Publisher: Scribner

Waiting on Wednesday – The Wolves of Winter: A Novel by Tyrell Johnson

September 6, 2017 Bonnie Waiting on Wednesday 3 Comments

Waiting on Wednesday – The Wolves of Winter: A Novel by Tyrell JohnsonThe Wolves of Winter: A Novel by Tyrell Johnson
Published by Scribner on January 2nd 2018
Pages: 320
Genres: Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic
Format: Hardcover
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A captivating tale of humanity pushed beyond its breaking point, of family and bonds of love forged when everything is lost, and of a heroic young woman who crosses a frozen landscape to find her destiny. This debut novel is written in a post-apocalyptic tradition that spans The Hunger Games and Station Eleven but blazes its own distinctive path.

Forget the old days. Forget summer. Forget warmth. Forget anything that doesn’t help you survive in the endless white wilderness beyond the edges of a fallen world.

Lynn McBride has learned much since society collapsed in the face of nuclear war and the relentless spread of disease. As the memories of her old life continue to haunt, she’s forced to forge ahead in the snow-drifted Canadian Yukon, learning how to hunt and trap and slaughter.

Shadows of the world before have found her tiny community—most prominently in the enigmatic figure of Jax, who brings with him dark secrets of the past and sets in motion a chain of events that will call Lynn to a role she never imagined.

Simultaneously a heartbreakingly sympathetic portrait of a young woman searching for the answer to who she is meant to be and a frightening vision of a merciless new world in which desperation rules, The Wolves of Winter is enveloping, propulsive, and poignant.

Somehow, despite all the post-apocalyptic stories I’ve read, I still can’t get enough. This debut novel gives me Ree Dolly (Winter’s Bone) in a post-apocalyptic setting which I am here for.

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What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

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Waiting on Wednesday – Sleeping Beauties: A Novel by Stephen King and Owen King

April 5, 2017 Bonnie Waiting on Wednesday 10 Comments

Waiting on Wednesday – Sleeping Beauties: A Novel by Stephen King and Owen KingSleeping Beauties: A Novel by Stephen King, Owen King
Published by Scribner on September 26th 2017
Pages: 720
Genres: Horror, Fantasy
Format: Hardcover
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Goodreads

Also by this author: Doctor Sleep, Cujo, Pet Sematary, Sleeping Beauties

In this spectacular father-son collaboration, Stephen King and Owen King tell the highest of high-stakes stories: what might happen if women disappeared from the world of men?

In a future so real and near it might be now, something happens when women go to sleep; they become shrouded in a cocoon-like gauze. If they are awakened, if the gauze wrapping their bodies is disturbed or violated, the women become feral and spectacularly violent; and while they sleep they go to another place. The men of our world are abandoned, left to their increasingly primal devices. One woman, however, the mysterious Evie, is immune to the blessing or curse of the sleeping disease. Is Evie a medical anomaly to be studied, or is she a demon who must be slain? Set in a small Appalachian town whose primary employer is a women’s prison

Sleeping Beauties is wildly provocative and gloriously absorbing.

About Owen King

I'm the author of the novel Double Feature and We're All In This Together: A Novella and Stories, co-editor (with John McNally) of the anthology Who Can Save Us Now, and co-author (with Mark Poirier) of the graphic novel Intro to Alien Invasion. My writing has appeared in publications such as Grantland, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Prairie Schooner, Subtropics, Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet, and One Story. My next book, Sleeping Beauties, a novel co-authored with Stephen King, will be published by Scribner in 2017.

My wife is the beautiful and mysterious Kelly Braffet. She has written three wonderful books, but my personal favorite is Save Yourself.

About Stephen King

Stephen King was born in Portland, Maine in 1947, the second son of Donald and Nellie Ruth Pillsbury King. He made his first professional short story sale in 1967 to Startling Mystery Stories. In the fall of 1973, he began teaching high school English classes at Hampden Academy, the public high school in Hampden, Maine. Writing in the evenings and on the weekends, he continued to produce short stories and to work on novels. In the spring of 1973, Doubleday & Co., accepted the novel Carrie for publication, providing him the means to leave teaching and write full-time. He has since published over 50 books and has become one of the world's most successful writers.

