Wednesday, October 30, 2013

MOVIE - We're the Millers

R (1:40)
Wide release 8/7/2013
I saw it on Sunday, 10/27 (at the Kolb Century cheap theater)
RT Critic:  47   Audience:  74  (That's quite a spread!)
Cag: 4 As silly as it was, I liked it a lot 
Directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber
Warner Brothers Pictures

Jason Sudeikis, Jennifer Aniston, Emma Roberts, Will Poulter

My comments:  This movie was a freaking riot.  Many had told me that it was very raunchy, and I guess maybe some would consider it so, but compared to some of the things I've seen (and read) in the last few  years......  I laughed and guffawed and rolled my eyes a few times and thoroughly enjoyed it, losing myself completely for each of the 100 minutes that the movie rolled.  Great fun!  And I never realized what a "doll" Jason Sudeikis is!  It also has a really delicious ending.  Perfect movie for me to watch on a lonely Friday afternoon!

RT Summary:  David Burke (Jason Sudeikis) is a small-time pot dealer whose clientele includes chefs and soccer moms, but no kids-after all, he has his scruples. So what could go wrong? Plenty. Preferring to keep a low profile for obvious reasons, he learns the hard way that no good deed goes unpunished when he tries to help out some local teens and winds up getting jumped by a trio of gutter punks. Stealing his stash and his cash, they leave him in major debt to his supplier, Brad (Ed Helms). In order towipe the slate clean-and maintain a clean bill of health-David must now become a big-time drug smuggler by bringing Brad's latest shipment in from Mexico. Twisting the arms of his neighbors, cynical stripper Rose (Jennifer Aniston) and wannabe customer Kenny (Will Poulter), and the tatted-and-pierced streetwise teen Casey (Emma Roberts), he devises a foolproof plan. One fake wife, two pretend kids and a huge, shiny RV later, the "Millers" are headed south of the border for a Fourth of July weekend that is sure to end with a bang.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Captain Cat - Inga Moore

Illustrated by the author
2013, Candlewick Press
HC $15.99
48 pages
Goodreads rating: 3.64
My rating: 4
Endpapers: All blue - ocean with hints of the island along the edge
Title Page: simple, Title & author with 1.5 x 8-inch (like a sideways bookmark) of the Carlotta roughing it out on the ocean
Illustrations: she says mixed media, they're water colory with tiny faint hatchmarks.  Love 'em.

1st paragraph/page:  Captain Cat loved cats.  There were more cats on board his ship, the Carlotta, than there were sailors in his crew - which was why his sailors called him Captain Cat.

My comments: This is a delightful picture book...cute story and wonderful illustrations. I'm guessing that some people might be put off by the cats killing all the rats, but I sure have no problem with that. Premise of the story is that if you have no greed and just a love of something...whether it be cats, or people, or blue skies and warm waters...don't be influenced by anything else. What is happiness?
Note:  Captain Cat looks an awful lot like Santa Claus......

Goodreads says: Captain Cat loves cats. In fact, he has more cats on his ship than he has sailors. On one voyage, he discovers a remote and lonely island where the little-girl Queen has never even seen a cat. When Captain Cat’s furry companions trounce the rats infesting the island, the Queen begs Captain Cat to trade her the cats for untold treasure. Does he? Could he? What happens next? Never fear, fellow travelers! The purr-fect solution is on the horizon — and is sure to satisfy both pet-lovers and adventurers

Saturday, October 26, 2013

POETRY PICTURE BOOK: Dare to Dream...Change the World - Jill Corcoran

Illustrated by J. Beth Jepson
2012, Kane Miller, a division of EDC Publishing
36 pgs.
Written for kids (but accessible to us all!)
Finished 10/26/2013
Poetry
Goodreads Rating: 4.71
My Rating:  Awesome (5)
Acquired: Through TPPL interlibrary loan from the Geneva, Illinois Public Library

People included:  Sylvia Mendez (discrimination against Mexicans in American schools),  Nicholas Cobb (a kids helping homeless people in a big way), Father Gregory Boyle (humanitarian working with LA gangs), Anne Frank, Jonas Salk, Jean-Michel Basquiat (contemporary artist who died young), Michelle Kwan (most decorated female ice skater in American history), ASHLEY BRYAN (see separate blog), Temple Grandin (autistic cattle rancher), Martha Graham, GEORGIA O'KEEFFE, Christa McAuliffe, Steven Spielberg, and last but not least, Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim (YouTube founders)

