Cynder’s New Life With Puppies

I thought I’d do a quick update for those who are interested in how Cynder is doing with her three new puppies. It’s hard to believe that they’ll be three weeks old on Tuesday. They’re doing great and getting huge!

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Cynder has adapted well to motherhood, but she needs a lot of breaks. I thought that having puppies might slow her down a little bit, but she seems to be even more hyper with an abundance of energy. She was already back to playing and herding the day after having the puppies. It’s like she never had puppies.

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We have names for the three pups. The merle puppy that reminds of us Winston we decided to name Bowie. She’s the biggest out of the three, although not by much. We can already tell that her eyes will more than likely stay blue like Winstons. This is the puppy we chose to keep. Here are some pictures of her below.

Bowie

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Her eyes both opened last weekend. She’s already starting to play and growls and barks a little bit. This is a picture from a few days ago. Her eyes are already lighter.

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The second pup born is a boy and it looks like he’ll be tricolor. Mainly black and white, with some brown above his eyes and a little on the sides of his face. He’s so different! His eyes are dark and we think they’ll stay amber/brown like Cynders. We named him Fig.

Fig

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The third pup born is the runt, or should I say ‘was’ the runt. She’s a little smaller than the first too, but huge compared to what she was when she was born! She’s just about the same size as Fig. We named her (Little) Lotus.

Lotus

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She had one eye left closed that just finally opened a few days ago in the picture above. It appears that her eyes will most likely be brown. She reminds me so much of Cynder and I think she’ll look just like her.

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They’re doing well! They’re still not able to get out of the kiddie pool. When that happens, we’ll move them to a different location. I’m thinking maybe 2 weeks tops and they’ll need to be moved.

Winston enjoys checking on them throughout the day, but he still isn’t sure of them.

Continue reading “Cynder’s New Life With Puppies”

Flower Friday – September 29th – Sedums

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I saw this beautiful blog post at Lorilin@bugbugbooks blog and thought I’d jump on board. It’s Flower Friday! Be sure to check out Lorilin’s flower pic for today. It’s so beautiful!


Today’s flower pic is of my sedums which went into full bloom a few weeks ago. The butterflies were all over them and I couldn’t resist taking some pictures.

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Continue reading “Flower Friday – September 29th – Sedums”

The Book Blogger Test

Happy Friday! I thought I’d do a tag this morning to switch things up a little bit. I found this tag over at ThriceRead and enjoyed reading their answers. Be sure to check out this blog if you haven’t yet for tons of reviews, tags, and discussions.

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Rules:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you and add a link to their blog
  2. Answer the ten questions asked on this post
  3. Nominate at least five people to do it also
  4. Let your nominees know you nominated them

 


 

Describe your perfect reading spot.

My current favorite reading spot is in my room where it’s dark. I love my cozy chair and have a cool reading light next to it. It’s my favorite place to be, but I would be in heaven to have a reading spot such as this one below!

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Tell us three book confessions.

1. I can’t read while riding in a car. I get car sick really bad.

2. On more than one occasion, I’ve been late making meals for my family due to being engrossed in a good book.

3. I love reading YA and even children’s books.


When was the last time you cried during a book?

I think in July when I read Bernard Jan’s Book A World Without Color.

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How many books are on your bedside table?

About fifteen, but I have a mini-shelf built into it.


What’s your favorite snack to eat while you’re reading?

Right now, I love these coconut clusters that I picked up at Costco. They are so delicious and perfect with a hot cup of tea. Great for reading…

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Name three books you would recommend to Everyone

The Pull and Kick Murder – A good who dun it mystery…

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Until Tuesday – A very important book about a wounded U.S. veteran Luis Carlos Montalvan and his service dog.

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The Hobbit – I’m currently reading this with my 9-year-old and we’re taking our time on it. We love it so much. I think even those who don’t like fantasy that much would still enjoy it.

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Show us a picture of your favorite bookcase on a bookshelf.

