Archive for the ‘Historical Fiction’ Category

Review: Sackett’s Land – Louis L’amour

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012
Mass Market Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: Bantam; Reissue edition (April 1, 1980)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0553276867
ISBN-13: 978-0553276862
Order book here:


Order E-book here:


Barnabas Sackett – Refugee from England.
Rupert Genester – Nephew to the Earl of Cambridgeshire.
Abigail Tempany – Daughter of a ships captain.
Brian Tempany – Ship Captain, helps Barnabas get to America.


Barnabas Sackett finds a sack containing ancient roman coins. While trying to determine the value of these coins, he insults the nephew of the Earl of Cambridgeshire. The man puts out what amounts to a death sentence on Barnabas. He decides to flee the country, and books passage on a ship for America. Along the way he must fight off the perils of the new land, as well as a group of pirates/bounty hunters determined to take him back for a cash reward.


My only exposure to the Sacketts was through novels and stories such as The Sacketts and The Daybreakers. I’m a huge fan of Mr. L’amour’s work though, and this one was no exception. I found it very interesting to travel back to the beginning of a family I’d already known. I get to see their struggles in the old country, and I get to see what the travel was like coming to the new country. Being a fan of history and genealogy, I found this aspect very interesting.

The great thing about a Louis L’amour novel is that while you read and are entertained, you are also educated. The novel is clean, there is no foul language, some western type violence, but nothing gory. I’ve been reading novels by this Master storyteller since I was very young, and always have had a love for his stories. I feel it’s probably appropriate for all ages, though some who are opposed to guns may find it objectionable.

For a great period piece set in the early years before our country was established, pick up this book. I think you’d love it, and I think it would appeal to those fans of westerns as well as historical fiction.

About the Author

Louis L’Amour is the only American-born novelist in history to receive both the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal. He published ninety novels, thirty short-story collections, two works of nonfiction, a memoir, Education of a Wandering Man, and a volume of poetry, Smoke from This Altar. There are more than 300 million copies of his books in print.

Our foremost storyteller of the authentic West, Louis L’Amour has thrilled a nation by chronicling the adventures of the brave men and women who settled the American frontier. There are more than 260 million copies of his books in print around the world.

You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

Review: The 13th Tribe – Robert Liparulo

Thursday, July 5th, 2012
Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (April 3, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1595541691
ISBN-13: 978-1595541697
Order book here:


Order E-book here:


Neveah – A member of the lost tribe.
Jagger Baird – Head of Security for an Arhaeological Excavation.


A group of people representing the 13th lost tribe of Israel is set on a plot of terror. Jagger Baird is pulled into this plot, and he must stop them before millions of innocents die.


I really enjoyed the political and the religious settings for this book. When the author addressed the biblical aspects within the context of the story, for example, when a character was having a religious debate, I found it very interesting. At other times such as the archaeologist Leo and Jagger’s wife, their religious views seem to come out of nowhere, and feel a little heavy handed or preachy.

When the author avoids this heavy handedness, it’s a really tight, religious drama based on biblical history and is a very fascinating storyline. However for some readers, I feel the push of too much religion may go over the top and be a turn off for them.

There is some strong adult events and violent imagery, so it’s not geared towards the younger reader. Definitely for older teens and adults. As a political thriller, I think it was well done. As a religious thriller, I think it may appeal more to the more fundamentalist readers, while the more moderate ones may find some of the rhetoric over the top.

Bottom line, if you want an interesting thriller taken from biblical history, then you might possibly enjoy this. Pick it up and give it a shot. I know I’d definitely give any followups a read.
About the Author

Best-selling novelist Robert Liparulo is a former journalist, with over a thousand articles and multiple writing awards to his name. His first two critically acclaimed thrillers—Comes a Horseman and Germ—were optioned by Hollywood producers.

Bestselling author Michael Palmer calls Deadfall, released in November, 2007, “a brilliantly crafted thriller.” Liparulo’s young adult series, Dreamhouse Kings, debuted in May 2008, with House of Dark Shadows and Watcher in the Woods.

He is currently working with director Andrew Davis (The Fugitive, The Guardian) on the novel and screenplay of a political thriller. New York Times best-selling author Steve Berry calls Liparulo’s writing “Inventive, suspenseful, and highly entertaining . . . Robert Liparulo is a storyteller, pure and simple.” Liparulo lives in Colorado with his family.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Booksneeze at Thomas Nelson for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review. You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

1 people like this post.

