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Reviews Written by
Rebecca Brown "rebeccasreads" (Clallam Bay, WA United States)

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Roseflower Creek
Roseflower Creek
by J. L. Miles
Edition: Hardcover

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a redeeming & endearing read!, 23 May 2002
This review is from: Roseflower Creek (Hardcover)
ROSEFLOWER CREEK could have been sappy & sentimental, instead this author's debut novel is an absorbing, fascinating glimpse of how a child looks at adults' behavior & the dangerous relationships we foster.
Until Lori Jean's grandmother dies, she had kept Lori Jean's universe safe. When her auntie & uncle move to their own home, Lori Jean's mother's new husband begins to make their lives ugly. So ugly that eventually, in a drunken rage, he does the unthinkable.
Why Lori Jean's mother lands in jail for murder makes for a satisfying read.
ROSEFLOWER CREEK could have been a dreadful read about another family destroyed by bad choices & domestic violence. It is, however, not so dreadful because J. L. Miles has crafted a fine mystery, told in the voice of a victim who is like no victim we've met before.
Well done!

Bystander: A History of Street Photography
Bystander: A History of Street Photography
by Joel Meyerowitz
Edition: Paperback

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's the photos...., 22 May 2002
BYSTANDER embraces the social & cultural history of street photography. It touches upon the works of master photographers, yet leaves out so much about the actual photographs.
Trying to follow Meyerowitz's & Westerbeck's conversation, both obviously deeply emotional about the subject of street photography, simply went over my head in a rush of technical details & passionate positing as to why which photographer did what.
It is, however, the photographs in BYSTANDER that draw you back, again & again. The earliest ones that beg to have been enlarged, so rich in texture & composition; the later ones with their implicit social commentaries.
When we say that a picture is worth a thousand words, we're not kidding! Each & every photograph, even those that I couldn't make head nor tail, tell stories of our predecessors' lives & times, letting social history unravel before our eyes.
BYSTANDER is for everyone who loves to look at the past - the everyday, angular, shadow & light city past, through the window of a camera.

101 Ways to Avoid Reincarnation, or, Getting it Right the First Time
101 Ways to Avoid Reincarnation, or, Getting it Right the First Time
by Hester Mundis
Edition: Paperback

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars hilariously helpful, I think?, 3 May 2002
This author starts out through the forest of New Age philosophies by giving us a test! Yes, you're going to be tested on how you lived your life! That's what reincarnation is really all about. What grade are YOU going to get when you sign-out?
Hester Mundis is determined to teach us all that she knows. Believe me, Hester knows it all! From Astral Plane Reservations thru Karma, Karma, Karma Chameleons to Creative Visualizations for All Occasions to Holistic Housekeeping - that's one of my favorites!
From Entertaining Negatives and Other New Age Gaffes to Why Good things Happen to Bad People to We Are All Food to Utterly Divine Divinations to I Ching, You Ching, We All Ching to Atlantis on $5 a Day & so much more!
Remember, this is humor & Hester Mundis is quite serious about her humor! She's given us a healthy dose of hilarity, good for a 101 laughs at ourselves, our expectations & the crazy way we scurry around hoping to find heaven before we get there!

by Ruth Sanderson
Edition: Hardcover

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars an old tale in beautifull new pictures, 3 May 2002
This review is from: Cinderella (Hardcover)
We all know the story of Cinderella, however, there were two things about this version that sets it apart from the many others of this oft-told tale.
First, the illustrations are exquisite oil paintings which bring a new magic to the story.
The second thing that makes a difference is the relationship between Cinderella & her father. In most other versions, the father loves her to pieces, & then dies. Thus he is unable to save Cinderella from her nasty step-mother. In this telling, the father does not die, he keeps his mouth shut about the way his daughter is treated, for fear of his new wife's anger. I thought it was an interesting twist.
To sum it up, this is one of the better & more realistic Cinderella stories

Children Of Wilsden Lane
Children Of Wilsden Lane
by Mona Golabek
Edition: Hardcover

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a grand & hopefilled read!, 28 April 2002
This is a Heroine's journey during time of war. From Vienna, the city of music, to a little house outside London, where Lisa Jura will find safety & a piano where she can continue her mother's legacy.
It is the memories of the descent into the hell that Adolph Hitler visited upon the people of Europe, upon the life of one girl with a huge talent & a family who sent her away that she might survive.
It is memories of danger & death, as well as hope & the goodness in people's hearts, & how a dream made a girl brave & true to her heritage.
THE CHILDREN OF WILLESDEN LANE is passionate, engaging & charming, destined to find its place beside THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK.

Meditations In My Favourite Places In Southern Africa: A Travelogue For Inner And Outer Jounries
Meditations In My Favourite Places In Southern Africa: A Travelogue For Inner And Outer Jounries
by Gail Evans
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.95

5.0 out of 5 stars a great way to travel & live!, 28 April 2002
Gail Evans takes us on seven journeys to places of wonder & beauty in her native Southern Africa, as well as seven inner journeys, to places of healing & consciousness within our everyday living.
In describing her visits to the Okavango Delta, the Kruger National Park, the Karoo District, the Hogsback hills, the Coastlines, Sterkfontein & Sentinel, this author fills our minds with the fabled sights & animals of Africa, & her passion for exploration.
In the meditations at the end of each journey, she gifts us with insights into ways to perceive our spiritual adventure & health. By describing & explaining the system of chakras, she teaches us how to meditate & how this practice can bring peace & contentment wherein we find ourselves.
Gail Evans' writing is ebullient & endearing, technical errors notwithstanding. I, for one, am so glad I have read her MEDITATIONS IN MY FAVOURITE PLACES because now, when I travel, I have a deeper experience of what my eyes see. As I live with the stresses of ordinary life, my heart has been engaged, & I now have lessons on how to maintain the health of my soul.