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This is my favorite bookshelf because all of my other shelves are a mess and not organized at all. This one isn’t necessarily organized, but the shelves are mostly hardcovers and matched into color groupings. It pleases me to look at it and it’s where I keep my figures and a few other trinkets too.

Describe how much books mean to you in just three words.

Books Mean Everything!

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Continue reading “The Book Blogger Test”

Throwback Thursday – September 28th – A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme created by Renee @ It’s Book Talk. This meme is an awesome way to share favorites that were published over a year ago or even books that you’re finally reading after much time has passed. I have plenty of those to share! If you have your own Throwback Thursday recommendation feel free to jump on board, and you’re welcome to use Renee’s pic as well. Please link back to her@It’s Book Talk.

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This Week’s Pick:

A Little Life

by Hanya Yanagihara

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Blurb: When four classmates from a small Massachusetts college move to New York to make their way, they’re broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition. There is kind, handsome Willem, an aspiring actor; JB, a quick-witted, sometimes cruel Brooklyn-born painter seeking entry to the art world; Malcolm, a frustrated architect at a prominent firm; and withdrawn, brilliant, enigmatic Jude, who serves as their center of gravity.

Over the decades, their relationships deepen and darken, tinged by addiction, success, and pride. Yet their greatest challenge, each comes to realize, is Jude himself, by midlife a terrifyingly talented litigator yet an increasingly broken man, his mind and body scarred by an unspeakable childhood, and haunted by what he fears is a degree of trauma that he’ll not only be unable to overcome—but that will define his life forever.

My Thoughts:

I started A Little Life sometime in January, but had to put it down a few times due to time restrictions on other books. Plus, this book is colossal. It’s a smidge over 700 pages.

I’ll start by saying that I can’t recollect the last time I felt so connected to characters in a story. I was so consumed with the four main characters seeing as how it’s nearly impossible not to fall in love with them, especially Jude and Willem. ♡ They’re so complex, it feels like you’re living the story and you’re associating with all of them. They’re memorable.

I cried a few times, and laughed a few times. The further I read, the more shocked I became, ending with a feeling of devastation. With that said, I thought it was written well and it kept my interest. There were a few times I put it down and walked away, but I had to come back.

I remember the first time I saw “Million Dollar Baby” with Clint Eastwood, Hilary Swank, and Morgan Freeman. I was sick about that movie for more than a day. In fact, the next day I still felt depressed. Well, that’s exactly how I’m feeling right now. Don’t get me wrong, I loved this book, but it’s going to take me a few days to get over it and I’ll never forget it.

I gave this book 5*****


You can find this book on Amazon and Goodreads

  • Hardcover: 720 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday; 1St Edition edition (March 10, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385539258
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385539258

Continue reading “Throwback Thursday – September 28th – A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara”

Lesson’s From Grandpa #6 – There’s Always Something…

When I was little, my grandfather would always tell us kids to be thankful for everything because this is what the Scripture tells us. I couldn’t tell you how many times he read the Bible, but often he would quote Scripture and use examples. We were constantly reminded to count our blessings.

 

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Me and Grandpa – November 22nd, 1979

 

Every now and then, my mind goes into another direction. It’s true that I’ve suffered anxiety and depression in my life and sometimes I have a hard time pulling myself out of it and I start to think about the glass being half empty, rather than half full. I always try to stop and reflect on what my grandfather always taught us.

Fall is such a wonderful time of year and usually by now, we are harvesting pumpkins from our patch to sell or gift to family and friends, canning tomatoes, and making our last minute jams for the winter cupboards. Typically, spring is full of growing and lots of hard work. Here’s a picture of our greenhouse from Spring 2016.

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Except this year is very different, I decided to downsize my gardens and we only grew a few pumpkins for ourselves. I cut back on tomatoes and didn’t grow much from seed this year.