Stephen lives in Maine and Florida with his wife, novelist Tabitha King. They are regular contributors to a number of charities including many libraries and have been honored locally for their philanthropic activities.

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I cannot get over this cover — absolutely to die for — and damn, does it sound good!

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

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Waiting on Wednesday – End of Watch (Bill Hodges Trilogy #3) by Stephen King

March 9, 2016 Bonnie Waiting on Wednesday 1 Comment

Waiting on Wednesday – End of Watch (Bill Hodges Trilogy #3) by Stephen KingEnd of Watch by Stephen King
Series: Bill Hodges Trilogy #3
Published by Scribner on June 7th 2016
Pages: 496
Genres: Mystery, Detective
Amazon|B&N|Book Depository
Goodreads

Also by this author: Doctor Sleep, Cujo, Pet Sematary

Brady Hartsfield, perpetrator of the Mercedes Massacre, where eight people were killed and many more were badly injured, has been in the Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic for five years, in a vegetative state. According to his doctors, anything approaching a complete recovery is unlikely. But behind the drool and stare, Brady is awake, and in possession of deadly new powers that allow him to wreak unimaginable havoc without ever leaving his hospital room.

Retired police detective Bill Hodges, the unlikely hero of Mr. Mercedes and Finders Keepers, now runs an investigation agency with his partner, Holly Gibney, who delivered the blow to Hartsfield's head that put him on the brain injury ward. Brady also remembers that. When Bill and Holly are called to a murder-suicide with ties to the Mercedes Massacre, they find themselves pulled into their most dangerous case yet, one that will put not only their lives at risk, but those of Hodges’s friend Jerome Robinson and his teenage sister, Barbara. Because Brady Hartsfield is back, and planning revenge not just on Bill Hodges and his friends, but on an entire city.

In End of Watch, Stephen King brings the Hodges trilogy to a sublimely terrifying conclusion, combining the detective fiction of Mr. Mercedes and Finders Keepers with the supernatural suspense that has been his trademark. The result is an unnerving look at human vulnerability and up-all-night entertainment.

About Stephen King

Stephen King was born in Portland, Maine in 1947, the second son of Donald and Nellie Ruth Pillsbury King. He made his first professional short story sale in 1967 to Startling Mystery Stories. In the fall of 1973, he began teaching high school English classes at Hampden Academy, the public high school in Hampden, Maine. Writing in the evenings and on the weekends, he continued to produce short stories and to work on novels. In the spring of 1973, Doubleday & Co., accepted the novel Carrie for publication, providing him the means to leave teaching and write full-time. He has since published over 50 books and has become one of the world's most successful writers.

Stephen lives in Maine and Florida with his wife, novelist Tabitha King. They are regular contributors to a number of charities including many libraries and have been honored locally for their philanthropic activities.

I had to do this one because it was just announced that King will be coming to my town in June! Confession: I’ve never been to a single author signing. For King to be the first one I ever go to? There are no words to describe my crazy emotions. Chandler understands.

(That one’s for you, Dani.)

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

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Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine

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Waiting on Wednesday – Cambodia Noir: A Novel by Nicholas Seeley

January 20, 2016 Bonnie Waiting on Wednesday 4 Comments

Waiting on Wednesday – Cambodia Noir: A Novel by Nicholas SeeleyCambodia Noir: A Novel by Nicholas Seeley
Published by Scribner on March 15th 2016
Pages: 352
Genres: Mystery, Noir
Format: Hardcover
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A high-octane thriller with a heart-stopping conclusion about a mysterious American woman who disappears into the Cambodian underworld, and the photojournalist who tracks her through the clues left in her diary.

Phnom Penh, Cambodia: The end of the line. Lawless, drug-soaked, forgotten—it’s where bad journalists go to die. For once-great war photographer Will Keller, that’s kind of a mission statement: he spends his days floating from one score to the next, taking any job that pays; his nights are a haze of sex, drugs, booze, and brawling. But Will’s spiral toward oblivion is interrupted by Kara Saito, a beautiful young woman who shows up and begs Will to help find her sister, June, who disappeared during a stint as an intern at the local paper.