School for Hawaiian Girls
School for Hawaiian Girls
by Georgia Ka'apuni-McMillen
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hell comes to Paradise, 18 Mar. 2002
The 1920s rape & murder of a student at the Christian run School for Hawaiian Girls, was never solved. No one was ever convicted & no white man's justice ever meted out.
Lydia had been a beautiful girl on the edge of womanhood. Loved by two powerful boys, she already had a secret. She was also the target of the headmistress' upbraiding for falling short of her potential.
Told in a fierce chorus of voices, SCHOOL FOR HAWAIIAN GIRLS speaks of memories of a dreadful past & prayers for a hopeful future. There are two terribly warped boys, one the son of the preacher man & the other, caught between the death of his parents' culture & a future in the white man's world; a grandniece of the slain Lydia, a woman now in her thirties with a thriving tourist canoe business & a curiosity to purchase the abandoned school house & make a hotel out of it; & the acid memories & jaundiced nostalgia of the preacher's other child, his daughter, who was once the respected headmistress of the long defunct school.
Everyone has secrets they'd rather not have exposed & everyone feels impelled to do something about keeping those secrets silent.
SCHOOL FOR HAWAIIAN GIRLS is a haunting, fierce & vivid parable about what happens when one culture conquers another & by fair means & foul, sets about humiliating & eradicating their way of life. When Westerners came into Paradise carting their self-righteous mores & their own personal demons, they expected the native population to be grateful for its re-education. What they got was a living hell of suspicions, superstitions & soul-destroying tragedy.
A stunning, satisfying mystery, well written & finely tuned with a glimpse of the lush paradise islands & the dark impulses that drive us humans into our misery!
A taut thriller with liberal doses of redemption - a super read!

Electroboy: A Memoir of Mania
Electroboy: A Memoir of Mania
by Andy Behrman
Edition: Hardcover

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I'm still catching my breath!, 18 Mar. 2002
For most of his life Andy has hidden his raging mania under a larger-than-life personality until he turns to art forgery. Then he became the subject of a New York scandal, jail & house arrest until, finally, when he knows he can no longer control himself, he opts for electroconvulsive therapy.
Andy Behrman, inspite of his mental illness, has written an engaging & exhausting, hilarious & horrifying memoir of where he came from, how it all started & what happened. How he moved from authentic into full throttle forgery - both in the field of his art dealing &, as the disease overwhelms him, in his life.
His monumental To Do List is a sign of things to come!
ELECTROBOY is a bit longer than needed. No excuses for the turmoil that tumbles out! You will find yourself holding your breath & then squeaking with relief tinged with chuckles. On & on he goes, round & round he swirls on highs so high he's looking down at the sky & then, in a blink, he's so at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, he can't see daylight.
Extra-ordinary, & a thought-provoking, memorable read! I will not look at my life the same way again!

Mengele's Legacy
Mengele's Legacy
by David Jay Weinberg
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars engaging, scary - a bit rough around the edges!, 18 Mar. 2002
This review is from: Mengele's Legacy (Hardcover)
An aged doctor in a German pharmaceutical company announces a cure for AIDS, & sends Dr. Isaiah Slesinger, America's preeminent protein biochemist, a message just before he's killed - or is he?
When Izzy receives Dr. Heneke's warning he is catapulted into a dangerous & desparate hunt among competing scientists, company men with murky pasts & modern-day agents still intent on racial purity. Izzy already knows that the old story about how the HIV virus leapt from monkey to man isn't true, & when he learns that Heneke worked with the Nazi doctor Joseph Mengele as a young man, Izzy is even more sure that something else spawned the dread disease.
Dr. Heneke insists that Mengele's research papers have survived & urges Izzy to follow their trail. Somewhere in those notes Heneke is sure Izzy will find a way to backtrack the path of the disease & perhaps find a way to halt its devastation. Except, Dr. Heneke warns Izzy, there's something even worse going on & that AIDS is actually a cover up.
MENGELE'S LEGACY is David Weinberg's first novel. It is a bit raw & complicated - lots of scientific discussions & staged deaths, killers coming out of the woodwork & ghosts around every corner, yet as a reflection on the obsessions we have about racial purity & the dread of disease, it makes for a fascinating, scary read!

White Bread Competition
White Bread Competition
by Jo Ann Yolanda Hernandez
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.46

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a Latina on the edge of teenhood!, 25 Oct. 2001
A young Latina in San Antonio, Texas, speaks of her older sister who is representing her family, her culture, her school & her state in the upcoming national spelling bee & the craziness between cultures, between girls, between losers & winners.
White Bread Competition is emminently readable with laughs galore, a keen ear for language & an unblinking eye for relationships. A fine sense of drama & frustation with a heroine who keeps correctly spelling each word, inexorably making her way to the top of the heap while her competitors & families torque into a rabble of discontent.
Vibrant family scenes, the motor-mouth of irrepressible youth & chapter titles that are clever double entendres which only leave you wanting more, more & more!
For anyone interested in listening to the voices of outsiders looking in & winning! Very well done & a must for the girls in your life.

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