Marion Marchetto

I'm an author, book reviewer, and blogger. You can find info on me and my books on my website:


Marie-Laure LeBlanc is alone in her Uncle’s home when she hears the approach of American planes on their path to bombing the city where she resides. Except for the Germans there are few residents left thanks to the flyers previously dropped by the Americans warning the French citizens to evacuate or be killed. It is apprently the intention of the Allies to level the city – one of the last strongholds of the German forces. But Marie-Laure knows nothing of this as she is blind and cannot see the flyers. Not far away is a young German man named Werner who is a radio specialist. During the bombing he is one of three men who make it to an underground cellar. By the time the bombing is over, he is able to dig out from the cellar. During the war he has been part of a small force that moves from town to town tracking down and destroying the radio broadcasts of the French Resistance. When Werner is once again above ground, he tracks down the radio wires that lead him to Marie-Laure’s uncle’ house.


Flashbacks take the reader to an earlier time when Werner and his younger sister Jutta are still in the orphans’s home. The children like to go out and scavenge and Werner teaches himself to build and fix a radio receiver from spare parts. It is his greatest pleasure during those years to tune in to a scratchy broadcast of an older gentleman who speaks of all things: scientific, spiritual, and so much more. It is those broadcasts, made by the heavily foreign accented voice, that make orphan life bearable.


Thus when the soldier Werner has become meets Marie-Laure at the house where he has gone to destroy the radio transmitter, it suddenly realizes that this is the place where those childhood broadcasts were made and that it is this girl’s uncle whose voice he remembers. What follows is one of the most touching scenes I have read this year.


ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE is a wonderful commentary on coming of age during World War II. Additionally it is a wonderful look at the war from two distinctly different viewpoints. The writing is crisp and carries the reader along in a pleasantly consistent fashion. At the conclusion, I found myself hoping for a second book to follow the lives further in post-war years. All in all, a terrific book you will enjoy.


Everything: The Untold Story of The Rich Young Ruler by Richard A. Hackett Jr.


Have you often wondered how the stories in the Bible relate to today’s world? I, for one, have done that many times. Many times I’ve tried to draw parallel lines between today and yesterday. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. But within the pages of this book Addi ben Zuriel, the central character, brings new understanding to an old story.


In the Bible Jesus tells this young man, Addi, that in order to find eternal life he (Addi) should sell all of his possessions and follow the Lord. Of course Addi is skeptical since it is he, along with an elite band of Pharisees, who are seemingly preparing for a great leader in the guise of their Messiah to arise and with a vast army break the people free from the chains of Rome’s rule.


What follows is the story of how Addi comes to accept Jesus as the Messiah; it also takes Addi quite some time to reailze that the ‘new world order’ is not to be of this world but a kingdom of the heart. Through the perils and intrigues of a Biblical Jerusalem at Passover, we follow Addi as he in turn follows Jesus through the Passover and ultimately through the crucifixion. We become friends with the disciples and with Jesus’s mother Mary.


I wish the Bible could be retold in a manner similar to this book. It is easy to read and understand. For me, it was also easy to see the amount of research that has gone into this tome. And while it can easily be read in a day or two I took several weeks to finish it, allowing myself the time to absorb the personal meanings. It is a book rich in detail yet easily understood.


I look forward to reading another book by Richard Hackett. Note: This Kindle edition did have several typos, however, not enough to interfere with the enjoyment of the story.

Please note that all proceeds from the sale of Mr. Hackett’s books go to fund the work of SeaMercy, a non-profit organization that brings healthcare to the remote islands of the South Pacific.


The Last MacKlenna by Katherine Lowry Logan

The Last MacKlenna - Katherine Lowry Logan

I’m in love with a fictitious character by the name of Dr. Elliott Fraser. Not since Rhett Butler have I found a character so endearing, so arrogant, so loving, so annoying – a truly complex man who is given to the reader bit by bit until by book’s end you want to cry because the story is over.