There’s a world of bad things June could have gotten mixed up in. The Phnom Penh underworld is in an uproar after a huge drug bust; a local reporter has been murdered in a political hit; and the government and opposition are locked in a standoff that could throw the country into chaos at any moment. Will’s best clue is June’s diary: an unsettling collection of experiences, memories, and dreams, reflecting a young woman at once repelled and fascinated by the chaos of Cambodia. As Will digs deeper into June’s past, he uncovers one disturbing fact after another about the missing girl and her bloody family history. In the end, the most dangerous thing in Cambodia may be June herself.

Propulsive, electric, and filled with unforgettable characters, Cambodia Noir marks the arrival of a fresh new talent. Nick Seeley is an ambitious, wildly imaginative author and his enthralling debut explores what happens when we venture into dark places…when we get in over our heads…and when we get lost.

About Nicholas Seeley

Nick Seeley is an international journalist based over the past decade in the Middle East and Southeast Asia. His work has appeared in The Christian Science Monitor, Foreign Policy Magazine, Middle East Report, and Traveler’s Tales, among others. His fiction and criticism has been published in Strange Horizons. He is originally from Fairfax, Virginia. Cambodia Noir is his first novel.

This sounds like one incredibly thrilling debut novel that harkens back to noir authors such as Chandler and Hammett. Seeley is also a journalist and is said to have taken actual events and wove them into this fictional tale. As if I wasn’t already sold, Publishers Weekly has said Cambodia Noir possesses “echoes of Twin Peaks and the bleakest works of Jim Thompson”. Good enough for me.

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

dvd-pearl

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine

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Book Review – Dear Mr. You by Mary-Louise Parker

December 18, 2015 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2015 2 Comments

Book Review – Dear Mr. You by Mary-Louise ParkerDear Mr. You by Mary-Louise Parker
Published by Scribner on November 10th 2015
Pages: 240
Genres: Literary Fiction, Memoir, Non-Fiction
Format: eBook
Source: Library
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five-stars

A wonderfully unconventional literary debut from the award-winning actress Mary-Louise Parker.

An extraordinary literary work, Dear Mr. You renders the singular arc of a woman’s life through letters Mary-Louise Parker composes to the men, real and hypothetical, who have informed the person she is today. Beginning with the grandfather she never knew, the letters range from a missive to the beloved priest from her childhood to remembrances of former lovers to an homage to a firefighter she encountered to a heartfelt communication with the uncle of the infant daughter she adopted. Readers will be amazed by the depth and style of these letters, which reveal the complexity and power to be found in relationships both loving and fraught.

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The thing about books written by celebrities, especially non-fiction stories about their lives, is you have a predisposed idea of who they are as people. This idea can culminate through various ways such as the characters they play in movies/shows or the various stories that gossip magazines publish about them. And while I always felt that Mary Louise-Parker was a fascinating person, Dear Mr. You only made this all the more apparent.

“I wrote about us while you were away in a notebook that eventually saw the end of us, but the last I wrote about that time was in ink; it was a hurried, angry scrawl reading: Time, that cold bastard, with its nearlys and untils. I think, what a shame. Time should weep for having spent me without you.”

It has to be said, but I did not expect Mary Louise-Parker to be as remarkable a writer as she clearly is. I recently stumbled upon an article where she talks about her top ten favorite books and over half of them were poetry collections, so it’s clear where her poetic quality comes from. I read the majority of this book out loud to myself, simply because I wanted to slow down my normally fast-paced reading to better appreciate this small but stunning story. Her eloquence is something to truly aspire to.

As the title suggests, this is a collection of letters to the men that have in some way shape or form had an impact on her life. There was the occasional letter that was a miss for me, like the obscure one she wrote to a goat named Gem, but the majority of her letters moved me to unforeseen levels of emotion. Her letters run the gamut of emotions. The letter to Oyster Picker, recounting her father’s final moments on this Earth brought me to tears. This isn’t an easy thing to do, but I sobbed quietly, reading her profound words and then going back to re-read certain passages even though it was well past my bedtime. But there were also laughs, my favorite being the letter to her Former Boyfriend where she describes him eating all the guacamole off her plate and seething with rage she calmly picked up a fork and stabbed him through the hand. I’m not doing it justice but it truly was hilarious; I’m still chuckling in remembrance as I write this.

