Book Review -You’re the Cream in My Coffee

SUMMARY

Since the death of her fiancé Jack Lund ten years ago in the Great War, Marjorie Corrigan has remained in her small town, working in her father’s dry-goods store, letting life pass her by. Although she is now engaged to a great catch, she doesn’t love him like she did Jack. With grave doubts about marrying the most sought after bachelor in town, Marjie heads off to the big city of Chicago for a brief stay.

But Chicago makes her feel truly alive for the first time in forever. And when she bumps into a stranger who looks exactly like Jack, she knows she can’t return home. With the help of her new friend Dot, Marjie secures an apartment and a job with Marshall Fields where the familiar looking stranger is also employed.

While trying to reconcile the fact that Peter Bachmann looks exactly like her lost love Jack, Marjie is also experiencing a personal emotional journey of discovery. As she grows and changes so too does her desire for her current fiancé and her life back home. With her wedding quickly approaching and Chicago feeling more and more like home, Marjie has some big decisions to make. Continue reading “Book Review -You’re the Cream in My Coffee”

Classic Film Review -Our Vines Have Tender Grapes (1945)

SUMMARY

Our Vines Have Tender Grapes is the story of the Jacobson family as told through the eyes of young Selma. The Jacobson’s live in the rural community of Benson Corners, Wisconsin, where Martinius Jacobson farms the land. They are a close knit loving family. Selma experiences many daily adventures along with her younger cousin Arnold who is occasionally a thorn in her side. But it is a happy idyllic life even with the daily struggles of living in a farming community.

Along with the Jacobson’s, Benson Corners is also home to newspaper editor Nels Halverson. He falls in love with the new teacher Viola Johnson. Viola comes from the big city of Milwaukee. She is just biding her time in small time environs until she can move back with her teaching experience behind her. There is also Bjorn Bjornson. His new barn is the talk of the community and the envy of Martinius. Martinius’ big dream of a modern, fully-equipped barn conflicts with his wife Bruna’s financial practicality as well as her desire for indoor plumbing. Selma’s great love is her new little calf named Elizabeth. But when tragedy befalls one of their own, Selma makes a sacrifice which will inspire all the inhabitants of Benson Corners. Continue reading “Classic Film Review -Our Vines Have Tender Grapes (1945)”

Book Review -The Masterpiece

An artist with a traumatic past that leaves him lost and unable to connect with others.  A woman who has experienced tragedy but refuses to give up. These two broken souls are on a collision course not only with each other, but with redemption in Francine River’s The Masterpiece.

The Masterpiece Summary

As a successful commercial artist Roman Velasco has it all, fame, money, women and freedom. But no one knows the man behind the name and that is just the way Roman wants it.

Grace Moore is struggling to put her life back together after a shattered marriage and a one night stand that made her a single mother. She desperately wants to gain her independence from the family who has helped her in order to adopt the son she decides to keep.

Roman’s need of a personal assistant brings Grace into his life. Grace is initially put off by his rude and overbearing behavior, but needs the job to badly to quit. Though both intend to keep their relationship strictly professional, as they work together, their initial impressions of each other slowly change. Both Roman and Grace find they have more in common than the originally believed. But even as their friendship grows, their pasts continue to haunt them. And Roman’s artistic alter ego is taking risks which jeopardize not only his freedom, but his life. Will Roman and Grace ever be free of the things which haunt them or will past traumas and tragedies hinder their futures forever?

For my full review, please follow me over to The Silver Petticoat Review.

Top Ten Tuesday -Books I’ve Read but Forgotten

Today’s Topic: Books I Really Liked but Can’t Remember Anything/Much About

Hosted by: That Artsy Reader Girl

This week’s topic had me stumped. I’m a true lover of story in any form, so I have a good memory of those which I read. But as I started going through my read list on Goodreads, I was surprised to find there are a few books which I actually couldn’t remember. Of course, I remember reading them, but I’m ashamed to say there are some whose stories I have forgotten. I guess that is bound to happen when you have been an obsessive reader your whole life. Still, I must admit I’m a bit ashamed, particularly since these are books I actually liked. Continue reading “Top Ten Tuesday -Books I’ve Read but Forgotten”

Book Review -A Dangerous Legacy

 SUMMARY

It is the turn of the century in New York City. Lucy and her brother Nick have inherited a decades old family legal feud  which requires all their resources to fight. While Lucy and Nick live frugally, their uncle lives like a king, thwarting their every attempt at justice.

Lucy’s work as a telegraph operator with the AP news service puts her in direct contact with the British Sir Colin Beckwith, who works for Reuters. Though they are attracted to each other, their companies’ rivalry precludes any type of relationship. Not to mention that Colin, who bears a noble name and heritage, is in New York seeking a wealthy wife to prop up his crumbling estate.

At the same time Lucy and Nick’s legal drama takes an unexpected turn, Colin learns something about her which could put their case in jeopardy. At the same time Lucy runs across a news item which could ruin Colin’s reputation and thereby his marriage hopes.  In an agreement of quid pro quo, Lucy and Colin decide to join forces while fighting their mutual attraction. Continue reading “Book Review -A Dangerous Legacy”

Classic Film Review -Casablanca (1942)

There are a few films that are so famous that everyone has heard of them even if they haven’t seen them. Casablanca is one such film. It is beloved even by those who are not usually fans of classic cinema. Thanks to a great script, fabulous actors in memorable parts and well earned hype, it is an indelible work of cinematic art.

