Friday, May 24, 2019

The Lady of the Lakes by Josi Kilpack

Lady of the Lakes, The (c) 2017 by Josi Kilpack
The Lady of the Lakes by Josi Kilpack is a fictionalized account of events in the life of Sir Walter Scott, the famous author of Ivanhoe, and many other poems and stories.

Walter Scott, a young man, finds himself instantly smitten with Mina, a girl five years younger than himself, and courts her for five years, certain that she will one day be his wife despite their different social stations. Mina Stuart likes Walter Scott very much, maybe even loves him, but her heart doubts whether they will be able to make each other truly happy. Charlotte Carpenter is a young woman working toward independence who would like to have a family someday, but doesn't think it will ever happen because she is a foreinger, and her family had been damaged by scandal not of her making. And so far, the only men interested in her weren't interested in her for the right reasons, something that Charlotte, a faithful Christian girl, will not tolerate.

What happens to the three of them as they move forward toward their goals?

I really enjoyed listening to the CD version of this book. Josi Kilpack is a skilful author and while she takes us on a ride that is far from smooth, the ending was very satisfying. I recommend this book to people who love Sir Walter Scott, and/or clean romance.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

The Rules in Rome by A L Sowards

Rules in Rome, The (c) 2015 by A L Sowards
The Rules in Rome by A L Sowards  is an exciting WWII novel about a pair of spies working together in Rome during the Nazi occupation.

I really enjoyed this story, and I loved getting to know the characters. Bastian and Gracie are both brave, heroic protagonists who help me appreciate what real life people went through in WWII to bring the war to an end. I really liked that minor characters, including the Antagonists, the Nazis and the SS were portrayed as real people, not just mindlessly evil psychopaths. I liked Heinrich especially, though his nickname was a little distracting.

There were some things the main characters did that didn’t make sense to me, that from my perspective were, well, blindingly stupid that I don’t think they did for any other reason than that the author wanted them to do it to create conflict, kill off someone, and/or move the story forward.

These bits however, were mostly overshadowed by the powerful writing of the rest of the story, the characterizations, and the rich history. I liked the slow way the two grew into their feelings for each other, and the very satisfying twist at the end. I especially liked the epilogue!

Saturday, May 4, 2019

The Phantom of the Opera performed by Layton High Drama

The Phantom of the Opera (c) 1986
by Andrew Lloyd Webber
Last night, I had the exciting opportunity to go with my son to one of my favorite musicals, The Phantom of the Opera performed by Layton High School Drama!        
The Phantom of the Opera was published in 1986 by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Charles Hart and Richard Stilgoe. It was based on a book by the same name by Gaston Leroux.

Christine DaaƩ, a talented soprano who sings in the Paris Opera House is reunited with her childhood friend Raoul, and realizes she has romantic feelings for him, but fears offending the Angel of Music who has been secretly tutoring her in her singing.

On investigating who this mysterious character really is, Christine and Raoul discover that he is a physically deformed genius who lives beneath the Opera House. This Opera Ghost has an unhealthy obsession with Christine, and is displeased that she is developing a relationship with Raoul. What happens when the Opera Ghost tries to interfere with the two sweethearts? Watch the play to find out!

Sadly, tonight was the last performance of The Phantom of the Opera by Layton High School Drama, but I highly recommend the Play itself, and after watching Layton High’s performance, I was very impressed! If all their productions are even a fraction as good as this one, then they’ve got some great performances coming in the 2019-2020 school year!

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Tennis Shoes Among the Nephites by Chris Heimerdinger

Tennis Shoes Among the Nephites
(c) 1989 by Chris Heimerdinger
Recently, I listened to the book on tape of one of my old favorites from my teens, Tennis Shoes Among the Nephites by Chris Heimerdinger.

Jim Hawkins, no relation to the character of the same name from Treasure Island, his friend Garth Plimpton, and Jim's younger sister Jenny are exploring a cave when they fall into an underground river and find themselves wisked away to the past. They wake up in a strange place, and find that they've traveled back in time to pre-Colombian MesoAmerica, and are smack dab in the middle of a conflict between Nephites and Lamanites! How the three kids are going to get out of this fix, none of them know. But as they team up with the likes of Teancum, Moroni, Pahoran and others, their hopes start to rise.

This is a good book for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day saints who enjoy a good adventure, and in fact anyone who enjoys a good adventure story might like it. It was as fun to read this time, as it was the first time I read it!