Welcome to the Friday edition of the Cafe and Bookstore with recent reviews for authors on the shelves.
The first review is for author and poet Bette A. Stevens and her coming of age novel Dog Bone Soup: A Boomer’s Journey
About the book
Whether or not You Grew Up in the 1950s and 60s, you’ll find DOG BONE SOUP (Historical Fiction) to be soup for the soul. In this coming-of-age novel, Shawn Daniels’s father is the town drunk. Shawn and his brother Willie are in charge of handling everything that needs to be done around the ramshackle place they call home—lugging in water for cooking and cleaning, splitting and stacking firewood…But when chores are done, these resourceful kids strike out on boundless adventures that don’t cost a dime. DOG BONE SOUP is the poignant tale of a dysfunctional family struggling to survive in America in the 50s and 60s, when others were living The American Dream.
One the recent reviews for Dog Bone Soup
After reading the author’s short story, Pure Trash: The Story, I knew I wanted to read the whole novel, and I wasn’t disappointed. This story follows Shawn’s life in the 50s. His family is very poor because his abusive father spends all their money on alcohol. He was ridiculed at school for being the poor kid with a drunk dad. He was the oldest of four siblings and often found himself in the role of father. Still, he found moments to be just a kid again. This story follows Shawn through his journey to becoming a young man.
I loved this story. The author drew me right in with the character’s voice. The story is told in first person, which allows the reader to truly feel for Shawn’s predicament. Though I did not grow up in the 60s, I felt as if I were a part of it through the scenes in this story. There were a few typos, but they did not deter from the enjoyment of the story. I would highly recommend it to everyone I know. :-
Books by Bette A. Stevens
The next author is Roz Morris for her novel Ever Rest: How far must you go to come back to life?
About the book
I almost regret this is not a true story, because I believed every word.’ Amazon reviewer
‘Highly captivating, highly unusual… one of the best novels to come out of Britain this year.’ Garry Craig Powell, author, Stoning The Devil
Twenty years ago, Hugo and Ash were on top of the world. As the acclaimed rock band Ashbirds they were poised for superstardom. Then Ash went missing, lost in a mountaineering accident, and the lives of Hugo and everyone around him were changed forever. Irrepressible, infuriating, mesmerizing Ash left a hole they could never hope to fill.
Two decades on, Ash’s fiancée Elza is still struggling to move on, her private grief outshone by the glare of publicity. The loss of such a rock icon is a worldwide tragedy.
Hugo is now a recluse in Nepal, shunning his old life. Robert, an ambitious session player, feels himself both blessed and cursed by his brief time with Ashbirds, unable to achieve recognition in his own right. While the Ashbirds legend burns brighter than ever, Elza, Hugo and Robert are as stranded as if they were the ones lost in the ice. How far must they go to come back to life?
A lyrical, page-turning novel in the tradition of Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano, Ever Rest asks how we carry on after catastrophic loss. It will also strike a chord with fans of Meg Wolitzer’s The Interestings and Taylor Jenkins Reid’s Daisy Jones for its people bonded by an unforgettable time; fans of Ann Patchett’s Bel Canto, for music as a primal and romantic force; and Jon Krakauer’s Into Thin Air for the deadly and irresistible wildernesses that surround our comfortable world.
One of the recent reviews for the book
Ever Rest is one of those stories that once you’ve read you wonder whether it was based on a true story. At times it felt like reading a memoir and at others it was like living in a ‘rock star’ bubble when anything and everything can happen.
Roz Morris has written an entertaining read that spans just over two decades as it follows the rise of a young budding rock band, Ashbirds, Ashten and Hugo met as two brooding teenagers living in a sleepy village in Sussex. Hugo soon worked out that Ash was very theatrical with his manner spouting words of enlightenment which were mostly words gleaned from well known lyrics and his artwork also complimented that of his rock gods. Hugo was the brains behind the band and preferred or accepted that Ash enjoyed the limelight.
The band enjoyed a first flush of success but to escape the craziness of the world they had joined Hugo and Ash took to climbing. Ash became hungry for more climbs and was almost giddy to climb Everest. Sadly, one climber was to return from Nepal and twenty years on the lives of those nearest and dearest to Ashten Geddard are still feeling like a shadow is weighing on them.
Elza was a shy, young dancer when she had been flung into the crazy rock world of Ashten Geddard. They’d only been a couple for a few months since the fateful accident but since that day she’s been portrayed in the media as the forlorn grieving widow. She’s often in the press when news of another body has been discovered bringing hopes of closure to a life she may not have chosen to stick around in.
Since the accident Hugo withdrew from the music world and spent his time learning about the mountains. When news of another body has been found on Everest speculation once again becomes rife that this time could be the moment that all their lives could begin to rest.
This is a story about people trying to deal with a monumental event that not only effected them but millions of strangers in love with the perceived persona of Ashten Geddard. There’s feelings of guilt, anger, betrayal, loss, grief. It was compelling reading full of the dark undertones of celebrity life that had you gripped to know what will happen next. There was also a warmth injected in the storyline bringing moments of light. A story that pulls you in and leaves you wondering about it’s storyline.
A selection of other books by Roz Morris
The next author is Thorne Moore with a review for Inside Out.
About the book
Triton station, Outer Circles headquarters of Ragnox Inc, on the moon of Neptune, is as far as the intrepid can go. It’s a place to make money, lots of money, and for seven lucky travellers, bound for Triton on the ISF Heloise, that’s exactly what they intend to do.
Maggy Jole wants to belong. Peter Selden wants to escape. Abigail Dieterman wants to be free. Merrit Burnand wants to start again. Christie Steen wants to forget. No one knows what David Rabiotti wants. And Smith, well, Smith wants everything.
Does it really matter what they want? The journey to Triton will take them eleven months – eleven months to contemplate the future, come to terms with the small print of their contracts, and wish they’d never signed. But changing their minds is not an option.
Sometimes it really is better to travel… than arrive.
One of the recent reviews for the book
This was a very fun read! I enjoyed the character progression as the bunch of very different people journeyed into the unknown. That’s something I’ve always enjoyed in books by Thorne Moore – whether its psychological thriller, historical fiction, ~supernatural or sci-fi, their characters (good and bad) are always very well written, with a lot of depth. Very cool take on the future of space travel/settlement too (don’t want to say more in case I start on spoilers!). Good amounts of seriousness, scariness/thrill, humour and sci-fi. Looking forward to the next one!
Also by Thorne Moore
Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will be leaving with some books… thanks Sally.