Interview: Joshua Graham – Darkroom

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

Today we are pleased to once again have Joshua Graham join us. Joshua is the author of the recently released Darkroom.

About Josh

Joshua Graham is the award winning author of the #1 Amazon and Barnes & Noble legal thriller BEYOND JUSTICE.

His latest book DARKROOM won a First Prize award in the Forward National Literature award and was an award-winner in the USA Book News “Bests Books 2011” awards.


Rhodes Review: What gave you the idea for Darkroom?

Joshua Graham: It started with the title, which I thought would make for a great double entendre, then I remembered how ghostly some of the images in an old fashioned darkroom looked when they were coming up in the developing solution on the contact paper.  They start off looking like a negative, then they turn out normal.  But I thought:  What if someone could see clairvoyant images in the darkroom, the way Johnny Smith did in THE DEAD ZONE by Stephen King, when he touches someone?

Rhodes Review:  It goes heavily into background in Vietnam, what was the research process like?

Joshua Graham:  It was fascinating! I learned a lot from historical records, but I also got a lot of firsthand information from people who were actually there, especially around the fall of Saigon.

Rhodes Review:  Is there any chance of the characters returning in other stories?

Joshua Graham:  Does the name Jodi Bauer sound familiar to you?  If you read BEYOND JUSTICE, you’ll remember that she was nick-named Jodi the Piranha, and was the defense attorney for the serial killer in that novel.  Well, the attorney that defends Xandra Carrick in the last part of the book comes from her law firm.  So, as you can see, my characters sometimes inhabit the same world.  And they might
even cross paths, who knows?

Rhodes Review:  Which character would you most and least like to invite to dinner?

Joshua Graham:  Interesting question.  Of course, I think Xandra would be a real kick to hang out with.   She’s got quite a personality and is not boring.  She’s feisty (as one reviewer put it) and she doesn’t let things go easily, so I bet she’d be fun to get into a debate with.  I’d also love to meet her father Peter Carrick and hear the stories he has to tell from the Vietnam War.  Who would I least like to invite to dinner?  Mark Collinsworth.  Everyone has their story, but his cocky attitude really grates me.  Great for a book character, but for a dinner guest, not so much.

Rhodes Review:  What do you think makes a good story?

Joshua Graham:  That which draws you in, such that you forget your reading a book.  And it should also provide a healthy dose of catharthis.

Rhodes Review:  What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

Joshua Graham:  Wake up, get the kids ready for school, have breakfast, study the Bible and pray, check email, social media, write, write, write…answer phone calls, emails, write, write, write…

Rhodes Review:  What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

Joshua Graham:  Once in a while, I interview my characters.  Ask them probing questions, then let them answer in their own voice.  Some of them have gotten pretty mad at me, some of them have broken down, and still others have made me laugh so hard I was grateful I didn’t have a mouthful of coke.

Rhodes Review:  What was your favorite part of Darkroom?

Joshua Graham:  The surprises and twists.  Which ones?  Well, I could tell you…

Rhodes Review:  What was the hardest part to write in Darkroom?

Joshua Graham:  Definitely witnessing the human atrocities where innocents are killed and tortured.  These are things you never want to imagine.  But they have happened, tragically.  And in order to fully bring it to life, I had to put myself in the scene and imagine the details, the emotions, from different points of views.   As a husband and a father, these kinds of images (scenes) are always the most difficult to write (as it was in the opening chapters of BEYOND JUSTICE.)  My readers have had the same reaction to these pages as mine.  We all wanted to go and hug our children after reading them.

Rhodes Review:  What do you wish was different about Darkroom?

Joshua Graham:  Maybe that a major motion picture studio had already optioned it before the book was published?  So many people (early readers) have told me that this book must be made into a movie.   I even have an agent from one of the top Hollywood talent agencies who approached me and said the same thing.   On the other hand, it’s probably better that the book comes out first, because a book and a film adaptation are very different creatures, and must be viewed as such.

Rhodes Review:  Which of your books was the easiest/hardest to write?

Joshua Graham:  None of them are what I would call easy.  I already described
what was difficult about them to write.   But the truth be told, DARKROOM came through divine providence and inspiration.  I never completed a first draft as quickly as I did DARKROOM.  The words and story just flowed and I practically typed non-stop from start to finish.

Rhodes Review:  Does writing a book get easier as you write?  Ie. Is it harder to write your first book, then your 14th?