Casablanca Summary

Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart) is the owner/manager of a café in Casablanca, Morocco. Casablanca is a stopping place of sorts, for those fleeing war-torn Europe on their way to the United States. Rick is an American with a complicated personal and political history. His café helps entertain weary emigres as they wait for their visa papers. Rick is pretty weary himself, a cynical, hard-hearted character who “sticks his neck out for nobody.”

Though Casablanca is a free and unoccupied French territory, there is an intricate mix of politics and nationalities. The recent murder of two German soldiers in possession of incontestable letters of transit ushers in the arrival of the German Major Strasser. Strasser (Conrad Veidt) is on the hunt for the murderer. He is also tasked to ensure that Victor Laszlo (Paul Henried), a leader of the Resistance does not come into possession of those letters.

Into this delicate balance (and Rick’s Café) walks Laszlo and his companion Ilsa Lund (Ingrid Bergman). Lazlo is an international hero seeking help to escape, but Rick isn’t inclined to be helpful. Particularly, when he sees his former love Ilsa on the arm of Laszlo. Not only is he bitter, but Rick is also caught up in a more personal game of politics with the French police captain Louis Renault which allows him to successfully operate his café. He is not willing to jeopardize his business, especially for the woman who abandoned him in Paris on the eve of the German occupation. But Ilsa has a different memory of her abandonment. When she discovers that the letters of transit which she and Laszlo need have found their way into Rick’s hands, she uses every weapon in her arsenal to get them. But not everything or everyone is as it seems in this place of shifting alliances.

To read my full review, please follow me over to The Silver Petticoat Review.

Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, she walks into mine.

 

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Book Review -Hank and Jim: The Fifty-Year Friendship of Henry Fonda and James Stewart

BACKGROUND

Henry Fonda and James Stewart are acting legends from Hollywood’s golden age. Today both men are still highly respected for their body of work and for careers which they managed to sustain for decades. But unbeknownst to many, they also maintained a lifelong friendship beginning prior to their years on the screen which spanned the course of their lives. This book explores that friendship as well as their personal lives and individual careers.

Due to their difference in politics, Stewart was a Republican and Fonda a lifelong Democrat and their onscreen personas some might be surprised that they were able to form such a close and lasting relationship. But at heart they were very similar and those similarities greatly outweighed their differences. Continue reading “Book Review -Hank and Jim: The Fifty-Year Friendship of Henry Fonda and James Stewart”

Classic Film Review -Above and Beyond (1952)

SUMMARY

Above and Beyond is the dramatized story of Lt. Col. Paul Tibbets. Tibbets is a pilot who gets cross-wise with his superior at the beginning of the film. His integrity leads him to challenge his superior and leads to a transfer and demotion.

However, his guts in standing up for his men, to his own detriment, bring him to the attention of Maj. Gen. Brent. Brent questions Tibbets about a moral conundrum warning him that his answer will decide his future. Based on Tibbets response he is then assigned the top secret task of leading a new unit whose purpose is to improve and alter the B-29 aircraft so that it can successfully deploy the atomic bomb.

Tibbets is given fairly unlimited authority, but is sworn to utmost secrecy. He is charged not to discuss this project with anyone, including his own wife and the men under his command at his new base. The only other person who is aware of the details of their assignment is his base security officer. This is a project which spans a couple of years and involves the coordination and cooperation of many, with Tibbets bearing full responsibility for enforcing the rigid guidelines to maintain secrecy. Continue reading “Classic Film Review -Above and Beyond (1952)”

Top Ten Tuesday -Bookish Resolutions & Goals

Today’s Topic: Bookish Resolutions/Goals

Hosted by: The Artsy Reader Girl -Top Ten Tuesday has a new host and I am excited that Jana will be carrying on this fun Tuesday tradition.

I’ve never been one to make New Year’s resolutions. But, if there was ever an area that I would make resolutions and keep them, it would have to do with reading.

I’ve never really given much thought to how and what I read before, but I like the idea of being a more intentional reader. Up until now, I pretty much just choose my next book based on my mood. Adding these resolutions will not impact the number of books I read in a year, but it will definitely impact the types of books I read. Continue reading “Top Ten Tuesday -Bookish Resolutions & Goals”

Foreign Film Friday -Marriage Italian Style (1964)

SUMMARY

Marriage Italian Style tells the story of Filumena (Sophia Loren), a prostitute, and her decades long relationship as the mistress of a wealthy Neopolitan business man named Domenico (Marcello Mastroianni).

The film opens with Filumena on her deathbed requesting that the wily Domenico marry her before she passes away. He is loathe to marry her as he is already engaged to be married to one of his young employees. But, Domenico feels he owes it to her, so he agrees.

We then learn in flashbacks the history of their relationship beginning with their first meeting in a whore house when Filumena is seventeen. The first flashbacks are from Domenico’s perspective and we meet a man who is entitled and feels as if he is doing a favor to Filumena with his patronage. He eventually sets her up as his mistress and then as his dying mother’s caretaker. Finally, he trusts her to manage his businesses as he travels around Europe. Continue reading “Foreign Film Friday -Marriage Italian Style (1964)”