Tag Archives: Chicago

The Rhythm of Secrets by Patti Lacy

Word Lily review

The Rhythm of Secrets by Patti Lacy (Kregel, December 2010), 320 pages

Rhythm of Secrets by Patti Lacy Summary
Sheila Franklin has lived three separate lives. Now a conservative pastor’s wife in Chicago, she is skilled at hiding secrets — a talent birthed during childhood romps through the music-filled streets of New Orleans. But when the son she bore at the age of 18 comes back looking for answers and desperate for help, her greatest secret — and greatest regret — is revealed. Eager to right past wrongs, Sheila’s heart floods with memories of lyrical jazz music and a worn-out Bible. But when her husband learns her history, she’s faced with an impossible decision: embrace the dream — and son — she abandoned against her will or give in to the demands of her safe but stifled life. ~from GoodReads

I had heard good things about this book, but the cover was a major hurdle for me. It looks … self-published. I think it was Amy’s review that got me over that hurdle. Thanks, Amy. This is one of those instances where my cover-judgment would have dis-served me.

I’m just going to give it to you in bullet points, because that’s what my notes look like, and it’s been way too long since I read it for me to remember specifics.

• The musical threads Lacy uses to tie the pieces of the story together are brilliant. This gives the whole book almost a rhythmic, poetic feel.

• The pacing lagged at times.

• There is an incredible amount of time (number of years) covered in the book. I think she mostly pulled this off, but it might have contributed to the feeling of slow pacing somehow.

• I liked that there’s a bit of a mystery for the reader to uncover.

• And I really liked the setting(s) of the book.

• There was something else that just didn’t quite feel right about it, but I, even after many months, can’t put my finger on it.

Not really related, but still: I think this book (reading it and writing about it) have finally gotten me to where I can spell “rhythm” correctly on my first try. That was one of the words I always had to try a couple times before I found the accurate spelling. So there’s that.

Rating: 4 stars

Other reviews
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Tyger Tyger by Kersten Hamilton

Word Lily review

Tyger Tyger: A Goblin Wars Book by Kersten Hamilton (Clarion Books, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, November 15, 2010 — but available now), 320 pages

Teagan Wylltson’s usually steady, by-the-plan life gets turned upside down when her adoptive teenage cousin, Finn Mac Cumhaill, comes to live with her family. But it’s probably not, primarily, in the way you’d guess. He’s rugged and handsome, yes, but he’s also the Mac Cumhaill…. Oh, and did I mention? Tea’s best friend, Abby, had a dream that goblins and the like were going to attack Teagan.

I really enjoyed this book! Grounded in the real world but filled with the wonder of fantasy. I think this makes the book much more accessible to people who are skeptical of (or just plain unfamiliar with) high fantasy. It also makes the book very enjoyable, too.

I loved the Celtic mythology at the root of much of the story. Tea is incredibly real — earnest and likable. Abby is a great counterpoint. I appreciated all the characters, actually.

I also love that the Wylltson family is so literary. Tea’s mom writes and illustrates children’s books. Her father’s a librarian.

One more thing: I really enjoyed the bits of humor Hamilton wove into the story.

I really have no complaints about this book; I quite liked Tyger Tyger and I’m looking forward to more. Actually, I want to read the next book now! (But I’m afraid I’ll have to wait awhile; I couldn’t find any information about book 2. Which isn’t too surprising since this one just came out. But still.)

About the author
Kersten Hamilton is the author of several picture books and many middle grade book; this is her first novel for a young adult audience. She lives in New Mexico.

Other reviews
Dreadlock Girl
The Lost Entwife
Kay’s Bookshelf
Window to My World
I Just Wanna Sit Here and Read
Alexia’s Books and Such
Book Chic

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I received this book from the publisher. I am an Amazon Associate and receive a small commission on sales through my affiliate links.

Divine Appointments by Charlene Ann Baumbich

Divine Appointments: A Novel by Charlene Ann Baumbich (A Snowglobe Connections Novel, book 2) (WaterBrook, September 21, 2010), 336 pages

Josie’s in her late 40s, combating hot flashes and, for the first time, realizing that she didn’t exactly picture herself alone at this point in her life. On top of that, this year’s job, a one-year contract to clean up and slim down Diamond Mutual is more of a challenge than any other. Will she fulfill her contract on time?

I really liked how subtle the connection was between the first Snowglobe Connections book, Stray Affections [my review], and this one.

This book (and the one preceding it, actually) doesn’t have the pervading sense of wonder and mystery that I associate with elements of magical realism, but this story does have an object that behaves abnormally. The reason I wouldn’t call it magical realism is because the characters think it’s strange, crazy even, when such things happen, rather than taking it in stride.

The timing for this book’s release feels apropos to me, in that it deals with a down economy.

Although published by a Christian publishing house, Divine Appointments has little talk of God. Only secondary characters actively believe or even wrestle with faith — although their faith does seem to pervade the book.

One aspect of the book I didn’t enjoy was the inclusion of pieces of one character’s novel-in-progress; sure, it at least sometimes presented a different angle on a situation in the book, but I was distracted by the transition and annoyed by the poor writing.

Like Stray Affections, I quite enjoyed this story. Baumbich, I think, does a good job connecting to her readers. Her characters are relatable, down to earth.

I’ll continue reading this series, and I’d like to get my hands on the Dearest Dorothy series.

About the author
Charlene Baumbich (@TwinkleChar) is passionate about rejuvenating lives through humor. In addition to the Snowglobe Connections novels, she’s the author of the Dearest Dorothy series and several nonfiction books. She and her husband live in Illinois.

Other reviews
Books, Movies & Chinese Food
Devourer of Books
A Peek at My Bookshelf
Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers
Have you reviewed this book? Leave me a link and I’ll add it here.

I received this book from the author. I am an Amazon Associate and receive a small commission on sales through my affiliate links.