Thursday, June 30, 2011

Lemons and Grenades

After my 'Pillars of the Earth' disaster, I decided I wanted to read something safe and fun. This generally leads me to a quiet little genre known as LDS fiction, which is alot like Christian fiction and tends to be extremely safe.

Lemon TartSo I headed on down to my new local library, which has an entire section devoted to just this one genre, and found a book I'd been eyeing for awhile called "Lemon Tart" by Josi Kilpack. It was exactly what I needed. Fluff.

This book falls into a category I'd never heard of before--culinary mystery--and had so many delightfully ridiculous moments that I couldn't help but laugh. In fact the main character, Sadie, reminded me so much of my own mother that I went so far as to call Jennifer and tell her all about the book.

And the best part is that not only did I get a nice read, I got some great recipes out of my time as well (the Alfredo Sauce recipe alone is worth getting the book).

But the book is a murder mystery and as those types of books go, there are some heavier topics.

Who killed Anne? Why did someone kill her? Where is her 2 year old son Trevor? Who is Trevor's father?

The further into the book I got the more the new song by Bruno Mars (Grenade) came to mind.
Grenade"Easy come, easy go, that's just how you live
Oh, take, take, take it all but you never give
Should've known you was trouble from the first kiss

Had your eyes wide open, why were they open?
Gave you all I had and you tossed it in the trash
You tossed it in the trash, you did
To give me all your love is all I ever asked"
The question, however, is who does the song pertain to? In books of this sort, the victim is seldom innocent themselves. So does it pertain to Anne? Or maybe the father? Or maybe one of the myriad of other suspects?
"I responded to the call about [him] this afternoon at Baxter's restaurant, but after talking to him, and being assured the man he assaulted didn't want to file charges, I let him go because I had no other reason to detain him..."

Sadie swallowed and berated herself for not coming clean sooner.

"Had I known all of this, I wouldn't have let him leave. That means he's still out there, on the street."

"You think he did it?" Sadie asked, leaning forward. "You think he killed Anne?"

[Detective] Cunningham let out a breath in frustration. "You do," he said bluntly. "And the rest of the investigation is moving very slowly. It's likely the best lead we've got--ten hours late."

"I'm really sorry," Sadie said, looking at the carpet beneath her feet. She thought about the intruder in Anne's house this evening and felt even worse. Whoever it was wasn't [him], but how would she tell the detective that?

"Is there anything else you would like to tell me?" The detective asked.
"Did you catch that?" Sadie said to Cunningham once the ugly gray door closed behind her...

The detective looked at her with a guarded expression and nodded....

"He doesn't know she was killed with a drapery tieback. He didn't do it."

... She looked through the glass and watched [him], head in his hands, slowly rocking back and forth in his chair. Misery exuded from him and her throat got thick again.
I guess you'll just have to read it and tell me who you think the song applies to.

In this post:

Book: Lemon Tart by Josi Kilpack
Music: Grenade by Bruno Mars

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Outlander Meets....(wouldn't you like to know)

Outlander: with Bonus ContentOutlander by Diana Gabaldon is, quite honestly, one of the hardest books I've ever tried to get my hands on. I first heard about the book on a blog that I love and was intrigued enough to go hunt it down (and hunt and hunt and hunt).

I can't decide whether I liked the book or not. Truly, there were points that absolutely enthralled me--like when Claire, the main character, finds herself swept 200 years into the past with a group of scruffy, kilt wearing Highlanders... I was definitely down with that--and if I'm completely honest with you I couldn't put the book down.

Yet, about half way through the story I started wondering if someone had swapped my copy of Outlander out for a copy of this:

Now, I'm not averse to a story line that includes a good roll in the hay. I can even handle three of four such encounters, but when the plot line screeches to a halt and I spend chapters reading about those haystacks I start to get a little annoyed.

Nevertheless! I did catch myself, one bright sunny day, humming the only line I knew of "Danny Boy." In fact it got so implanted in my head that I had to go look up the version I liked and listen to it... over and over again, as loud as possible (which is really not that loud because I live with four children and a mother-in-law).

Then--because I only knew the first line--I had to go find the actual lyrics to the haunting song that pounded through my brain.
O Danny Boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling
From glen to glen, and down the mountain side.
The summer's gone and all the roses falling;
It's you, it's you must go and I must bide.

But come ye back when summer's in the meadow,
Or when the valley's hushed and white with snow.
Yes, I'll be here in sunshine or in shadow;
Oh Danny Boy, oh Danny Boy, I love you so!

But when ye come, and all the flow'rs are dying,
If I am dead, as dead I well may be.
Ye'll come and find the place where I am lying,
And kneel and say an Ave there for me.

And I shall hear, though soft you tread above me;
And oh my grave will warmer, sweeter be,
For you will bend and tell me that you love me;
And I shall sleep in peace until you come to me!

I really have to admit that the sung made me throw myself all the harder into the book. After reading the lyrics I could imagine Jamie Fraser coming home from an imagined battle the pipes had called him off to. I could imagine Claire waiting by the door of their home. I could imagine that one day, when Claire and he were getting older, he would heed the call of those pipes and come home to her grave just as in the song.

It was very lovely to imagine and, in my most humble opinion, made the book all that more wonderful to read... even if I had to sift through some more of that hay rolling.

PS. Here's the version I like:

In this post:

Music: Danny Boy (specifically the version sung by Méav of Celtic Woman)


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