|Butler's Restaurant @ Crown Mansion Boutique Hotel|
In January we're going to Vancouver to see the Canadian Figure Skating Championships. We're looking forward to the weekend. The puppies will be spending the weekend at our local kennel. Shh! Don't tell them, Clyde will be very upset and we don't want to ruin his Christmas.
I'm enjoying my reading this month but it's been a slow go so far. End of year blues, I guess. Anyway, I've finished two books in the past week.
"The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë was originally published under the pseudonym Acton Bell, basically required during the time it was written, 1848, as it was difficult for women to publish under their own name. It's the 2nd Bronte novel I've read in the last couple of years, the first being The Professor, by sister Charlotte Bronte. I think I preferred The Professor, but both were fine stories.
We find Helen Graham and her son recently installed in Wildfell Hall, a mysterious woman with little back story. She gradually becomes acquainted with the residents of the area. Gilbert Markham, a land owner who lives with his mother, brother and sister becomes infatuated with Helen and while she seems to reciprocate, she also pushes him away, frustrating him greatly. Helen's reputation becomes suspect to the locals due to the time she spends with her landlord, Mr. Lawrence.
When challenged by Halford, Helen gives him her diary to read in order to explain everything. This story tells of her life with her husband, Mr. Huntingdon and the reason she has come to Wildfell Hall, quite a disturbing, tragic tale. Of course there is much more to the story, especially the ending which I won't tell.
It's a long tale, told in various formats, diaries, letters and basic story telling which I found quite interesting. Men aren't for the most part portrayed very sympathetically, especially Huntingdon and his friends. Halford is good-hearted but also head strong and emotional. Helen is a strong character, dealing with many hardships and trying to raise her son away from the influences of his father. It's often a depressing story but also an excellent one. As I got into it, I found myself spending more and more time with it, wanting to see how it resolved. (4 stars)"
"Jade Lady Burning is the first book in Martin Limón's George Sueno and Ernie Bascom mystery series. Both are Army Sgts working in CID in South Korea. They are assigned to investigate the murder of a Korean prostitute as the suspect is an Army Private. It turns out that the Private had filed papers to be married with Pak Ok-Suk. The story is set 20 years after the Korean War.
The story is told in the first person by Sueno. You get an interesting picture of the CID set up and of the darker aspects of Seoul life as the majority of the story takes place in the Ville, the red light district. For much of the story the two detectives seem to be spinning their wheels, trying to find out who might have murdered the girl as they don't believe that the soldier did it.
They get not much support within their chain of command as the system would rather that the case disappear, the better for US and South Korean relations. But Sueno has a bee in his bonnet about the case, partly because of his background and because he believes the two need someone on their side. They are regularly assigned to other work to get them away from this case.
We find out about the corruption between the US Army and their suppliers. We meet Kimiko, an older prostitute who watched over Pak. She is a unique, wonderful character.
I enjoyed this story. It was well-written and it provided a view of a life that was very different to me. My only perspective of South Korea probably hearkens back to MASH and maybe The Bridges at Toko-Ri by Michener. Sueno and Bascom are interesting characters, not black and white but with rough edges. Both are good cops who really want to solve the case. I'm looking forward to the next book, Slicky Boys, hoping it shows more of the country and people. (4 stars)"
I've started the following two books since.
"There is nothing unusual about stepping out of your own front door to take a walk.
Except, possibly, in the case of the distinguished novelist Dan Braile. After all, he was not only old but very sick. And it was a wet, stormy evening.
The problems began when he didn't come back. Add to that the fact that several of his friends and family wouldn't have been sorry to see him disappear. Then add to that the claims he'd made that someone was trying to poison him...
The mystery deepens when Peter Harkness finds that one of Braile's friends has been shot dead. Deepens for all of them, that is, except the murderer himself..."
"Cornwall in the 1780's...
County of mine-masters, wreckers - and turbulent passions. Back to this land, his own land, comes Ross Poldark.
Ross looked across at Francis. "I've interrupted a party. Is it in celebration of the peace or in honour of the next war?"
"No," said Francis. "I - er - The position is - "
"We are celebrating something far different," said Charles, motioning for his glass to be filled. "Francis is to be married."
"To be married," said Ross. "Well, well; and who -"
"To Elizabeth," said Mrs. Chynoweth.
There was silence. Ross put down his knife..."
There you go, time to watch Top Chef now.. :0) Have a great Friday and weekend!