Monday, January 31, 2011

Join in on the Reviews in February and Win!

This challenge is being hosted by Brandy @ Blkosiner's Book Blog and Sniffly Kitty @ Sniffly Kitty's Mostly Books  You can find the sign up page on each of their pages. 

The rules are simple, you just read and review.  We do that already, right? Well, you just link your reviews to their sites and you can win lots of prizes!! The list of prizes are on their sites too, and I'm telling you, there are some really good ones!  They will also have author interviews and guests posts through out the month.  So, what do you say???

Sunday, January 30, 2011

In My Mailbox (4)

This fun weekly meme is hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren.  It's where we share books that have come in our mailbox this week via wins, from publishers, or books we've bought.

This week I have been feeding my YA and Paranormal addiction.

I think that will keep me busy for about a week :)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Follow Friday (3)

Hosted by Rachel @ Parajunkee's View

To join the fun and make now book blogger friends, just follow these simple rules:
  1. Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Host { } and any one else you want to follow on the list
  2. Follow our Featured Bloggers - 
  3. Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing.
  4. Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say hi in your comments
  5. Follow Follow Follow as many as you can, as many as you want, or just follow a few. The whole point is to make new friends and find new blogs. Also, don't just follow, comment and say hi. Another blogger might not know you are a new follower if you don't say "HI"
  6. If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love...and the followers
  7. If you want to show the link list, just follow the link below the entries and copy and paste it within your post!  
  8. If you're new to the follow friday hop, comment and let me know, so I can stop by and check out your blog! 
Each week there is a new question to answer so that others can get to know you.  
This weeks question is :  

What is/was your favorite subject in school?

 My favorite subject had to be science. I know, that may make me strange, but I loved my chemistry, physics, biology and even my microbiology classes.  I think between my 2 undergrad degrees that I have, I have taken 9 or 10 science classes. How many more are there??    So what about you??? What is or was YOUR favorite subject???

Review: Bright Young Things

Bright Young Things (Bright Young Things, #1)Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen

"DAAR-ling, This is absolutely a-DORR-able!"

Cordelia Grey and Letty Larkspur leave all they have ever know in Union, Ohio to find their way in New York City during the roaring 20's.

Cordelia's mother died when she was young and her aunt took her begrudgingly in and raised her. Her aunt constantly reminds Cordelia that she "is just like her mother". Cordelia has always heard stories of her father that were painted by her aunt that made him into a horrible man. Cordelia wants to find out for herself.

Letty, Cordelia's best friend, has always had a dream of making it big on the stage and movies.

Cordelia and Letty set out for New York thinking nothing can be better than life in a big city.

Shortly after arriving in New York, the girls have an argument and go about their separate ways. In doing that, each girl plus the addition of Astrid Donal, all have very different paths and backgrounds, but their paths still ring true with teen age girls of today. Family, arguments, dreams of bigger things, enemies, boys, crushes, and first kisses... its all in there.

These three girls are the focus of the story while the speakeasies, flappers, and jazz clubs of Manhattan 1920's shimmer in the background. The writing is absolutely so descriptive that you can almost hear the band playing, you can feel the butterflies in your stomach as you look down 34 stories to the ground below from a construction site that will eventually become The Chrysler Building, and see the airplane being used as a pen to write a message with the sky as a tablet.

This is the first book in a new series and I can't wait to read the next one Beautiful Days set to be released in September 2011. I mean who can wait when in the prologue we are told:

....."-although there are three...... all marching toward their own secret fates, and long before the next decade rolled around, each would escape in her own way-one would be famous, one would be married, and one would be dead."

I love historical fiction and Godbersen didn't disappoint. This is such a refreshing new road for YA stories.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Review: The Darkest Night

The Darkest Night (Lords of the Underworld,  #1)The Darkest Night by Gena Showalter

This is the first of Gena Showalter's books that I have read. I love the Black Dagger Brotherhood by JR Ward, and thought I would give this one a try.

Let's go back to Greek mythology to give a little background, shall we? Pandora's Box is the box which contained all the evils of the world. In opening the box, one is supposed to unleash those evils. Enter The Lords of the Underwold.

