Sunday, December 21, 2014


This was such an interesting story and yet so sad.  Lucy Ann, who lived most of her life as a man, was a remarkable person.  Abandoned by a beater husband and left with a small daughter to care for. She returned “home” to an unforgiving family.  After donning men’s clothing and cutting her hair she left her daughter behind to establish herself as a “proper wage earner” in a society that did not look kindly on divorce or even spinsterhood.
Klaber’s well researched volume relates Lucy Ann’s life with sympathy and sensitivity.  He deals with her misfortunes when discovered to be a woman dressing as a man and a woman living as husband with another woman.  The late 1800’s were not good years for a non-conforming woman.
Book groups will find a wealth of topics for discussion – our treatment of non-conformists, religion, woman’s roles, men’s roles, mothers who desert their children, “fallen” women, lesbians, mental illness, insane asylums and many others.
5 of 5 stars

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Good Dream by Donna Vanliere

THE GOOD DREAM    by Donna Van Liere
This was a quick read that held my attention to the end.    The story has two problems that occur to me. Although the action takes place only over a summer, the relationships that developed would likely take much longer to develop in “real life.”  Also, the boy’s disability (cleft palate) is unrealistically presented.
Setting aside the believability factor, the tale is well told, the characters are well developed and the place and time of the story are realistic and well described. The conversation and actions of the characters are correct for the time and place. 
Van Liere is described as a “Christian” writer but this tale is only briefly and peripherally “Christian”, rather the people and actions are those of well-meaning and moral people of any, or no, faith. I was pleased that not all the situations and persons get a happy ending in this charming tale of life in small town 1950’s era Tennessee.
3 ½ stars of 5

Monday, December 1, 2014

THE JOB by Evonovich and Goldberg

THE JOB  by Janet  Evanovich and Lee Goldberg
If you can suspend belief and think that FBI and CIA folk actually work the way they are depicted in this book, then you will like this take down of a notorious bad guy by an FBI operative and her criminal “charge.”  The authors have done a good job of explaining how the take down worked.  The characters are likeable and well crafted.  The “love story” element is just believable enough to be interesting. There is plenty of action. All the loose ends are neatly tied up.  This is a fun and quick read even if not very memorable. 
There is one problem with the story. I cringed when I read the arrogant “ugly American” remark in reference to the Blue Mosque, the Hagia Sophia and the Topkapi Palace.  “I know all about them. I saw a special on the Travel Channel...”   I have seen the Blue Mosque, the Hagia Sophia and the Topkapi Palace in person and a “TV special” could not possibly do them justice.  It was a throw away remark, but it jumped out at me as it would to anyone who has been in Istanbul and it would be quite offensive to locals.  Evanovich and Goldberg should know better. If they don’t, then their editor/fact checker should have challenged this remark and others.
4 of 5 stars for the genre.