Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Where My Heart Used To Beat by Sebastian Faulks


Robert Hendricks is an English psychiatrist, in the later years of his profession, who served as an officer during WWII. Robert had successfully managed to avoid all memories of his war time service until an intriguing letter arrived with an invitation to learn something about himself. 

Set in two time periods, the story is very detailed about the inhumanity of wartime and the effect of memories on a person.


The reviewer felt that the book was well paced and believable. It would appeal to both the war buff and the literary reader. It was a powerful story about love and war, memory and desire, and the relationship between the body and the mind.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Holding On To Mamie: My Mother, Dementia and Me by Elizabeth Murray


Had Elizabeth Murray not been absorbed with her own ill health, she might have been more concerned about her mother’s memory lapses and unusual behaviour. She wanted to believe that her mother’s actions were nothing more than the normal aging of a sometimes difficult and determined woman. It was easier to push aside her worries than to confront her fears that her mother was in the early stages of a debilitating disease.

Holding On To Mamie is a daughter’s poignant memoir of her mother’s bewildering decline from dementia. The symptoms – loss of short term memory, mood swings and a growing paranoia – all played a role in the insidious transformation of a once vibrant woman but it was her mother’s betrayal and the discovery of a cache of caustic notes that hurt her daughter the most.

Dementia became a relentless enemy as Mamie fought to avoid its grip and Elizabeth struggled to hold on to the loving mother she had always known.  Her story is a bittersweet recollection of the incredibly challenging years of her mother’s life with dementia.

Join us at either the Altona branch or Winkler branch to meet the author Elizabeth Murray during the week of April 25th! Call your local branch to find out the exact date and time of her readings!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

What the Bear Said : Skald Tales of New Iceland by W.D. Valgardson


What the Bear Said is a collection of Icelandic folktales, told by the author recalling his childhood memories growing up in Manitoba’s Icelandic Interlake. 

From the preface to the final story the reader is invited into the sacred place of Valgardson’s past, to feel the effects of New Iceland’s geography on a people who have tried time and again to celebrate their heritage by participating in their enduring tradition of storytelling. 

Each tale is told in a straightforward way, the subject of the stories is usually about something supernatural and there is always a moral to the story. The reader is invited into the Icelandic imagination and their age old belief in magic.
 
The reviewer has many memories of Icelandic relatives telling stories late into the night about the supernatural things that live in shadows, under leaves or are just out of the corner of your eye. In What the Bear Said the reviewer had the chance to relive some of their childhood memories with a renewed love for the Icelandic tales themselves.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Judas Child by Carol O’Connell



Sadie and Gwen, two young girls, inseparable best friends, are missing from the local private school for exceptional children. The worst part is that this isn’t the first time this has happened. Susan Kendall was a student at that same school, fifteen years ago, when she vanished, and although her killer was convicted, the similarities between the two crimes are eerie. 

Susan’s twin brother Rouge is on the police force now, and a brilliantly intense forensic psychologist brings him a theory that makes Rouge reconsider the man’s guilt. The investigative team follows every avenue, aware that time is running out for Sadie and Gwen... 
 
Judas Child is full of characters that are vivid and interesting,  and provoke strong reactions. O'Connell keeps several different story lines running, and keeps you guessing about everyone's motivations. There are some brilliant scenes, many of them involving Sadie’s mother, that hit hard every time. If Judas Child is not on your nightstand already, you need to put it there, pronto.