As I was walking around outside by the gardens, I was looking at all the weeds and thought to myself how lazy I’ve been this summer. I started feeling pretty sorry, but this summer, I wanted to spend more time with my kids, read, and relax, and so I did. I didn’t keep up with everything like I normally would and we did have fewer yields because of it, but as I looked around, I saw so many beautiful things. Just look at this hibiscus flower which comes back every year.

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These flowers are huge even surrounded by weeds!

I also realized just a few weeks ago that we won’t meet our quota for the canned tomatoes required to get us through until next year. Normally, I put up about 125 quarts or more of stewed tomatoes for chili, spaghetti, and soup over the winter. With what I’ve canned so far and with what’s left to still harvest, we will probably get about 40 quarts of tomatoes.

 

 

Then, one of our friends that my husband works with decided that he and his wife didn’t want to can this year. He told my husband to come over and take whatever we wanted. We received three more five-gallon buckets of tomatoes for canning including some beautiful green peppers to mix in.

And there’s plenty more where that came from. We will meet the quota after all. Not only did they give us tons of tomatoes, but also 4+ buckets full of apples for canning. It’s truly amazing…

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I didn’t plant sunflowers this year, but there were some beautiful volunteers which will leave plenty of seeds for next year.

Our peppers were fairly small and we didn’t get as many as usual,

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But we have some great spaghetti and winter squash.

I couldn’t help but pause to look at the sky either. Fall is here…

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The sedums are in full bloom…

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There’s so much beauty if you just stop to take the time to look.

Then, this morning the most amazing thing happened! We were out in our woods looking for one of our cats that’s been missing for a few days. We noticed this huge pumpkin vine growing way out in the back of our woods where we used to have our compost pile. All of our pumpkins from previous years would get dumped here. A seed decided to grow and the vine is growing all over and up into the trees.

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Continue reading “Lesson’s From Grandpa #6 – There’s Always Something…”

The Mystery Blogger Award #2

I was nominated by Janie @ Authentically 50 for the Mystery Blogger Award. I just did this award not too long ago, but why not do it again? I love doing these tags and have fresh answers with this one! Fun!

Thanks, Janie!

If you haven’t checked out Janie’s blog, please do. She has blog posts on various topics and I always find them thought-provoking.

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What is the Mystery Blogger Award?

“The ‘Mystery Blogger Award‘ is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging and they do it with so much love and passion” ~ Okoto Enigma.

How Does It Work:

  • Put the award logo/image on your blog
  • List the rules
  • Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog
  • Mention the creator of the award
  • Tell your readers 3 things about yourself
  • Nominate up to 10 people
  • Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog
  • Ask your nominees any five questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question
  • Share a link to your best post(s)

Three Things About Myself:

1 – I’m totally psyched for fall!

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2- I love gardening!

 

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3- I love tea!

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Five Questions from Janie:

1 – What is one thing that is on your bucket list (or thing you really want to do in your lifetime)?

I want to ride on a Segway city tour and what better place than New Orleans!

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2 – How would you describe yourself in a few words?

Funny (I try), caring, and compassionate.

3 – What is your favorite book genre? Your least favorite?

This is hard, but I’ll go with non-fiction in general. I love a good memoir. My least favorite is sports, although, if it’s a book about the Patriots, I’m in!

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4 – Describe the perfect relaxing evening.

Hanging out with my family, watching a great show on Netflix, or reading.

5 -What is your guiltiest pleasure?

FOOD! I love to bake!

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Link to my best post:

I chose the YA book rating post last time because it was fresh and seemed to be a topic many people wanted to comment on. This time, I’ll choose my post regarding Carol Buckley. Carol is the founder of the Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee and also founded Elephant Aid International. I did an interview with her and you can see the post HERE if you are interested. You’ll learn about her elephant Tarra and where she is now, as well as what Carol is doing to help elephants around the world.

Continue reading “The Mystery Blogger Award #2”

Music Monday: Eminem “Guts Over Fear” Featuring Sia

Music Monday

This meme was created by Drew from The Tattooed Book Geek. You pick a song that you really like and share it on Monday. I’m having so much fun with this meme and look forward to sharing a new song every Monday!

