Thursday, January 31, 2013

Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan

Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan

Publisher: Knopf
ISBN: 978-0307595126
Date: June 2011
Pages: 400
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Publisher Summary:  In her best-selling debut, Commencement, J. Courtney Sullivan explored the complicated and contradictory landscape of female friendship. Now, in her highly anticipated second novel, Sullivan takes us into even richer territory, introducing four unforgettable women who have nothing in common but the fact that, like it or not, they’re family. 

For the Kellehers, Maine is a place where children run in packs, showers are taken outdoors, and old Irish songs are sung around a piano. Their beachfront property, won on a barroom bet after the war, sits on three acres of sand and pine nestled between stretches of rocky coast, with one tree bearing the initials “A.H.” At the cottage, built by Kelleher hands, cocktail hour follows morning mass, nosy grandchildren snoop in drawers, and decades-old grudges simmer beneath the surface. 

As three generations of Kelleher women descend on the property one summer, each brings her own hopes and fears. Maggie is thirty-two and pregnant, waiting for the perfect moment to tell her imperfect boyfriend the news; Ann Marie, a Kelleher by marriage, is channeling her domestic frustration into a dollhouse obsession and an ill-advised crush; Kathleen, the black sheep, never wanted to set foot in the cottage again; and Alice, the matriarch at the center of it all, would trade every floorboard for a chance to undo the events of one night, long ago. 

By turns wickedly funny and achingly sad, Maine unveils the sibling rivalry, alcoholism, social climbing, and Catholic guilt at the center of one family, along with the abiding, often irrational love that keeps them coming back, every summer, to Maine and to each other. 

My Thoughts:   In the warm weather I enjoy reading books set in summer, centered around the beach.  I wasn’t sure I wanted to read that kind of book during the winter holidays, when my mindset was far from sun, sand and lapping waves.  But several bloggers I trust and admire raved about Maine.  So I opened it and began reading.  I was instantly transported into the life of Alice, matriarch of the Kelleher Family.  They’re a large extended Irish Catholic family. The author, J. Courtney Sullivan, focuses on women from three generations, detailing how the secrets, misunderstandings, bad decisions and lack of communication have negatively impacted them.  In absorbing and mesmerizing chapters, she shows the results, namely, unnecessarily strained relationships and severe dysfunction.  And yet, they can still rely on each other. 

The book opens with Alice, in her seventies and widowed a year, back in Maine for the summer, as always.  She’s boxing up most of the clothes, dishes and other items amassed over the years.  She’s made a decision about what to do with the house, the cottage and beach-front property when she dies.  Alice won’t tell her children about it until the paperwork’s all done and settled.  She doesn’t want to hear their angry objections, complaints and opinions.  Alice doesn’t care what the children say, anyway.  It’s her property and, as far as Alice is concerned, she’ll do what she wants with it.  

Alice is a complex and fascinating woman.  Sullivan steers clear of the typical loving, motherly matriarch and, instead creates in Alice an unhappy, brash and opinionated woman who says what she wants regardless of the pain her words may cause.  Alice is not easy to like, especially at first when she seems vain, self-centered and rude.  As she begins to resemble a three-dimensional real person over course of the novel , we learn more about her and her life, it’s easier to see where she’s coming from.  I was able to understand Alice better even though I didn’t agree with much of her behavior.  I can’t say I ever really came to like Alice but I felt empathy for her.  Alice has been heavily burdened by deep pain and guilt for most of her life as a result of a horrible tragedy that occurred when she was a young woman.   Alice, who’s always been very religious and a faithful churchgoer, sentenced herself to live a self-imposed penance for life.  What’s most unfortunate and I thought, very sad, is that Alice doesn’t think about or care how her selfish decision impacts so many other people.  

Kathleen, Alice’s daughter and the oldest, was her father, Dennis’, favorite.  This irritated Alice who felt her husband spoiled Kathleen.  (He did!)  At a young age, Kathleen intuited that Alice wasn’t a happy woman and didn’t particularly care to be a mother.   Kathleen is very similar to Alice in many ways.   Alice wasn’t a great mother but neither was Kathleen.  Maggie, Kathleen’s daughter, remembers her mother telling her often how she didn’t want to be a mother.  I can’t imagine hearing that from my mother while growing up!  Kathleen, in middle age, is finally happy with her life.  Still, when it comes to her family, she usually behaves like a spoiled, selfish child.  Sullivan quite successfully shows these different aspects of Kathleen.  She feels inconsequential and lacking in Alice’s presence and bitter sarcasm and teasing becomes her defense mechanism.  I often found Kathleen difficult to like or tolerate for very long unlike Maggie who’s my favorite character.  Kathleen loves her daughter but acts more like her friend than her mother. 