The Last MacKlenna is the prequel to The Ruby Brooch and I must say I don’t usually give much thought to prequels. But this one took me by surprise – grabbing me by the collar and throwing the book at me (figuratively). Meredith Montgomery meets Elliott Fraser over the Christmas holiday when each of them escapes from their busy worlds and stay at a B&B in Scotland – one in search of her ancestry and the other there for various reasons. For Elliott it is love at first sight although he mistakes his love for lust. Meredith – a young widow and head of a California winery that’s been in her family for generations – see Elliott has a holiday fling, perhaps her last as she has recently been diagnosed with a return of the breast cancer that she beat five years earlier.


What ensues is a cat and mouse game between the two that takes us from Scotland, to Kentucky, to California and back again as we try to keep up with these two corporate jet-setters.


The Last MacKlenna is a love story, a murder mystery, a bit of history, and a throw back to another time and place that will keep the reader guessing until the final pages whether or not its true love for Meredith and Elliott. I couldn’t wait to finish the story yet didn’t want the story to end. I’m looking forward to The Sapphire Brooch.


If you like Scotland, men in kilts, and whiskey then this book is for you – and even if you don’t you’ll learn to love them after you read this book.


The Girl Who Came Home by Hazel Gaynor

The Girl Who Came Home: A Novel of the Titanic - Hazel Gaynor

Let me begin by saying that I’ve read quite a lot of books and articles on Titanic. I’ve seen ‘the’ movie several times and watched various documentaries. I’m always on the lookout for something new or different. I liked that this book was presented from the perspective of a third-class steerage passenger.


We meet seventeen year old Maggie Murphy who is about to embark on her journey to America on Titanic. She doesn’t want to leave Ballysheen (her home village) and her boyfriend Seamus. But when her mother passes and her Aunt Kathleen comes from America to collect her, Maggie has no say in the matter. She and her aunt, along with twelve other folk from Ballysheen, decide to travel together. Maggie’s friend, the outspoken Peggy Marden, is ready to leave. She dreams of marrying a rich American man and living in a fancy mansion.


The story then switches us to Chicago in 1982 and we meet Grace Butler, a journalism student who sets aside her studies when her father passes so that she can stay home with her mother who is in a deep state of depression. After watching her great-granddaughter give so much of her self to her family, an 87 year-old Maggie decides to open up about that fateful voyage on Titanic. It is Maggie’s story that helps Grace get on with her own life, take up her studies once more and reunite with her own boyfriend whom she hasn’t seen in over two years.


Maggie’s story is moving, especially since her emotions embody those of her fellow travelers. Her realization that she should have stayed in Ballysheen with Seamus are reinforced as Titanic moves further away from Ireland. With her great-granddaughter’s help she rediscovers her small travel case that contains two parting gifts from Seamus as well as her journal. Happily Grace writes the story of Maggie’s journey on Titanic and it is printed in a prestigious newspaper. It is that article that reunites Maggie with people and artifacts that she thought she had lost long ago.


Although I liked this book overall there were too many similarities to the movie that starred Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet: the narrator was an original Titanic survivor, an old woman; there were scenes that could have been lifted in their entirety from the movie, i.e., the lowering of the lifeboats; and I won’t give any spoilers but the ending of the story was quite similar to the end of the movie (other than the ship sinking). Because the story has become over-told I suppose that all of these scenes could overlap in the various re-tellings. I did like the detail behind the New Yorkers who waited for word of their loved ones and the hospital scenes with young Maggie.

If you are fascinated by the Titanic story, you’ll like this book. Worth reading for the differing point of view and the story of the folk from Ballysheen which is based on the true story of the Irish folk who made the journey.




The Transcriptionist by Amy Rowland

Lena is a young woman in a dead-end job. Where at one time the newspaper she works for had two dozen women in their transcription room, there is now only Lena. It is her job to transcribe the words of various reporters around the world and send the article down to the correct editorial desk on the fourth floor of the newspaper’s building. In the vast emptiness of the eleventh floor, separated from the bustle of the newsroom on the fourth floor, Lena conducts her business with the minimum amount of personal contact. She has been at her job for so long that she finds her thoughts being replaced by the words of the reporters as they move through her head, down her arms, through her fingers, and into the articles she types for review.


