Sunday, 27 October 2019

Short post on a strange-weather morning...

It’s chilly and windy and wet and overcast, yet there are occasional bursts of sun on this strange-weather Sunday morning.  It’s actually just after noon, so it’s technically the afternoon, but it still seems like morning to me. I’ve got a steaming cup of chai and a slice of delicious vegan Date Bread in front of me.  I also have a piece of vegan chocolate brownie from a vegetarian cafe downtown. Both are yummy (this is the first time I’ve used apple sauce in my Date Bread in place of egg, and it is a delicious substitute!).
Since it is so late in the day, this will be a short post.  I read an interesting book last week by Australian author Jesse Blackadder.  I don’t know where I heard of this book, but In the Blink of an Eye was definitely a good read.  This novel, based on the author’s own experience in her childhood, is told from the points of view of three family members, father Finn, mother Bridget and son Jarrah, as they face the aftermath of the drowning of young son and brother Toby, a tragedy that changes their lives forever.  It was really well-written, but I felt it was a bit too repetitive, and I didn’t love the ending. Still, since the whole book takes place over a relatively short period of time, it makes sense that it would be focused mainly on the immediate grieving experience, and since we have three people telling the same story from their own viewpoints, it stands to reason that it would get a bit repetitive.  Overall, it was a good book, and if this is the type of book you enjoy reading, then I would recommend it.
And I finished listening to an audiobook last week, Peter May’s The Blackhouse.  This is the first in a trilogy, and I would definitely be interested in listening to the other two books.  Finn Mcleod is a detective in Edinburgh who has been on leave for the past month due to the loss of his son.  He goes back to work and is sent to join the team of police and detectives in a remote village on the Isle of Lewis off the coast of northern Scotland as they investigate the murder of local bully and thug, Angel McCritchy.  Finn grew up in this village and so can relate to the residents, and he speaks Gaelic. He is also sent because he was the lead detective in the investigation of a similar murder in Edinburgh before his leave, and must determine if these murders are linked.  He hasn’t been back to the island in nearly twenty years, and his return brings hearty welcomes from some and utter contempt from others. As he reconnects with people and places from his past, he is forced to reflect on his childhood experiences and face it all, no longer able to run away and hide from everything that made him the person he is today.  What follows is less a murder mystery than a series of personal recollections and stories that, while relating to the case, are sometimes too detailed and overlong for my liking. It was, however, well-written and I didn’t mind the details, as I love the wild, savage beauty of the Scottish landscape and will willingly enjoy it vicariously through May’s books.  And once I realized that there would be many of these recollections, I readjusted my expectations and just went along for the ride. If you are expecting a fast-paced thriller, this might not be the book for you, but I enjoyed it and will look for Book Two on Overdrive Media to download and listen to.
That’s all for today.  Enjoy the day and make time to read!
Bye for now…
Julie

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