Friday, December 21, 2007

The Seville Communion

In the heart of Spain, a small parish church is being threatened by the mother church, and to defend herself, the parish kills. Sent to investigate the deaths at the church, Father Lorenzo Quart discovers a rivalry between the church and those who seek to profit from it. Arturo Perez-Reverte writes fantastic tales of Spain - treason, sword fighting, and church scandals are in abundance, no matter what novel of his that you read!

Brandenburg Gate

This is a fascinating book about spies and espionage in East Germany right before the fall of the Berlin Wall. We follow the story of Dr. Rudi Rosenharte, a former Stasi spy, who is forced by his old employers to meet up with a former lover and agent, who he also knows is dead. In order to ensure his cooperation, the Stasi have captured his twin brother and are holding him in a notorious prison. Soon, the Americans and British find Rudi and force him to return to East Germany as a double agent. Rudi doesn't know who to trust, or who will make him do something that will end his beloved twin's life. A great novel with great cliffhangers! This book was so much fun to read, and the plot twists were incredible!

City of Shadows

I just finished reading City of Shadows by Ariana Franklin. I picked this book up because I liked the cover; I know, I know, you're not supposed to judge a book by it's cover! But as it turned out, the cover was not only fantastic, the book was as well! The story takes place in post-World War One Berlin. The main character is a Russian Jew by the name of Esther Solomnova. She works as a secretary for a shady Russian businessman who calls himself Prince Nick. Prince Nick has a grand scheme to rescue a patient from the local mental asylum and groom her to be Grand Duchess Anastasia. As Esther grooms "Anna" to present herself as the Grand Duchess, people all around the two women start to die, and Anna's fits of terror multiply. Esther and a Berlin detective try to hunt down the killer in a series of twists and turns all the way up to Hitler's rise to power. There is a HUGE plot twist in the last three pages of the novel. I was stunned when I read it, and then I couldn't believe I had missed all of the clues! This is a fantastic read and I highly recommend it to everyone!

A Thousand Splendid Suns

I can't say enough about this book. It's been a long time since I've read such an emotionally involved novel. The story is about two Afghan women, two decades apart in age, whose lives tragivally intertwine in the least desirable of situations. Mariam, the older of the two, has had a hard life and is married to an abusive husband. Laila, the younger woman, grew up with a father dedicated to education and the rights of women. After the Taliban came to Afghanistan, Laila's life was completely uprooted, leading her into the life of Mariam. In the end, the two women bring more to each other than either thought possible. This is a haunting novel of the ravages of war and the plight of the Afghan, male and female alike. One can't help but be moved by this novel. I must admit; it was painful for me to read this book at many points. But at the end, it was worth it. Hosseini is a brillant writer and I guarantee that if nothing else, you will be a more compassionate person for having read it.

Click here to check for it @ the library: A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

A Wrinkle In Time

This is, by far, the best book that I have ever read. And the best part? There are four my right after it in the series! Any way, this is the story of Meg, who has mousy hair, glasses, and a very short temper. She is always getting in trouble, especially when people make fun of her baby brother and the fact that her dad has been gone from the family for almost a year. And then one day, a terrible storm ravages the house and a strange woman shows up, talking of tesseracts, other dimensions, and that she knows where their father is. Of course, Meg doesn't believe her, but at her baby brother's request (he's actually a six-year-old genius), Meg and Charles Wallace go off to find the strange woman. They find themselves on a whirl-wind adventure across time and space, discovering the best things about themselves and that they must have courage if they want to save their father.

I love this book, and I read it and its partners at least once a year. Every one, and I do mean EVERY ONE should read this book at least once in their life time.

Click here to check it out @ the library: A Wrinkle In Time by Madeliene L'Engle