Maggie’s in her 30s and struggling to figure out her life.  She’s got a good career but is insecure in her relationship with her boyfriend and desperate to please others.  Alice attributes this to the impact of her mother, Kathleen’s alcoholism.   Alice thinks Maggie’s too sweet and too interested in other people.   Alice bristles whenever Maggie asks about her past and her relationship with Dennis and her siblings. This, of course, hurts Maggie’s feelings.  Alice prefers her daughter-in-law, Ann Marie.   

Ann Marie is married to Patrick, Alice’s favorite child, who, in her view does everything correctly and is wealthy.  They have 3 grown children who aren’t the “perfect people” Anne Marie tells everyone they are.  Anne Marie does everything for everyone; she’s the ultimate people pleaser with the ideal life.   She’s also unhappy and feels stymied.  Her thoughts belie her actions and would shock most of the Kellehers.  But the truth scares her. 

Sullivan gives us four amazing women in this book.  She successfully makes them people we recognize in our own lives in whole or in part and therefore, can understand and sympathize with them. But, in their dysfunction, they are larger than life.  It’s mesmerizing to read as these women interact, often judging and criticizing one another, constantly finding fault and never appearing to really like each other.  Yet, no matter how flawed they are or how they feel, they still take care of one another. 

This book will make you smile, laugh, cry and gasp.  Hopefully, it will make you appreciate your own family and see them in a new and different light.  Sullivan took this story in a direction I didn’t expect and I was surprised by the ending.  Pleasantly surprised.  I had difficulty writing this review because I felt there’s so much to say.  I apologize if this sounds more like a book report than a review but Sullivan created wonderful characters and a fantastic story.  I highly recommend this book.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

~ Wondrous Words Wednesday ~

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Bermudaonion's Weblog where we share words we’ve encountered in our reading. Join in the fun and be sure to leave a link to your post over at Bermudaonion.

Some more words I came across while reading The Passing Bells by Phillip Rock:

"Uhlans," he said with remarkable sangfroid, considering the chilling quality of that name. "Back up."

Uhlans:   (in Polish : "Ułan"; "Ulan" in German ) were Polish light cavalry armed with lances, sabers and pistols. The title was later used by lancer  regiments in the Russian, Prussian and Austrian armies.
(from Wikipedia)

"He was not, of course, wet at all, having stepped from a limousine to the front door under a large umbrella.  His dark wool overcoat with astrakhan collar was unblemished by rain."

Astrakhan: a cloth with a usually wool, curled, and looped pile resembling karakul 
1. any of a breed of hardy fat-tailed sheep of central Asian origin with a narrow body and coarse wiry fur
2. the usually curly glossy black coat of a very young karakul lamb valued as fur 
These words come from the second book in Phillip Rock's trilogy,  Circles of Time:

"Can you imagine a phaeton and team driving into Godalming station these days?"
1. any of various light, four-wheeled carriages, with or without a top, having one or two seats facing forward, used in the 19th century.
2. a vintage automobile of the touring-car type
"By 1917 he was brevetted a brigadier general, a young thruster obviously destined for greater honors, but then he had fallen from grace."
1. a commission promoting a military officer to a higher rank without increase of pay and with limited exercise of the higher rank, often granted as an honor immediately before retirement
2. to appoint, promote or honor by brevet
"She had always dreamed of it.  Alexandra being married -  perhaps to an officer in the dragoons so that she would walk with her young husband beneath an arch of sabers between rows of men with plumed helmets and burnished cuirasses."
1. a European cavalryman of a heavily armed troop
2. a member of a military unit formerly composed of such cavalrymen, as in the British army
Cuirass: Also called corselet, defensive armor for the torso comprising a breastplate and backplate, originally made of leather.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros!

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros is a weekly meme hosted by  Bibliophile by the Sea every Tuesday. To participate share the opening paragraphs of a book you've decided to read based on the paragraph(s).  I've wanted to read this book for a while.  This entry is long because of the way the author writes.  I hope you find it interesting!