The Lords were once mighty immortal Greek warriors. Having gotten upset that the Gods chose a woman to protect the evils from the world, they chose to kill Pandora so they could have the box... not a wise thing. Once Pandora died, all the evils were unleashed. Each of the warriors who had a part in the slaying are now cursed to each live with one of the evils inside them. Violence, Pain, Death, Disease, Disaster, Misery, Doubt, Promiscuity, Defeat, Lies, Secrets and Wrath.

This first book in the series is mainly focused on Maddox, who is the Keeper of Violence. The curse that belongs to Maddox is that every night at midnight, he is killed, lead the Hell and then awakens the next morning only to be repeated for all eternity. Maddox is the most dangerous of all the warriors.

Enter stage left: Ashlyn Darrow. Ashlyn is a human girl who has spent her entire life inside an institute. The reason: she is able to hear voices of the past. Any conversation that has happened in the room she enters, she hears. Her parents didn't know how to handle her screams of agony from the voices so they sent her away. Ashlyn wants to rid herself of the voices, she has heard of the "men with super powers" so she travels to Budapest where the men live to see if they can help her. Little does she know, she has been sent as bait.

The book was very interesting to say the least. It was a page turner definitely. Parts of it dragged a little at times, but I think it was only because I wanted to know what was about to happen. As with any series, it was filled with a little background on all of the evils and it was confusing trying to remember who was the keeper of which evil. I mean, we do have 12. As the book moved forward that became a little easier. The one thing that I didn't really wrap my mind around was the instant attraction thing. I would have liked to have seen more of a build up in the relationship, but that's just me.

The book had some pretty steamy parts in it, but not as steamy as others. But if you like sexy men, this book has plenty of those. It wasn't as dark as I thought it was going to be, but that may change in future books. I plan on continuing with the series and figuring out which Lord is my favorite.

Teaser Tuesday (2)

Hosted by MizB @ Should Be Reading

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
My teaser:  "All these measured manifestations, all these repressed emotions- what considerate liars we all are, being so civilized." 

Taken from: 13, rue Therese by Elena Mauli Shapiro


Monday, January 24, 2011

It's Monday... What Are YOU Reading??? (1)

Hosted by Book Journey

Listening to:

Bright Young Things

Reading on my Kindle: 

Reading in Hard Copy:


Lords of the Underworld Challenge

This challenge is being hosted by Reading with Tequila 

I'm in on this challenge since I just started reading the first book....

Curious about the Lords of the Underworld series by Gena Showalter?

The Darkest Night
The Darkest Kiss
The Darkest Pleasure
The Darkest Whisper
The Darkest Passion
The Darkest Lie
The Darkest Secret (release date: March 29, 2011)

Challenge will run February 1, 2011 to January 31, 2012.

0 / 7 books. 0% done!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

In My Mailbox (3)

This weekly meme is hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren.  Share what you received this week in the mail, the store or the library.

From the Library: 

 From Goodreads

This is Margaret Atwood at the absolute peak of her powers. For readers of Oryx and Crake, nothing will ever look the same again.

The narrator of Atwood's riveting novel calls himself Snowman. When the story opens, he is sleeping in a tree, wearing an old bedsheet, mourning the loss of his beloved Oryx and his best friend Crake, and slowly starving to death. He searches for supplies in a wasteland where insects proliferate and pigoons and wolvogs ravage the pleeblands, where ordinary people once lived, and the Compounds that sheltered the extraordinary. As he tries to piece together what has taken place, the narrative shifts to decades earlier. How did everything fall apart so quickly? Why is he left with nothing but his haunting memories? Alone except for the green-eyed Children of Crake, who think of him as a kind of monster, he explores the answers to these questions in the double journey he takes - into his own past, and back to Crake's high-tech bubble-dome, where the Paradice Project unfolded and the world came to grief.

From Goodreads

The year is 1929. New York is ruled by the Bright Young Things: flappers and socialites seeking thrills and chasing dreams in the anything-goes era of the Roaring Twenties.

