Monday, August 30, 2010

I'd Know You Anywhere: Book Review

I have enjoyed Laura Lippman's Tess Monahan mystery novels for many years. Last year I was asked to review her stand-alone novel, Life Sentences, which was so intricate, with very complex characters, that I was in awe of her thought processes. I have been fortunate again to be on the book tour for her latest, I'd Know You Anywhere. At first, reading the book summary, one might be a little creeped out and wary of beginning this unique thriller, but as soon as I reached the second page, I knew Ms. Lippman was going to do it again: show real people in sometimes awful situations and make me sympathize in some way with all of them, and be bewildered by all of them, also. How each character makes decisions, and then lives with the consequences of those decisions is fascinating.
The story opens in the present, with 38-year-old Eliza Benedict, mother of two, having returned to Maryland after living abroad for several years. As the summer comes to an end, Eliza is peaceful and content with her husband and their new home, and is helping her children prepare for a new school year. Her serenity is shattered upon receiving a letter from a man she hasn't heard from in 23 years. There was your picture in the magazine. Of course you're older now. Still, I'd know you anywhere. Walter Bowman, the man who abducted 15 year old Elizabeth Lerner and held her for 39 days in the summer of 1984 has initiated contact with his victim. How he found Eliza, she does not know, but he would like to hear from her, sooner rather than later. You see, Walter is about to be executed. In 1985 he was convicted of raping and murdering a different teenage girl. It is believed that Walter was responsible for the disappearance of more than twenty teen age girls, but only evidence for the last one. And Elizabeth, now Eliza? She's the only one who got away.
Switching between the present, where Eliza, with support from her husband, Peter, needs to make decisions about what her children should know, and if she should respond to Walter's letter, and 1984 where teenage Elizabeth idolizes Madonna and takes an ill-fated shortcut through the woods on the way to the local Roy Rogers, readers meet Walter, the sad, sick, serial killer, Walter's friend and advocate, Trudy, and Elizabeth/Eliza's unique and interesting family.
As stated earlier, on the surface, this may appear to be a creepy story. But it's not. Eliza and Peter have built a wonderful family and life together. Eliza's life is about taking her son Albie to soccer, and dealing with daughter Iso's acting out as she adjusts to a new school as she enters her teen years. Walter's letter breaks into that, but Eliza does her best to keep her daily life on an even keel, while working through demons she hadn't thought about in years. There are many mysteries in this story. What is the hidden agenda behind Walter contacting Eliza? What happened during the 30 days Elizabeth spent with Walter? Will Walter receive a stay to his execution?
On a silly note, As a child of the 1980s myself, I loved the section titles, which were all songs from 84 and 85, giving the Billboard statistics and the artist's name. Sadly, I was a little older than Elizabeth and did not ever actually wear the Madonna lacy hair bow and gloves, although I danced at many college parties to her music.
I found I'd Know You Anywhere to be gripping, not in the way of a spy thriller, but emotionally. Scenes that might have been gratuitously violent in the hands of a different author were handled in a straightforward, yet delicate manner. And, as always, Ms. Lippman's knowledge and love of Maryland shine with her descriptive narrative.
I definitely recommend I'd Know You Anywhere to anyone who enjoys a book that is ultimately about emotions, but doesn't make you cry.
This review is linked to Cym Lowell's Book Review Party, a great place to discover a new book!
To get more buzz about I'd Know You Anywhere, visit TLC Book Tours, where many bloggers are sharing their reviews.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Vintage Thingies Thursday: Dainty Jewels

Whew! I missed Vintage Thingies Thursday last week due to a wacky virus, but I'm back and ready to share some beautiful items from my vintage jewelry collection. I think I picked some things that are light and summery.
This cute bracelet with roses and pearls is VERY small. It barely fits my niece's 12-year-old wrist! Shows how tiny my mom's wrist is, because she wore it as a young adult.
The gold-tone leaf bracelet is only missing one pearl. I keep meaning to replace it from my bead stash.
As a child, this necklace fascinated me. How did they get the pearls inside the gold?
For more wonderful vintage collectibles, visit Suzanne at ColoradoLady, our Vintage Thingies Thursday hostess! You will notice that Suzanne has the Linky with participants up, but she is on a little break and doesn't have a post herself.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Monday Reading Report 8/16

