It appears that rather than "ringing in the New Year," I have been "reading to announce the arrival of 2017." Only one week into the year, and I have finished four books. I've already posted a lengthy detailed review of HUNTING CAMP 52. Since then I've read THE LONG JOURNEY TO JAKE PALMER by James L. Rubart, author of THE FIVE TIMES I MET MYSELF. 5 TIMES is a book I would recommend more readily than THE LONG JOURNEY. While both books have encounters and happenings that defy reality, let's say are more spiritual and allegorical, I just did not like this new book very much. And I will take full responsibility for that -- the book is well written, Rubart is a talented author, the overall message is sound. I just struggled reading it a bit.
The second book I read this week was an easy read, a story of fleeing the past, starting over, and then facing the past. Of course, there has to be a bit of romance thrown in. Perhaps the best part of THE RED DOOR INN is its setting -- the island when Anne of Green Gables author L.M. Montgomery wrote and lived. I had seen publicity for this book so decided to seek it through the library system. The only copy I could score was a large print one. I don't know what it is, but large print books just totally slow down my reading. My eyes have trouble tracking from one line to another; I think my vision field takes in a bigger space and then because all the letters are so big and clear, I can not focus on the correct line. I found myself quite often closing the book for a bit, not because I was not enjoying the story, but because I was tired of trying to read.
Yesterday I finished FOR SUCH A TIME by Kate Breslin. A WWII novel, FOR SUCH A TIME has
been on many recommended Christian sights for several years. A retelling of the Bible story of Esther, the book finds Stella ( a Jewish woman with forged papers) is "rescued" by a high ranking
Nazi. Not sure what he wants with her, Stella lives in fear as he takes her to Theresienstadt concentration camp which he has taken command of. Stella soon learns that Aric (the Nazi) wants her to serve as his secretary, but he also makes clear that he is strongly attracted to Stella. As I said earlier this book follows the Esther story, so like Esther, Stella takes on a rescue of her people. I will
leave all details to be discovered by the reader. Her uncle, like Esther's, becomes an important part of the story, as does a romance between Stella and Aric. It is that romance that I did not easily accept, and I have found other reviewers that felt likewise. That said, Breslin is a talented writer. I thought she created some well-crafted secondary characters which added depth to the story, as did the overall description of Theresienstadt. It is not, however, a book that added to my understanding of World War II and the people who endured the atrocities of the Nazis.
What should I read next? Time to see what I have on my library pile upstairs.