But that changes one day when she reads in the newspaper about a blind woman who was mauled to her death by some lions at the zoo. Lena is amazed to find that she had met the woman only days ago in a chance encounter on the bus. But the article is merely a short blurb about the woman – calling her a Jane Doe. Lena is upset that no one in that newsroom thought even for a moment about learning the woman’s name or trying to find a family member to claim the body.


In an effort to find the victim’s family, Lena goes about finding herself. This is a story about self-enlightenment and about doing the right thing.



The author’s descriptive passages are rich and detailed. But the premise that this lonely woman, Lena, would take it upon herself to find the dead woman’s family somehow didn’t sit true for me. I found the path to the book’s conclusion a bit contrived but fitting nevertheless. A solid debut novel.

Evacuation by K.D. McAdams



In EVACUATION, we continue the story of Seamus Robinson and his family as they move among a small band of survivors on Planet Earth’s last days. The ‘killer cold’ virus has wiped out 99.9% of earth’s population. The survivors had been chosen by the powers that be for their knowledge; add to that some folks naturally immune to the virus and you have this little rag-tag band of people looking to keep civilization alive. We join them five months after the apocalyptic event.


The survivors learn that the virus has the power to mutate in order to render the small amount of vaccine left to become useless. The scientists among the group determine that the only way to make Earth habitable once again is to vacate the planet and create a nuclear winter thus killing everything – plants, animals, vegetation – in order to kill the virus. They work feverishly to build an interplanetary craft and identify the nearest habitable planet. Each person spends nearly all their time working to make sure they have everything they need to survive and to re-establish life back on Earth when they return. But then two of their members get sick and die – causing the timetable to be shortened. The virus will not be denied. Will this group be ready in time to avoid certain death? What lies before them? Will they survive the time warp jump that has never before been attempted?


I must admit that like Annihilation (Book 1), this book kept me on the edge of my seat from the opening sentence to the final word. The story is easy to follow, easy to read, and flows from one page to the next. The characters are well-rounded without being too complex. This book, along with the others in The Seamus Chronicles, would be terrific for the entire family. It will appeal to teens, young adults, moms and dads, and those especially interested in post-apocalyptic events.


The moral of this story is that one can never be over-educated – who knows when you might be called upon to save humanity.


Suitable for all ages. Great as a vacation read for the entire family.



Annihilation by K.D. McAdams



Told from the perspective on a teen-aged boy who harbors a physicist deep within him, this post-apocalyptic tale stems from the premise that almost everyone has died from a fast-spreading ‘killer cold’. Somehow, Seamus and his New Hampshire based family have survived – thanks to his mother who is currently attending a scientific conference in San Diego. When Seamus’s father decides to pack up the kids (there are two more besides Seamus) and set out for San Diego they run into people and events that make their trip more difficult. At last the family is reunited but that is where the set up for Book 2 takes over.


I found Annihilation to be a well-written, fast moving story. I liked the protagonist being a teen-aged boy who is torn from his basement lab where he lives to work on his physics project; he is thrust into those social situations that his father has been telling him he needs to experience to live in the real world. Not only is Seamus thrust into the real world but he is quickly thrust into the role of adult when he steps in to help his father during their trip westward. We are given enough information about the characters in the Robinson family to flesh them out but not to make them complex. The action is always moving in the right direction to bring the reader to the story’s end.

I enjoyed this book immensely. It is well-written and imaginative. I look forward to reading the second in the series.


Suitable for all ages.