Poets included:  Jill Corcoran, J. Patrick Lewis, Alice Schertle, David L. Harrison, Jane Yolen, Joan Bransfield Graham, Ellen Hopkins, Georgia Heard, Hope Anita Smith, Elaine Magliaro, Janet S. Wong, Curtis Crisler, Denise Lewis Patrick, Joyce Lee Wong, Jacqui Robbins, Julia Durango, Tracie Vaughn Zimmer, Lisa Wheeler, Hope Vestergaard, Carol M. Tanzman, Stephanie Hemphill, Lee Bennett Hopkins, Rebecca Kai Dotlich, Joyce Sidman, Marilyn Singer, Rose Horowitz, Alan Katz, Kelly Ramsdell Fineman, Laura Purdie Salas, and Bruce Coville.  WOW!

My comments:  This is a really special book. You don't even have to be a poetry lover to totally enjoy the thoughts, the words, the information, and the illustrations in this book. It tells of people who, mostly in their own quiet way, have made a difference in our world. 
     This book has a great rating.  It's an amazingly wonderful book.  To even borrow it from a library (there were none in any of the Tucson, Arizona branches), they were able to obtain it from interlibrary loan from....Geneva, Illinois!  What's going on?  Why is a special book like this so difficult to find?

Goodreads Review:

Nicholas Cobb

Four-year-old Nicholas Cobb
saw people living under a bridge, asked
why,

Asking still as years passed,
Boy Scout Cobb decided to do...
something...
make a difference.
Fifty-four kids at City House
needed more than shelter.
They needed hope, a way to cope,
a gift of love,
a warm coat.

That was something.

Nicholas asked friends to give,
left jars in barbershops,
made a website - Comfort and Joy,
did what he could
and
     money came in.

Ten years from the bridge,
Eagle Scout Cobb,
doing what he could,
bought fifty-four coats

By learning what it means
to ask not why
but how
to make
a difference.

David L. Harrison

Some pages have two poems about the same person linked --

This Moment
The Frank Family - Monday 7:30 am July 6, 1942

Stepping over puddles on Prinsengracht Street,
shoes soaked, heavy rucksacks on their backs,
coats, caps and scarves although it's warm July;
silence between them.
Anne wonders how others on the street
can act like it's a normal day;
no knots in their stomachs, no legs trembling with fear,
At her father's office building, a spice warehouse,
they open the door - sweet cinnamon fills the air.
Now it's quiet.  Office workers haven't yet arrived.
They climb the narrow staircase to the small rooms
in the back of the secret annex

where this moment turns into days
into weeks and months
into two years hiding - waiting.
Eerily ordinary days -
Westertoren church clock chiming every half hour,
playing Monopoly with Peter,
cooking supper,
eating split-pea soup and potatoes with dumplings
washing up
listening to the radio at night for news of the war
like any family.

While in hiding Anne writes to Kitty.
Her words thread through
her dreams;
and later
ours -
threat through every moment -
ever after.

Georgia Heard

Faith of a Mustard Seed

In the attic, everything happens on a piece of paper: happiness, disappointment, fear,
Spite.  I can laugh out loud.  Shout.  Make my voice heard. Tell
Of my love for a complicated boy.
Everything is documented.
I let my pen whisper my secrets into the ear of the page.
Still, I wish my dear Kitty could hear them first hand.  I allow myself to
Believe that one day Peter and I will share a life together.  That the
People we love will eat Shabbat dinner at our table.  That we
Are only here until the world rights itself.
Basically, when someone soothes the beast.
Good always prevails.  Doesn't it?
At least that's what I believe in my
Heart of hearts.

Hope Anita Smith

Painter
"Where I was born and where and how I lived is unimportant.  It is what I have done with where I have been that should be of interest." ~Georgia O'Keeffe

Sky will always be.
So shall I.

Feel my sudden thrill
as I stand atop
a beloved red hill.

Hear my silent voice rush
from Charcoal, paint, a well-used brush
as I speak with hues --
vibrant violet, a grandeur of green -
bringing to life what I have seen.

Sense my strength
of a gigantic flower,
dry, desolate desert sands
I hard-studied hour after patient hour.

View my
ancient skulls of deer,
horse,
dried up ram ---

then you'll know just who I am.

Yes.