Death with Interruptions
by José Saramago

The following day, no one died. This fact, being absolutely contrary to life's rules, provoked enormous and, in the circumstances, perfectly justifiable anxiety in people's minds, for we have only to consider that in the entire forty volumes of universal history there is no mention, not even one exemplary case, of such a phenomenon ever having occurred, for a whole day to go by, with its generous allowance of twenty-four hours, diurnal and nocturnal, matutinal and vespertine, without one death from an illness, a fatal fall, or a successful suicide, not one, not a single one. Not even from a car accident, so frequent on festive occasions, when blithe irresponsibility and an excess of alcohol jockey for position on the roads to decide who will reach death first. New year's eve had failed to leave behind it the usual calamitous trail of fatalities, as if old atropos with her great bared teeth had decided to put aside her shears for a day. There was, however, no shortage of blood. Bewildered, confused, distraught, struggling to control their feelings of nausea, the firemen extracted from the mangled remains wretched human bodies that, according to the mathematical logic of the collisions, should have been well and truly dead, but which, despite the seriousness of the injuries and lesions suffered, remained alive and were carried off to hospital, accompanied by the shrill sound of the ambulance sirens. None of these people would die along the way and all would disprove the most pessimistic of medical prognoses, There's nothing to be done for the poor man, it's not even worth operating, a complete waste of time, said the surgeon to the nurse as she was adjusting his mask. And the day before, there would probably have been no salvation for this particular patient, but one thing was clear, today, the victim refused to die. And what was happening here was happening throughout the country. Up until the very dot of midnight on the last day of the year there were people who died in full compliance with the rules, both those relating to the nub of the matter, i.e. the termination of life, and those relating to the many ways in which the aforementioned nub, with varying degrees of pomp and solemnity, chooses to mark the fatal moment. One particularly interesting case, interesting because of the person involved, was that of the very ancient and venerable queen mother. At one minute to midnight on the thirty-first of december, no one would have been so ingenuous as to bet a spent match on the life of the royal lady. With all hope lost, with the doctors helpless in the face of the implacable medical evidence, the royal family, hierarchically arranged around the bed, waited with resignation for the matriarch's last breath, perhaps a few words, a final edifying comment regarding the moral education of the beloved princes, her grandsons, perhaps a beautiful, well-turned phrase addressed to the ever ungrateful memory of future subjects. And then, as if time had stopped, nothing happened. The queen mother neither improved nor deteriorated, she remained there in suspension, her frail body hovering on the very edge of life, threatening at any moment to tip over onto the other side, yet bound to this side by a tenuous thread to which, out of some strange caprice, death, because it could only have been death, continued to keep hold. We had passed over to the next day, and on that day, as we said at the beginning of this tale, no one would die.
Did you find this section interesting?  Would you keep reading?

