I read a couple of books this past month - One that left me wanting to read the next one in the series and reaching for my camera to capture the perfect light...and one that had my mind wandering away from the train that was chugging down the tracks. Read on to see what I was reading on....
Another wonderful Jane Kirkpatrick novel! I just love her writing and this one did not disappoint. Written about Jane's very own Grandmother, this story brings Jessie Gaebele's love of photography and dreams of her own studio alive. Jessie is a young girl, working to help out her family and just happens to get a postition that she loves, at a photography studio in her hometown of Winona, Minnesota. Jessie's joy at learning her trade and expanding her talent is only dampened by her worry over her little brother, Frog, and her families growing discomfort over her relationship with her boss, Mr. F.J. Bauer. Mr. Bauer is a married man who see's Jessie's talent and spends extra time tutoring her. Mr. Bauer has re-occuring bouts of mercury poisoning which plaqued photographers of this time and Jessie proves herself invaluable in the running of the studio during his lengthy absences.
This is a beautifully written story. I loved the insights into the early photographic world and the photo's of Jessie that were included. Cannot wait to get my hands on the second in this series and follow Jessie's life for a lit bit longer!
The Gentleman From Finland: Adventures On The Trans-siberian Express by Robert M. Goldstein
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
This book was my dusty read - one that had been sitting on the shelf for four years or so....
You know when you read a book and you just don't want it to end? This was not that book. The Gentleman From Finland wasn't a terrible read by any means; in fact I found parts of it fun and enjoyable but by the last 50 pages or so I just wanted it over but couldn't give it up when I was that far in.
The author writes about his journey riding through Siberia on the Trans-Siberian Express on an epic journey that he had wanted to take since he was a kid and fell in love with trains. In 1987, regular tourists don't generally get to make this journey by themselves, but because Bob was the guests of friends living in Moscow, he got all the right paperwork to ride the train. Things in Russia are sort of like Alice in Wonderland, with not much being as it seems. In his quest to get paperwork to ride this train, Bob's passport came through an agency in Finland, a place he has never even been, but it seems that all of Russia now thinks that the Mexican-American-Russian-Jewish Bob is Finnish. He can't seem to make anyone understand that he is an American, so finally gives up. Throughout his journey, Finland keeps popping up in all kinds of ways, as if there is something that Bob is supposed to find out about his heritage.
Two days in to the very first leg of his journey, Bob realizes that he isn't even on the famous train. Between his extremely limited Russian speaking skills and the man at the train station not understanding him, he boarded a train headed to the same first stop. Bob finally arrives, a day early, to the hotel in the town of his first layover, but because they are not expecting him until the next day, the staff at the hotel pretty much pretends that he isn't there until the actual time that he was supposed to arrive. The scene was pretty comical, if you weren't Bob. Along the rest of the way, we meet some pretty amazing characters, some quite unbelievable really. Bob ends up getting sick along the way and the last third or so of the book is really the ramblings of his feverish mind. Believe me when I say that it was time for this train trip to come to an end.
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Now I am on the Scottish Coast with Carrie McClelland as she writes her next novel in the shadows of Slains Castle in The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley. Where is your reading taking you?