Crystal Deception by Doug J. Cooper

The Kardish, an alien race, have had their space ship in Earth's orbit for twenty years. They have made no aggressive moves and in fact have had little interaction with humans except for one thing - Artificial Intelligence (AI). The Kardish have given humans the crystal flake and shown mankind how to process the crystal flake to create a crystal that is far beyond the capabilities of any human. At the outset of the story a company called Crystal Fabrications has produced a third-generation crystal. Each three-gen crystal has the capability of one human being and can be programmed to perform the repetitive tasks that so quickly bore humans: receptionist, security, teacher, etc. Dr. Juice Tallette is the scientific mind behind the program that has just produced the first four-gen crystal; she has tasked one hundred three-gen crystals with creating a perfect four-gen crystal that has the capability of one thousand human minds. When she first fires up the crystal she immediately sees its capabilities and learns that it is a sentient being. Fearing that the four-gen crystal might choose to ignore commands from its human colleagues she and her associate Mick devise a manner to contain the four-gen from an outright takeover. As the four-gen becomes more aware and familiar with its abilities, it takes the name CRISS. Criss accesses every bit of data from every available source and within hours is aware that he, Criss, is what the Kardish have been after by giving humans the crystal flake. When Criss is to be taken out on an Earth-ship for a test run, the Kardish plan to steal Criss and destroy Earth. What ensues is a new and exciting story of a very plausible Earth future.


Crystal Deception is science-fiction at its finest. We are introduced to a highly trained and creative special force of McGyver-like characters who have access to the highest levels of Earth government - now known as the Union of Nations. They are tasked with a deception to keep Criss safe while thwarting the plans of the Kardish. Suspense, action, intrigue abound in this thriller that is the first of a series of 'Crystal' books.


I found myself on the edge of my seat as I read and felt like I myself was onboard the Kardish ship with our group of heroes. When Criss is finally given full reign to unleash his faculties, the one question remains: will he succumb to the aphrodisiac-like lure of the Kardish ship or will he be loyal to those who gave him life? This first story in the Crystal Series will leave you asking for more.

Divergent by Victoria Roth

I saw the trailer for this movie before I realized it was a literary trilogy. So I bought the book the same day and finished reading within three days. A page turner that did not disappoint. The story of a future world divided into five factions is thought-provoking to say the least. And the choices that each person makes will either make or break their personal futures.


When Beatrice Prior is tested along with countless other teens, her results are not what is expected. Her test administrator tells her, in whispers, that she is what is known as a Divergent – meaning she has capabilities that the Union (the new world order) may kill her for possessing. And when she chooses the Dauntless faction over her home faction of Abnegation, she finds her true self while uncovering sinister plots and conspiracies. Along the way she makes friends with two of her fellow initiates and finds romance with Four, one of the initiate instructors. What follows is a roller-coaster ride of failure and success and the uncovering of family secrets long held. This first book of the Divergent trilogy ends with the beginnings of war – a war that has been instigated by people who are fed up with the way the Union is run and who want to take control into their own hands. But is this revolution going to produce a better world or will it end up with one faction ruling the others?


Divergent is a face-paced thriller with characters that are complex and simple at the same time. A blend of physical strength and deep intelligence marks Tris and Four as the forerunners of the resistance in much the same way as Katniss Everdeen of Hunger Games. Fast-moving action will keep you turning the pages long after bedtime.

My Brother, The Alien by Venkatesh Krish

When Maddy and her friend Michael run into a boy hiding in an animal barn on their field trip to the zoo, they are amazed to see the boy eating hay and straw. Somehow Maddy convinces her mom to bring the boy home since he claims he hasn’t seen his parents in 14 sleeps – which they assume means days. But things start to get strange when the boy prefers the leaves from their maple tree to any other kind of food set before him. Even stranger is that both Maddy and Michael see the boy, who has climbed the tree, reach out and pull the leaves off of a branch with his tongue – and that branch is three feet above the boy! Adventures abound when Maddy’s family realizes that the boy – Alfear – can hear their thoughts telepathically and that he can converse with his real parents the same way. But now his real family and the others on their ship won’t be back to Earth for three more years.


The story is charming and full of unexpected twists. The earthling children are lovable as is Alfear – when he’s not in his normal green state. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and found it an easy read as an adult. The ending resolves one major conflict for Alfear and sets up the reader for the next installment (I hope) of this charming tale.


