Words In My Head

wpid-416xm5ojt0l._sl1500_.jpgMiss Emily is a fictional novel by Irish author Nuala O’Connor. Based on the life of Emily Dickinson, the story revolves around the relationship between Emily and a household maid named Ada who comes straight from Ireland to the Dickinson household.

Told in the first person, the chapters switch between Emily and Ada’s point- of-view. Using this writing style, the author compares recluse Dickinson to the new maid who fearlessly left Ireland in search of something more in life. O’Connor also includes Emily’s relationships with her immediate family which are somewhat strained.

I admit I know little about Dickinson’s life however, reading this book helped me gain insight into what may have been her private thoughts. She was certainly an introvert who preferred the company of her poetry, nature, and words to that of human beings. The story itself captured my attention, and as a writer, I enjoyed it.

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Whither Thou Goest

wpid-e96e89aa8afe306596e306a65674141414d6741.jpgBridge to the Sun by Gwen Terasaki is a memoir written by the American wife of a Japanese diplomat during World War II. When the Tennessee born author met and married her Japanese husband in Washington D.C. in 1931, little could she imagine the effect upcoming political events would have on their lives.

This is another novel which came to my attention after watching a movie based upon it. I am very grateful the movie prompted me to read this memoir. I think it is an amazing book. There is so much information in this book about the reality of war. This is the first book I have read which, thanks to the author, allowed me to see inside the lives of the people living in Japan during World War Ii. Up until now, my perspective was limited.

After Pearl Harbor, Gwen, her husband, and daughter were expelled from D.C. and returned to Japan after being interred in the U.S. while awaiting transport. With limited knowledge of the Japanese language, the author lived at her husband’s side throughout the remainder of World War II in a country at war with her own.

This memoir is much more than a story  about the politics and deprivations of war;  ultimately it is a story about love, marriage, and commitment. It touched my heart and soul.

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Double Book Giveaway: Anne of Green Gables

wpid-51o1uvmgdpl._sl1500_.jpgYoung readers have read and loved Anne of Green Gables and its spunky, smart heroine, Anne Shirley. Debut novelist Andi Teran reworks this classic in Ana of California. Teran introduces characters with modern sensibilities and issues while staying true to the heart and spirit of Montgomery’s series. The novel also reflects Teran’s Mexican heritage.

To enter to win both books, please email us at bookwinked [at] gmail.com before July 24, 2015! Contest open to U.S. residents only.

Congratulations to our giveaway winner Carol!

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Searching for Meaning

wpid-51comuq6jbl._sy344_bo1204203200_.jpg.jpegThe Angel in My Pocket by Sukey Forbes is a true story of love, loss, and life after death. The author is the great, great, great, granddaughter of Ralph Waldo Emerson.

This healing memoir was written after the tragic death of Forbes’ 6 1/2 half-year-old daughter Charlotte, to non triggered malignant hyperthermia in August of 2004.

Forbes writes much about her family history and New England upbringing in a stoic blue – blooded family. Like Emerson, the Forbes family tended to be spiritual more than religious and very connected to the earth. This memoir chronicles Forbes years spent soul-searching in order to come to grips with the loss of her beloved child.

Much of what is in this book I understood. I have lost many people very dear to me throughout my life and with each passing, I ask myself many of the same questions this grieving mother asked herself.

I think this novel would be very helpful to anyone who has lost someone they love, in particular, a child. I believe a mother’s loss of her child must be one of the most difficult things to bear. How do you go on living? Forbes found a way to confront her grief, suffering, and pain through diligent effort and a change in consciousness.

This book is a beautiful tribute to Charlotte. It is also a helpful guide for others who find themselves struggling with a similar loss of great magnitude.

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The Way We Were

wpid-a-moveable-feast-ernest-hemingway1.jpgIf you have never read A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway, I strongly recommend you take the time to do so.

Written many years afterward, this is a collection of short stories; recollections of Hemingway’s days in 1920’s Paris. Like a fine French wine, the stories are rich, wonderful, and worth savoring. Hemingway’s memories of Hadley, his son and the Fitzgeralds are beautifully insightful.

As always, I delighted in reading the work of my favorite author. I hope you will as well.

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The Mystery of the White Ribbon

The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz wpid-book-housesilk-cvr.jpgrecently came to my attention when I saw a former professor was reading another book written by the same author. Am I ever grateful!

Sanctioned by the Doyle Estate, this is a brand new Sherlock Holmes mystery.  I listened to the book on cd and highly recommend doing so as the British actor giving voice to the story is extraordinary.

Typical of the original mysteries, faithful Dr. Watson narrates the story of the adventure which involves a well-to-do Brit who is being watched by an American thug, thus making him fear for his life.  The case becomes much more complex than originally imagined leading to people in high places and a mysterious informant who helps crack the case wide open.

As a Holmes fan, I loved this story. I think my readers will as well!

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Dedicated to the One I Love

wpid-mixtape240-08da54d189f7f94e3279235f0c21ef2faae1e6fb-s800-c15.jpgLove is a Mix Tape by Rob Sheffield was a timely read for me and a good memoir.  Little did I know when I chose the book on tape from the library it would be prophetic in a very sad, strange way.  Not long after I began listening to this touching love story written by a Rolling Stone writer, my oldest sister Joan passed away suddenly.

While this is a memoir written by a grieving widower who lost his young wife Renee five years into their marriage, so much of this book was relatable as I lost my sister suddenly as well.

Using mix tapes made and shared with his wife prior to her passing, Sheffield replays memories of days and cherished feelings gone by as expressed in song.

I think this is a wonderful tribute to Renee written with great love. It came to me without my knowing I was about to experience my own personal loss. It helped me understand my brother-in-law’s grief. There are no mistakes in the universe. Rest in peace Renee. Rest in peace my dear sister.

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