Month: September 2016

The Husband

Author: Dean Koontz

Published: May 30, 2006
Dates Read: September 12-22, 2016

My Rating: 2.5 Stars

Book Summary from Amazon:

What would you do for love? Would you die? Would you kill?

We have your wife. You can get her back for two million cash. Landscaper Mitchell Rafferty thinks it must be some kind of joke. He was in the middle of planting impatiens in the yard of one of his clients when his cell phone rang. Now he’s standing in a normal suburban neighborhood on a bright summer day, having a phone conversation out of his darkest nightmare.

Whoever is on the other end of the line is dead serious. He has Mitch’s wife and he’s named the price for her safe return. The caller doesn’t care that Mitch runs a small two-man landscaping operation and has no way of raising such a vast sum. He’s confident that Mitch will find a way.

If he loves his wife enough. . . Mitch does love her enough. He loves her more than life itself. He’s got seventy-two hours to prove it. He has to find the two million by then. But he’ll pay a lot more. He’ll pay anything.

From its tense opening to its shattering climax, The Husband is a thriller that will hold you in its relentless grip for every twist, every shock, every revelation…until it lets you go, unmistakably changed. This is a Dean Koontz novel, after all. And there’s no other experience quite like it.

My Review:

The premise of the book catches your attention and pulls you in. The actual novel not so much.

The Husband is divided into three parts. The first part is very good. Mitchell (Mitch) Rafferty is a landscaper and working a job when he receives a call that his wife has been kidnapped. And the kidnappers want $2 Million cash. He has 60 hours to get the money and they know he is a gardener with limited means. They let him know they are serious by shooting a man walking a dog. And like other novels similar to this, no cops or they kill his wife.

Here starts Mitch’s journey to rush to get the money. Will he make it to the deadline? Will he get the money? Will he save his wife? What will happen?

The book’s direction falls flat. There is a twist that you find out early on who is responsible for this happening.

There are several subplots, one involves his family and his childhood. This includes a sense-deprivation room that his parents used on Mitch and his siblings growing up. You do get to see how experiencing that affects them in both extremes, good and bad. This could be a fabulous plot to be used… in another book.

Overall, I could not recommend this book. I did keep listening to it to see what would happen. When I finished it I did not really have an opinion of the book. This was disappointing as I was hoping it would keep me on the edge of my seat and have me wanting more.

This is my second Koontz book, the first was Life Expectancy which I had rated four stars. Despite being disappointed in The Husband, I will read Koontz again.

Marie Antoinette’s Darkest Days


Marie Antoinette’s Darkest Days: Prisoner No. 280 in the Conciergerie
Author: Will Bashor
392 Pages in Kindle

Projected Date of Publication: December 1, 2016
Dates Read: September 8-20, 2016

My Rating: 4 Stars

Book Summary from Amazon:

This compelling book begins on the 2nd of August 1793, the day Marie Antoinette was torn from her family’s arms and escorted from the Temple to the Conciergerie, a thick-walled fortress turned prison. It was also known as the “waiting room for the guillotine” because prisoners only spent a day or two here before their conviction and subsequent execution. The ex-queen surely knew her days were numbered, but she could never have known that two and a half months would pass before she would finally stand trial and be convicted of the most ungodly charges.

Will Bashor traces the final days of the prisoner registered only as Widow Capet, No. 280, a time that was a cruel mixture of grandeur, humiliation, and terror. Marie Antoinette’s reign amidst the splendors of the court of Versailles is a familiar story, but her final imprisonment in a fetid, dank dungeon is a little-known coda to a once-charmed life. Her seventy-six days in this terrifying prison can only be described as the darkest and most horrific of the fallen queen’s life, vividly recaptured in this richly researched history.

My Review:

I will admit I do not know much at all about Marie Antoinette. I read a fiction book with an alternate history about her that piqued my curiosity in regard to her life(Insatiable: A Macabre History of France by Ginger Myrick). Darkest Days does not deal with her whole life, it focuses on the last few months of her life, specifically her 76 days in the Conciergerie.

Will Bashor obviously did his homework! He researched this topic very well and was able to provide specific details of Marie Antoinette’s “life” in the Conciergerie. It wasn’t much of a life. Her husband was executed, her children taken away from her, and subpar living quarters with no privacy. Her health went downhill during her time in the Conciergerie. Regardless of your opinion of Marie Antoinette, her last days her horrible. As she left the Conciergerie for the guillotine, she was mistreated even then. It was a horrible way to end a life. I felt sorry and sad for her. You also learn about plans to rescue her that failed.

Will Bashor writes the book in form of a novel which made it easy to read. Some historical books can be dry and flat, but at times this book was hard to put down. I also enjoyed seeing the pictures and maps provided in the book: that made some things in the book seem more real as the book was being read.

Reasons the book could not be given 5 stars:

The book doesn’t seem meant to be read in e-reader form:

-It was hard to read on a kindle as I wasn’t easily able to go back and forth to look at the map then read the description of places in the map.

-Footnotes in the book were in the middle of paragraphs which broke the flow of reading.

-There were several paragraphs where the paragraph was one sentence. The sentences were not necessarily run on sentences, but those long sentences make it hard to read the book. I had to read some paragraphs multiple times because of this.

(Please note: My copy was an electronic ARC- so maybe these will be corrected by the publication date).

If you are a fan of French history or even Marie Antoinette, check this book out. Despite the issues mentioned above, I do recommend the book.

**I received a copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.




Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail
Author: Cheryl Strayed

Published: March 20, 2012
Dates Read: April 18- May 18, 2015

My Rating: 4 Stars

Book Summary from Amazon:

At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life. With no experience or training, driven only by blind will, she would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State—and she would do it alone. Told with suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild powerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her.

My Review:
I listened to Wild on audiobook last year. I did enjoy it and later watched the movie which starred Reese Witherspoon. Cheryl Strayed made a cameo in the movie.

Wild is a book where Strayed is seeking to “find herself” after going through many things( her mother’s death, the ending of her marriage, and more. Strayed is very descriptive with the things she does (drugs, alcohol, and sex). She covers her background and history in depth. She does ultimately take responsibility of her actions. She is also very descriptive with the physical effects on her body of hiking the Pacific Crest Trail with no training at all. She was very unprepared for her journey.

Warning: There is a very tough scene dealing with a horse. If I had been reading the book versus listening to the audiobook I would have been bawling. I was driving and was listening to the scene but concentrating on driving. I did cry when I got home because of it.

I consider myself independent, but there is no way I would hike the Pacific Crest Trail alone! Being in the woods alone is something I just could not ever see myself doing. I give Strayed props for that.  Wild is a powerful journey of self discovery and overcoming grief.

It is recommended.