Letty Larkspur and Cordelia Grey escaped their small Midwestern town for New York's glittering metropolis. All Letty wants is to see her name in lights, but she quickly discovers Manhattan is filled with pretty girls who will do anything to be a star… Cordelia is searching for the father she's never known, a man as infamous for his wild parties as he is for his shadowy schemes. Overnight, she enters a world more thrilling and glamorous than she ever could have imagined—and more dangerous. It's a life anyone would kill for . . . and someone will. 

The only person Cordelia can trust is Astrid Donal, a flapper who seems to have it all: money, looks, and the love of Cordelia's brother, Charlie. But Astrid's perfect veneer hides a score of family secrets. Across the vast lawns of Long Island, in the illicit speakeasies of Manhattan, and on the blindingly lit stages of Broadway, the three girls' fortunes will rise and fall—together and apart. From the New York Times bestselling author of The Luxe comes an epic new series set in the dizzying last summer of the Jazz Age.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Follow Friday (2)

Hosted by Rachel @ Parajunkee's View this weekly meme asks different questions each week for us to answer.  This week's question is:

Who do you cheer for?

This is an easy one for me and if you know me........ AUBURN TIGERS!!!!!  Yes, it's true..... In the last 2 years..... 2 SEC championships, 2 Heisman trophy winners, 2 National Championships........1 STATE!!!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Teaser Tuesday

This is a weekly meme hosted by MizB @ Should Be Reading.  The rules are simple: 

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teasers:  "I glanced out the window at the woods, the pale lines of the trees phantoms against the dark.  If my wolf was out there, I couldn't see him."


Monday, January 17, 2011

Historical Fiction Challenge 2011

4/ 15 books:  27% done

Historical Tapestry is hosting a Historical Fiction Challenge. I am shooting for "Undoubtedly Obsessed" and 15 books.

My List: 

Chunkster Challenge 2011

3/ 8 books:  38% done

February 1, 2011 through January 31, 2012

Below are the details and sign ups for 2011 ... I've made a few changes which I hope you will I've added another level of participation AND I've changed the number of books you need to read for each level.

Definition of a Chunkster:
  • A chunkster is 450 pages or more of ADULT literature (fiction or nonfiction) ... A chunkster should be a challenge.
  • If you read large type books your book will need to be 525 pages or more ... The average large type book is 10-15% longer or more so I think that was a fair estimate.
The Rules:
  • No Audio books in the chunkster. It just doesn't seem right. Words on paper for this one folks.
  • No e-Books allowed - we are reading traditional, fat books for this challenge.
  • Short Stories and Essay collections will not be counted.
  • Books may crossover with other challenges
  • Anyone may join. If you don't have a blog, just leave me a comment on this post with your progress (and to let me know you are playing)
  • You don't need to list your books ahead of time.
  • Once you pick a level, that's're committed to that level!
You must pick a level of participation:
  1. The Chubby Chunkster - this option is for the reader who wants to dabble in large tomes, but really doesn't want to commit to much more than that. FOUR Chunksters is all you need to finish this challenge.
  2. The Plump Primer - this option is for the slightly heavier reader who wants to commit to SIX Chunksters over the next twelve months.
  3. Do These Books Make my Butt Look Big? - this option is for the reader who can't resist bigger and bigger books and wants to commit to SIX Chunksters from the following categories: 2 books which are between 450 - 550 pages in length; 2 books which are 551 - 750 pages in length; 2 books which are GREATER than 750 pages in length (for ideas, please refer to the book suggestions page for some books which fit into these categories).
  4. Mor-book-ly Obese - This is for the truly out of control chunkster. For this level of challenge you must commit to EIGHT or more Chunksters of which three tomes MUST be 750 pages or more. You know you want to.....go on and give in to your cravings.

My List:

1. Russian Winter by Daphne Kalotay  459 pages.  Completed 1/16/11
2. Unbroken: Lauren Hillenbrand  496 pages Completed 2/11/11
3. The Devil's Queen: A Novel of Catherine de Medici 480 pages.  Completed 5/27/11.

Review: Russian Winter

Russian WinterRussian Winter by Daphne Kalotay

This novel includes so many things that I love. Ballet, stories of Russia, historical elements, and mystery. And what few women do not like jewels? This book has that as well.

