I'm hosting a special playdate here for two little girls - a trip for hot chocolate and to look at books, soon they'll be watching a movie and eating pizza and popcorn. So cute! I'm going to try to write a little something while they are occupied. In case you are interested how I am doing with Lost, I have begun the second season. It sure is different from the first with so many new characters and an overall different feel of the storylines.
I have a few books that I read in 2008 that I still need to review. Needless to say, I finished them quite some time ago so they are not terribly fresh in my mind.
In 2008 I read and reviewed Bound by Sally Gunning. The Widow's War was written before Bound and includes some of the same characters. The story, set around 1761, revolves around Lyddie Berry whose husband has died in a whaling accident. According to common laws at that time, a window only received 1/3 of what her husband owned, which left Lyddie only 1/3 of a house and the expectation that she would go to live with her daughter and son-in-law. Lyddie isn't happy living in their home, and challenging custom decides to go back to her husband's home to live. She meets adversaries and frustration every step along the way. I liked this book very much, and for many of the same reasons I liked Bound. A vivid historical setting with lots of details of everyday life, and interesting and headstrong characters. I prefer historical fiction to be about women, but not necessarily romance based. The Widow's War fit the bill and I'm hoping Gunning writes more about these characters and time period.
The Minotaur is Barbara Vine's most recent US release (her new book is coming out soon, I believe). It is the story of Kerstin, a young Swedish woman recently graduated from college who comes to live with the Cosways, an eccentric family in the English countryside. Her role in the Cosway's home is to be a nurse to adult son John who is so heavily medicated that it is difficult to tell if his diagnosis of schizophrenia is accurate. Vine creates a wonderfully atmospheric story, full of the everyday, but also the eccentric, unusual, and disturbing. There is a more modern feel to this story as compared to Vine's usual work, in keeping with the times. As is usual there is murder, and as is usual, I enjoyed this book very much. The only niggle I had with it is its ending, which I felt was abrupt and tied up much too quickly. If you're a Vine fan, this one won't disappoint.