From Hachette Publishing Group I receive Elin Hilderbrand's The Island and The Recessionistas by a new author, Alexandra Lebenthal. TLC Book tours sent I'd Know You Anywhere by Laura Lippman, The Life You've Imagined by Kristina Riggle, and Home Again by Mariah Stewart. The Bloody Field by Shrewsbury, a historical novel by Edith Pargeter is a re-print of the 1972 story of Henry Bolingbrook usurping the English crown from Richard II, coming in November from Sourcebooks.
The Island by Elin Hilderbrand - Check out my review and giveaway!
The Recessionistas by Alexandra Lebenthal (fun women's fiction)
Mistress of the Vatican by Eleanor Herman (non fiction)
The Promise of Lumby by Gail Fraser (4th in the small-town series)
Sweet Dreams, Irene by Jan Burke (2nd in the CA female reporter mystery series)
Uprising by Margaret Peterson Haddix (YA Historical Fiction about the 1913 Triangle Shirtwaist Fire)
The Cavalier by Cynthia Harrod Eagles (#7 in the Moreland Dynasty series)
Home Again by Mariah Stewart
The Maiden by Cynthia Harrod Eagles
The Life You've Imagined by Kristina Riggle (women's fiction)
What Alice Knew by Paula Marantz Cohen (HF focusing on Henry James searching for Jack the Ripper)
The Recessionistas by Alexandra Lebenthal (fun women's fiction)
I'd Know You Anywhere by Laura Lippman (thriller)
To see what others are reading and have received this week, visit Mailbox Monday, hosted this month by Shanyn at Chick Loves Lit and It's Monday, What Are You Reading?, a weekly event hosted by Sheila from Book Journey.


Saturday, August 14, 2010

Book Giveaway: The Island

Romantic. Interesting. Funny. Tragic. Hopeful. The words describing Elin Hilderbrand's latest summer novel are varied and sundry. I have been reading Ms. Hilderbrand religiously since the publication of her first book, The Beach Club, ten years ago. All of her stories are set on the beautiful island of Nantucket, off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, a place I really should have visited by now, being a native New Englander myself. With The Island, Elin dips her toes into the Atlantic and takes readers on an even more magical summer escape, Tuckernuck Island, a half-mile and 80 years from Nantucket.
After thirteen years, the recently divorced Birdie Cousins is returning to her family's summer home on Tuckernuck, accompanied by her two adult daughters, Chess and Tate, and her widowed sister, India. They will spend the month of July taking cold showers and cooking over a camp stove, an almost Thoreau-like existence repeating the happy summers of their childhoods. This bonding time is ostensibly to support Chess, who has just experienced three life-changing events, breaking off her engagement, the death of her former fiance just weeks later, and walking out on her career as the youngest editor ever at Glamorous Home magazine. The downward-spiraling depression has completely engulfed Chess who sublets her apartment, moves to her mother's home, and after shaving all of her hair off, stays in bed for days at a time.
But Chess's supporters each have their own demons and ghosts traveling with them, unbeknown to the others. India, a successful museum curator in the Philadelphia art world still re-hashes the suicide of her husband fifteen years earlier. Now she potentially has a new romance, with a young female artist half her age. Birdie, while excited and thrilled to be back at her beloved Tuckernuck with her sister and daughters, has wistfully left Henry, her first beau since her divorce, behind in Connecticut. For Tate, the month at Tuckernuck will bring her back to Barrett, the golden boy of her teenage dreams, against whom all other men have come up short.
Tate spends her days in exercise, while Birdie and India take up the smoking habit of their youth, as they chat and needlepoint. Chess, in her attic hideaway writes in a journal, putting down the story of her relationship with Michael Morgan, and giving herself a better perspective on both Michael's actions and her own. As each woman works through her quandries and memories, they begin to share their stories with each other, creating a bond that will be stronger than the old New England blood running in all their veins.
Told through the eyes of each of the women, the story of their significant Tuckernuck summer makes readers want to leave television, cell phones, and laptops behind and spend a month taking walks, lounging in the sun, drinking wine and reading, on an island with no paved roads or public utilitles. Although I don't know if a die-hard blogger could handle that!
I loved The Island so much that the folks at Hachette Publishing have given me a copy to giveaway!! As always, I'll make it simple and give you several chances to win.
  • Leave a comment saying you'd like to win. Be sure to include a way for me to contact you.
  • Become a Follower of this blog, or of @ebogie on Twitter, or let me know you're already a follower.
  • Tweet about the giveaway. You can tweet once a day!
  • Leave a separate comment for each entry, for a total of 4+ entries.
  • Winner will be announced Wednesday, September 1.
If you're a fan of audio books, visit Sheila at Book Journey. She has 3 audios of The Island to give away!
This review is linked to Cym Lowell's Book Review Party Wednesday. There's lots of great books to discover, and he's giving away some great books, too!


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Holly's Inbox: Totally Hilarious!