Suitable for youngsters from 5 to 55 who like their aliens friendly and peaceful.

34/4 by Jonathan Gunger

This book is set in two geographical areas that have great meaning for me. Like the Taylor family in 34/4, I too grew up in Shelton, Connecticut and was thrilled to find a novel set there. When the Taylor family moves away from New England after a family tragedy occurs, they relocate to a small town in Northwest Florida where I also spent ten years. So geographically, I was able to identify with this book.


In 34/4, the Taylor family lose their younger son Isaac and it is the older son, Pete, who feels the loss most keenly (or so he believes) and feels responsible for his brother’s death. But father Bill Taylor also feels responsible because it is one of his engineering designs that is indirectly responsible for the conditions leading to his own son’s demise. Mother Anne Taylor is hit hardest of all: she has lost her youngest child, feels helpless to comfort her husband who in turn takes to alcohol, and distances herself from her oldest son. Anne finds her comfort in the stupor created by drugs and alcohol. This dysfunctional family moves robotically through the years following their loss as they spin around in their own worlds. Pete, the remaining son, literally goes through his high school years leaning heavily on friends, booze, and marijuana. Somehow he manages to graduate. When an opportunity comes for the Taylor family to relocate to northwest Florida, father Bill sees the move as an opportunity for them all to make a fresh start. But the depression that has taken root in each of their lives moves with them to Florida. In short, each of the Taylors must hit rock bottom before they can turn their lives around. Can they find their way back to one another?


Jonathan Gunger’s most descriptive passages give the reader an in-depth perspective into the lives of his characters as he brings each of them to the turning point of their lives. His knowledge of the subject matter in 34/4 is impressive as he strives to give us as much of the character backstory as possible. While the story centers around Pete Taylor, I would have liked to know more about his parents and several of the secondary characters. There are several places where the story bogs down just a bit but that shouldn’t deter the reader.

I’m hoping Mr. Gunger is working on a sequel as I’d be interested in learning how each of the Taylors progresses through life after they’ve made their rebound.

World After by Susan Ee

World After  - Susan Ee

Let's be clear. I loved Angelfall and found it hard to believe that the sequel could live up to the standards it set. But I was soooo wrong. World After picks up right where Angelfall left off - not missing a single beat.


Our sexy fallen angel Raffe believs that Penryn is dead at the hands of his enemies, so he goes off in search of his stolen wings. This leaves us free to follow the exploits of Penryn, her mother, and sister. At first hooking up with the Resistance fighters she soon learns that she can trust no one. And when she and her family are captured and taken to an adapted Alcatraz she must also give up her most treasured weapon - the angel sword that abandoned it's original owner Raffe. What follows is a roller-coaster ride of action and horror as Penryn learns what the angels have in store for mankind. Add in a dose of biblical prophecy and angel-created scorpion people they call locusts and the fear will creep up your spine. When Raffe is confronted with the choice of once more pursuing his enemy and regaining his angel wings or rescuing Penryn from the dangers she faces, we feel his uncertainty and anguish as he makes his decision.


I simply could not put this book down and finished it within three days. World After keeps the story going and the pages turning. The horrific things the angels have planned could have been so fantastically horrible but Susan Ee has the reader believing them to be nothing short of mundane to the angels. In a world torn asunder, and with the promise of Judgement Day just around the corner, you'll find yourself short of breath as you follow the action. To quote Penryn, "It's a new day in the World After".


I highly recommend this series and hope there is another book in the near future.


