Sunday, September 30, 2012

Pemberley Ranch by Jack Caldwell

Another book I chose to read after reading several reviews of it on War Through The Generations blog.  I didn't like the book as much as the other reviewers did.  It was a re-imagining of Pride and Prejudice, set in Texas right after the end of the US Civil War.  This is the first retelling of Pride and Prejudice that I've read (there are a LOT of them), and it's been 4 years since I read Pride and Prejudice (which I've only read once and really liked).  I wanted to like this book, but I didn't think it was very well written.  There were cliches and colloquialisms and the dialogue didn't ring true with me. The story was all right, but not great.  Overall, I rate it 2 out of 5.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Summer of Katya by Trevanian

I decided to read this book because of a review posted by Semicolon at War Through the Generations blog.  It is set in France in 1914, right before the start of World War I.  Dr. Jean-Marc Montjean, a recent graduate of medical school, works for the only doctor in the small village of Salies.  He falls in love with Katya Treville, a beautiful young woman, after treating her twin brother's injured arm.  Katya's brother warns Montjean to stay away from Katya, but Montjean is convinced that Katya returns his affections.  He soon realizes that the Treville family has been running from an old secret.  It was a well written story that was part mystery, part love story, and part psychological drama.  I didn't think that World War I was either a primary or secondary theme of the novel, but since a review was posted on the War Through the Generations blog, I'm counting it for my reading challenge.  I rate it 4 out of 5.

The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim

I finished this a couple of weeks ago and am just now getting around to writing about it. It was the story of four Englishwomen who spend a month's holiday together in a beautiful Italian villa. They didn't know each other before their holiday. This could have been a recipe for disaster, but instead it was a sweet story; a little too sweet for my taste actually. It was too much like a fairy tale with everyone living happily ever after.  I rate it 2 out of 5.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Sketchbook Challenge - Pattern

My DH brought me this pine cone to sketch so I had to sketch it - I want to encourage that behavior! It is also the perfect subject for the current month's sketchbook challenge theme of pattern. This is the first page in a new sketchbook I made a couple of weeks ago, so I'm also trying out a new (to me) paper - Arches En-Tout-Cas. It is cold pressed on one side and hot pressed on the other side. This is the cold pressed side. So far so good.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Round and Round I Go

I finished all of my decorative stitching on the little quilt I started in Jane Sassaman's class. Now I just have to quilt and bind it.

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Reflections on Sunflowers

I used fabric from Jane Sassaman's line and a pattern from her newest book, Patchwork Sassaman Style. I hurried to finish it because I'm taking classes from her in a few days at the Oklahoma Quilters State Organization's Fall Retreat.

The Yellow House by Patricia Falvey

I decided to read this book after reading reviews of it on the War Through The Generations blog.  In order to count towards the reading challenge, WWI should be a primary or secondary theme.  While parts of the book occurred during WWI, it really didn't seem like either a primary or a secondary theme to me.  But since both hostesses of the challenge (Anna Horner and Serena Agusto-Cox) counted it, I guess I can count it too.

The book is a historical novel set in early 20th century Northern Ireland.  I didn't know much (or any) Irish history, so I learned a lot about Ireland's struggle for independence from Great Britain, the formation of the Irish Republican Army (IRA), and the partitioning of Ireland into Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.  The main character, Eileen O'Neill, was a very strong, opinionated, and defiant young woman.  I sometimes got tired of how angry she was much of the time, although much of her anger was justified.  The love story portion was a bit too predictable for me, but otherwise I enjoyed the book.  I rate it 3 out of 5.