The wildly successful Holly's Inboxby Holly Denham brought the 21st century to the epistolary novel, being written entirely in emails. The follow-up novel Holly's Inbox: Scandal in the Citybrings back Holly and her friends Jason, Aisha, and Trisha in all their gossipy, in-joke glory.
Although I did not read the first Holly's Inbox, I immediately felt that I knew the distinct personalities of Holly and her pals, living the fun, young London life. Holly and Trish work in Reception at a major bank, which I never realized was more than just answering phones and greeting people. They organize refreshments, book meeting rooms, and arrange for the comforts of visiting executives. Holly's life is going great with a promotion and a new boyfriend, but we all know the power of the internet and when some emails become public a big scandal threatens to bring Holly's world down.
When Scandal in the City appeared in my mailbox, I was a little intimidated by it's 544 pages, but soon got over my trepidations as I zipped through the breezy, funny messages flying between Holly and her friends. The emails are nicely written without a lot of the internet shortcuts used in texting or instant messaging, so people who are not up on that lingo will not have any trouble following the dilemmas of Holly and the gang in the worlds of career, love, and friendship, or sends herself little "reminder" emails. These reminder emails are great because they show Holly's inner thoughts and concerns, not just those she expresses to people in her emails. Fans can keep up with Holly's shenanigans at Holly's, where there are always fresh message awaiting our voyeuristic urges. If you're looking for a light, funny story in a fresh new format, definitely try Holly's Inbox: Scandal in the Cityby Holly Denham.
This review is linked to Cym Lowell's Wednesday Book Review Party. Be sure to visit and check out some great reviews and book giveaways!


She's Gone Country: Review & Giveaway

Every summer Jane Porter brings us a funny, relevant contemporary romance, and this year's She's Gone Countryis no exception. The story of former model Shey Darcy's return to her Texas ranching routes gives readers glimpses into both the worlds of professional ranching and bull riding, as well as high-fashion modeling. Shey's seventeen year marriage has fallen apart, and she has returned to her hometown with her three teenage boys, who are having trouble adjusting from their fast-paced New York prep school lifestyle. In addition to dealing with motherhood dilemmas, Shey's Southern Baptist mother is making her disapproval of Shey's parenting known. Throw gorgeous, world-famous professional bull rider Dane Kelly, Shey's childhood crush, into the mix and you've got a story with something for everyone. Each of Shey's sons is a distinct personality with specific issues which with she must work with her ex-husband John to do what is best for that boy. It's nice to read about a divorce where the parents don't always agree, but can put their child's needs first.
I really enjoyed learning about the Professional Bull Riders Association, which was created in 1992. The training of the athletes, and the care taken in breeding the best bulls was very interesting and was presented nicely through the character of Dane, a fictional founder of the PBR, teaching Shey's youngest son how to be a cowboy.
Also included in the story are brief visits from Shey's two best friends, Tiana, who we met inEasy on the Eyesand Marta fromOdd Mom Out.
The fantabulous Brad from Hachette Publishing has given me a copy of She's Gone Countryfor one lucky reader. Entering is simple:
  • Leave a comment saying you'd like to win. Be sure to include a way for me to contact you.
  • Become a Follower of this blog, or of @ebogie on Twitter, or let me know you're already a follower.
  • Tweet about the giveaway. You can tweet once a day!
  • Leave a separate comment for each entry, for a total of 4+ entries.
  • Winner will be announced Monday, August 30.
This review is part of Cym Lowell's Book Review Party. Visit to check out lots of great reviews, and find some giveaways!


Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Vintage Day on Vacation

Every summer my family visits the beautiful village of Ogunquit, ME. One of the fun things to do in Ogunquit, especially on a rainy day, is to hit the antique and vintage shops. They have everything from very high-end places with Chippendale furniture to the great "junk" malls where you can buy a box of metal thingies for $2.00. Because I've been sick, we haven't hit the stores in the past few years, but this year, even with the gorgeous weather my sister and I managed to squeeze in a visit to our favorite place, the Blacksmith's Mall, right on Route 1/Main Street. I have coveted the bench out front for years, but I'd have no place to put it. I love these antique malls where vendors rent space because you can often find similar items and compare prices. Now, I'm not going to show you everything that caught my eye, because that would be the longest post in history! I'm going to spread it out over several posts, with little themes. This post will be about the things we actually bought.
My sister stumbled upon a gorgeous example of a Wallace Nutting print right away. It was hanging in a window and she had to climb into a tiny space to see it. I've written about our Wallace Nutting collections in a past Vintage Thingies Thursday. Since it was the first thing we saw, and she doesn't like to spend money anyway, we left it and decided to go back later.
In our wanderings, I came across these great little packages of unused Christmas cards from the late 1950s in a big mixing bowl. I definitely got one of these! Don't know what I'll do with them, because you know I'm sure not cutting them up for crafts!
Meanwhile, K had stumbled on 2 more Nutting prints. One was much larger than the first, but not as pretty, and the other wasn't in as good shape. The first one we saw was not only the prettiest and in pristine condition, it was the least expensive! That was definitely a sign, so K scooped it up, and was very pleased with her purchase, knowing just where it would hang. I'm glad she bought it, because if she hadn't I probably would have gotten it even though I have no place to hang it and money is very tight for me right now. It was a good shopping day where we didn't get out of control, and each got something we really liked! Upon returning home, my sister realized she had one more Wallace Nutting print than she had thought, and the "perfect" spot to hang the new one in the grouping isn't going to work. Now a complete re-arranging of the living room artwork is underway!
For more great vintage items, be sure to visit Suzanne at ColoradoLady, our Vintage Thingies Thursday hostess!