Once a famous ballerina in the Russian Bolshoi Ballet, Nina Revskaya defected from Russia and found her way to America. In an attempt at a final curtain call on her past, Nina decides to auction her jewelry collection through a Boston auction house.

Drew Brooks is an associate with the auction house who is assigned to inventory and help set up the auction of Nina's jewelry. Drew is fascinated by the story behind Nina and why she left Russia.

Grigori Solodin is a Russian professor at a local university who believes that Nina can help him unlock the mysteries of his past.

The story interweaves these three characters lives and alternates between post-WWII Russia and 2003. We are shown the lives of ballet dancers, the mistrust of Russian government, friends and family, the betrayal that seems to lurk behind every corner, and love.

I loved how the life of Nina was detailed down to the technical terms of ballet. At times I could hear the dancers as they landed on the spring boards, could hear the music of the orchestra, could feel the fear of speaking about certain things in public. You could "hear" the pain in the life of Grigori as he tried to move on with his life after the loss of his wife, the excitement when new things were found.

The story is full of mystery, pain, betrayal, new starts and letting go. I will definitely look for more from this new author.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

In My Mailbox (2)

It's that time again!  Hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren.   This week I have gotten:

From Goodreads:

Luis de Santángel, chancellor to the court and longtime friend of the lusty King Ferdinand, has had enough of the Spanish Inquisition. As the power of Inquisitor General Tomás de Torquemada grows, so does the brutality of the Spanish church and the suspicion and paranoia it inspires. When a dear friend’s demise brings the violence close to home, Santángel is enraged and takes retribution into his own hands. But he is from a family of conversos, and his Jewish heritage makes him an easy target. As Santángel witnesses the horrific persecution of his loved ones, he begins slowly to reconnect with the Jewish faith his family left behind. Feeding his curiosity about his past is his growing love for Judith Migdal, a clever and beautiful Jewish woman navigating the mounting tensions in Granada. While he struggles to decide what his reputation is worth and what he can sacrifice, one man offers him a chance he thought he’d lost…the chance to hope for a better world. Christopher Columbus has plans to discover a route to paradise, and only Luis de Santángel can help him.
Within the dramatic story lies a subtle, insightful examination of the crisis of faith at the heart of the Spanish Inquisition. Irresolvable conflict rages within the conversos in By Fire, By Water, torn between the religion they left behind and the conversion meant to ensure their safety. In this story of love, God, faith, and torture, fifteenth-century Spain comes to dazzling, engrossing life.


From Goodreads: 

Be normal, invisible. Don’t get close to anyone. Kids with psychic abilities tend to mysteriously disappear when they get noticed. Joss has spent years trying to hide. Now she has an unasked-for best friend, who is the victim of an extortion plot by the school bully, who used to like Joss, who is best friends with her long-time crush, who is actually talking to her. Life just got more complicated.
They call their abilities Talents, and that’s what they call themselves as well. Talents are people born with supernatural powers, feared by the population at large. Possession of an “unregistered ability” has become illegal, and those who are discovered are forcibly removed to government-run research facilities. For Talents, keeping their secret is the most important thing in their lives. For some, that need for secrecy begins to define who they are. 

From Goodreads:

When Wendy Everly was six-years-old, her mother was convinced she was a monster and tried to kill her. It isn't until eleven years later that Wendy finds out her mother might've been telling the truth.

With the help of Finn Holmes, Wendy finds herself in a world she never knew existed - and it's one she's not sure if she wants to be a part of.


Out of Time: Monique Martin

From Goodreads:

New York in the 1920's is the world of Prohibition, speakeasies and an underground run by the underworld. Vampires and mobsters vie for power in the seedy underbelly of Manhattan.

A mysterious accident sends Professor Simon Cross and his assistant, Elizabeth West back in time to face demons real and imagined.

Simon Cross has spent his life searching for vampires and now that he’s found one, it just might take from him the only woman he’s ever loved. Simon’s life has been a ritual of research into the occult and stoic solitude. He prefers it that way. Until he meets Elizabeth West.

A gambler’s daughter, Elizabeth knows a bluff when she sees one. Behind Simon’s icy glares and nearly impenetrable armor beats the heart of a man in desperate need of love.