Joshua Graham:  I’ll let you know when I get to book 14. :)  Each book has its own
challenges and rewards.  On one hand, being more experienced makes it easier.  But then, the challenge is to write with equal and better quality, and remain fresh.  After about 4 novels, I can tell you that the latter concern is becoming more and more of a challenge.  But it’s a challenge ALL writer’s must face, nothing new under the sun.

Rhodes Review:  If the author could have dinner with one person, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

Joshua Graham:  C.S. Lewis, for sure.  He was a remarkably gifted man of deep insight and literary skill.  I love everything he’s written in regards to his literary, philosophical, and theological viewpoints.  And, from what I gather, we share a similar sense of humor—I think.

Rhodes Review:  How did you get interested in writing?

Joshua Graham:  I’ve been writing stories for as long as I can remember.  Even in the 1st grade, with crayons and construction paper, my pictures had a separate sheet of paper with a story (caption).  Since then, I’ve enjoyed writing scripts for plays, movies, and all kinds of stories.   It was only later in life that I rediscovered this passion for storytelling, and at the urging of some great friends, decided to pursue it
professionally.  Little did I know it would alter my destiny and be there, ready and waiting, when my 12 year career in IT disappeared, making way for my life as a writer.

Rhodes Review:  What are some of your favorite books/authors.

Joshua Graham:  GOD:  The Bible

C.S. Lewis’ Narnia, The Screwtape Letters

Stephen King: The Dead Zone

John Grisham:  The Rainmaker

Rhodes Review:  Do you have any suggestions to help my readers become a better
writer? If so, what are they?

Joshua Graham:  For those interested in becoming a writer professionally, remember, the key characteristic needed more than talent, connections, more than anything else combined, is persistence.  Never give up until you’ve arrived.  Even then, you have to keep honing your skills, learning the business, making connections, learning from others.  You’ll either love the sound of that, or hate it.  Chose this path carefully, because like all things worthwhile, it will come at personal cost and sacrifice.  But it will also come with unspeakable rewards, if you are looking for the right things.

Rhodes Review:  If you were to do your career as an author again, what would you do differently, and why?

Joshua Graham:  I might have spent a lot less time worrying about what others think because ultimately, the books I’ve written that drew the most negative comments from other aspiring writers, have gone on to become #1 bestsellers and have given me a new career (all thanks to God!)

Rhodes Review: Would you like a Snickers bar?

Joshua Graham:  If you even have to ask….

YouTube Preview Image

Connect with Josh at the following:

Twitter: @J0shuaGraham


2 people like this post.

Review: Dark Room – Joshua Graham

Monday, April 30th, 2012
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Howard Books; Original edition (May 1, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1451654693
ISBN-13: 978-1451654691
Order book here:


Order E-book here:


Ian Mortimer
Xandra Carrick
Peter Carrick


Xandra Carrick is a photographer following in the footsteps of her father. Peter Carrick is a Nobel Prize winning photo-journalist. His prize came for his photo essay on a massacre in a Vietnamese village during the war. The camera he’s used has been passed down to his daughter Xandra. It is this camera that is at the source of this surreal journey. It begins on a trip back to Vietnam that Xandra and her father take. The trip was to honor her late mother’s wishes and to release her ashes there. But strange things begin to happen when Xandra develops the film. What are those things? You’ll have to read Darkroom find out.

The story is a thriller and a vivid retelling of historic events. Each chapter is seen in first person point of view. Mr. Graham alternates between characters from Grace, to Ian, to Xandra. Grace’s story is achieved through her diary entries. These diary entries really bring the Vietnam War to life in alarming detail. In Particular, Mr. Graham covers the fall of Saigon in a very realistic manner. I’d seen the videos of it happening, and he captured it very well in the pages of this story.

If you like Thrillers, or the odd story you’d see on Twilight Zone, then grab this book when it’s released. You’ll enjoy every minute of it. Kudos to Mr. Graham on another job well done.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Joshua for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review. You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

1 people like this post.

Review: The Way – Kristen Wolf

Thursday, March 29th, 2012
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Crown (July 12, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0307717690
ISBN-13: 978-0307717696
Order book here:


Order E-book here:
YouTube Preview Image


Anna/Jesus – A young masculine appearing girl growing up in ancient Palestine.


