Monday, November 01, 2010

Turn the Page...Tuesday

It's once again time for Turn the Page...Tuesday hosted by the fabulous Adrienne at Some of a Kind
October was a really busy month for me at work, so I needed my books to be easy reads but mysterious, in honor of the seaon.  My first choice was "Here on Earth" by Alice Hoffman, the author of "Practical Magic".  
Chapter 1 begins:

Tonight, the hay in the fields is already brittle with frost, especially to the west of Fox Hill, where the pastures shine like stars.  In October, darkness begins to settle by four-thirty and although the leaves have turned scarlet and gold, in the dark everything is a shadow of itself, gray with a purple edge.  At this time of year, these woods are best avoided, or so the local boys say.  Even the bravest among them wouldn't dare stray from the High Road after soccer practice at Firemen's Field, and those who are old enough to stand beside the murky waters of Olive Tree Lake and pry kisses from their girlfriends still walk home quickly.  If the truth be told, some of them run.  A person could get lost up here.  After enough wrong turns he might find himself in the Marshes, and once he was there, a man could wander forever among the minnows and the reeds, his soul struggling to find it's way long after his bones had been discovered and buried on the crest of the hill, where wild blueberries grow.

In Here on Earth, Alice Hoffman weaves a dark tale of the loss of innocence and love and of the absolute control one person can hold over another.  It is a story that deals with the hardness of abusive relationships and the ties that bind the abused to the abuser.  It was a good story, written beautifully, almost poetically, but fairly heavy and dark. 

From the back cover:
After nineteen years in California, March Murray returns to the small Massachussetts town where she grew up.  For all this time, March has been avoiding her own troubled history, but when she encounters Hollis--the boy she loved so desperately, the man who has never forgotten her--the past collides with the present as their reckless love is reignited.  This dark romantic tale asks whether it is possible to survive a love that consumes you.  The answers that March Murray discovers are both heartbreaking and wise, as complex as they are devastating--for in heaven and in our dreams, love is simple and glorious.  But it is something altogether different here on earth...

My second choice this month was a Dana Girls Mystery.  A couple of years ago, ours neighbors were moving to the city to be closer to their kids and grandkids.  Riff and I helped them get their yardsale all set up and ready to go.  Once they were ready for business, Sharon told me to pick anything I wanted from their treasures.  She had two sets of books out that she had marked for a really cheap price.  I LOVE old books; the smell, the feel, everything.  One set was the first 9 Dana Girl Mysteries from Carolyn Keene, the author of the Nancy Drew series.  I had not heard of the Dana Girls, but loved the look of the books so snatched them up.  Right next to them was a set of the first 7 of the Cherry Ames, Nurse books.  They are just as wonderful and Sharon piled them into my arms as well.  Bless her hide, from one book lover to another.

October seemed the perfect month to break out one of the Dana Girl Mystery's, so I choose Book 8; "The Clue in the Cobweb".  What a fun series.  Takes me right back to being 12 and reading all these fun mysteries that I could get my hands on. 

The beginning:
"Jean, you've been playing with that old machine for over an hour.  When are you going to study?  Time's almost up."
The Dana sisters, Louise and Jean, were alone in their rooms at the Starhurst School for Girls.  During the entire study period, Jean, the younger, fair-haired one, had been absorbed in a queer-looking contraption she was trying to build.

The girls go to boarding school and their aunt and uncle are their guardians.  Captain Dana, the uncle, is captain of an ocean liner.  The girls recieve a call from Aunt Harriet;  Captain Dana is in town and wants to take them for dinner.  At dinner, he mentions trouble on the boat.  It seems that a passenger, Miss Katherine Blore, started the voyage but didn't make it to the other shore.  Did she fall overboard?  Or is something more sinister going on?  The girls take all the clue's and start a journey to find the answers.  A journey that will take them out west before bringing them right back home to solve the mystery, in the cobwebs of course.
Such fun books.  If you are a lover of the old classics, try a Dana Girls Mystery, if you can find one.  They aren't easy to come by.  I just got lucky!
Maybe next time I'll take you on a Cherry Ames adventure. Should be fun!

Hey! Stop over at Adrienne's to see what others are reading, and join in.  Really, it won't hurt and we'd love to see what you've been reading.



Adrienne said...

That first books sounds like a must read (to the list it goes!). I've never heard of the other series ... looks like I need to do some thrifting - we've got some great used books stores around here - I bet I could find a set! Thanks for participating (and calling me fabulous - awe shucks!)

Bonnie said...

I love Alice Hoffman! I am so envious (do you see the green reflecting in your monitor?) over the Dana Girls. I loved Nancy Drew. She and I became such good friends when I was in grade school. I have never heard of the Dana Girls. Enjoy your treasures. I so enjoy your blog!

Stacey's Treasures said...

The Dana Girls books sound fun!
I think I read all the mystery's in the grade school library at Elgin.
I just finished my ttpt book tonight & am going to start the Cranberry book you sent me next.

~ The Jolly Bee ~ said...

Yeah for the Dana Girls and Cherry Ames. I have old copies of both. I should revisit them. I love the pictures. So vintage and lovely.