Sky will always be.
So shall I.

So shall I.

Lee Bennett Hopkins

Ripples

No one acts in isolation
And no act leaves the world the same.
Words and gestures ripple outward,
What shores they reach we cannot name.

All our lives end in a riddle --
A mystery without an answer,
For even gone we ripple on,
Like a dance without the dancer.

Did you extend a friendly hand?
Did you lift a battered spirit?
The one you helped helped someone else
Ah! Now we're getting near it.

That second someone dropped despair
Did not give in, instead revived
To teach, to love, to fight, to dare,
And what you've done lived on, survived.

On and out the circle widens,
Past all hope of comprehending.
The slightest touch can change the world
Healing, helping, lifting, mending,

Actions last for generations
Our fathers' mothers mold our hearts.
We in turn shape all that follows;
Each time we act, a ripple starts.

Bruce Coville

Friday, October 25, 2013

Sunday Wanderings

Well, I've been a hermit, an old stick-in-the-mud, for far too long.  Last weekend was really beautiful, so I decided to embark on a long-awaited Sunday drive.  I might as well take advantage while the weather is beautiful and I'm still living in the Old Pueblo....


I headed down Houghton Road to Sahuarita Road, west to Green Valley, then hit 19 towards Tubac.  I pulled off at the Amado cut-off, but deicided that I'd wait to drive the 40-or-so miles to Arivaca until a Saturday, when there's something to see (like the farmer's market) since you have to turn around and retrace the road back...it's the only way out of there.  So I got back onto 19 and headed to one of my favorite places in the world, Tubac, Arizona.

I wandered around the cemetery for the umpteenth time, sat on a bench, took some pictures.  Wandered around the shops, taking the time to go into Tumacookery and La Paloma.  Then I headed north, again, on 19, going through the Border Patrol stop just north of Tubac, and turned off into San Xavier, another favorite place.  I sat in a pew for awhile, taking it all in.  Of course it was a Sunday, shortly after a mass, so the place was packed.  Ah, well, not as bad as it was last March...



When I got back onto 19 I decided to continue west on 10 and turned off onto Congress in downtown Tucson.  I swung over to the Tucson Museum of Art.  They were setting up outside for an evening wedding.  What a cool venue!  I wandered around the gift shop, where Arizona craftspeople are fetured, and then had a good yack with the women tending to the entrance.  Wonderful lady let me in for free, since I am a teacher that loves her kids (that's what she said!) Made me feel like a million bucks.


The place wasn't crowded, but the main attraction, wildlife paintings by*** , although wonderful, didn't strike my fancy.  A very small exhibit entitled was quite cool *** as was another, slightly larger exhibit, that was all about hands.

Before I left I ventured up to the second floor to see the museum's own collection of Latin American artifacts.  This was particularly interesting to me because I'm in the middle of teaching about the history and background of Mexcio, primarily the Olmec and Maya so far.  And there were some great artifacts!  Imagine my delight when I discovered that some of the pieces in this exhibit are on loan to the museum by the grandparents of one of my students!


I ended my day by strolling around the Downtown Artisans galleries, which used to be wonderful but is almost gone and not very exciting.  The huge fake marigold encrusted Dia de los Muertos altar in one of the shops always interests me, though.

A nice day, and nice ride.  I hope to keep it up!

MOVIE - Captain Phillips

PG-13 (2:13)
Wide release 10/11/13
Viewed 10/24/13 at El Con with Sheila
RT Critic: 94  Audience: 93
Cag:  5 It was really, really good
Directed by Paul Greengrass
Sony Pictures

Tom Hanks

Fandango synopsis:  Captain Phillips is a multi-layered examination of the 2009 hijacking of the U.S. container ship Maersk Alabama by a crew of Somali pirates. It is — through director Paul Greengrass’s distinctive lens — simultaneously a pulse-pounding thriller, and a complex portrait of the myriad effects of globalization. The film focuses on the relationship between the Alabama’s commanding officer, Captain Richard Phillips (two time Academy Award®-winner Tom Hanks), and the Somali pirate captain, Muse (Barkhad Abdi), who takes him hostage. Phillips and Muse are set on an unstoppable collision course when Muse and his crew target Phillips’ unarmed ship; in the ensuing standoff, 145 miles off the Somali coast, both men will find themselves at the mercy of forces beyond their control.


