shipwrecked love

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light between

::REVIEW::

  It is just after World War II, and Tom Sherbourne returns to his native Australia seeking solace and normalcy after enduring the horrors experienced as a soldier on the Western Front. Kind, thoughtful, and meticulous Tom lands a job as lighthouse keeper on the island of Janus. It’s lonely work, but Tom enjoys the routine, and quiet accountability of helping to assure the safe passage of cargo and passengers off of Australia’s shoreline.  He sets about making repairs to the Light, and keeps strict and meticulous records of all activity on Janus, as is his responsibility.  Tom can be trusted to do a job well, and he takes great pride in being a man to be counted upon to do the right thing. To his great good fortune, if not his great surprise, Tom meets Isabel Graysmark while on leave from Janus.  Isabel is everything Tom is not: gregarious, creative, outgoing. Isabel doesn’t so much seduce Tom as declare that their match is right and inescapable.  An epistolary courtship follows and on his next leave from the island, Tom and Isabel are married. They return to Janus a couple, starting their life together in their own little island world. Isabel suffers a series of pitiful miscarriages, each one stealing a little more of her light. 

And then one day a rowboat washes up on the island carrying a dead man and a live baby. Of course, Tom is inclined to report the incident, as is his natural and assigned responsibility. But Isabel, having lost three babies and one only recently, has been delivered an infant in need of a mother. She convinces Tom to delay reporting the body and the baby. Eventually all lines blur and Isabel names the baby Lucy and insists she is their own.   As much as he loves her, Tom cannot totally reconcile baby Lucy as his; instead arguing that she belongs to someone, somewhere, who surely grieves her loss. Isabel has no such qualms.  She considers Lucy a gift from God, and being mother to the little girl in all ways feels as natural to her as breathing. Like all secrets, Tom and Isabel’s slowly unravels.

On a trip to the mainland Tom encounters a woman whose child was lost at the same time that Lucy was found. Tom is devoured by guilt. On the night before the Sherbourne family is to return from the mainland to Janus, an anonymous note is found in the grieving mother’s mail box. A cryptic hand-written message assures the woman that her daughter is loved. A second trip to the mainland, a second hand-written message, and the Sherbourne’s story dissolves like paper in water.  Baby Lucy is reunited with her birth mother,  while Tom claims all responsibility for the deceit to protect Isabel. Following her betrayal, Isabel suffers an emotional breakdown, rejecting  Tom. Lucy is torn from the loving embrace from the only mother she’s ever known, and is inconsolable, rebuffing this stranger who now possesses her, her birth mother.

The Light Between Oceans is about finding one’s way in uncertain waters. It is a book that deftly examines the choices we make, and living with the inevitable outcomes. It is about love and courage and doing the right thing.  It is a book not to be missed. Cynthia G.

make a wish, baby

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jinniWe’re all for diversity, including the natural and supernatural alike. Because sometimes, you know, a girl just feels like a golem, and that’s all there is to it.

“It is New York in 1899, and two strange immigrants have found one another. One is a Jinni, trapped in physical form by an evil wizard in ancient Syria and locked in a bottle for a thousand years. The Jinni is released by a hapless tinsmith as he attempts to repair the bottle in the slums of New York.  The Golem is a made to order bride, a woman created of clay and sparked to life with an incantation known only by her creator and by the husband who, minutes after bringing her to life in the hold of the ship bound for New York from Danzig, dies of a burst appendix.

Now we have: two super-humans, lost and made vulnerable by their “otherness.” We also have two strangers longing for connection to something not-human, and yet forced by circumstance to rely on humans and their strange customs. Finally, we have two beings, perhaps the last of their kind, who want more than anything, to live.”

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fire + water

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maa-kali1Let’s do a time check.  Persephone is trapped underground with Hades, thanks to her bad dad, Zeus. It could be that Seph is throwing Skadi around like she means it because she’s had enough. Meanwhile, Kali is getting her party started; making chaos and burning down crops.  Athena’s itching for a fight. . .and guess what? It’s ladies’ night, and we have a front row seat.

Are we having climate change fun yet? here’s what we know for sure:

The instability of the climate means rapid changes unlike anything history has demonstrated.  Wildfires, heat waves, polar vortexes, flash floods, and droughts are just some of the lovely surprises that climate change has in store for us.  It’s all about balance, sustainability, inconsistent consistency, the latter which is what normal weather is like — fickle, but not spiteful.  Here in PA, just the extra snow days alone have drained local snow removal coffers.  Imagine getting hit with monster, successive storms.  Think Katrina and Hurricane Sandy, back-to-back.  Who’s going to clean up the mess, rebuild, pay for the damage?

It will take a firm commitment.  If we threw more than a few bucks at green infrastructure and got some big thinkers and visionaries working on long-range solutions, maybe we could gain some ground.  Instead we’re shrinking funds for alternative technologies – the fusion budget has been cut so the U.S. is no longer the world leader in that regard – even as we continue to provide corporate welfare to Big Oil and Gas.  Do the oil companies really need that extra money when they are already turning record profits?  I wonder, could I get a tax break if I drilled a hole in my back yard and said I was looking to strike oil?

We can’t win this one, kids.  Really.  After all the damage, hurricanes, typhoons, tsunamis, and 50 degree evenings in July, we’ve still got people saying screaming that climate change is bad science.  The Earth was here before and she’ll be here long after we’re gone.  We all know the truth.  It’s time for an intervention.  We can help Mother Nature deal with her issues, by dealing with ourselves.  We are her issues.  The government is not going to save us.  Neither are the aliens, in case you were holding out hope, or even just wondering.  The only ones who can save us are us, but not until most of us get our collective heads out of our b… I mean, the sand.  It’s time to do what we do best as a country — solve problems, innovate, lead so others might follow.  The payoff, as if saving the planet and ourselves wasn’t enough, is that there’s a heck of a lot of money to be made in green technology, but first we need to cure our CCD.

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