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This week’s song pick:

Eminem

“Guts Over Fear”

I picked this song because I love its meaning. It’s about Eminem’s struggles as an artist and speaks a loud message about courage. I especially love what’s happening in the video. The story is about an aspiring boxer who’s dealing with many issues including money, a pregnant wife, a job he hates, and his dad who obviously has a drinking disorder. The message to me is never give up, persevere and overcome life’s obstacles while ignoring the negative.

The song features Sia singing, but in the video, it’s Chantelle Brown-Young aka Winnie Harlow, a Canadian fashion model. “Guts Over Fear” was also used in the movie “The Equalizer” with Denzel Washington. It’s one of my favorite movies. I’ve included both videos here for you.

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This following video includes clips from “The Equalizer” which can spoil the movie if you haven’t seen it yet.  

 

Lyrics

Feels like a close, it’s coming to
Fuck am I gonna do?
It’s too late to start over
This is the only thing I, thing I know

Sometimes I feel like all I ever do is
Find different ways to word the same, old song
Ever since I came along
From the day the song called ‘’Hi! My Name Is’’ dropped
Started thinking my name was fault
‘Cause anytime things went wrong
I was the one who they would blame it on
The media made me the equivalent of a modern-day Genghis Khan
Tried to argue it was only entertainment, dawg
Gangsta? Naw, courageous balls
Had to change my style, they said I’m way too soft
And I sound like AZ and Nas, out came the claws
And the fangs been out since then
But up until the instant that I’ve been against it
It was ingrained in me that I wouldn’t amount to a shitstain I thought
No wonder I had to unlearn everything my brain was taught
Do I really belong in this game? I pondered
I just wanna play my part, should I make waves or not?
So back and forth in my brain the tug of war wages on
And I don’t wanna seem ungrateful or disrespect the artform I was raised upon
But sometimes you gotta take a loss
And have people rub it in your face before you get made pissed off
And keep pluggin’, it’s your only outlet
And your only outfit so you know they gonna talk about it
Better find a way to counter it quick and make it, ah
Feel like I’ve already said this a kabillion eighty times
How many times can I say the same thing different ways that rhyme?
What I really wanna say is, is there anyone else that can relate to my story?
Bet you feel the same way I felt when I was in the same place you are

I was afraid to
Make a single sound
Afraid I will never find a way out, out, out
Afraid I never before
I didn’t wanna go another round
An angry man’s power will shut you up
Trip wires fill this house with tip-toe love
Run out of excuses with every word
So here I am and I will not run
Guts over fear, (The time is here)
Guts over fear, (I shall not tear)
For all the times I let you push me around
And let you keep me down
(Now I got) Guts over fear, guts over fear

Feels like a close, it’s coming to
Fuck am I gonna do?
It’s too late to start over
This is the only thing I, thing I know

I know what it was like, I was there once, single parents
Hate your appearance, did you struggle to find your place in this world?
And the pain spawns all the anger on
But it wasn’t until I put the pain in songs learned who to aim it on
That I made a spark, started to spit hard as shit
Learned how to harness it while the reins were off
And there was a lot of bizarre shit, but the crazy part
Was soon as I stopped saying “I gave a fuck”
Haters started to appreciate my art
And it just breaks my heart to look at all the pain I’ve caused
But what am I gonna do when the rage is gone?
And the lights go out in the trailer park?
And the window that was closing and there’s nowhere else I can go with flows in
And I’m frozen cause there’s no more emotion for me to pull from
Just a bunch of playful songs that I made for fun
So to the break of dawn here I go recycling the same, old song
But I’d rather make “Not Afraid 2” than making another mothafuckin’ “We Made You” uh
Now I don’t wanna seem indulgent when I discuss my lows and my highs
My demise and my uprise, pray to God
I just opened enough eyes later on
Gave you the supplies and the tools to hopefully use it to make you strong
And enough to lift yourself up when you feel like I felt
‘Cause I can’t explain to y’all how dang exhausted my legs felt
Just having to balance my damn self
But on eggshells I was made to walk
But thank you, ma, ‘cause that gave me the
Strength to cause Shady-mania, so many empty that stadium
At least I made it out of that house and a found a place in this world when the day was done
So this is for every kid who all’s they ever did was dreamt that one day just getting accepted
I represent him or her, anyone similar, you are the reason that I made this song
Everything you’re scared to say don’t be afraid to say no more
From this day on forward, just let them a-holes talk
Take it with a grain of salt and eat their fucking faces off
The legend of the angry blonde lives on through you when I’m gone
And to think I was gone

