Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates: Mary Mapes Dodge

This is a summary I did years ago. My best that I've found.

Set in Holland, this story has a lot of history. It is the story of two children, their mother, their father, their friends, and their self appointed enemies. It is the story of an idiot father, a watch, a missing thousand guilders, and...Some silver skates.

Hans asked the greatest doctor or meester in Holland to look at his father. Can he be cured? Can the watch be returned to it's missing owner? Will the thousand guilders ever be restored? and...Is there any chance to win the silver skates?

Saturday, September 4, 2010

On Berryhill Road. By Tommie Lyn

When James McKniere, or "Handy" as he was called; is found dead with a gun in his hands on the property he was planning to buy for his family, and a suicide note on his typewriter, explaining that he stole from the Navy,
his wife, Rachel, is dishonorably discharged by the Navy, and her and her daughter, Fallon, are shunned by friends, and acquaintances alike.

Fallon grows up under the cloud of shame brought on by what is thought to have been her fathers actions.

Rachel retreats within herself in an effort to protect her sensitive spirit from the cruel remarks and uncaring attitudes. Finally, it gets to the point when she is no longer able to keep a job, and withdraws till she no longer leaves the trailer which has become their home.

When Fallon is able to get a job at a Gas and Grocery convenience store, she thinks she has the ability to better their circumstances. But she doesn't foresee the changes that inevitably occur when she meets Donovan Pfar, a Petty Officer in the Navy; who is stationed at Whiting Field.

Meanwhile, the two men responsible, not only for James death, but also for stealing the money that he was blamed for taking, are at odds. Joseph Lipstien, the man with the brains, is dying. In an effort to assuage his conscience for agreeing to take James life, he sets up a trust fund for Fallon. Thornton Cordell, is losing his touch as a fighter pilot, and is finally sent to shore, knowing he will never fly another fighter jet. But he knows that if Joseph accomplishes his plan, Thornton will be left to be caught and sentenced. Not only for stealing, but for murder.

Can Fallon and Rachel live past the regret and shame that Handy's death brought to them? Can Donovan persuade Fallon he cares, rather than just pities her position? And can Fallon escape the trap Thornton is closing around her to try to bring closure to his tortured conscience?

Tommie Lyn gives us the emotions of the characters in this book, showing the pain; and the joy of death, life, and love.