Books I read on my vacation

Between sightseeing in Paris, Rome and The Greek Islands, there are always moments to enjoy literary excellence.

Warlight is a beautifully written novel that explores the impact of a British brother and sister abandoned by their parents during WW2. The mystery as to how and why makes this a stick to your ribs read.

Elizabeth’s Church’s “All the Beautiful Girls” is a guilty pleasure. There is a sweet and yet brutal honesty about Lilly Decker’s life. We are gripped with the melodrama as the novel begins with the death both her parents from a car accident. The man who hits her parents’ weaves in and out of Lilly’s life. Lilly begins life with her aunt and uncle from hell. Her dreams of being a classical dancer evolve into being a Vegas showgirl. Co-dependency, abuse and empowerment are dealt with in refreshing strokes.

Laura Lippman seems incapable of writing anything less than entertainment brilliance. Hush Hush doesn’t disappoint. This story about an insanity plea relating to the death of her child left in her car “accidentally”. The red herrings fly fast and furious as the ex-husband, boyfriend, and sisters of the dead child populate this page turner. Add to this a documentary about the child’s death and you get the ultimate summer treasure.

This biography about the novelist James Kirkwood is a writer’s dream. Ponies and Rainbows covers extraordinary detail about his life and each of the books and plays he wrote. It gives you a stunning picture of what this man was all about. Fascinating stuff about his writing of A Chorus Line. How he dealt with being gay is analyzed and is a poignant tapestry ending with his death from AIDS.

This old chestnut seems a bit dated in 2018. It is hard to believe this is the book that the 12-part Masterpiece Theater version was based on that riveted us in the 1980’s. Evelyn Waugh is a competent writer, but you would do better to find a copy of the series rather than slog through Brideshead Revisited novel.






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