter the most. 


  1. Hey, Lori! I'm interested in reading the new Picoult, in particular, so glad to have your thoughts on this book. Thanks for once again adding to my tbr pile. Maggie

  2. Always look forward to a new Picoult novel! She's actually doing a signing/reading tomorrow in my neck of the woods! If I get to chat, I'll tell her you gave her new book a thumbs up!!

  3. I've discovered the Sunday radio show of Elaine Charles, called The Book Report, and I enjoy this show as it is different from one on a website. Elaine actually interviews the authors so you get to know more personal stuff about them which is great if you have a favourite author. I also like to know what research the authors do and the background to the novel. You might want to hear some of her show's on the website: