Monday, May 26, 2014
Well written recounting of the quest for King Richard's mortal remains. Authors Philippa Langley and Michael Jones write a fascinating story about the unearthing of the hidden graveyard in a car park in Leicester. Laced along the recounting, is a brief history of Richard's life. In loving detail, Langley describes another Richard, different from the accepted historical one created by the Tudor reign. She give compelling evidence that Richard was not the monster represented in Shakespeare, but a brave and fair leader struggling though difficult times. This is history bought to life, with the author's heart and soul dedicated to reporting the flip side of the past. This book reminds the reader that there are often multiple ways to remember history, that while it may be written by the victor, the loser too has something to say.
Carole P. Roman
Saturday, May 24, 2014
Richly detailed portrait of life in the French court under the rule of Louis XIV. This is a story of the Princess and the Pauper. Claudette des Oeillets is a daughter of the theater. Part of a traveling theater group, her path crosses with a morally bankrupt princess and the young girl finds herself drawn to the cold hearted beauty. They go their separate ways, and later find their lives connecting and growing together. While Claudette lives on the fringe of society, forsaken by the church for embracing the theatre, the Marquis de Monspan is a respected member of court, the de facto Queen, and totally without a moral compass. She dabbles in the dark arts, cast spells and ultimately forces Claudette to make the final choice between good and evil. This was a fascinating look at French life in the 17th century, a beautifully depicted tapestry of the birth of French theater.
Carole P. Roman
Sunday, May 18, 2014
Cute tale of young Johnny who does not want to give up his pacifier. His mom comes up with a great idea making Johnny a proactive part of the plan. Soon, all the children with the same dependence achieve satisfaction together. A lovely concept with nice illustrations that teaches children that they are the greatest part of their own solutions. Instead of forcing a child to do something they don't want to, the book teaches a way to make the youngster want to do it, therefore achieving success.
Carole P. Roman
Saturday, May 17, 2014
Beautifully written story about love, honor, and sacrifice. One character tells Taryn , "Everything beautiful has a story to tell," and A Fall of Marigolds is actually two stories in one book, linked by the universality of love, grief, and a scarf. Taryn Michael's is a 911 widow, whose harrowing memories of the day harbor a heart wrenching secret that is drowning her with guilt. Clara Woods, a nurse on Ellis Island in 1911, keeps reliving the horror of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, where her life ended emotionally when so many people died. She is holding onto the memory of a man, a fleeting relationship that stole her heart in life and devastated her by death. She hides on Ellis Island, steeped in regret for what might have been. Clara nurses a young immigrant widower back to health, his dead wife's scarf becomes a talisman for Clara to climb out of her well of depression. Meissner questions if everything happens for a reason, and if all the small events that occur in our lives are indeed random or part of a greater plan. When loss is so very painful, her character Edward quotes Keats reminding us "'Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard are sweeter.' Keats is saying that what you can still dream about is often sweeter than reality." Love is a real thing, whether it is mutually returned or not, it exists in all it's sweet glory. A Fall of Marigolds is a cornucopia of beautiful colors that jump off the pages. Meissner's characters grief is so real, visceral, that I cried along with them. Ultimately, the tale is like the scarf that travels from person to person, linking them like pearls on a strand, to tell their story and find the answers that are just beyond their reach.
Carole P. Roman
Thursday, May 15, 2014
Quick read about Queen Victoria's second daughter Alice. While not scholarly,it serves a purpose to identify the different children, highlighting Alice from the crowd. Croft's style has a light, gossipy feel. It is a good way for someone who wants to familiarize themselves with Victoria's children with an easy to understand recounting of Alice's short life. Brighter than many of other children, she stands out as her father's daughter with her devotion to both her parents and children. A likable royal, it was an interesting book about a fascinating woman determined to take her responsibilities as seriously as she was taught
Carole P. Roman
Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Exploring the world has never easier—or more fun!—than with Carole P. Roman’s award-winning If You Were Me and Lived In… children’s series. Continuing its globetrotting tradition, If You Were Me and Lived in…Russia explores the magic and wonder of this captivating country. As children ages three to eight take a leisurely stroll around Russia, they will come across some of the country’s most recognizable sites, including the Kremlin, St. Basil’s Cathedral, and the Red Square. Learn about Russia’s yummy delicacies, like borscht and caviar, before playing popular Russian games like chess and “fipe”—a game children may know better as “tag”! Brimming with these and other fascinating facts, If You Were Me and Lived in…Russia is the perfect way to both entertain and educate your children about the great big world that exists outside their windows. From Russia’s festive New Year’s celebrations to popular Russian names, this charming addition to the If You Were Me and Lived in… family explains everything there is to know about one of the world’s most historic destinations. Carole P. Roman is the award-winning author of the If You Were Me and Lived in… series, which won the Pinnacle Award for Best in Children’s Nonfiction in 2012. She collaborated on this installment in the series with her five-year-old grandson, Alexander. Roman also writes the Captain No Beard series, the first of which was named a Kirkus Best of 2012, received a Star of Remarkable Merit, and won the Pinnacle Award in 2012.
Monday, May 12, 2014
Interesting story about Brad and Julie Evans, newlywed house flippers saddled with a huge old Victorian mansion that has more than dry rot going on. The house hold the spirit of one of its former owners and her admirer. Promiscuous spirit Tessa Hemmings is attracted to Brad and wants to get human Julie out of the way. Gerald, her ghostly companion steadfastly waits and tries to reign in her impulsiveness. Couple that with a pair of ambiguous sentinels that seem to interfere at will, and you have a recipe for a chilling read. Cash creates a thrilling train ride of a story that speeds along a careening path that is never predictable. His dialogue is both fun and funny, the problems faced by the young couple, contemporary and realistic. Familiar characters Molly and psychic Georgia Oaken make an appearance from his best seller Stillwell A Haunting on Long Island. The book questions the idea of free will, as well as what we leave behind when we are no longer here. As always with Cash, his books are a testament of the constance and loyalty of the heart, knowing how to recognize love and then having the ability to return it. (less)
Carole P. Roman
Sunday, May 11, 2014
|In Turkey- Ephesus|
I adored my mother. She was the kindest person I had ever met. If she didn't have something nice to say, she left it unsaid rather than hurt anyone's feelings. To her, everybody's art project was beautiful, any meal cooked was delicious, even when she hated it. She was not just a good sport, but a great sport and I miss her every day of my life.
She passed from lung cancer eight years ago in an aggressive fight against a vicious invader. She was young, even at 74, and I couldn't wrap my mind around not having her here. She was my best friend for as long as I can remember and I am sharing this story for that one reason.
|My wedding 36 years ago- I thought she looked magnificent!|
My Mom always bought me gifts. Sometimes expensive, sometimes not, old, new, it didn't matter, she decorated my house with bits of her personality so I could rest my eyes anywhere and revisit a memory.
I bought her things as well, but I was always more creative and tried to put a personal spin on it, just to remind her of our special relationship.
She was depressed very often. Life had been hard for her. My parents struggled with finances, health issues, family problems. While they kept the household and the children happy, I knew what she carried on her back. She was one of those people who couldn't share her load.
The year I was going to be married, I knew was very hard for her. I was the first chick to leave the nest. She depended upon me for a lot. I helped with the housework, chauffeured my brothers, entertained my grandmother who made her home with us. She never complained, but I knew she was heart sick that I was moving out.
I found an inexpensive Asian jar. I bought it because it seemed exotic. Sitting at my typewriter, I wrote up hundreds of memories. Asking my grandmother to help, we listed specific things that happened at my birth, family stories that made us laugh. Things to remind the reader of a minute in our life when something special had happened. I took these captured moments and folded them into tiny paper twists and stuffed them in the jar. Putting a paper band across the top, I wrote- "Do Not Read Unless Emergency"
Well, she opened the jar and read every last one of my wisps of our fond and silly memories and that jar stayed beside her bed for the rest of her life. She said it was the best present she had ever gotten. Ever. Period.
Now, as I wake in the morning, I will look at my own bedside and see her jar. Who knows, in case I need it I may read up on a memory or two. I guess that's a gift that keeps giving.
Wishing you all a very happy Mother's Day!
With Love And Gratitude,
Carole P. Roman