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The Keeper by John G. Ives

IMAG4687   This is a breathtaking historical novel which takes place in 1899. Joshua Duell is a young man, fresh from the shores of Cuba where he fought, reluctantly, in what became know as the Spanish-American War, where he witnessed his brother’s death, which he blames on himself. His mother has recently perished in a shipwreck off Cape Cod, after attending his brother’s funeral. Devastated, Joshua takes the train to Provincetown, the tip of Cape Cod, uncertain why he is drawn to this remote place, near where his mother disappeared. He ends up joining the U.S. Life-Saving Service (a precursor to the U.S. Coast Guard), which patrols the treacherous coastline and rescues crew and passengers from shipwrecks. The work is almost unbearably hard on the body and soul, as not all people are able to be rescued. The scenes of stormy seas, physical hardship and dramatic rescues are authentically and wonderfully rendered here. Joshua finds romance (again beautifully drawn), and learns more about his mother’s mysterious fate, as well as the true meaning of friendship and loyalty.

I highly recommend this novel, there is not a false note here, which is more than I can say about many books I’ve read, even those I’ve truly enjoyed. This goes to the top of my list of favorite books this year. It is published locally (Cape Cod), and so best acquired by going to http://www.titcombsbookshop.com where it can be purchased for $18.95, and shipped to anywhere. The book is enhanced by the authors’ daughter’s beautiful illustrations, as well as photos and illustrations of rescues and rescuers.

Here is another inspiring illustration by Winslow Homer, The Lifeline, which plays a small part near the end of this magnificent novel.

 

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There’s Waldo! In Sandwich | SANDWICH – The most famous missing person case in literary history seemed solved Saturday by hundreds in Sandwich. “There’s Waldo!” people cried out.

http://capecodwave.com/theres-waldo-in-sandwich/

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Z a Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald

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by Therese Anne Fowler This is a fascinating work of fiction that brings the mysterious and enigmatic Zelda Fitzgerald to life and fleshed out a personality previously portrayed as crazy and shrewish. Zelda had talents and dreams of her own but was unable to make a name for herself as hers were always subjugated by those of her husband F. Scott Fitzgerald, and his fragile ego feared anyone’s success over his. The author drew from archived letters from and to both F. Scott and Zelda to create this vivid and fascinating portrait.

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The Obituary Writer

There are two plot lines in this wonderful novel, Claire is struggling with a decision whether to leave her loveless marriage and may be carrying her lover’s child. We follow her on the day of JFK’s inauguration as she wrestles with her conscience. Vivian, an obituary writer, is waiting and searching for her lost love, who disappeared thirteen years earlier in the San Francisco earthquake of 1906.
Through telling the life story of each deceased, she honors rhem and helps herself come to terms with her own loss. The connection between these two women will change Claire’s life forever in a surprising way.
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2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The London Olympic Stadium is 53 meters high. This blog had about 690 visitors in 2012. If every visitor were a meter, this blog would be 13 times taller than the Olympic Stadium – not too shabby.

Click here to see the complete report.

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This Helps….

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December 16, 2012 · 8:38 am

MAGNIFICENCE by Lydia Millet

ImageSusan is a serial adulterer whose life is shattered by her husband’s sudden death. As she struggles to maintain a healthy relationship with her grown, paraplegic daughter, she unexpectedly inherits a mansion from a distant relative, who had filled the magnificent house with stuffed and mounted animals from around the world. At first she is creeped out by them and then becomes their caretaker, as well as the part time involuntary caretaker of her former boss’ elderly mother, who suffers from dementia. The novel explores the many forms loss can take, a loved one’s death, when it is to late to make amends, her daughter’s loss of what could have been if not for her accident, the slow loss of personality in the elderly with dementia, and the loss of animals in the wild to extinction. A sometimes funny and touching novel that reminds us to live life to the fullest while not closing our eyes to the beauty and mystery of life!

Coming November 2012

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