My comments: There is a really interesting Los Angeles Times article about Barkhad Abdi, the Somali actor who plays the antagonist here.  I found it really interesting.

Based on a real-life event that took place off the coast of Somalia in 2009.

This was a different genre of movie than I usually go for.  For our monthly "movie date" the choices this week were Gravity and Captain Phillips.  I'd seen the preview for both - many times - and I know they would both be anxiety-ridden nail-biters.  I was reluctant to see either in this particular period of my life.  I decided that Captain Phillips would be the better of two evils, and I'm, of course, very glad that I went to see it.

Yes, it was a nail-biter.  Even though I knew....more or less....what was going to happen (and this helped) I found myself holding my breath a lot, especially near the end.  It was really well done.  Tom Hanks final scene was amazing, and Sheila and I talked a lot about the four Somalis - they did a wonderful, believable job.  Barkhad Abdi, particularly, used facial expressions that made you realize that this character was a real human being, someone trying to dig himself into a better life, not exactly or entirely a monster.

I'm glad I saw it.

48. Mad River - John Sandford

Virgil Flowers #6
Audio read by Eric Conger (he is definitely now the voice of Virgil Flowers!)
8 unabridged cds (10 hours)
2012, Penguin Audio ($39.95, borrowed from TPPL)
387 pgs.
Adult murder mystery
Finished 10/22/2013
Goodreads Rating: 4.09
My Rating:  4.5 - it was a good one
Setting: southwestern Minnesota, in the prairie/cornfield area of the state very near where Virgil grew up
1st sentence/s:  "Jimmy Sharp stepped back from the curve and impatiently waved the car by."

My comments:  This book was written a bit differently than some of the previous Virgil Flowers titles, in that every so often the setting and point-of-view switched to the bad guys.  I like this a lot.  I also liked that Sandford didn't gloss over the foibles and atrocities committed by cops, at least not completely.  When a book you're reading produces strong gut reactions...well, that's a good book!

Goodreads says:  Bonnie and Clyde, they thought. And what’s-his-name, the sidekick. Three teenagers with dead-end lives, and chips on their shoulders, and guns.  The first person they killed was a highway patrolman. The second was a woman during a robbery. Then, hell, why not keep on going? As their crime spree cuts a swath through rural Minnesota, some of it captured on the killers’ cell phones and sent to a local television station, Bureau of Criminal Apprehension investigator Virgil Flowers joins the growing army of cops trying to run them down. But even he doesn’t realize what’s about to happen next.

47. The Book of Blood and Shadow - Robin Wasserman

2012 Knopf Books for Young Readers
450 pgs.
YA Fantasy (but mostly CRF)
Finished: 10/13/2013
Goodreads Rating:  3.61
My Rating:  Liked it (3) 
Acquired: TPPL
Setting: Contemporary college town New England and contemporary Prague
1st sentence/s:  "I should probably start with the blood."

My comments:  I really liked the first part of this story, but it got more and more convoluted and complicated once the teenagers went to Prague. Relationships were explored nicely until Nora and Max were identified as a couple...and that's the problem. Their whole relationship was only identified, never really fleshed out, never SHOWN, only told about.  It wasn't believable, though most of the rest of them were.  Much of the book was letters written 400 years ago in Latin, translated by the protagonist.  She was able to glean a lot of information without giving enough clues to the reader.  It was just too sketchy in a lot of places, and left me with a ...what???.... feeling.

Goodreads Review:  It was like a nightmare, but there was no waking up. When the night began, Nora had two best friends and an embarrassingly storybook one true love. When it ended, she had nothing but blood on her hands and an echoing scream that stopped only when the tranquilizers pierced her veins and left her in the merciful dark. 

But the next morning, it was all still true: Chris was dead. His girlfriend Adriane, Nora’s best friend, was catatonic. And Max, Nora’s sweet, smart, soft-spoken Prince Charming, was gone. He was also—according to the police, according to her parents, according to everyone—a murderer.

Desperate to prove his innocence, Nora follows the trail of blood, no matter where it leads. It ultimately brings her to the ancient streets of Prague, where she is drawn into a dark web of secret societies and shadowy conspirators, all driven by a mad desire to possess something that might not even exist. For buried in a centuries-old manuscript is the secret to ultimate knowledge and communion with the divine; it is said that he who controls the Lumen Dei controls the world. Unbeknownst to her, Nora now holds the crucial key to unlocking its secrets. Her night of blood is just one piece in a puzzle that spans continents and centuries. Solving it may be the only way she can save her own life.

