Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Long Walk Home

The Long Walk Home by Will North
Source: Purchased
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
View on GoodReads

This was such a lovely little book. It takes place in the countryside of Wales on a family farm/Bed & Breakfast.  The main characters of the story are Fiona and David, the married couple who own the farm and a man named Alec who comes to visit. Alec comes to stay at the Bed & Breakfast because it is right near a mountain where Alec has come to scatter the ashes of his late ex-wife (yes, ex-wife - that relationship is quite interesting).

David has an illness that causes him to have chemical sensitivities, so he lives in a separate building on the property set up specially for him. Meanwhile, Fiona continues to live in the main house where she runs her Bed & Breakfast.  They are definitely still married; they are not "separated," but they do live apart. It is also made pretty clear that theirs was never a particularly close or intimate relationship, even before David's illness.  So into this scene comes Alec. Not surprisingly, Alec and Fiona fall in love. The fact that Fiona is married makes this forbidden romance quite complicated.

I had some mixed feelings about Alec and Fiona's relationship because I'm not normally one to condone or excuse infidelity.  However, this is both fiction and a romance, so I went along for the ride.  And I must say I was rooting for them to work out a way to be together.  What helped me suspend judgement were two things: 1. Fiona and David were clearly not a good match to begin with and 2. David had gone from being merely frustrated and angry about his illness to actually becoming violent toward Fiona.  Sick or not, hitting your wife just does not sit well with me.

I won't give it away, but I will say I really loved the ending of this book.  I think everything wrapped up nicely and realistically.  Even if this book is a tad predictable, I really enjoyed it.  I liked that it had a bit more substance than your typical romance novel, dealing not just with love, but also with loss.

One of the other things I absolutely loved about this book were the cooking scenes. The descriptions of the food and wine made me want to dive into the pages and take a seat at the table. North really sets the scene of the kitchen (and the other rooms in the Bed & Breakfast as well) and makes it feel like a place I would want to be, a place that feels like home.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Where to begin?

# of books READ - 0
# of books REMOVED - 0
# of books TO READ - 230


230 is a huge number.  I can't believe I really have that many unread books in my "library," as my husband likes to call it.  I confess I am a book addict.  I have more than enough choices at home and yet I cannot resist the lure of a bookstore.  Used bookstores, online bookstores, chain bookstores, independent bookstores - I love them all.  I love discovering new titles and new authors.  Best of all, I love diving into a fabulous book - the kind of book that makes me wish I could just stay home and read all day. And also the kind of book I wish I could prolong indefinitely because I just can't bear for it to be over.  I do have a sweet spot for series; these types of books delay the inevitable END at least for a little while longer.

The idea of this blog is to share my experiences as I read my way through my rather large collection of books that are threatening to topple my bookcases at any moment. Since the beginning of 2011, I have so far read 13 new books. My goal is to continue reading through all the NEW books on my shelves.  You see, when I can't decide what type of book I want to read next, I usually revert to re-reading something that I already love.  As fun as that can be, I believe I am missing out on all the other books I have acquired over the years.  After all, I picked up each of these books because they sounded great.

My plan is to share my thoughts on each book after I read it and keep track of the total number of books I have left to read on my shelf.  Now, I also know that I will inevitably buy more books (though I am trying to cut back) and with each entry I will keep track of new additions and adjust my total TO READ number.  I also occasionally weed through my collection and sell/donate/give away books that I discover no longer appeal to me.  Again my total TO READ number will be adjusted.  My goal is not to punish myself, but to thoroughly enjoy myself

I will also post entries about my favorite books I have read over the years.  After all, a girl can only read so fast and I do love to share a great find.  Happy reading!