Three Months In Florence by Mary Carter

Three Months in Florence - Mary Carter

Lena and Alex are one of the most compatible couples in the world – at least in Lena’s mind. We follow their whirlwind courtship and marriage in a great two-chapter synopsis that sets the stage for the remainder of the book. After sixteen years of marriage, two children, and a missed honeymoon in Florence, Italy that Lena hopes will one day still happen our couple has settled into the routine of married life. Lena gave up her artistic career when she married Alex who is an art professor. Not too oddly they have grown apart over the years of their marriage. But when Alex comes home one day with news that he’s been asked to teach at an American university in Florence, Lena’s dreams of them having that missed honeymoon take center stage. When Alex tells his wife that the appointment is only for him, that he can’t take his family, Lena despairs of ever getting to Florence even though Alex assures her that after the semester (three months) he’ll be home once again. That one semester stretches to two and after six months of dealing solo with dance practice, soccer games, and a dog who pees in the house, Lena has had enough. She gives her husband an ultimatum – come home now! On the day that Alex is due to arrive home, Lena goes through quite a bit of trouble. She hangs a huge Welcome Home banner that she painted, she’s cleaned the house, and is preparing Spaghetti Bolognese for Alex. She is interrupted by a delivery of red roses with a note that says simply, “I’m sorry”. As the evening progresses and she doesn’t hear from Alex she makes excuses to herself – he can’t call from the plane, maybe the flight was delayed, etc. With a cold supper sitting on the stove, she checks her computer only to learn that Alex’s flight has safely landed hours earlier. She starts to panic since she hasn’t had a call or a text message from him. She calls his computer via Skype and it is answered not by Alex but by a stunning young Italian woman who tells Lena that she and Alex have been together for months, that she is his mistress. To prove her claim, she turns the computer towards the door where Alex is just entering and Lena watches while her husband kisses his mistress passionately. What happens next is the remainder of the story. We follow Lena who has arrived in Florence with her children and their dog. Lena is determined to fight for her husband and her marriage.

With Lena we see how external forces can rip apart a seemingly solid marriage. THREE MONTHS IN FLORENCE is a look at the decaying effect of those external forces and how this woman chooses to confront them. Should she confront the mistress? What does she do when face-to-face with her cheating husband? A series of events – sidewalk art, the vandalism of centuries-old art, and being hit upon by a lustful taxi driver are the first thing Lena must contend with within the first couple of hours of her arrival in Florence. And what is she to do with the threat of her husband’s mistress’s artist boyfriend? A bit of laughter, a lot of tears, much confusion, and compassion from the oddest sources (Nonna and Nonno, to Angelo and ultimately to Marco the Italian boyfriend) will keep the reader riveted to this book.


The author’s descriptions of Florence and the Italian people brought many memories to my mind, especially since I personally have friends who reside in Italy. I would love to see a sequel to this book to learn more of all the characters – especially the Italian ones.

The Wedding Dress by Rachel Hauk

The Wedding Dress - Rachel Hauck

When Charlotte Malone, the owner of a high-end bridal boutique in Birmingham, Alabama purchases an antique trunk at a charity auction, she questions her impulses. Especially when she has to tell her fiancé that she spent $1000 on the trunk. Charlotte stows the trunk in a corner of her home while she questions her own life and engagement. In the end, the trunk presents its treasure to Charlotte – a beautiful wedding dress fashioned in a timeless style.


As readers we are treated to the history of the wedding dress that somehow manages to find its way into the hands of exactly the right bride(s) over a period of over one hundred years. The magical thing about the dress is that it seems to shimmer from a light that is sewn into it while it has the capability to fit the next bride without alterations of any kind.


When I picked up this book I was intrigued to find that the history of the dress spanned such a long time period. I was enthralled with the story of the dress’s first owner – the woman for whom it was made initially – and how this young woman found the courage to follow her heart. To me it seemed as though this part of the story was set out in great detail and flowed easily. The stories of the next two owners of the dress seemed a bit choppy and I would have liked more detail. Charlotte’s own story was sprinkled between the stories of the other dress wearers and although it was easy to follow it didn’t seem to move forward; at times it felt as though I was stuck in Charlotte’s mind as she waffled between her independence and her not being able to call off her own wedding.


I would recommend this book for lovers of historical fiction/romance. There were places where the story did not hold my interest.

The Watchers by Jon Steele (Book 1 of The Angelus Trilogy)

The Watchers: The Angelus Trilogy - Jon Steele

In a throwback to beforetimes, Marc Rochat goes about his nightly duties of calling out the time when the bells of Lausanne Cathedral ring. C’est le guet. Il sonne l’heure! He repeats the words to the four directions every hour – they are the same words of comfort that have been spoken for centuries to tell the citizens of Lausanne, Switzerland that all is well and that Marc is watching for any approaching evil. Marc himself is a special young man – he talks to the bells and to the ancient statues; his appearance is special as well because he has a deformed leg due to an accident at birth. He waits for the day when his mother’s prediction will come true: Marc, you will one day save a lost angel at the Cathedral.


Katherine Taylor is a beautiful young American girl who, thanks to her carnal talents, was recruited to come to work in Lausanne. Thanks to her high prices and her extremely generous clients, many of them heads of state and powerful men of business, she lives in an expensive garden penthouse with a view of Lac Leman, dresses in only the finest of clothes, drinks only the best wines and champagnes, and commands attention wherever she goes.


Jay Harper is a man with no past – at least he can’t remember a past. He wakes up in Lausanne with a hangover and only knows that his business card describes him as a security expert for the International Olympic Committee. Whatever he knows, he believes he’s learned from sleepless nights of watching The History Channel. Try as he might, he can’t remember even his London telephone number or the address of his flat there.


But the time has come for all three of these unlikely comrades to form a small army to fight the cosmic evil that is about to be unleashed on not only the city of Lausanne but on our entire world as well. Can these three defend the Cathedral around which the fight will ensue? Will all three come out on the other side of the battle?


In a satisfyingly long book (over 700 pages) Jon Steele takes us on a wild, thrilling adventure of cosmic proportions. Each of our three main characters has special powers that will affect the battle between good and evil. I simply could not put this book down. It went everywhere with me, even in the car on short trips.  The story is fast-paced and the characters are finely drawn and complex. Twists and turns leave the reader wanting more. The conclusion to this first book in The Angelus Trilogy was satisfying to me and I look forward to the next book in the series.


CAUTION: Not for the faint-of-heart!!

The Obituary Writer by Ann Hood

The Obituary Writer - Ann Hood

This is a story of hope. We begin with Claire, a wife and mother who does her best to be everything she was brought up to be. While she goes through the motions of her life -caring for her daughter and her husband, maintaining a clean and comfortable home, being the perfect social hostess – she feels there is something lacking in her life. She realizes that she needs something more to make her feel complete and, like so many other women of the time, she focuses her attention on the upcoming inauguration of John F. Kennedy and the promise of a bright future for the United States. Claire identifies with Jackie Kennedy and like her contemporaries emulates everything about the First Lady-elect. But at one of her crowd’s dinner parties she meets Miles who will give Claire the excitement and attention she feels she deserves.


Going back to 1908 we meet Vivien, a single independent-minded young woman who takes on chance on a handsome man she meets quite by accident while shopping in San Francisco. They have dinner and end in each other’s arms. David is married but that poses no problem for either he or Vivien. She becomes his paramour and they soon realize that they are meant to be together. But fate steps in and on a morning in 1908 Vivien bids David a sleepy goodbye as he leaves for his law office; when she is finally awakened by the rattling of dishes (she believes it is their Chinese housekeeper) she soon becomes aware that the rattling is more than she thought. The San Francisco Earthquake has struck, causing chaos and mass destruction in the city. Vivien’s thoughts fly to David but who can she contact to find out if he’s alive? She spends the next fifteen years living in the hope that David is alive and that she will find him.

I liked this book and found the characters to be interesting and in their own ways provocative. Although they live in different eras the two women are still alike – each searching for something to make them feel complete and hoping that what they need is just around the next corner. We follow their lives in a parallel manner, hoping for their happiness and somehow realizing that they just might find what they need when its right in front of them.


This was an easy read and would make a wonderful book to take on a business trip or vacation. It held my interest and I liked the plot twist towards the end. What made this book a winner for me was the spot-on descriptions of the 1960s – I won’t reiterate them here as so many other reviewers have already done that. But for this child of the 60s it was a throw-back to my early teen years.