July Wrap Up



I have never done a monthly wrap up, but I am sitting here in a quiet house (both kids at camp) and it is POURING out,  and I am not running around like crazy for once, so here it goes!

July was a slow month for me reading wise because I have been surprisingly busy.  I began the month in Bermuda (I SO wish I was still there), and have been running around, errands, town pool, etc  the rest of the time.  I decided to start running- and NO nothing was chasing me- for the first time in over twenty years.  I am slowly working myself up to be able to run in this years Tunnel To Towers 5k that honors a friend I lost in 9/11, Stephen Siller.  So, it’s been a busy time.

Here is what I did reading/blog wise:

Books Read

I managed to finish 6 books this month, which is ok.  I read-

The Wishing Tree

Summerset Abbey

The Prodigal

The Clock of Life

The Light in the Ruins

The Dark Monk

I think I liked The Light in The Ruins by Chris Bohjalian best, followed very closely by The Dark Monk, which I will post a review for tomorrow.

I published 12 posts, 5 of which were reviews.

I am getting back into a groove now, finding time to run, clean, and read/post all in one day.  It will help that the darling daughter will be in field hockey camp from 9-4 all of next week.  I hope to get lots done, before heading for a mini vacay in Lake Placid next week.

How was your July?

English: Mirror Lake in Lake Placid, NY. Looki...

English: Mirror Lake in Lake Placid, NY. Looking north from the public beach on the south shore. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Light in the Ruins- a review



The Light in the Ruins

by Chris Bohjalian

published by Doubleday


borrowed from the library


1943: Tucked away in the idyllic hills south of Florence, the Rosatis, an Italian family of noble lineage, believe that the walls of their ancient villa will keep them safe from the war raging across Europe. Eighteen-year-old Cristina spends her days swimming in the pool, playing with her young niece and nephew, and wandering aimlessly amid the estate’s gardens and olive groves. But when two soldiers, a German and an Italian, arrive at the villa asking to see an ancient Etruscan burial site, the Rosatis’ bucolic tranquility is shattered. A young German lieutenant begins to court Cristina, the Nazis descend upon the estate demanding hospitality, and what was once their sanctuary becomes their prison.

1955: Serafina Bettini, an investigator with the Florence police department, has her own demons. A beautiful woman, Serafina carefully hides her scars along with her haunting memories of the war. But when she is assigned to a gruesome new case—a serial killer targeting the Rosatis, murdering the remnants of the family one-by-one in cold blood—Serafina finds herself digging into a past that involves both the victims and her own tragic history.

Set against an exquisitely rendered Italian countryside, The Light in the Ruins unveils a breathtaking story of moral paradox, human frailty, and the mysterious ways of the heart.  (from Goodreads)

My Review

I have been a fan of Chris Bohjalian since I read Midwives many years ago.  I remember being surprised that a male author could tell such a compelling story in a female voice.  So began my love of (almost) everything this prolific author has produced.  I loved Secrets of Eden and The Double Bind, as well as his recent The Sandcastle Girls, which I reviewed on this blog.  I haven’t yet read Before You Know Kindness, but it is on my list!  What I find most surprising about this author is his ability to make every book he writes almost completely different from anything he has written previously.  Each book is beautifully written, with well established character, yet each are originals.  The Light in the Ruins continues this.

What begins as a murder mystery slowly intertwines with an historical drama.  We begin the story with the brutal murder of Francesca Rosati in 1955.  She is the widowed daughter in law of the once prominent Rosati family.  The killer addresses the audience and his hatred of the family is tied back to the late days of the war, in the beautiful Tuscan countryside.  The story goes back and forth between Florence in 1955, where the female detective Serafina Bettini is working to catch the killer, and 1943 Tuscany at the family’s beautiful Villa Chimera.  The suspense slowly builds as the author brings the countryside to life for the reader.  I think one of Bohjalian’s best talents lie here- in making you see, feel, and experience a place so well.

I definitely recommend this book, as I would most of Bohjalian’s work.  The only book that I will not rave about was The Night Strangers, which, while well written, just wasn’t my style.  I am trying to pull my mom into this author’s camp also.  Put this one on your TBR list right now-at the top!


4.5 out of 5

tuscan villa

tuscan villa (Photo credit: Mircea2011)

It’s Monday! What are you reading?



Its Monday! What are you Reading? is a weekly bookish meme held on Book Journey by Sheila. It’s a great place to discuss your week in reading and see what others are reading too.

Ok, I think I am suffering from some sort of summertime illness, that prevents me from reading and posting-ugh!!  I know I have been slow, but I am having such a nice relaxing summer!!  I vow to try harder this coming week.

Reviews Posted-

The Prodigal by Michael Hurley-https://turnthepagereviews.com/2013/07/17/the-prodigal-a-review/

Books Finished

(posts to follow soon)

The Clock of Life by Nancy Klann-Moren

This book was really great- can’t wait to review it!


The Light in the Ruins by Chris Bohjalian

Love this author!!!


Currently Reading

The Rathbones by Janice Clark

a Goodreads Giveaway!


Up Next

Angelopolis by Danielle Trussoni

I read-and loved Angelology and have looked forward to the sequel



A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams

I won this giveaway from Jennifer aka  Book-alicous Mama-Thank you again!!


What are you reading this week?

Top Ten Tuesday #9



Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke & the Bookish.  It’s awesome. Every Tuesday, the lovely ladies over there give us book bloggers wonderful and fun topics to create our lists!  Check out what others have posted by going over there! http://brokeandbookish.blogspot.com

Today’s topic is:


(seems like a good time for it, since we are halfway through the year)

10.  The Orphan Train  by Christina Baker Kline


a She Reads book club selection

9.  Silver Linings Playbook    by Matthew Quick


needless to say, better than the movie

8.  The Bookseller  by Mark Pryor


7.  The Sandcastle Girls  by Chris Bohjalian


(can’t wait for his new one)

6.  The Lost Wife  by Alyson Richman


so sad

5.  The Orchardist  by Amanda Coplin


beautifully written

4.  The Storyteller  by Jodi Picoult


her best so far

3.  The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow  by Rita Leganski


another She Reads book club selection

2.  The Prisoner of Heaven  by Carlos Ruiz Zafon


love this series- need to read again

1.  Anna Karenina  by Leo Tolstoy