I was caught up in this novel within the first paragraph.
“Death lingers like fog weaving through frosted branches across the ashen sky. The mangled doll-like corpse forms a stark silhouette against the estate; limbs sprawled gracelessly and bathing in blood stolen from her veins.”*
Vicki Fitzgerald takes the reader and pulls them into two lives. The life of a Detective Chief Inspector chasing the perpetrator and a journalist covering the sex attacks on women in an English town.
Vicki writes with gruesome accuracy that had me turning on lights in the middle of the night. A phenomenal novel that sent shivers down my spine. I am an avid Stephen King reader and this novel had me on my toes. It was terrifying and suspenseful and had enough detail that I knew the author had done her research. I felt like the author had experienced this first hand.
Vicki Fitzgerald’s debut novel gets into your head and has you asking if you would have been able to do what Kate does. It has you suspecting every one right down to the last pages. I stayed up until 2 am so I could finish it.
I loved the visual descriptions used throughout the novel, even if it was gruesome, it was kind of like a poetic gruesomeness that I didn’t ever want to stop.
The characters were bold and real, although I was angry with Kate’s sister and mother for laying the blame on Kate. I found myself screaming or cheering on the characters inside my head, for it was 1 am. I loved Kate, she was spunky yet familiar at the same time.
I would have liked to see more details about Briguella and the story behind it, but other than that I absolutely loved this novel and can’t wait to read more from Vicki Fitzgerald.
*A direct quote from page one of Vicki Fitzgerald’s debut novel Briguella.
I would like to thank Vicki Fitzgerald for giving me a digital copy of her novel in exchange for an honest review.
Hidden TapestryJan Yoors His Two Wives and the War that made them one by Debra Dean is a fantastic novel describing the true (although sometimes unbelievable) story of Jan Yoors (a Flemish-American artist) and the women who became his wives after the war. Starting from when they are young in the Netherland countryside; following each individually through the war, coming together as one after the war, and then ending at the display of the tapestries at Baker Museum in Naples, Florida with his life’s work on display. The nomadic life of Jan Yoors is captivating and nerve wreaking as is the women’s struggles through the war.
Included are a few photographs of the family and letters they corresponded with over the years until they were able to be together for the rest of their lives. It is surprising and touching with historical facts all woven together to form an intricate story of their lives.
I had never heard of this artist before (I’m not much into art) but after reading this I have a deeper understanding of his life and the artwork he and his wives accomplished. I loved the history of their lives during the war for I enjoy reading about World War 2. It delves into the issues of the war and what they had to face individually with their different heritages.
Debra Dean is a fabulous author. Weaving a story about the lives of these people like the tapestry that was the Yoors work. It was a documentary told like a fictional story. I prefer these types of Non-Fiction over ones that are more reciting of facts. She ties all her facts into the story beautifully. You could sense that she was captivated by their story and enjoyed writing the novel. I am looking forward to reading more of her novels.
I was not a fan of Jan Yoors. He seemed arrogant and the fact that he had mistresses and wanted two wives bothered me. I felt sorry for the woman but they enjoyed their lives and chose what path they were to go down. I am a fierce believer in loyalty. If you can not be loyal then you should not be married. But I respect that this is some peoples beliefs and that they were happy for the most part and it seemed to work for them. Even though I did not like him I found his life very interesting and the parts he played during the war were brave, to say the least.
I would recommend this novel to anyone who likes a novel that is captivating and that you don’t want to put down. It has romance and danger and intrigue. To make it even better it is all true.
Hidden Tapestry reveals the unforgettable story of Flemish American artist Jan Yoors—childhood vagabond, wartime resistance fighter, and polyamorous urban bohemian. At the peak of his fame in the 1970s, Yoors’s photographs and vast tapestries inspired a dedicated following in his adopted Manhattan. Though his intimate friends guessed the rough outline of his colorful life, Hidden Tapestry is first to detail his astonishing secrets.
At twelve, Jan’s life took an extraordinary and unexpected turn when he wandered into a Roma encampment on the outskirts of his native Antwerp just as the place was being raided. Rather than return home, Jan fled with the Roma and continued to live on-and-off with them and with his own family for several years. As an adult in German-occupied France, Yoors joined the Resistance. Defying repeated arrests and torture by the Gestapo, he worked first as a saboteur and later escorted Allied soldiers trapped behind German lines across the Pyrenees to freedom.
