- West Branch
- Local History
- Young People's
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Cora Carlisle, a 36 year old Kansas housewife married to a successful lawyer with twin sons leaving for college, rigidly observes the mores and conventions of the society in which she lives. In 1920s society, morality was either black or white, no gray, and a young girl's reputation was carefully guarded if she was to secure a proper marriage. When an opportunity arises for Cora to chaperone beautiful and headstrong 15 year old Laura Brooks to New York City to attend a prestigious dance school, Cora accepts the job, not only to keep Laura virturous, but to find anwers to her own past. Laura, willful and indifferent to society, wants nothing to do with Cora except to outmaneuver her at every turn. The struggles of the two women of different generations and with different views of life become apparent as Cora and Laura test each other daily in their small apartment. Returning to Kansas, Cora finds herself a strong and much changed woman while Laura pursues fame as a troubled actress. Set against a backdrop of societal norms, Prohibition, speakeasies, women's rights, orphan trains, and the onset of the Great Depression, this bittersweet novel reveals the effect that love, discovery, and change have on one's life.
Joleen Zarkades is busy raising two children and trying to salvage her failing marriage when she is unexpectedly called to deploy to Iraq. The war has just begun, and Joleen's training as a pilot puts her in high demand. Her husband, who has been married to his job for many years, suddenly finds himself responsible for both a preschooler and a teenager, as well as the day to day chores required to keep their household running.
Hannah does a wonderful job of exposing the realities of military life, including the impact of deployment on every single member of a military family.
Enza and Ciro are from neighboring villages and meet as teenagers, sharing a special kiss on the mountainside of the Italian Alps and agreeing to meet again. But fate intervenes when Ciro, after catching a local priest in a scandal, is forced to flee to America to become a shoemaker's apprentice in Little Italy, leaving Enza behind. Soon Enza and her father must travel to America to earn money to send back to their struggling family in Italy. Unbeknownst to each other, Enza and Ciro begin new lives in America. Several chance meetings bring them together only to separate them again. Enza settles in Hoboken, working as a seamstress in a factory where she meets Irish immigrant Laura Heery. Laura persuades Enza to move to Manhattan where they begin successful careers as seamstresses with the Metropolitan Opera House, entering a world of sophistication and meeting Enrico Caruso, the great singing sensation. Returning from World War I, Ciro finally confronts Enza as she is about to make a commitment, and both know that their love cannot be denied. From Manhattan to the streets of Little Italy to the vast plains of Minnesota, their love changes both their lives forever. Inspired by the author's own family history, this novel examines the power of love, friendship, war and loss, risk and destiny, and most importantly, the family or la familia.
Imagine a love that crosses time and distance. Kate is a Wall Street analyst and Julian is a British hedge fund billionaire. She is surprised when he makes a point of meeting her and seems to know her. Next we find Kate and Julian in France during World War I. How did they get there and what has happened bring them there? Kate and Julian fall in love but there is always a shadow of danger over them. Their story travels back and forth through time. Julian loves Kate and is protective of her but seems to always keep a part of himself from her. Kate and Julian's happiness is clouded by corporate espionage, secrets from the past and questions about how and why they have traveled through time . Overseas is a romantic and exciting read from beginning to end.
Working dogs are a valuable asset to our Armed Forces. They are hardworking, loyal and more disciplined than a lot of people! They have saved countless lives and their dedication to their assignments is nothing short of remarkable.
This book is a must read for animal lovers as well as US history buffs.
Amanda and Dawson were small town sweethearts from opposite sides of the tracks - she from a privileged family, he from a clan prone to violence. They spend time together at the car repair shop where Dawson works and, to escape his violent family, has been taken in by Tuck, an older friend to both of them. Theirs is a passionate romance of youth, one that each feels is a love that comes along only once in a lifetime. But when high school ends, the reality of a life together ends when Amanda's mother sends Amanda to college after which she marries and has a family. Dawson spends time in prison and then takes up work on an oil rig where he is severly injured in an explosion and suffers from hallucinations. The two former lovers are brought back together after 20 years when Tuck, their friend and mentor, dies leaving instructions that Amanda and Dawson are to return to their small town to participate in his final rites. Upon meeting again, both realize that time has not erased their feelings for one another, and there is an urgency to make up for the years lost. But, the paths taken and the choices both have made since youth make it difficult to create a new path together. Then, unforeseen events occur that once again alter their lives forever.
In the 1860s during the massive modernization of Paris, France, commissioned by Napoleon III and led by Baron Haussmann, hundreds of homes were demolished forcing families to relocate, erasing generations of history, and forever altering the face of "old Paris." This destruction made way for wide boulevards, better buildings, and improved sanitary conditions, but not all Parisians were in favor of this "modernization". One woman, Rose Bazelet, vows to fight against the destruction of her family home on rue Childebert until the very end! She cherishes her old house which harbors the joys, sorrows and secrets of its inhabitants. Sending her belongings ahead to her daughter's home in Tours where she is expected to arrive, she relegates herself to the basement of her old house. One by one, she observes her neighbors leaving their homes, and her resolve to stay grows stronger. While she waits and escapes the sounds of change all around her, she relives her memories and shares her feelings by writing letters to her late husband, Armand, the one great love of her life. And, it is to him that she is forced to reveal a powerful secret buried in her heart for 30 years!
Rosnay is also author of Sarah's Key and A Secret Kept.
Haunting and whimsical, Neil Gaiman’s Fragile Things (2006) is an interesting compilation of short works featuring dark and lovely stories and poems including a particular favorite, “October in the Chair.” This specific tale is evocative of Gaiman’s distinctive and romantic style and his charming and eerie prose. In this short story, the months of the year are personified and are gathered for a board meeting around a campfire. Each month demonstrates his/her own personality traits and skills for storytelling as they share tales with the group. October is presiding over the autumnal meeting, and his story of a young boy who makes a ghostly friend after he stumbles into a cemetery will appeal to Gaiman fans who have read The Graveyard Book. In this Gaiman collection of tales and poems, vivid imagery and sensory diction weave a dream-like web to catch the reader’s attention, particularly those partial to the science fiction and fantasy genres. Excerpt: “October was in the chair, so it was chilly that evening, and the leaves were red and orange and tumbled from the trees that circles the grove. The twelve of them sat around a campfire roasting huge sausages on sticks, which spat and crackled as the fat dripped onto the burning applewood, and drinking fresh apple cider, tangy and tart in their mouths.”
After two women from very different backgrounds and situations meet, their lives become entwined in life-changing ways. Diedre Clark-Morris is a faithful christian professional woman with a loving husband and family but no children. Kenisha Smalls has no faith, lives in poverty and has suffered abuse. She has three small children by three different fathers. When the two meet Kenisha has just been diagnosed with cervical cancer and Diedre is facing the fact that she may never have a child. Kenisha's desperate desire to find a family for her children and Diedre's decision to help with the search bind the two women together as they experience forgiveness and unexpected blessings.
John Constantine (Reeves), a long time self-proclaimed exorcist, can see into the world of angels and demons by witnessing what he calls half-breeds. He is cast into a demonic plot when he crosses paths with a detective (Rachel Weisz) whose sister, haunted by demons herself, just committed suicide. Constantine's own life is at risk by his own hand due to his excessive smoking habit. As the clock ticks, he must help the detective solve her sister's death before John's soul is collected by the Devil himself.
The visual effects are stunning, offering a unique look into the world that Constantine's sees. And for those interested, there is enough deep symbolism to delve into for hours. But I recommend Constantine for both the initiated and the profane.
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