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Review Date: 4/16/2020
Helpful Score: 1
Miss Julia Springer is an older, slightly blue-haired Southern lady of very proper upbringing; a life-long, faithful member of the Presbyterian church. She lives alone - a recent widow - in her big, beautiful house in Hendersonville, North Carolina, directly across the street from the church she and her husband have attended for years. Her husband, Wesley Lloyd Springer, was a savvy business man, who worked and took care of all their financial affairs while she stayed home & and attended abundant Bible studies and church functions and meetings, and basked in the righteous light that she and her husband had always occupied in the community. Her husband had made all the decisions in the marriage, and in fact, was an Elder and very important advisor to the church's patriarch and fearless leader, Pastor Ledbetter. Wesley Lloyd had pulled in the driveway coming home from work one night, when he went and had a heart attack that took him to the Lord before he could even get out of his car. Miss Julia knew they were financially comfortable, but she had never realized just how comfortable until after his death. He had always been very frugal, even to the point of not getting air conditioning put in their old house, because he said it was a waste of money, and besides, fresh air was good for them. (Of course, the office he went to every day was air conditioned.) He had also doled our a weekly allowance to her her, saying, âNow, make it last, Julia. Money doesn't grow on trees, you know.' But to her surprise and delight, she now discovers that he has left his wife with millions. Miss Julia was never blessed with children, but she feels pretty content and at peace, knowing that she will now spend the rest of her years getting a little remodeling done on her home, ordering things she wants out of catalogs, and being very active in her church - UNTIL, one day someone drops something off at her doorstep that turned her entire world totally upside down. Absolute chaos ensues.
This was a delightful book. I was at first very put out with this uppity, self-righteous, insensitive, pompous, (and by my standards, very weak) woman, but then I quickly recognized the predictability that she would eventually redeem herself. I don't think this is a spoiler, because I think anyone reading the book would have quickly come to the same prediction. As soon as I realized that, I wondered if the book would then become boring, but for me, it never did. I laughed out loud several times throughout the story, and at times, couldn't put the book down because I needed to know what happened next. In addition to being hilarious, it is a lesson in how to become a better human and a wonderfully satirical kick-in-the-butt to crooked evangelists and the historical oppression of women.
Review Date: 4/16/2020
I am reading this series in order, and after 18 novels, I feel like Kinsey Millhone is one of my oldest and dearest friends. I find myself wishing I could call her & meet her at Rosie's for a drink. I become so totally immersed in these stories, that I feel happy and sad with Kinsey & Henry in the circumstances of their lives, and I get angry with them sometimes & actually talk out loud to the book, (e.g., âKinsey, what'r'you DOING?! Have you lost your mind, girl?!') I mean, that's a good book when you talk to it.
Review Date: 4/12/2021
I really enjoyed this first Chief Inspector Gamache novel. It is a good mystery, but it's more than a mystery - it is a wonderful introduction to the irresistible Chief Inspector Armand Gamache - a detective who won't allow his wife to display his commendations on the wall because every time he looks at them, he sees the faces of the dead and the living they left behind. It is also an introduction to the wonderful tiny village of Three Pines in Montreal and it's quirky inhabitants. I'm sure that this is a fictional hamlet, but Penny brought it to life and made me want to go there, and do things like stay in the B&B, visit the village bistro, hang out with its owners - Olivier & Gabri - & have coffee with Clara, and hug her. I looked at a list of Ms. Penny's books, and was very happy to see that she revisits Three Pines in subsequent books. I will work on getting some of those ASAP.
Review Date: 4/24/2020
I tried to read this and I just can't understand it at all. I read one review on Goodreads that said the book "Ulysses, a Study" by Stuart Gilbert helps you to read and understand the book better. I may get that book and see if it helps.
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