From Paula:

The Way by Kristen Wolf is a religious/historical fiction set in the 1st Century Palestine at the same time period of the Biblical Jesus. The phrase, The Way, was actually used in early Christianity to describe the early followers of Jesus Christ. In this novel, The Way, is used to describe the ancient sisterhood who are responsible for preserving and teaching the ancient philosophy of the harmony and balance of the feminine deity. This title is just one of many parallels Christians will find. Other parallels to Christianity are Nazareth, Jerusalem, Jesus, Mary Magdalene, Caiaphas, Pilate, Peter, Passover along with the Crucifixion and Resurrection.

The Way is about the journey of Anna as she goes from childhood through adulthood to her death. Anna is her given name that she uses until her father sells her to a group of shepherds. At this point in her life she becomes a “male” and assumes the name of Jesus, her brother who died at birth. This is a necessary deception to protect her life.

Anna/Jesus’ journey eventually leads her to the Sisterhood, an ancient secret group who has the responsibility to preserve the teachings of the feminine deity that has been replaced by the male deity of God the Father as found in the Jewish religion at that time.

The way while an extremely thought provoking novel will offend many traditional Christians and disturb and distress conservative Christians. As much as I love The Way, I must admit, that there were times I had mixed emotions as a devout Roman Catholic. Yet, there was a pull to continue reading the book.

I believe Kristen Wolf was showing the need for compassion and respect for women. Women have been degraded and abused in every time and place and by organized male dominated religious religions of modern times. If we are honest, women still lack the respect deserved as humans who are equal to our male counterparts.

The concept I took the most from The Way is the following question. Would we be any more accepting of Christ if He came today than those who rejected Him in the 1st Century? Would we believe Him to be the Messiah, the chosen one, if He were a woman? What if He was of a different race, sex, creed or dressed differently than the norm? Are we really anymore accepting? Would we reject Him as those who did in the 1st Century because He doesn’t meet “our” expectations of who the Messiah is?

The Way will definitely invoke passionate view points and emotions but at the same time leave the reader doing some deep thinking and soul searching. The Way is well worth the read.

From Rick:

Anna is an androgynous girl growing up in ancient Palestine, a world where women are worth very little. Events are put in place, and Anna finds herself living with a group of Shepherds, where she has disguised herself as a boy and taken on the name Jesus. The primary focus of the book concerns Anna’s life, and her learning what is called The Way.

I absolutely loved this book. It took the story we all know so well, gave it a fresh spin and presented the story in a brand new light. This story seems to be one that is about empowering women. All the main characters are strong women, while the male characters are painted to be typical of that time period, with the exception of a few that are aware of The Way.

Ms. Wolf does a beautiful job of taking biblical stories, names, places, and giving them a twist, all while immersing the reader in this ancient land. A reader well versed in the bible will find many of the sayings and people they already know, while those who aren’t will not find themselves knocked over the head with preachiness.

If there is one drawback to this, I would say that the strict evangelical audiences might find this book very disturbing or even blasphemous. For those with open minds though, I’d definitely recommend it. For ages, I’d say older teens/adults. There are some episodes of “biblical” violence and situations that young minds might not be ready for.

Overall though, I found this to be a beautiful story. It seems well researched, and the author provides books that inspired her writing of it. If you get the opportunity to read it, definitely pick it up, I think you’ll like it. Be sure and stop back by here and let me know what you thought.

About the Author

Kristen Wolf, 43, is a mother and writer living in the Rocky Mountains. She is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Georgetown University and holds an M.A. in creative writing and film from Hollins College where she was awarded a full scholarship.

As a child, Wolf grew up in a heavily forested suburb outside New York City with her parents, a younger brother, and an ever-changing menagerie of pet animals.

Both Wolf’s parents and grandparents passed onto her an avid love and respect for nature which explains the photos of Wolf posing with an ever-widening array of pets, including cats, dogs, guinea pigs, mice, quail, two raccoons, chickens, even a squirrel that lived in her bedroom! Needless to say, hers wasn’t the average American family.

Later, Wolf’s family purchased land in upstate New York and on weekends and summers lived like a regular Swiss Family Robinson, clearing the land, building fences, barns and, eventually, raising and tending cattle, horses, pigs, goats, chickens etc. This led to a very unique life for Wolf and her brother as they lived like farmers on the weekends and students in a suburban public school during the week.

Wolf credits her unique childhood for providing her with keen powers of observation, a passion for living things, unlimited curiosity, and a strong independent streak.

As an adult, Wolf has worked primarily as a writer and filmmaker.

