Threaten to Undo Us by Rose Seiler Scott

In Threaten to Undo Us, Surrey-based author Rose Seiler Scott delivers a powerful historical novel about one family’s will to survive and stay together during the tumultuous second World War. Liesel is German, but she was born and raised in Poland. Her husband, Ernst, is drafted into Hitler’s army despite his misgivings, and Liesel is left to support her ailing mother and four young children. As Stalin’s Army succeeds, Liesel finds herself forced from the only home she has ever known on the run from Poland. I really enjoyed this book–it offers a perspective of World War 2 that I haven’t read about yet. The violence and atrocities faced during the war are depicted, but not gratuitously, and it is ultimately a hopeful story of love, faith, and the will to live. (Submitted by MS).

Meet Rose at Authors Among Us: Remembering the Past in Poetry and Prose at Guildford Library on Wed, Nov 4 at 6:30pm. Call 604-598-7374 to save your spot.

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Living Out the Dream: A story of two families by Olive Caldwell Lee

This book is about two families emigrating from Ireland to the Ottawa River Valley in the 1800s.  It’s a fictionalized account of this history after the author did years of genealogical research, including some at Cloverdale Library.

I found the book to be well written and charming.  It was a fascinating and personal story of a historical Canadian experience. (Submitted by Kristen).

Meet Olive at Authors Among Us: Remembering the Past in Poetry and Prose at Guildford Library on Wed, Nov 4 at 6:30pm. Call 604-598-7366 to save your spot.

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The Dead Don’t Dream by Mauro Azzano

In The Dead Don’t Dream by Mauro Azzano, we meet homicide police detective Ian McBriar and his partner Frank Burghezian in 1973, Toronto. When two young boys are chased into the path of an oncoming train by a threatening man, McBriar and Burghezian are tasked with tracking down the suspect. They soon discover a web of lies that connects to a murder in Italy and the local underworld.

I enjoyed reading this historical mystery which was rife with the attitudes and prejudices of the 1970s. In addition to the crime-solving, Azzano introduced a romantic subplot in which Ian meets a young single-mother, Karen, and her adorable son Ethan. I’m curious to find out what happens to Ian McBriar and his crew in the sequels, Death Works at Night and Death by Deceit. (Submitted by MS).

Meet Mauro at Authors Among Us-The Dark Side: The Craft of Writing about Death, Demons, and Despair at Guildford Library on Wed, Oct 7 from 6:30-8:30pm. Call 604-598-7366 to save your spot.

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The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields

The Stone Diaries is the fictional autobiography of Daisy Goodwill. Since we follow her through most of the 20th Century, the novel serves as a diary of that period of time as well. Daisy’s existence is not an epic one, in the sense that she doesn’t go on great adventures, but it is precisely her mundane anonymity that allows us to deeply connect with her and to discover the uniqueness of her life.

Carol Shields was a very pleasant surprise for me. In this novel, which garnered her the Pulitzer Prize and the Governor General’s Award, among others, her writing is so rich and witty that every page of the novel is an absolute delight. If you like authors like Joyce Carol Oates and Margaret Atwood, Carol Shields’ The Stone Diaries is a must-read. (Submitted by Eva).

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All the Light We Cannot See — Anthony Doerr

At the outbreak of World War 2, the blind Marie-Laure and her father escape the city to the coastal town of Saint-Malo to seek safety with her Uncle.  Her story is contrasted by Werner the German orphan who is recruited into the German army because of his abilities with radios.  The stories of Marie-Laure and Werner bounce back and forth between the chapters until they finally converge.  What I liked most about this story was the detail into Marie-Laure’s life.  The way her father designed a scale model of their neighborhood so she could memorize routes and landmarks to help her get around on her own. (Submitted by Braden)

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Dancing with Demons — Peter Tremayne

802_titlePerhaps, like me, you have not yet heard of Peter Tremayne and his Sister Fidelma series. You are in for a treat. These historical mysteries are set in a richly evoked Ancient Ireland that is fantastic and mystical while still being true to history as we know it. Sister Fidelma is a strong but imperfect protagonist who takes on many roles throughout her life but always strives for truth and justice. In this installment (No. 18 in the series), she is called upon to investigate the circumstances of the King’s death. While the mystery is intriguing the main attraction of this series is delving into a little explored historical period and culture. (submitted by Reta).

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The Firebird – Susanna Kearsley

firebird_imageI never read historical fiction and rarely romance, but I read this one because Susanna is coming to speak at Guildford Library on October 27th.  Well, it was a great book!  It has an interesting plot about a British art dealer with the power to touch an object and know its history.  Nicola travels to Russia to help a client prove her wooden firebird is connected to Russia’s Empress Catherine.  Ah, and there is romance, with Rob, who has more developed psychic powers than Nicola herself.  This book had a pace that moves along quickly, with interesting settings and realistic, likeable characters.  I will try other books by this author now. (submitted by KA)

Meet Susanna Kearsley in person! Join us at Guildford Library on Sunday, October 27 from 3-4pm. Call 604-598-7366 to register.

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