Parker has led a most fascinating life, full of delightful people, and it was a real treat being granted this glimpse into her life. At the end of this collection, she recollects how her father made her promise him she would always keep writing and I do hope that promise is fulfilled. It would be fantastic to see her recount her life again in letters, with a focus on the women instead. Bottom line, I do hope this isn’t the last we haven’t seen of Parker in the literary world.

“I love that sensation, when you think, this is too good, I’ll catch up with everyone else later. You just have to take in the truth of that expanse a few more seconds before it changes and becomes something else entirely, or before you do.”

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Waiting on Wednesday – The Bazaar of Bad Dreams: Stories by Stephen King

June 10, 2015 Bonnie Waiting on Wednesday 2 Comments

Waiting on Wednesday – The Bazaar of Bad Dreams: Stories by Stephen KingThe Bazaar of Bad Dreams: Stories by Stephen King
Published by Scribner on November 3rd 2015
Pages: 512
Genres: Horror, Short Stories
Format: Hardcover
Amazon|B&N|Book Depository
Goodreads

Also by this author: Doctor Sleep, Cujo, Pet Sematary

A master storyteller at his best—the O. Henry Prize winner Stephen King delivers a generous collection of stories, several of them brand-new, featuring revelatory autobiographical comments on when, why, and how he came to write (or rewrite) each story.

Since his first collection, Nightshift, published thirty-five years ago, Stephen King has dazzled readers with his genius as a writer of short fiction. In this new collection he assembles, for the first time, recent stories that have never been published in a book. He introduces each with a passage about its origins or his motivations for writing it.

There are thrilling connections between stories; themes of morality, the afterlife, guilt, what we would do differently if we could see into the future or correct the mistakes of the past. “Afterlife” is about a man who died of colon cancer and keeps reliving the same life, repeating his mistakes over and over again. Several stories feature characters at the end of life, revisiting their crimes and misdemeanors. Other stories address what happens when someone discovers that he has supernatural powers—the columnist who kills people by writing their obituaries in “Obits;” the old judge in “The Dune” who, as a boy, canoed to a deserted island and saw names written in the sand, the names of people who then died in freak accidents. In “Morality,” King looks at how a marriage and two lives fall apart after the wife and husband enter into what seems, at first, a devil’s pact they can win.

Magnificent, eerie, utterly compelling, these stories comprise one of King’s finest gifts to his constant reader—“I made them especially for you,” says King. “Feel free to examine them, but please be careful. The best of them have teeth.”

About Stephen King

Stephen King was born in Portland, Maine in 1947, the second son of Donald and Nellie Ruth Pillsbury King. He made his first professional short story sale in 1967 to Startling Mystery Stories. In the fall of 1973, he began teaching high school English classes at Hampden Academy, the public high school in Hampden, Maine. Writing in the evenings and on the weekends, he continued to produce short stories and to work on novels. In the spring of 1973, Doubleday & Co., accepted the novel Carrie for publication, providing him the means to leave teaching and write full-time. He has since published over 50 books and has become one of the world's most successful writers.

Stephen lives in Maine and Florida with his wife, novelist Tabitha King. They are regular contributors to a number of charities including many libraries and have been honored locally for their philanthropic activities.

I still have a ton of King novels to get through but I believe the short stories I’ve read are by far his best work with Night Shift being my absolute favorite. I adore that extremely creepy cover too!

What are you waiting on this Wednesday? Leave me a link to your post and I’ll be sure to stop by!

dvd-pearl

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine

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Banned Books Week – Brokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx

September 27, 2014 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2014 2 Comments

Banned Books Week – Brokeback Mountain by Annie ProulxBrokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx
Narrator: Campbell Scott
Published by Scribner on October 13, 1997
Length: 1 hour and 4 minutes
Genres: Contemporary, LGBTQIA, Romance, Western
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
Amazon|B&N|Book Depository
Goodreads


three-stars

Annie Proulx has written some of the most original and brilliant short stories in contemporary literature, and for many readers and reviewers, "Brokeback Mountain" is her masterpiece.

