Thursday, April 29, 2010

Our Best Reads For April: Blacklands and Winter Garden

Gerard's Favorite:

Blacklands by Belinda Bauer

(5++ stars)
Blacklands is awesome! I finished it in just two days because it was almost impossible to put down. This book is about Steven, a 12-yr-old boy who wants to find where a killer buried his uncle. He decides to write to the killer in prison and the letters back and forth between the killer and Steven is very interesting! This is Belinda Bauer’s first book, but I’ll be looking for the next one--super job!

Karen read it too because I liked it so much so here is what she thought of it:
Good suspense
Blacklands by Belinda Bauer was a bit slow moving I thought for a suspense novel but it did keep my interest and got better as I got farther into the book. I liked way the letters were written and how suspense built up to when Steven and the killer confronted each other. It didn’t end like I expected.

Karen's Favorite:

Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah

Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah is such a good book!  It is complex, mysterious, fully of secrets, informative, touching, multifaceted, and full of meaning.  I enjoy books about family relationships and this one is one of the best I ever read.  The older sister, Meredith, always tried to please everyone else, and Nina, an adventuresome photojournalist, are sisters with very different personalities but both feel unloved by their mother, Anya, until they learn her background after their father dies. 
The father loved his family very much and his dying wish was that his wife and daughters would become close and love each other too.  The author skillfully conveys much about Russian culture and what it is like to live in a war-torn country through Anya’s account of her life in the form of a fairy tale which is a puzzle her daughters eventually piece together. 
I enjoyed reading how the mother and daughters were reconciled and liked the bitter sweet ending.  All the main characters were well developed and the author also gives insight into love and marriage issues through the various characters.  This book shows how strong women can be when it comes to protecting their family.  I found the way the peasants in Russia lived through the war very interesting.  It also shows how the past affects our present life and how relationships improve when we make an effort to really get to know others.   This is a family saga definitely worth reading.   I look forward to reading more of Kristin Hannah’s books, this was my first and I highly recommend it.

Read more book reviews by Karen & Gerard: What We've Just Read

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Unknown said...

I've read other books by Kristin Hannah I believe. I'll need to check these out.

The Silver Age Sara said...

Thank you for these reviews. Both of them sound like books I'd enjoy and I'm going to see if I can find them.

Karen and Gerard said...

Double Wide Mom: I plan to read more of her books too.

Mountain Woman: Seems we have similar taste in books.

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