After the war, he married childhood friend Annabert van Wettum and embarked on his career as an artist. When a friend of Annabert’s, Marianne Citroen, modeled for Yoors, Hidden Tapestry reveals how the two began an affair, which led the three to form a polyamorous unit that would last for the rest of their lives. Moving to New York, the trio became part of the bohemian life of Greenwich Village in the 1950s, Marianne being presented as Annabert’s sister.
Told in arresting detail by Debra Dean, best-selling author of The Madonnas of Leningrad, Yoors’s story is a luminous and inspiring account of resilience, resourcefulness, and love.
**I would like to thank #NetGalley and Northwestern University Press for providing me with a digital copy in exchange for an honest review.
We had quite the storm here from Thursday into Friday. It was a Bomb Cyclone….What a name for a weather system. This storm reached from us in Nova Scotia down to Florida, if you would like to check out what it looked like this guy summed it up pretty good!
Our experience of the storm was pretty dramatic. Thursday school was canceled, the weather network had been calling for 20-30 cm of snow. It rained. And then rained some more. The wind picked up and I was like…why the heck did they cancel school…just some rain…but by 2-3pm the wind was so heavy our garbage bin was swept into the neighbor’s yard and our Xmas tree that was out for garbage delivery was flying down the road. Dad was on the chase. It was cool watching the wind and rain dance together, it looked like walls of rain being pushed along the road. I had tried to get some photographs but they weren’t turning out. One of those things that are hard to capture.
I had gone out the day before to grab extra food, gas for the generator, the necessities of getting through a winter storm, this was not my first rodeo of course. So our generator was all ready, dad and I had gotten it ready in the morning, before the massive wind gusts of 116km per hour. Our power was flickering all day and at 5pm, just before I was going to watch the news to see the damage around the province…Whump. No power. Darkness descends onto our area of Nova Scotia. We had been lucky so far, one of AJ’s friends hadn’t had power since 10am. I text hubby that our power has just gone out, he is on his way home, only to run back out into the storm to be at the fire station. He calls and tells me that both bridges in Halifax are shut down due to high winds…it must be bad when both bridges are shut down. So begins one of the longest nights I had experienced for a long time. I had not slept well the night before and was up early. We light our candles (I had a few ready just in case) and AJ and Nicole sit down and do some homework; I think I will just shut down our breaker every once and awhile, something about having no power that makes your children get along. Hubby has since gone to the fire station after retrieving our garbage bin from the neighbors and making sure the generator is ready to go. I didn’t want to turn it on until I had to. The kids are getting antsy by 8, I tell them to go over to the fire station to hang with their dad for a bit, it was set up as a safe zone for people without power. So AJ takes the truck and heads over there and they hang out for a few hours. I fall asleep while reading. Just your normal winter storm for Nova Scotia. It seems to have calmed down and the worst has passed…WRONG
This is when it turns ugly. When they return they are hungry and nervous. I’m a bit cranky, having lack of sleep and a little nap. So I snap a few times and Nicole’s anxiety is building. Her dad isn’t home, its dark, it’s scary, meanwhile, the wind is building back up. I try to go to bed while they stay up and play cards, everything is fine until AJ wants to go to bed…This is when Nicole panics. She has reached her breaking point. It is 1 am. Hubby is still at the fire station, and now I’m awake because I had some naps.
I then find his car keys in his pants that the kids have brought home, he had to change into uniform. So I tell him Nicole is panicking and we are coming over to bring his keys. They have power over there and getting her out of the house is a great idea. The wind is a little high, but I have driven in worse. We get there and she is calming down, we hang there for a bit and finally he can leave so we head home, about 2am. The dark house still freaks her out and she can not sleep. I lay beside her in our bed with hubby so he can get some shut eye and her eyes are as wide as pancakes. I know she won’t be sleeping tonight…It matters not because 5 minutes later his pager is going off. Power pole on fire…in the trailer park behind our house. He is off like a flash of lighting; which we have been watching all night (but it was actually transformers blowing all over our neighborhood) I tell Nicole lets watch. So behind our home we watch these power transformers blowing…building huge amounts of energy and they just releasing it, sparks cascading all around the homes. The fire trucks maintaining a safe distance, making sure no embers ignite on the home. AJ joins us, for she has not been sleeping yet either and we watch this electric light show for an hour or so. Meanwhile, the wind has built up so high that I can hear things beating against our roof. The wind direction has changed and the garbage that had gone flying one way is now going back down the road in the other direction. You can see the wind causing funnels of water and debris, and we are still seeing flashes of light throughout the darkness. We have pulled out our couch and AJ and her boyfriend are cuddled up on that and Nicole and I are on the couch side. Finally, around 5 am as we are softly talking and listening to the wind batter our home and think of their big sister in her highrise apartment downtown, and how much she hates the wind, Nicole succumbs to pure exhaustion. We finally get to go to sleep.