THE WAY is her first novel.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Leyane at FSB Associates for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review. You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

Review: American Dervish – Ayad Akhtar

Saturday, March 10th, 2012
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; 1 edition (January 9, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0316183318
ISBN-13: 978-0316183314
Order book here:


Order E-book here:


Hayat Shah – 10 year old Pakistani American
Mina Ali – A Young woman fleeing Pakistan
Naveed Shah – The husband to Mina’s best friend in America.
Muneer Shah – Mina’s best friend.


Mina Ali grew up in Pakistan. She marries and divorces, but not before producing a son, Imran. When her ex-husband threatens to take Imran away when he turns 7, she becomes desperate. She reaches out to her friends, the Shah’s in America. She is invited to live with them, and that’s where the majority of this story takes place. The time period is the early 80s, and shows what it’s like to try and be faithful to the Quran while at the same time adapt to America. The story is told through the eyes of ten year old Hayat.

Through Hyat we get to see both sides of Islam. We see the radical Islam that led to things such as 9/11 and we get to see the more peaceful Islam. We also see that the trials of his family are no different than anyone elses. He has a heavy drinking, womanizing father. A mother who though angry, doesn’t take the risk to leave her husband.

We also get to view Allah through the eyes of Hayat and many of the other characters. The one lesson I took away is there are many different views about Allah just as there are about any deity.

I think the characters were very 3 dimensional, and the novel at times felt more like a memoir than a work of fiction. There was some strong language, some anti-semitic comments (within context), and strong situations. I’d recommend it to older audiences, but would definitely recommend it to those interested in learning a little more about our Muslim brothers and sisters.

If you get the opportunity, pick up a copy, or enter our contest. Thanks to Anna at Hachette, we’ve been given permission to give away 2 copies to our readers. To enter for a chance go here.

About the Author

Ayad earned a degree in Theater from Brown University and, after graduating, moved to Tuscany to work with world-renowned acting theorist and pioneer, Jerzy Grotowski (Towards a Poor Theater). He has been a New York City resident since the late nineties where he has taught acting on his own and alongside Andre Gregory (My Dinner With Andre, Vanya on 42nd St).

An alumnus of the Graduate Film Program at Columbia University, Ayad earned a degree in directing and won multiple awards for his work. He is the author of numerous screenplays. He co-wrote and played the lead role in THE WAR WITHIN, which premiered at the 2005 Toronto Film Festival. It was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award (Best Screenplay) and an International Press Academy Satellite Award (Best Picture – Drama) and released internationally.

Also a playwright, his latest stage plays are DISGRACED and THE INVISIBLE HAND. DISGRACED is currently under option with The Araca Group (Urinetown, the Broadway revival of A View from the Bridge, and Pacino’s Merchant of Venice). And THE INVISIBLE HAND will be premiering at St. Louis Repertory Theater in 2012.

AMERICAN DERVISH is his first novel.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Anna at Hachette Book Group for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review. You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

1 people like this post.

Giveaway – American Dervish

Saturday, March 10th, 2012

Thanks to Anna at Hachette Book group I”m able to offer my readers 2 copies of this book. To enter, follow these simple rules:

1) One Entry if you’re a follower [You can follow through Google Friend connect to the right, you can also sign up to follow through Twitter or Facebook].
2) An Additonal Entry if you blog about this contest.
3) An Additonal Entry if you’re a new follower.
4) One entry each for posting on facebook and/or twitter.
5) Must leave a comment letting me know how you follow me, blog link to this post, facebook/twitter link, etc.
6) Contest will continue until 03/24/2012.
7) This giveaway is open to residents of US and Canada. No PO Box addresses (street mailing only).

See our review here.

1 people like this post.

Review: Love and Shame and Love – Peter Orner

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011
Hardcover: 448 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; November 7, 2011
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0316129399
ISBN-13: 978-0316129398
Order book here:


Order E-book here:


This book was different. I’m more used to books that tell a linear story. Rather than do that, Mr. Orner has chosen to present the fictional character through what seems to be a series of essays and letters. It has a tendency to jump around in time which can be a bit distracting. I liked the characters, and found their lives to be interesting. I can definitely see why this book has earned the literary praise it has, it is well written.

For those reader who enjoy the more literary type novels, I think this would probably be a great choice. I’m not sure it would be everyone’s taste in books, due to the fact that it tends to jump around and doesn’t seem to have an overall story.