Ennis del Mar and Jack Twist, two ranch hands, come together when they're working as sheepherder and camp tender one summer on a range above the tree line. At first, sharing an isolated tent, the attraction is casual, inevitable, but something deeper catches them that summer.

Both men work hard, marry, and have kids because that's what cowboys do. But over the course of many years and frequent separations this relationship becomes the most important thing in their lives, and they do anything they can to preserve it.

The New Yorker won the National Magazine Award for Fiction for its publication of "Brokeback Mountain," and the story was included in Prize Stories 1998: The O. Henry Awards. In gorgeous and haunting prose, Proulx limns the difficult, dangerous affair between two cowboys that survives everything but the world's violent intolerance.

‘There was some open space between what he knew and what he tried to believe, but nothing could be done about it, and if you can’t fix it you’ve got to stand it.’

 Brokeback Mountain is the well-known story, written by Annie Proulx, about two Wyoming ranch hands that fall in love one summer in 1963. The two inevitably separate and continue on with their lives, both marrying and starting their own families. Their affair continues though for the next twenty years and is a constant source of both anguish and bliss for both parties.

This story is a short one, just 64 pages, but Proulx’s writing manages to still fully express the tenacity of Ennis and Jack’s bond with one another. While that tenacity was fully expressed, I did still wish for more of an in-depth look at the two of them by the final page. Their ending came much too soon. I had never seen the movie before, only knowing it as the movie about the gay cowboys. Admittedly, sure, it is about two gay cowboys but setting aside that unnecessary description, what this story truly is at heart is a story about passion and longing. It’s about finding that one person that you can’t get enough of. That one person that without them, your life is missing a vital piece of the puzzle. It’s a touching and heartbreaking story that will leave you wishing for even half of that type of passion in your life.

In 2005, St. Andrew’s Episcopal School in Austin, Texas returned a 3 million dollar donation rather than submit to that donor’s request that Brokeback Mountain be removed from the list of optional reading for twelfth graders.

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Book Review – Mr. Mercedes (Bill Hodges Trilogy #1) by Stephen King

August 15, 2014 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2014 11 Comments

Book Review – Mr. Mercedes (Bill Hodges Trilogy #1) by Stephen KingMr. Mercedes by Stephen King
Series: Bill Hodges Trilogy #1
Published by Scribner on June 3rd 2014
Pages: 436
Genres: Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Amazon|B&N
Goodreads

Also by this author: Doctor Sleep, Cujo, Pet Sematary

three-half-stars

In the frigid pre-dawn hours, in a distressed Midwestern city, hundreds of desperate unemployed folks are lined up for a spot at a job fair. Without warning, a lone driver plows through the crowd in a stolen Mercedes, running over the innocent, backing up, and charging again. Eight people are killed; fifteen are wounded. The killer escapes.

In another part of town, months later, a retired cop named Bill Hodges is still haunted by the unsolved crime. When he gets a crazed letter from someone who self-identifies as the "perk" and threatens an even more diabolical attack, Hodges wakes up from his depressed and vacant retirement, hell-bent on preventing another tragedy.

Brady Hartfield lives with his alcoholic mother in the house where he was born. He loved the feel of death under the wheels of the Mercedes, and he wants that rush again.

Only Bill Hodges, with a couple of highly unlikely allies, can apprehend the killer before he strikes again. And they have no time to lose, because Brady’s next mission, if it succeeds, will kill or maim thousands.

Mr. Mercedes is a war between good and evil, from the master of suspense whose insight into the mind of this obsessed, insane killer is chilling and unforgettable.

‘Life is a crap carnival with shit prizes.’

