Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Brunonia Barry's The Lace Reader

The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry
Brunonia Barry, a screenwriter, tells this supernatural mystery in a series of powerful vignettes that move back and forth in time. Towner Whitney tells her own story even though she is an unreliable narrator with “gaps” in her memory.  Towner comes from an old Salem family known for a predilection toward quirkiness and an uncanny ability to “read” lace. Unfortunately, what Towner sees in the lace on her seventeenth birthday nearly causes her to lose her mind. Exactly what causes Towner’s mental breakdown is just one of the many mysteries in this multi-layered gem. Switching deftly between first and third person, Clark also introduces Detective Rafferty, a burned-out cop from New York City, who simultaneously investigates the strange death of Towner’s eccentric great Aunt and the bizarre disappearance of Angela Rickey. Towner and Rafferty, while tentatively exploring a relationship of their own, must also contend with two warring factions–the witches of Salem and the fervent Calvinists led by Cal Boynton.

Sabotage by Neal Bascomb

In a book that reads like a thriller, Neal Bascomb explains how Norwegian commandos effectively prevented Nazi Germany from getting their hands on an atomic bomb.

A small group of Norwegians, trained in Britian, returned to their homeland to sabotage Vemork, the plant that was supplying Germany with heavy water. Germans needed heavy water, or Deuterium, to construct an atomic bomb.

Intended for young adults, Bascomb makes this part of Norwegian history accessible to all. Though Bascomb conveys a lot of detailed information,  notes and an index give readers who want additional information the ability to learn more.

A friends of mine, who is European, swears the Norwegian commandos stories are widely known in Europe. Even if they are known, Bascomb makes their stories come to life.

If you liked Sabotage, you make like Winter Fortress by Neal Bascomb. Winter Fortress is the same story written more for adults than young adults.