Trials of murder, intrigue and danger push Simon and Elizabeth to the edge of sanity.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

On My Wishlist (2)

On My Wishlist is a weekly meme hosted by Book Chick City. Whether it be books that are old, new or have yet to come out, they are books that you desperately want.   Mine for this week are:

Synopsis from Goodreads:  

Incarceron is a prison unlike any other: Its inmates live not only in cells, but also in metal forests, dilapidated cities, and unbounded wilderness. The prison has been sealed for centuries, and only one man, legend says, has ever escaped.
Finn, a seventeen-year-old prisoner, can’t remember his childhood and believes he came from Outside Incarceron. He’s going to escape, even though most inmates don’t believe that Outside even exists. And then Finn finds a crystal key and through it, a girl named Claudia.
Claudia claims to live Outside—her father is the Warden of Incarceron and she’s doomed to an arranged marriage. If she helps Finn escape, she will need his help in return. But they don’t realize that there is more to Incarceron than meets the eye. Escape will take their greatest courage and cost far more than they know.
Because Incarceron is alive.

Synopsis from Goodreads: 

Dan North knows from early childhood that his family is different — and that the differences are secrets that can never be told.  This contemporary Urban Fantasy introduces the North family, a clan of mages in exile in our world, and their enemies who will do anything to keep them locked here. 

Synopsis from Goodreads: 

Meet the Radleys
Peter, Helen and their teenage children, Clara and Rowan, live in an English town. They are an everyday family, averagely dysfunctional, averagely content. But as their children have yet to find out, the Radleys have a devastating secret
From one of Britain’s finest young novelists comes a razor-sharp unpicking of adulthood and family life. In this moving, thrilling and extraordinary portrait of one unusual family, The Radleys asks what we grow into when we grow up, and explores what we gain – and lose – when we deny our appetites.  

Review: Shadow of the Wind

The Shadow of the WindThe Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

I read this book a couple of years ago and never completed a review of it until now (I know, what was I thinking?).

Let me start off by saying that this was the first book by Zafon that I had read. But something about the first few pages I read set the tone...I was absolutely enamored. How can you not be with things like this written.....

"Every book, every volume you see here, has a soul. The soul of the person who wrote it and of those who read it and lived and dreamed with it. Every time a book changes hands, every time someone runs his eyes down its pages, its spirit grows and strengthens."

"Books are mirrors: you only see in them what you already have inside you."

"In the shop we buy and sell them, but in truth books have no owner. Every book you see here has been somebody’s best friend."

"Few things leave a deeper mark on the reader, than the first book that finds its way to his heart."

The story is set in Barcelona 1945. Daniel is taken to the "Cemetary of Forgotten Books" by his father. He is allowed to choose one book to read and care for. Little does Daniel know that the book he has chosen leads to a mystery about the author of that book. All of the author's books are being burned by a mysterious person for reasons only known to the shadowy figure that no one seems to know. Daniel seems to have the last book still in existence and he tries to protect the book that has come to mean so much to him.

The characters in this book were amazing, the subplots, the mysteries, the quotes, the wit..... I could go on and on, but you have to read this book! Beautifully written, suspenseful, and one that is put on the list of my favorite of all times.

View all my reviews

An award??? For me??????

 I woke up this morning to find a notification that Jessica @ Musings + Teen Librarian had awarded me this "Stylish Award"!  Thank you so much! I must say that is was all Emily @ Blogaholic Designs. She does amazing things!    Now, to accept this, I have to do the following:

1.  Thank and link back to the person who awarded you this award
2.  Share 7 things about yourself
3.  Award 15 recently discovered great bloggers
4.  Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award!

7 Things about me:  Hmmmmm......

1. I am addicted to Diet Mtn Dew
2. I am a huge tomboy, despite wearing high heels everyday.
3. I have had a combined total of 7 surgeries on both of my knees (see tomboy comment).
4. I love scary movies with the original "Amityville Horror" being one of my favorites.
5. I'm terrified of snakes.. to the point of not being able to look at a picture of them or on tv
6. I spend so much money on Amazon, I need to claim them as a dependent on my taxes
7. I have 500+ books on my bookshelves at home.