Sunday, January 27, 2013

~ The Sunday Salon ~

Happy Sunday!  Today it's a beautiful, sunny day in Brooklyn.  It may be winter but standing in the sun feels so warm & it helps that there’s very little wind blowing. The temperature is a balmy 25 degrees!  Sure, I sound a little nutty but last week's temperatures were in the teens and it was winnnnnndy outside.  And, considering that I  got home late yesterday after several days in the hospital, I’d probably find it beautiful outside no matter what the conditions!
I was so excited in December when I got a new computer & was back on-line after several months off-line because my old computer decided it had served me well and was done one day  I had many plans: to visit all of the blogs I missed & readers & friends I hadn’t “spoken” to in months, revamp my blog, type up the notebook full of reviews I have for the books I read while off-line and so much more.  I didn’t know what to do first!  Then, a few days before Christmas, I got a cold. No big deal except, within a couple of days it was one of the worst colds I’ve ever had.  And it just kept getting worse especially because of my pulmonary hypertension, asthma and other lung issues, colds can be a problem for me.   I went to the doc, got meds, did what I needed to do to get better but I didn’t talk about it...a sort of denial, I guess.  I usually try to minimize my health problems because they are such a factor im my life, one I'm not so fond of :o)  I didn’t want this cold to impact how much blogging, posting, commenting, emailing I could do since I had been away from blogging for a while anyway.  And since I spend so much time seeing Drs. & being poked, prodded & blah, blah, blah,  I love getting away from  all that when I’m on-line.  But when I was only posting once a week & unable to reply to comments left on my blog…  I think I should have posted why on my blog.  So I am sorry I didn’t do that or have someone else do it for me.  When my cold became bronchitis and then pneumonia, I tried to get on-line and post but I just didn’t have the energy.  The only positive aspect of being ill was the kitty-cats kept me company, curled up on my lap & my legs & even on my's great to rest while listening to the rhythmic purring of a cat But I do now, finally!
I have just a few goals in 2013: to get healthy; to improve my physical & mental health as well as my diet; to learn how to meditate really well; to learn & understand the concepts of Buddhism; to improve my book blog and to get my blogging “life” organized.  There are probably more goals I’d like to accomplish this year but these are the ones that have been on my mind for several weeks.
I recently posted my review of The Passing Bells by Phillip Rock, a wonderful book many bloggers are reading & reviewing thanks to the terrific TLC Book Tours.  When given the chance, I opted to read the trilogy.  I'm reviewing the second book, Circles of Time, in a week or so.  I was worried about getting my review done on time because ten days ago I still didn't have Circles of Time.  It finally arrived early this week & I dove in quickly!  I'm reading it slowly because I don’t want to finish it!  If It's as good as The Passing Bells  & I could've finished it in a day, from beginning to end, barely coming up for air!  I’m just finishing Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell.  It’s taken me a while to read it but I also purposely read it slowly and it’s been totally worthwhile.  I started Ninepins by Rosy Thornton.  I love her prose style.
I hope you’re having a great Sunday
Enjoy & Happy Reading!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Wondrous Words Wednesday!

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Bermudaonion's Weblog where we share words we’ve encountered in our reading.  Join in the fun and be sure to leave a link to your post over at Bermudaonion.

I came across these words while reading The Passing Bells by Phillip Rock:

"Only mufti could be worn when off duty, except for certain social functions, and mufti of the most stylish and expensive cut."

Mufti:   ordinary clothing  worn by someone who usually wears some type of military uniform.  Also called "civvies", it's essentially slang for "civilian attire".

"Roger and Charles were in some sort of conversation about prosody, and Roger said that in his opinion the Georgians were on the proper I put in my oar after sinking the five ball with a perfect bank shot and agreed that Childe Harold was still a damn fine bit of poetry even if its author was a self-confessed bugger."

  • The patterns of rhythm and sound used in poetry.
  • The theory or study of these patterns, or the rules governing them
    "The adjutant needs me back."
    1.    A military officer who acts as an administrative assistant to a senior officer.
    2.    A person's assistant or deputy.
    "He was about to add that the archduke's morganatic wife had been déclassé, no better than a housekeeper, but thought better of it."
    of, relating to, or being a marriage between a member of a royal or noble family and a person of inferior rank in which the rank of the inferior partner remains unchanged and the children of the marriage do not succeed to the titles, fiefs, or entailed property of the parent of higher rank

    Friday, January 11, 2013

    The Passing Bells by Phillip Rock

    The Passing Bells by Phillip Rock

    Publisher:  William Morrow
    Date:  December 4, 2012 (reissue)
    ISBN:  978-0-06-222931-1
    Pages:  544
    Rating:  4.5 out of 5 

    Book Summary:  The guns of August are rumbling throughout Europe in the summer of 1914, but war has not yet touched Abingdon Pryory. Here, at the grand home of the Greville family, the parties, dances, and romances play on. Alexandra Greville embarks on her debutante season while brother Charles remains hopelessly in love with the beautiful, untitled Lydia Foxe, knowing that his father, the Earl of Stanmore, will never approve of the match. Downstairs the new servant, Ivy, struggles to adjust to the routines of the well-oiled household staff, as the arrival of American cousin Martin Rilke, a Chicago newspaperman, causes a stir.
    But, ultimately, the Great War will not be denied, as what begins for the high-bred Grevilles as a glorious adventure soon takes its toll—shattering the household’s tranquility, crumbling class barriers, and bringing its myriad horrors home. 