MOVIE - Pulling Strings

PG (1:50)
Limited release 10/4/2013
Viewed 10/2013 right after it opened at El Con
RT Critic 55: Audience: 81
Cag: 4 Liked it a lot 
Directed by Pitipol Ybarra
Lionsgate Films
in Spanish (with subtitles) and English

Rotten Tomatoes:  Rachel is an intelligent modern day woman constantly on the move. Primarily focused on her career as a diplomatic consul for the U.S. embassy, she's literally lived her life on the move, globetrotting from city to city. Currently working in Mexico City and set to leave for London, Rachel's world turns upside down on the eve of her own goodbye party when she gets drunk and passes out on the street. Saved by Alejandro, a handsome Mariachi singer and single father, Rachel wakes up in his apartment with no recollection of how she got there. Nor does she remember that she rejected his visa the day before, which he desperately needs for his daughter. Romance unexpectedly blossoms between the two, but either sparks or fists will fly after she finds out his secret.

My comments:  This was just plain fun to watch.  The kind of movie that you're always one step ahead, you know exactly what's going to happen and you totally root for it.  What a blast! (and it didn't hurt that the lead guy was gorgeous.....)

MOVIE - Don Jon

R (1:30)
Wide release 9/27/2013
Viewed at El Con, alone
RT Critic: 83  Audience: 70
Cag: 5/Loved it - I've changed it from 4.5/Liked it a lot (or even more than a lot)
Written and directed by Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Relativity Media
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Scarlett Johanssen, Julianne Moore

My comments:  Yup, I liked this one a lot.  I'm writing this a few weeks after seeing the movie, and I still remember details...details of the relationship between the two protagonists, the weekly Sunday dinners around the dinner table when Jon visits his parents and younger sister, and the relationship that you watch grow between Gordon-Levitt's character and Julianne Moore's character.  Even the fact that Jon only attends night classes because his girlfriend "requires" him to and he is somewhat successful adds to the dimension of his personality.  I love the way the story...and the character's individual stories....unfolded.  This was a really good one. And although pornography is the startling centerpiece of the movie, when I think back on what really made me think had nothing to do with that.....

Rotten Tomatoes:  Jon Martello (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is a strong, handsome, good old fashioned guy. His buddies call him Don Jon due to his ability to "pull" a different woman every weekend, but even the finest fling doesn't compare to the bliss he finds alone in front of the computer watching pornography. Barbara Sugarman (Scarlett Johansson) is a bright, beautiful, good old fashioned girl. Raised on romantic Hollywood movies, she's determined to find her Prince Charming and ride off into the sunset. Wrestling with good old fashioned expectations of the opposite sex, Jon and Barbara struggle against a media culture full of false fantasies to try and find true intimacy in this unexpected comedy written and directed by Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

46. Rough Country - John Sandford

Virgil Flowers #3
Audio read by Eric Conger
2009, Penguin Audio
388 pgs.
Adult murder Mystery
Finished 9/23/2013
Goodreads Rating: 4.05
My Rating:
Loved it (4)
Acquired: PBS
Setting:  Rural Minnesota

My comments:  I adore Virgil Flowers.  He's taken over first place: I'm having to move Harry Bosch to second (Cork O'Connor stays in third). I'm discovering that after reading the first in this series, it doesn't matter the order your read them in.  This foray is full of lesbians..... interesting..... and even if this particular story didn't grab me quite as much as the others I've read, it's still Virgil Flowers, and the way he acts and thinks and dresses help me still like the book a LOT.

Goodreads Review:  Virgil's always been known for having a somewhat active, er, social life, but he's probably not going to be getting too many opportunities for that during his new case. While competing in a fishing tournament in a remote area of northern Minnesota, he gets a call from Lucas Davenport to investigate a murder at a nearby resort, where a woman has been shot while kayaking. The resort is for women only, a place to relax, get fit, recover from plastic surgery, commune with nature, and while it didn't start out to be a place mostly for those with Sapphic inclinations, that's pretty much what it is today.

