Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Ransom Rigg’s novel Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children tells the story of Jacob and what happens when he returns to the house that his grandfather lived during World War II. Jacob’s grandfather always told magical stories about his time spent on a small island off Wales, Cairnholm, where his parents sent him during the war.

Jacob always loved his grandfather, and loved his stories when he was little. As he grew, the stories became unbelievable, and Jacob wasn’t sure what to think about his grandfather’s childhood. When his grandfather is mysteriously killed, Jacob suffers through some post traumatic depression which he uses to convince his parents to allow him to travel to the island where his grandfather spent time.

Once Jacob and his father arrive at Cairnholm, Jacob discovers what happened to the home where his grandpa lived. The home was bombed on September 3, 1941 and all but his grandpa was killed. But he makes many more exciting, unbelievable discoveries once he ventures to the bombed out home and finds a secret world filled with his grandpa’s friends.

This is a whimsical, great read. I wasn’t sure what would happened and the middle and end of the story was very surprising.

Read November 2015.

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The Boys in the Boat

In, The Boys in the Boat, Daniel James Brown tells the story of a group of college students from the University of Washington, raised during the depression, who went up against the elite, rich teams from the east coast schools and around the world, and took home the gold medal in Berlin in 1036.

Brown mostly focuses on Joe Rantz, a boy who was abandoned in western WA by his father and step-mother as a teenager, but worked hard and saved money to pay his way through school.

There are many emotional roller-coasters in this story, even knowing the end ahead of time. Brown educated me on all aspects of rowing as a sport and the equipment that they used at the time. So many things came together to have this rowing team defeat the great teams of the Eastern elite schools and the European teams who’s life and training were subsidized by their governments.

I’m not usually interested in non-fiction, but this story gripped me from the beginning. There are so many stories from how the boys earned money during one of the poorest eras in the country’s history, to interactions in Nazi Germany, that it kept my interest from beginning to end.

Great stories, very well told!

Read November 2015.

Nadia Knows Best

Jill Mansell’s Nadia Knows Best is a cute love story about Nadia Kinsella who is torn between two men. Laurie, the boy next door, has found fame and moving away from their small world. Jay, recently rescued Nadia in a snowstorm, but is charming and new.

This was an easy, simple read. Not much depth of character or story, but still an enjoyable read.

Read November 2015.