    My Thoughts:   I’ve always enjoyed fiction about life in England, particularly the first half of the 20th century.   I’m also a big fan of Downton Abbey.   So it was an easy decision to read and review The Passing Bells for TLC Book Tours.  This book begins at Abingdon Pryory, the home of Anthony Greville, Earl of Stanmore, his wife, Lady Hanna and their children, Charles, Alexandria and William.  The set-up is much like that of Downton Abbey or Upstairs Downstairs in section one of the book, focusing on the life of the Goreville’s family, friends and servants.  All the while, the dogs of war are beginning to growl in the background, looming ominously.  And when the Great War does come, the book’s focus changes.  The story develops certain characters while others are left to making occasional cameo appearances.  I enjoyed the way Phillip Rock structured The Passing Bells because sections two through four allows us to know certain characters intimately and in great detail, particularly in terms of how the Great War impacts them.
    One of my favorite of characters is Martin Rilke, an American writer and journalist.  A nephew of Lady Hanna Rilke, Martin stops to visit Lord and Lady Greville before embarking on a tour of Europe.   Martin hails from Chicago and is an American through and through.  The differences between him and the Grevilles are apparent as soon as Charles Greville and his friend, Roger, meet Martin.  Although Charles and Rogers’ mannerisms, accents and behavior grate on Martin, he doesn’t take offense.  They’ve been raised to be proper English gentleman, as befits their peerage. When Martin sees them taking note of his ill-fitting jacket as contrasted with their expertly-tailored, perfectly fitting clothes, he knows he’s not being judged.  How they behave is who they are.   They sound like snobs to me but they’re without any airs or pretensions.  Martin’s easy manner, understanding and amiability help him fit in wherever he goes as well as making him the good journalist he is.
    Martin, unlike his wealthy relatives, is aware there are servants all around Abingdon Pryory.  He isn’t used to being waited on and finds it awkward and uncomfortable.   He makes a point of engaging the young, new maid, Ivy Thaxton, in conversation the second time he runs into her.  He parts from Ivy, reluctantly, following their conversation.  Martin is smitten and The Great War will be to Martin’s advantage in this pursuit.  He encounters Ivy in the streets of London where she’s training to be an army nurse.  Martin is thrilled to see her again, although she’ll take some convincing the class structure is not an impediment to their relationship.
    Martin remains in England after his tour, having procured a job with the Daily Post writing a column about life in Britain from a Yank’s point of view.  When the Great War begins, his writing turns to war-related topics.  As a journalist with a desire to be at the crux of things, Martin, with quiet determination, sees and hears what’s happening at the front and with the managing of the troops by the top brass.   It’s shocking, hair-raising stuff.  There’s no organization.  Communication between the War Office and the front-lines is negligible and the orders to the men in charge of the troops make no sense.  As a result, soldiers are injured and dying.  Martin is barred from getting the truth published because those in charge want articles that will garner public support for the war effort.  Martin observes the toll the war is taking on Charles, Roger and Charles’ friend, Colonel Fenton Wood-Lacy and their continued willingness to sacrifice all for Britain.  He’s extremely proud of them and feels the truth of the daily horrors they and the other soldiers encounter must be told.   Martin’s more than willing to come out of the shadows by calling attention to himself, so long as he can get the truth out there.  
    The Great War is a central theme in this book.  It alters the perspective of almost everyone involved in ways big and small.  Alexandria Greville, for instance, matures from a giddy schoolgirl into a serious young woman.  Early in the book, she’s planning her debut.  By section four, she’s training to be an army nurse.  I found it difficult to read the sections in this book that detail the war battles and, in the aftermath, the soldiers’ injuries.  The narrative describes scenes that are grisly, raw and graphic.  One thing the book does so well is show not only how people who fought were changed but how the powers that be, through business and politics, profited.   In this there is no denying the bitterness and unfairness of war that so many were forced to swallow.
    The Passing Bells is the first of a trilogy.  The story of the Grevilles, their family and friends continues in Circles of Time and concludes with A Future Arrived.   I’m looking forward to reading the rest of their story and will be reviewing those books in the coming months.   I highly recommend this book, especially to fans of Upstairs Downstairs and Downton Abbey. 

    Thank you to TLC Book Tours and William Morrow for the opportunity to read and review The Passing Bells.

