Friday, October 21, 2022

Audiobook Review: Fairy Tale by Stephen King

Fairy Tale by Stephen King book cover and review
Stephen King's latest, Fairy Tale, is a bit different than his usual horror-ish stories, but as I have often said, I will read anything he writes because he can write about anything!

It's a story about a boy, Charlie, who ends up in a fairytale land and must save that land from the evil king who possesses it.

But of course, there is so much more. Charlie ends up befriending the local "old guy with the mean dog whose house is haunted." When Charlie hears the man crying out for help, he calls an ambulance and ends up taking care of the man's dog, Radar. Radar is just a sweet, aging German Shepherd that can hardly make it up the steps to his house. And Charlie soon falls in love with him.

After his convalescence in the hospital, the man, Mr. Bowditch, comes home and Charlie takes care of him, as well as Radar. Bowditch begins to confide in Charlie about his life, his past, and secrets that Charlie can tell no one. One secret is about what is in the shed in Mr. Bowditch's backyard.

Now you can probably see where this is going, and I really don't want to tell you much more. It is a fun adventure story, with lots of danger and many references to fairy tales we are all familiar with -- but this isn't a retelling. King, of course, adds his own twists and turns.

The narrator, Seth Numrich, is perfect. The voices are distinct, but not too much. King, himself, narrates a certain part of the book, and it's amazing. I highly recommend the audio version, if you like audiobooks.

Don't go in expecting the usual spooky, twisted, scary tale that you usually get, and you will be highly entertained by Fairy Tale.

Published by Scribner, September 6, 2022, audio by Simon & Schuster
Audiobook obtained from
608 pages

Rating: 5/5

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Monday, October 17, 2022

Book Review: The Prisoner, by B. A. Paris

The Prisoner, by B. A. Paris book cover and review
After reading a few books by Paris, she is fast becoming a go-to author for me. The Prisoner sealed the deal.

I love when a book jumps right in and grabs you from page one. Amelie has been kidnapped and is in a pitch-black room. She can't understand why she has been kidnapped but knows that she might be safer here than if she is freed and must face her husband, Ned, who she is certain will kill her.

We get flashbacks to find out how Amelie met her friends, and through them, her future husband. And the strange way he became her husband. And, then, how she began to fear for her life.

Ned is everything a reader wants in a creepy, dangerous guy. But everything is not as it seems. I was surprised when the kidnapping ends about halfway through the book. The second half is about finding out who the kidnappers were and why. Paris throws in twist after twist and it's a page-turning rollercoaster ride.

As you can probably tell, I thoroughly enjoyed The Prisoner. And if you enjoy thrillers, you should get your hands on a copy. Sure, it's a little far-fetched at times, but I hardly noticed. The surprises make up for it.

Published by St. Martin's, November 2, 2022
eARC obtained from Edelweiss+
304 pages

Rating: 4.5/5

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Thursday, October 6, 2022

Book Review: The Good Left Undon by Adriana Trigiani

The Good Left Undone by Adriana Trigiani book cover and review
The Good Left Undone is a beautifully written, heartwarming story. Just what you would expect from Trigiani. I have difficulty writing reviews for literary books such as this, so here is the blurb:

Matelda, the Cabrelli family’s matriarch, has always been brusque and opinionated. Now, as she faces the end of her life, she is determined to share a long-held secret with her family about her own mother’s great love story: with her childhood friend, Silvio, and with dashing Scottish sea captain John Lawrie McVicars, the father Matelda never knew. . . .

 In the halcyon past, Domenica Cabrelli thrives in the coastal town of Viareggio until her beloved home becomes unsafe when Italy teeters on the brink of World War II. Her journey takes her from the rocky shores of Marseille to the mystical beauty of Scotland to the dangers of wartime Liverpool—where Italian Scots are imprisoned without cause—as Domenica experiences love, loss, and grief while she longs for home. A hundred years later, her daughter, Matelda, and her granddaughter, Anina, face the same big questions about life and their family’s legacy, while Matelda contemplates what is worth fighting for. But Matelda is running out of time, and the two timelines intersect and weave together in unexpected and heartbreaking ways that lead the family to shocking revelations and, ultimately, redemption.

I pretty much agree with that assessment, although I'm not sure the revelations were "shocking." It took me a while to get into the book. There is a rhythm between Anina's perspective in the present and Domenica's in the past. It's not just one generation, but three. Dominica is Anina's great-grandmother. Once I figured out the characters and their relationships, I really enjoyed the story.

The Good Left Undone is a love story, a survival story, a war story, and a great story of family. If you are a fan of Trigiani, I would recommend this one. It isn't my favorite of hers (that still remains The Shoemaker's Wife), but I really enjoyed it.

Published by Dutton, April 26, 2022
eARC obtained from Edelweiss+
448 pages

Rating: 4.5/5

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