Hubby meanwhile responds to six different calls about transformers exploding in the darkness, and is only able to douse them once the power has been cut to them…He tells us later that on one occasion the supervisor tells them that it has been cut when it hadn’t and risked their lives by telling them this. One pole just kept catching on fire. This storm is why my husband became a fireman. When everyone else is huddled away in their homes, he is out there braving the elements, and I love him for it. He is one of the strongest and bravest people I have ever known. He got home around 6 and I found him crashed out in our bed around 8 am when I got up to go to the washroom.
Once we are all awake we get our generator going, have a coffee and plug in our fridge. Hubby tells us his stories of the night and tells us that on his arrival home he saw that we lost several shingles off our roof. I tell him I thought we lost some I could hear stuff flying off the roof last night…I had hoped it was leaves or branches. Turns out we lost about 10 shingles. All in all, we were pretty lucky. Some of his firefighting buddies had water leakages as well. Some people had trees crashing through their homes. Cape Breton at a tornado warning.
We weren’t expecting power again until Sunday evening. We were lucky, power was restored to us by Friday afternoon, and hubby’s brother came over Saturday morning and had our roof repaired by lunch. Hubby headed back out with his chief for a community event on the fire truck. Our Hectic ADHD, OCD life returns to normal, at least normal for us.
As far as storms go this was probably the most intense storm I have witnessed. There was Juan a few years ago but it didn’t seem to be as intense, or my memory has softened it with time. Hubby was out in that storm as well, helping neighbors and making sure people were ok. He wasn’t a firefighter at that time but loves being out in a storm. AJ wasn’t quite 5 and slept through the whole thing. This storm has reminded me that Global warming is happening. I worry about what we have done to our planet and what will happen in the future.
Did any of you experience any intense weather from the Bomb Cyclone?
Chill Mom Julia enjoying the peace and quite of a Sunday after the storm.
I really enjoyed this novel, MacKinney had me wanting to go find some unexplored places. His detail to the photography elements was wonderful. I was gritting my teeth at the unfairness towards the family by the Drax Enterprises. And the total disregard for humanity.
I loved the little Nicknames that Lucas had for the security guards and his not backing down attitude he conveyed towards them.
From the very first paragraph, I was captivated by the story of a young girls fate beneath the city of Cincinnati, which leads up to the main story of Lucas and his adventures under Cincinnati and his run-ins with Drax Enterprises. MacKinney drew me in and didn’t let me go until the end of the novel. His descriptions of how they got the shots they wanted and the necessary steps to get what they wanted were spot on. The final adventure under the city was riveting and kept me guessing as to what was going to happen.
I loved the characters Lucas, Rueben and even Alfred. I felt bad for Lucas’s mom for what Drax ultimately did was unfair. I felt they received what was coming to them.
*I would like to thank #NetGalley for providing me with a digital copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
We celebrated our New Years with a few friends and our family. We had some karaoke going, Cards against Humanity, and Wii games. Hubby went on a few Firefighting calls. All in all, it was a good night. The first one in a few years that hubby was awake for, he usually has to work the following day.
New Years Day my Fireman went to a call on the beach to help a beached whale. We followed but by the time we got there the young pilot whale was back in the water and all you could see were black specs in the water and a lone paddle boarded guiding him out to deeper waters. So a happy ending.
Nicole has started the new meds. I noticed that the last two nights she has not had to inquire about the locks on the doors and she fell asleep almost instantly. With this medication, you have to be patient and kind of wait and see, but this is definitely a step in the right direction. If her fears are settling down a bit then the medication is working. Honestly, her school marks are good enough that if we could get her anxiety under control the rest would probably follow. We will see soon enough. She was at school on time this morning, ready to face her peers and the school work. She even had some late stuff that she said she could work on at recess.
If all settles down I may consider going back to work. Hubby is really loving the firefighting. If I can get a job that would balance out what he gets from firefighting, he could become a career fireman…It is all dependant on Nicole and how she does the next few months. I don’t really want to return to work, but I am kind of bored at home. And if hubby was to become a career fireman, he would be home 4 days then work 4 days. Which would be hard to get used to at first. But we have gotten through worse things. A change of pace might be good for all of us!
How was everyone’s New Years?
Looking forward to more blogging and book reviewing in the next couple of weeks and months!