I’d recommend it as being good, but I’m not really sure that it was my style of book. For that I’d recommend caution to the average reader.

About the Author:

Peter Orner was born in Chicago and is the author of two widely praised books, Esther Stories and The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo. Orner is also the editor of two books of nonfiction, Underground America and Hope Deferred: Narratives of Zimbabwean Lives. His work has appeared in the Atlantic Monthly and The Best American Short Stories, and has been awarded two Pushcart Prizes. A 2006 Guggenheim Fellow, Orner has taught at the University of Montana and the Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa and is a faculty member at San Francisco State University. He lives in San Francisco.

Be sure and enter our contest to win a copy here.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Anna at Hachette Book Group for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review. You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

Review: Water for Elephants – Sara Gruen

Monday, May 2nd, 2011



 Paperback: 350 pages
Publisher: Algonquin Books (April 9, 2007)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1565125606
ISBN-13: 978-1565125605
Order book here:



Order E-book here:


Jacob Jankowski – A young man, leaves Vet school and becomes a vet for a traveling circus.
August Rosenbluth – Head animal trainer for Benzini Brothers Circus
Marlena Rosenbluth – Perform in the Benzini Brothers Circus. She works with the animal acts.
Camel – An elderly disabled man, has drank too much bootleg liquor and it’s paid the toll on him.
Kinko – A dwarf clown with a penchant for pornography.
Rosie – An elephant and the biggest acquisition for the Benzini Brothers Circus.


A young man is on the verge of taking his final exams for college. His plans are interrupted and he finds himself on a circus train. He becomes the vet for the animals in the circus. All though is not fun and games under the bigtop, as he’ll discover.


Have you ever thought about running away to join the circus. I’m sure we all did as kids. What could look like more fun. Being around the animals, the clown cars. But in Sara Gruen’s novel, the circus isn’t all the magic it appears to be on the surface. If one looks below that surface, there can be a lot of dark ugliness.

The story revolves around Jacob Jankowski. The time period is during the depression in America. Recent events have found Jacob dropping out of Vet college, and wondering where his life was headed. His sense of helplessness ends up leading him to hop a train. The train happens to be owned by the Benzini Brothers Circus.

The story is told within two time periods. One is the modern time period where we set a 90 or 93 year old Jacob, then other time period is during the depression with a 20 year old Jacob. The story alternates between the two periods. The more recent time period presents a story that is sad. It’s sad because it’s very true to how we often forget the elderly in our society.

Rick: I liked the story. I really grew to care about the character of Jacob much more so in the book then I did in the movie (which my wife and I saw after reading the book). The scenes with him in the nursing home and how he struggles to maintain the life he knows is within him is very touching. The scenese flashing back to his younger days, and showing the circus in all it’s early glory really makes you want to join the circus, then seeing the darkness of it, makes you feel sad for the people involved. Given, it’s a work of fiction, but the author researched this book, a lot, and the impact of that shows in the rich contrasts she shows between the bright circus and the darkness that the people don’t see.

If you’ve ever dreamed of the Circus, or just like historical literature, then I’d say pick this up. While the movie was okay, the book I really liked. I’d recommend it over the movie, but then that’s almost always the case.

Aly: Great book is all I can say without giving it all away. I don’t have my hubby’s talent of providing just the right amount of information. No matter what, I would spill the beans.  All I can say is: Great book and I recommend it.

You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

1 people like this post.

Review: Brionne – Louis L’Amour

Friday, February 4th, 2011

Paperback: 176 pages
Publisher: Bantam; 36th THUS edition (December 1, 1995)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0553281070
ISBN-13: 978-0553281071
Order book here:
Order E-book here:


Major James Brionne
Dutton Mowry
Cotton Allard
Mat Brionne
Miranda Loften


A young boy watches his mother attacked, and her suicide at the hands of a gang of killers named Allard. Major James Brionne had testified, causing the oldest Allard brother to be hung. Now they are after revenge. Major Brionne takes his son and heads west seeking out a new life for them. They make some allies along the way, and some enemies.


This is one of the first Louis L’amour novels I’ve read in years. He’s one of the best western novelists there has ever been , and his books are always pretty accurate. I found this a very thrilling story from page one to the end. The book is rather short, so it wasn’t a long read. There was the normal violence expected within a western novel. There are also ties that bring different characters together on their journey.

If you like Westerns, I think you’d defnitely like Brionne. It would be suitable I think for any age in which a John Wayne film would be suitable.

You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.