Ido Richard Gunawan Richard Gunawan itibaren Howden, Goole, East Riding of Yorkshire DN14, İngiltere
** spoiler alert ** This is one of Mary Stewart's very first books from 1955 and there is an incredible plot flaw that I can't imagine getting past any editor other than some goofy romance editor anywhere. Let me explain. Charity Selborne is a young widow in England who lost her husband Johnny when his plane was shot down in WW2. She used to be a teacher at a girl's school but is left well off enough that she does not have to work. Off she goes on a vacation in the south of France with Louise who was a fellow teacher at the school. Louise is a sort of stick in the mud who is in France to do no more than lay around reading and sketching at the hotel while sipping cold mint drinks. Charity wants to see all of the historical places and goes out on a flurry of activity. Things heat up when she meets 13 year old David, his dog, and his stepmother who he seems to detest. She feels sorry for the boy and decides to take him under her wing. There is a strange mystery surrounding the boy and his stepmother. When another hotel guest tells Charity that the boy's father has been on trial for murdering his friend Tony and taking a crack at David, Charity believes the stepmother has run to safety with the child. Now this is where Mary Stewart started to lose me. Charity takes David and the dog to a nearby town to sightsee. The boy becomes panicked when he spots his father in an arena. He had gotten off the murder rap because of insufficient evidence (which is not the same as being innocent, just they couldn't collect the evidence)and Charity knows from an overheard conversation between the boy's stepmother and a man from the hotel that the dad is hunting David. Normally, under these circumstances, what would you do? Personally, I would have loaded the child and dog in the car and left the little town before the guy could spot us. What did Charity do? She let the boy hide in a cathedral while she went on sightseeing in the heat! While she is almost passed out from exertion and heat in a temple of Diana, the man approaches her to see if she is okay. Wouldn't you know he would quote a book and stupid Charity would immediately mention that David had said the same thing and how she had been amazed because he was only 13. Now the man knows who she is. She had opportunities to get away from him by screaming for help but didn't "to protect David"? Huh? Not calling police in to help when you are being roughed up by an accused murderer bent on finding a child hidden in town is "protecting" David? The man screams at her, repeatedly calls her a bitch, roughs her up, threatens to kill her, and nearly smothers her, causing her to faint. He left bruises on her wrists. She finally manages to escape with the child and then the stupid creature did not tell the stepmother or Louise or the police. The boy says his father is "mad" (crazy) and is in a panic as they try to escape. Charity then decides to go to a deserted little dinky town where people have nothing to do but look at the sky. She just happens to stop to get a tire fixed where the father is getting his fixed next door. Again, he terrorizes her at the hotel, makes her faint, and spends the night in her room. She manages to escape at breakfast but when he gets on her trail again, she plays the fool. In a large town, he gets in a minor accident but instead of taking the opportunity to escape, she puts her car in a garage, goes out to eat, then sightsees on a boat cruise! Was this idiot dropped on her head as a child one too many times or what? She has the poorest judgement you can imagine. Coming back from the cruise, he captures her yet again and treats her like crap. He says he has two questions for her. The first is "How is David?" All of a sudden, she blurts out where the child is and says she knows that he did not kill his friend or hurt David! Huh? Am I missing something? Not only that, he kisses her and they say they are in love with each other. I felt like I was in the Twilight Zone. What kind of plotting was this? Then they spend hours plotting to get the child back and figure out why the ex-wife wants to kill him though there is no evidence that does. Charity is now head-over-heels in love with him. If he raped her and attempted to strangle her again, she'd probably marry him on the spot! Things get even weirder and more bizarre as the story moves forward . I like Mary Stewart's writing and there was a lot of mystery, suspense, and intrigue but I confess that this plot device bothered me a lot. I have volunteered for decades with domestic violence victims and frankly, this guy is exactly like the charming ones you see in court explaining that they only murdered or attacked their wife or girlfriend because she made him do it by not obeying like a proper dog or doormat. This is NOT my idea of a hero. He began physically and emotionally abusing Charity 5 minutes after he met her and terrorized her across several towns.
City of a Thousand God's, the story of Noah's Daughter-in-law, Biblical Thriller-Romance, by Jeannie St. John Taylor, 400 pages, FREE serial release, March 7, 2011, The Cypress Times & http://cityofathousandgods.blogspot.com/ Gadreel's persistent cries caused Atarah to "open unfocused eyes" to reach for her infant nephew. Instead, her mother helped her sit up and drink from the cup of "foul-smelling liquid" she held to her lips. Through her confusion she sensed urgency in the air and tried to listen closely to what her mother said. Atarah learned she'd been drugged for days on her father's orders after he discovered she hadn't fulfilled her first vile duty of temple worship "at the snake pits and altars." He had placated the gods for his favorite daughter's disobedience and arranged to sacrifice his grandson, her nephew, Gadreel instead. Dagaar, her father's favorite servant, had kept Atarah drugged to prevent her interference. Still disoriented, Atarah remembered approaching the pagan temple gates until she saw "crazy Noah" warning a couple away from the temple, shouting the "...place is evil...don't join in the loathsome atrocities...practiced here..." She knew Noah had built the ark shrouded in rumor and mystery that sat atop the mountain above the city. Everyone laughed at him, but she always wondered if he was truly crazy. Noah's angry voice and words had caused Atarah to hide in the vines alongside the path instead of entering the temple. His words still lingered in her ears. "The One True God sees your abominations! He is the first...last...the only God. He's calling you to repentance." Noah's words had struck fear in her heart as he talked about the wrath of the gods. She had disobeyed her father. Was the God Noah spoke of angry with her too? Would he punish her like the gods of the temple were known to do? Now her mother sat beside her, despite the wrath she knew she would bring upon herself. She had risked wakening Atarah from the drugged sleep her husband ordered and encouraged her to flee with her grandson. Not only to save Gadreel, but her daughter as well because "Fathers had the legal right to execute rebellious daughters." Full Review: http://tinyurl.com/4loz4ve