Now, who to give this to........ there are so many great blogs out there.... it's hard to choose!
Let me start with just a few, then come back and add some more....

1. Through The Pages
2. Geeky Blogger's Book Blog
3. Life...With Books
4.Must Love Books
5. My Head Is Full of Books
6. Reading With Martinis 
7. Welcome to Larissa's Bookish Life

I will be back to add some more lovely places to see!

Friday, January 14, 2011

So excited!!!!!!

funny pictures of cats with captions

I am sooooo excited!!!  As you can see........... I have had a makeover!!!   Emily over @ Blogaholic Designs worked her magic on my blog.  Using a scrap kit from Golden Sun Designs she came up with this AMAZING blog design!!  When I first saw the scrap kit, I fell in LOVE!  Phantom of the Opera is one of my favorite stories...... I saw the play a few years ago, and I have to tell you, if you have not seen it you MUST!  I now have the book, the movie and the memories of the play........and now I have a blog design based on it!  Be sure to check out Emily's site as well as the scrap kit site!!!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Follow Friday (1)

The Follow Friday is hosted by Rachel at Parajunkee's View The question of the week is:

What makes up your non-human family?? 

My non-human family consists of two dogs and a cat... One is a registered Chocolate Lab, who is coming up on his second birthday, who weighs almost as much as I do and who also thinks that the end of the couch is his domain. My other dog is a long haired Jack Russell Terrier, who despite weighing all of 5 lbs, thinks he rules the 100+lb lab. My fat cat looks just like Garfield....probably as fat to!! My cat doesn't care for it much when I try to read a book and he is in the house.........last time, he literally crawled in my lap and lay on my book ... Think he was trying to tell me something?

Book Blogger Hop (2)

Book Blogger Hop

It's that time again...........  Blogger Hop Friday..........  Hosted by Crazy-For-Books.  This weeks question is:
 "Why do you read the genre that you do?  What draws you to it?"
Well, I tend to read many different genres.  Which one I pick sometimes depends on my mood, or the time that I have to read.  Historical fiction is probably my favorite, then contemporary fiction.  I love to read them because I like being able to connect with a time period or the characters that I feel I can relate to.

Change is coming............

Change Pictures, Images and Photos
Hopefully in the next 48 hours, things will be changing on this blog.  Trust me, it's all a good thing......... I am so excited about what is coming!  Keep checking back.... when things do look different, be sure to let me know what you think about it!!!

Monday, January 10, 2011

New ladies on the blogosphere....

Just wanted to share a new blog for book lovers that pre-launched today.  Their official launch date is February 7, but they are doing some fun things on their blog already.  Be sure to check out the ladies @ Bookrushed!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

In My Mailbox (1)


In My Mailbox is a weekly post hosted by Kristi  @ The Story Siren.  In this weekly post, you share what books you have received this past week, whether it be from the library, books you bought, or received from other places. 
This week, in an attempt to work on my "Support Your Library" challenge, I picked up:

From Goodreads:    You can read the complete synopsis here.
A mysterious jewel holds the key to a life-changing secret, in this breathtaking tale of love and art, betrayal and redemption. 

From the author of Sarah's Key: Partial synopsis from Goodreads

It all began with a simple seaside vacation, a brother and sister recapturing their childhood.  Antoine Rey thought he had the perfect surprise for his sister Mélanie’s birthday: a weekend by the sea at Noirmoutier Island, where the pair spent many happy childhood summers playing on the beach.  It had been too long, Antoine thought, since they’d returned to the island—over thirty years, since their mother died and the family holidays ceased.  But the island’s haunting beauty triggers more than happy memories; it reminds Mélanie of something unexpected and deeply disturbing about their last island summer.  When, on the drive home to Paris, she finally summons the courage to reveal what she knows to Antoine, her emotions overcome her and she loses control of the car.
In 1941, the author and a small group of fellow prisoners escaped a Soviet labor camp. Their march out of Siberia, through China, the Gobi Desert, Tibet, and over the Himalayas to British India is a remarkable statement about man's desire to be free.  See the full description here