    Thursday, January 10, 2013

    Some Kind of Peace by Camilla Grebe and Åsa Träff

    Some Kind of Peace by Camilla Grebe and Åsa Träff

    Publisher:  Free Press
    Date: July 2012
    ISBN:  978-1451654592
    Pages:  336
    Rating:  5 out of 5

    Book Summary: It seems so idyllic. But something is out of place. In the neatly raked gravel parking area is a dazzlingly clean black Jeep. The paint of the Jeep reflects clematis with large pure white blossoms climbing up a knotted old apple tree. Someone is lying under the low trunk and crooked branches of the tree. A young woman, a girl. . . . Siri Bergman is a thirty-four-year-old psychologist who works in central Stockholm and lives alone in an isolated cottage out of the city. She has a troublesome secret in her past and has been trying to move on with her life. Terrified of the dark, she leaves all the lights on when she goes to bed—having a few glasses of wine each night to calm her nerves—but she can’t shake the feeling that someone is watching her through the blackened windows at night...  (for more of the summary, see Goodreads)

    My Thoughts:   I like to read in bed at night when it’s quiet.  I thought this book was perfect for late night reading.  It’s fantastic with bone-chilling, hair-raising moments. Seriously!   There were times reading this book I jumped at a sound or felt a shiver down my spine, causing me to pull the covers up around my neck.  Very late one night, one of my cats, Mr. Magoo, started loudly slurping his water.  I bolted straight up, almost screaming!  I was so engrossed in the book, I didn’t even notice Bob (a large cat who’s difficult to ignore) run off the bed after my actions scared him away! 

    Siri is Swedish.  She’s a psychologist and was recently widowed.  Most significantly, Siri is also the main character as well as the book’s narrator.  In this way, we get to know her quite well.  The authors, who are sisters, incidentally, have created a three-dimensional character with the personality traits and flaws of a human being such that it’s hard to believe Siri’s fictional.  She quickly reveals herself to be a dichotomy between a professional, clear-headed therapist and a frightened, damaged and dysfunctional woman.  A recent traumatic event, resulting in the death of her husband, Sven, has caused Siri to develop some bad habits.  She’s also withdrawn from her friends and family.  I found Siri even more interesting because one of the authors, Åsa Träff, is not only a practicing psychologist in Sweden; she’s also married to a psychologist.  Does this mean Siri is realistic? Can a “real” psychologist be like Siri and still be good at her job?  Siri’s best friend, and colleague, Aina, says yes.  “Being a depressed, passive failure with phobias can make you a better therapist.” 

    Siri is focused and attentive when she’s with her patients.  They’re interesting individuals with fascinating anxieties and, occasionally, disturbing issues.  They seem to trust Siri and are relaxed in her presence.  Early in the book, it’s difficult to reconcile the daytime therapist Siri with the woman who sits alone in her cottage at night, petrified of the dark and plagued by nightmares about Sven’s death.  But Siri is honest and open about herself with us so we soon feel we understand her.  Siri’s world becomes even more unbalanced and dark when one of her patients, Sara, is found dead.   As awful as this is, it’s not that surprising considering this young woman’s problems.   But, when Siri  is told by the police Sara was murdered, and the killer blames Siri for what he did, a chill ran down my spine.  From this point on in the narrative, a creepy, sinister air pervades the story, growing with each successive chapter. 

    The police and Siri’s friends and colleagues believe someone is stalking her. Siri, reluctant to be a victim, refuses to take the threats seriously.   She just can’t believe that someone she’s encountered in her life wants to hurt her.   Siri sees herself as a normal person simply living her life like everyone else.  She manages to brush off, albeit with increasing anxiety, the odd occurrences that happen in her life until an extremely depraved event occurs.  Siri’s so frightened she temporarily relocates and begins assisting police to figure out who’s after her.  The problem, Siri discovers, is though no one person stands out, almost everybody in her life comes under suspicion.  Between the investigation and her other problems and anxieties, Siri’s sure she’s losing her mind.  

    To say what happens in the end would be to spoil the very unexpected and effective surprise.  And I’ve also decided not to reveal one or two other unexpected but fascinating parts of the book.  I’ll just leave you this hint: the stalker isn’t totally silent!  I was sure more than once I knew who was after Siri but I was wrong each time.  This book pays off in a myriad of ways and even if it hadn’t, the journey to get there was well worth it.   If you enjoy psychological thrillers and crime dramas, you don’t want to miss Some Kind of Peace.  I’m looking forward to Camilla Grebe and Åsa Träff next book, out in spring 2013.

    Thank you to the Free Press for a beautiful copy of Some Kind of Peace.