Bill Hodges is a retired detective that spends his days now sitting in front of his TV, stroking his gun and contemplating suicide. He remains haunted by the unsolved cases he left behind, most especially one where someone ran down a group of innocents waiting for a job fair to open. When Hodges receives a letter from the individual that supposedly committed the crime, it manages to revive his sense of purpose and gives him a new reason to live. This time he’s determined to prevent him from acting out his next heinous crime.

Mr. Mercedes isn’t exactly horror, but it’s certainly horrific. It’s best identified as a crime thriller and lacks the anticipated supernatural aspect that is usually key to King’s stories. It feels more akin to something James M. Cain, Raymond Chandler or Dashiell Hammett would have written but Mr. Mercedes still manages to possess that certain something that is most definitely ‘King’.

What’s most impressive about this well-written bad guy is we’re given his identity from the very start and yet the story still manages to be full of surprises. The story occasionally has a scene from the point of view of Mr. Mercedes himself, Brady Hartfield, that will leave you unsettled, to say the least. This guy is one seriously twisted bastard that is not only murderous but is incredibly smart which is one distressing combination.

“Creepy as hell. You ever see that TV movie about the clown in the sewer?”

Even for those of you who have not read It (myself included, because, fuck you clowns) will still likely be able to recognize the references to the cult classic. Add to that is the ice cream truck on the back cover of the book that is parked in a puddle of blood while more blood rains down so you figure the ice cream truck is NOT a good thing even though everybody loves the ice cream man. Well, not anymore my friend. I actually heard the ice cream truck drive by my house while reading this, no joke, and I almost had a small aneurysm. So thanks, Stephen King, for ruining ice cream for me.

Mr. Mercedes may not be what most have come to expect from King, but who honestly knows what to expect from that man anyways? It’s no less thrilling and no less of an enthralling page turner. Highly recommended for fans of crime thrillers and for those that don’t love ice cream.

Night Film by Marisha Pessl {PurchaseMy Review}
The Cuckoo’s Calling (Cormoran Strike #1) by Robert Galbraith {PurchaseMy Review}
The Coffin Dancer (Lincoln Rhyme #2) by Jeffery Deaver {Purchase}

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Waiting on Wednesday – Revival by Stephen King

March 19, 2014 Bonnie Waiting on Wednesday 5 Comments

Waiting on Wednesday – Revival by Stephen KingRevival by Stephen King
Published by Scribner on November 11, 2014
Pages: 512
Genres: Horror
Format: Hardcover
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Doctor Sleep, Cujo, Pet Sematary

From master storyteller Stephen King comes a spectacularly dark and riveting novel about addiction, religion, fanaticism, and what might exist on the other side of life.

In a small New England town more than half a century ago, a boy is playing with his new toy soldiers in the dirt in front of his house when a shadow falls over him. He looks up to see a striking man, the new minister, Jamie learns later, who with his beautiful wife will transform the church and the town. The men and boys are a bit in love with Mrs. Jacobs; the women and girls, with the Reverend Jacobs — including Jamie's sisters and mother. Then tragedy strikes, and this charismatic preacher curses God and is banished from the shocked town.

Jamie has demons of his own. Wed to his guitar from age 13, he plays in bands across the country, running from his own family tragedies, losing one job after another when his addictions get the better of him. Decades later, sober and living a decent life, he and Reverend Charles Jacobs meet again in a pact beyond even the Devil's devising, and the many terrifying meanings of Revival are revealed.

King imbues this spectacularly rich and dark novel with everything he knows about music, addiction, and religious fanaticism and every nightmare we ever had about death. This is a masterpiece from King in the great American tradition of Frank Norris, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Edgar Allan Poe.

About Stephen King

Stephen King was born in Portland, Maine in 1947, the second son of Donald and Nellie Ruth Pillsbury King. He made his first professional short story sale in 1967 to Startling Mystery Stories. In the fall of 1973, he began teaching high school English classes at Hampden Academy, the public high school in Hampden, Maine. Writing in the evenings and on the weekends, he continued to produce short stories and to work on novels. In the spring of 1973, Doubleday & Co., accepted the novel Carrie for publication, providing him the means to leave teaching and write full-time. He has since published over 50 books and has become one of the world's most successful writers.

