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ceciliah has commented on (5) products.

The Heretic's Daughter by Kathleen Kent
The Heretic's Daughter

ceciliah, January 20, 2012

"The Heretic's Daughter" by Kathleen Kent has been the most moving yet accurately portrayed fictional account of the Salem Witch Trials I've ever read. I was sadly crying and working my way through quite a few tissues before reaching the last sentence. Not only does this story tell of the audacious stupidity of one group of people believing themselves so righteous and pious they could point a finger and accuse a friend or neighbor of practicing witchcraft (for a normal occurrence in those days as a cow becoming sick and dying) but Ms. Kent’s tale also shows the depth of a mother's love for her children in giving up everything for their survival.

Like Kathleen, I also had an ancestor tried for witchcraft, not in Salem but Hartford, CT in 1657-58 and have read the transcripts of her trial. "The Heretic's Daughter" made me see, feel and smell the horror my ancestor must have felt...a scary, sickening, hopeless feeling. Fortunately for me, she was acquitted. Ms. Kent has the ability to pluck her reader out their comfortable 21st century armchair and deliver them to a crowded stuffy 1692 jail cell with little food or water and filthy straw for living quarters.

I anxiously awaited Kathleen Kent’s next book, "The Wolves of Andover", about Martha Allen Carrier’s husband, Thomas. In “The Heretic’s Daughter”, Thomas has a veiled past that the author hints at but is never fully revealed. The prequel, “The Wolves of Andover” is on my 'to-read' list and I know I won’t be disappointed. I have recommended over and over “The Heretic’s Daughter” to anyone wanting a great historical read but be prepared for a late night (you won’t want to stop reading this book once you start it) and lay in an ample supply of tissue.

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The Passage by Justin Cronin
The Passage

ceciliah, January 20, 2012

One hundred years into the future, what will our planet be like? What will we be like? Will we finally destroy ourselves by our arrogance & ignorance? Cronin has created a futuristic look at what our world and civilization could be like if we haphazardly mess around with nature’s secrets for our own selfish desires and the price that waging war may truly cost every living creature.

In the story, the military finances and thus joins up with a scientific expedition to discover an organism/virus in the depths of the jungle that is believed to make soldiers virtually indestructible and miraculously heals the terminally ill. But, what is the true price for such a miracle?

Cronin has created totally believable, fleshed-out characters that we care about in whatever situation we find them. I found myself rooting for them in every predicament they were in because they were trying to win for the good of their families and friends. They were striking out for the good of humanity and for life itself. This is not your typical vampire story...not at all. I think that pleased me more than anything. I don't think the author intended to write a 'typical' vampire story. I do think he was warning us of the frailty of our existence and in these uncertain times how we can so easily lose ourselves and the caring for others thus becoming the very monsters we fear.

"The Passage" is really worth spending the time reading. I can hardly wait for part two!!!
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The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab
The Near Witch

ceciliah, April 15, 2011

“The Near Witch” by Victoria Schwab is a tale set in a time long ago in the village of Near when people still believed in magic and witches both evil and not so evil...but mainly it's a tale about the Near Witch and redemption.

Children have been disappearing from their beds at night without a trace and the townsfolk of Near look with suspicion at a mysterious stranger that seems to be able to appear and disappear at will. He unfortunately appeared in Near the night before the disappearances began. Lexi, a young lady living at the outskirts of Near with her mother and little sister Wren, wants to be like her deceased father…a man in touch with the magic of the moors and an expert tracker...even wearing his boots with socks stuffed in the toes and his knife belted around her waist. She is determined to keep the children, especially Wren, safe from what she believes could be the ancient Near Witch come back to life from centuries before. However, with a strange young man appearing and disappearing before Lexi’s own eyes even she is not sure who is the real culprit could be.

Victoria Schwab has written a tale in the vein of those by the Brothers Grimm that can be read, re-read and enjoyed by young adults and adults alike and as Grimm’s tales and fables there are also lessons to be learned woven throughout the story. I was totally immersed in the author’s description of the town and people, the sound of the moors singing in the wind and especially the magic and humor of the witches both evil and not so evil, feeling almost as a villager myself in Near watching the drama unfold before my eyes and not merely reading words on a page. Victoria Schwab has offered the reader a bit of her own magic in her tale of “The Near Witch”.

Totally enchanting!!!

(I received an ARC from the publisher)
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Pygmy by Chuck Palahniuk
Pygmy

ceciliah, April 28, 2010

This book had me from the start; intriguing in the viewpoints of all the characters of the 'American way of life' plus laugh out loud funny! This is an eye-opening account of a group of high school students from an anonymous 'Third World' country brought over by a local church to attend an American school for six months. Little do the American host families realize about these 'poor, underfed, ignorant urchins' is that these kids are a group of highly trained and lethal band hand picked to initiate "Operation Havoc" during their stay.

I admit I have not read a Palahniuk book before this one but I'm glad to have picked this as one of his books to read. It is a short book written as a diary and once I started reading it I had a hard time stopping until the end...and a surprise ending it was indeed.

Highly recommended.
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Feed (Newsflesh Trilogy) by Mira Grant
Feed (Newsflesh Trilogy)

ceciliah, April 27, 2010

I've not read "Feed" and would like to win a copy of this title so I could rate it.

"Feed" sounds intriguing...zombies, governmental officials and bloggers. Another Watergate only with zombies and bloggers?

Thanks for a chance to win a copy of this book and then comment on it.

--Cecilia H.
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