Which makes things all the more complicated for Virgil, because as he begins investigating, he finds a web of connections between the people at the resort, the victim, and some local women, notably a talented country singer. The more he digs, the more he discovers the arrows of suspicion that point in many directions, encompassing a multitude of motivations: jealousy, blackmail, greed, anger, fear. Then he finds that this is not the first murder, that there was a second, seemingly unrelated one, the year before. And that there's about to be a third, definitely related one, any time now. And as for the fourth . . . well, Virgil better hope he can catch the killer before that happens. Because it could be his own.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Ashley Bryan: Painter, Poet, PERSON Extraordinaire

I have mentioned before that Ashley Bryan is one of my very most favorite people in the entire world.  So imagine my surprise when I came across the following poem in a poetry book I discovered recently.  Wow!  This so incredibly sums up my feelings for Ashley. It details him and his incredible workshop/museum/home on Islesford, Maine, where he resides It is a perfect poem.

The Greater Sum of Parts

The thing about Ashley Bryan
isn't that he is
painter and poet
storyteller and scholar
philosopher and veteran
brother and son;
nor is it
his collection of
songs and sea glass
driftwood and bones,
memories of love
dressed in crepe paper flowers.

The thing about Ashley Bryan
is that
when he takes your hand
all those pieces come together
like a found art puppet
like cut-paper collage
like a thing called
grace.

Julia Durango
from Dare to Dream...Change the World
edited by Jill Corcoran

Books I've "reviewed" on this blog:

Anthologies or other books that include Ashley's work:

The Bill Martin, Jr. Big Book of Poetry (Martin)
Dare to Dream...Change the World (Corcoran)
My America (Gilchrist)
Sky Magic (Hopkins)

Saturday, October 19, 2013

MOVIE - The Patience Stone

R (1:38)
Limited Release 8/14/13
saw it at the Loft 10/1/13
RT Critic: 82  Audience:  69
Cag: 4.5 (Liked it a whole lot)  
Directed by the book's author, Atiq Rahimi
Sony Pictures Classic
In Farsi with English subtitles

My comments:  I am so glad that I saw this movie.  I'm not usually disappointed in the subtitled movies that make it to the US, and I'm so glad that, living in Tucson, I get the opportunity to see some of the really good ones.  The woman who plays the protagonist is truly beautiful.  The way in which she must live her life...and must have lived it previously...is almost impossible for me, as a middle-class American, to grasp. Thank goodness for films like this that help me really see the broader world, not from the eye of a journalist, but from the eye of a filmmaker.

From Rotten Tomatoes:  Author Atiq Rahimi's adapts his own bestselling novel about a Muslim woman whose paralyzed husband unconsciously assumes the role of a magical force, which shields her from the sorrows of life in her war-torn village. Her unnamed Middle Eastern country caught up in an insurrection, the loyal, thirtysomething wife faithfully sits watch over her vegetative husband, who has been all but forgotten by his brothers and fellow Jihadists. Over time, she gathers the courage to tell her husband all of thethings she had remained silent about during their 10 years of marriage. Throughout the course of these missives, she speaks frankly of the disappointments, sorrows, and sacrifices that have made her life so difficult throughout the previous decade. Only weeks later, when the isolated wife enters into a relationship with a young soldier, does she begin to reveal the woman who she had kept locked up deep inside ever since the day she was married. 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

45. The Lake of Dreams - Kim Edwards

2011, Viking
377 pgs.
Finished September 30, 2013 (much of it read on Southwest, traveling back and forth between PA and AZ)
Adult CRF
Goodreads Rating: 3.18
My Rating:  Liked it a lot (4) 
Acquired: TPPL
Setting: Contemporary upstate New York, with forays into 1911-1930ish  history of the same area

My comments:  The Lake of Dreams is the name of the (fake) town in upstate New York where this book takes place, somewhere in the area that contains Rochester and Seneca Falls.  I've been up there a number of times, it's beautiful country (in the summer) and I could picture this all in my mind, as the setting is a huge part of the story. Family history, family mysteries, unwinding stories, long-lost love and the growing-up-together kind of love, reminiscing about the past and making life-changing discoveries and decisions -- all are a part of this very interesting story.

Goodreads Review:  Lucy Jarrett is at a crossroads in her life, still haunted by her father's unresolved death a decade earlier. She returns to her hometown in Upstate New York, The Lake of Dreams, and, late one night, she cracks the lock of a window seat and discovers a collection of objects. They appear to be idle curiosities, but soon Lucy realizes that she has stumbled across a dark secret from her family's past, one that will radically change her—and the future of her family—forever.