Stephen lives in Maine and Florida with his wife, novelist Tabitha King. They are regular contributors to a number of charities including many libraries and have been honored locally for their philanthropic activities.

What are you waiting on this Wednesday? Leave me a link to your post and I’ll be sure to stop by!

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine

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Early Review – The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman

July 19, 2012 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Early Review, Read in 2012 0 Comments

I received this book free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Early Review – The Light Between Oceans by M.L. StedmanThe Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
Published by Scribner on July 31, 2012
Pages: 354
Genres: Contemporary
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Amazon
Goodreads


three-stars

The debut of a stunning new voice in fiction— a novel both heartbreaking and transcendent

After four harrowing years on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia and takes a job as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, nearly half a day’s journey from the coast. To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes once a season and shore leaves are granted every other year at best, Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel. Years later, after two miscarriages and one stillbirth, the grieving Isabel hears a baby’s cries on the wind. A boat has washed up onshore carrying a dead man and a living baby.

Tom, whose records as a lighthouse keeper are meticulous and whose moral principles have withstood a horrific war, wants to report the man and infant immediately. But Isabel has taken the tiny baby to her breast. Against Tom’s judgment, they claim her as their own and name her Lucy. When she is two, Tom and Isabel return to the mainland and are reminded that there are other people in the world. Their choice has devastated one of them.

M. L. Stedman’s mesmerizing, beautifully written novel seduces us into accommodating Isabel’s decision to keep this “gift from God.” And we are swept into a story about extraordinarily compelling characters seeking to find their North Star in a world where there is no right answer, where justice for one person is another’s tragic loss.

The Light Between Oceans is exquisite and unforgettable, a deeply moving novel.

‘There are times when the ocean is not the ocean – not blue, not even water, but some violent explosion of energy and danger: ferocity on a scale only gods can summon. It hurls itself at the island, sending spray right over the top of the lighthouse, biting pieces off the cliff. And the sound is a roaring of a beast whose anger knows no limits. Those are the nights the light is needed most.’

‘The Light Between Oceans’ is a historical fiction story with a dash of enough ‘contemporary lit’ to keep both fans of the genres entertained. This is the story of Tom Sherbourne and his wife Isabel who together made a tough decision years back but are only now being confronted with the fact that their decision was life-changing and unknowingly had a drastic impact on someone else’s life.

The story starts off one-sided telling the story of Isabel and Tom and the boat carrying a dead man and a baby just a few months old that they found washed up on the shores of Janus Rock. When on leave from Janus, Isabel and Tom discover the truth that Lucy’s mother, Hannah, is still alive. Her side of the story is finally told and it’s revealed just how Lucy came to be in a boat washed up on shore. Both sides of the story are truly heart-breaking and good luck trying to determine a ‘side’. Isabel has lost 3 children after 2 miscarriages and 1 stillbirth and fears that she will never be able to mother a child like she’s also dreamed of. After learning about Hannah, Isabel becomes resolved to continuing life as they have been because she feels it’s far too late to do anything at this point. Tom is not as easily convinced but doesn’t wish to take Isabel’s ‘only child’ and doesn’t want to take Lucy away from the only life she’s ever known. Isabel nor Tom can be easily painted wrong. I was mesmerized at how this heartbreaking tale could possibly end.

‘Time and again, Tom wondered at the hidden recesses of Isabel’s mind – the spaces where she managed to bury the turmoil his own mind couldn’t escape.’

The writing was quite beautiful despite the beginning being pretty slow going with all the details of Tom’s army days and his days alone on the island before Isabel joined him. There were also some detailed sections regarding the lighthouse and the upkeep and the overall importance of them. It didn’t go overboard with the details either but gave you enough detail to keep it interesting. So why only 3 stars? I was completely wrapped up in this story and couldn’t put it down, but then I’m not quite sure where exactly, but it veered into what I like to call ‘Lifetime movie territory’. Doesn’t mean the story went bad or anything but it just lost me a bit with the overabundance of drama. It seemed inevitable how this story would and should end and it felt like it was drawn out too much. Intriguing story, yes, but wasn’t anything that necessarily blew me away.

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