I was afraid to
Make a single sound
Afraid I will never find a way out, out, out
Afraid I never before
I didn’t wanna go another round
An angry man’s power will shut you up
Trip wires fill this house with tip-toe love
Run out of excuses with every word
So here I am and I will not run
Guts over fear, (The time is here)
Guts over fear, (I shall not tear)
For all the times I let you push me around
And let you keep me down
(Now I got) Guts over fear, guts over fear

Continue reading “Music Monday: Eminem “Guts Over Fear” Featuring Sia”

Shabby Sunday: Poldark by Winston Graham – 1977

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Today is my 6th Shabby Sunday! To see all the Shabby Sunday books that I’ve chosen, please click on ‘Shabby Sunday’ under categories.


Shabby Sunday Meme

I have a lot of old vintage books and one of my plans when I first started blogging was to do a post every week or so that shared one of my cherished vintage books. Then, I thought that maybe there might be other book bloggers out there that have some vintage books, heirlooms, or maybe some old books from childhood that they might want to share. I decided to start a weekly meme titled ‘Shabby Sunday’ for those who would like to participate and share some of their old vintage books. Do you have some shabby books you’d like to share? Please feel free to participate. Feel free to use the picture I’ve provided if you’d like to. If you decide to do this meme, please consider linking back to me so that I can see the book you’re sharing.


 

Today’s shabby share is:

Poldark

by Winston Graham

 

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Blurb: A gorgeous new release of the heartwarming and hilarious first novel in the Poldark series, the subject of the landmark BBC series

Ross Poldark is a heartwarming, gripping, and utterly entertaining saga that brings to life an unforgettable cast of characters and one of the greatest love stories of our age.

Ross Poldark returns to Cornwall from war, looking forward to a joyful homecoming with his family and his beloved Elizabeth. But instead he discovers that his father has died, his home is overrun by livestock and drunken servants, and Elizabeth, having believed Ross dead, is now engaged to his cousin. Ross must start over, building a completely new path for his life, one that takes him in exciting and unexpected directions . . .

Thus begins an intricately plotted story spanning loves, lives, and generations. The Poldark series is the masterwork of Winston Graham, who evoked the period and people like only he could, and created a world of rich and poor, loss and love, that readers will not soon forget.

I chose this book because I love the entire saga and my Poldark edition is 40 years old! The actual publication date of Poldark is 1945.


My Thoughts:

It’s 1783, and Ross Poldark is returning home after fighting in the American Revolutionary War. When he arrives he learns that his father is dead, his copper mine is failing, and his sweetheart Elizabeth, whom he loves, is engaged to his cousin Francis. Not only that, but the servants haven’t been keeping up with the estate, and it’s in shambles. His joyful homecoming is crushed and everything is a mess with chickens scattered around in his living room.

 

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Nampara

 

Ross plans to get back on his feet again, but his finances are a mess and he struggles to fit back into society. The future is looking fairly grim. He meets a fourteen-year-old girl named Demelza, rescues her from her abusive father, and gives her a job as a kitchen maid at Nampara where he resides. As time moves on, Demelza grows up into a beautiful young woman, their relationship changes, and they get married against everyone’s wishes. There’s hardly a single soul who approves of their marriage and Demelza will have to prove that she’s a worthy wife. Not only does she struggle with society, she struggles with herself because she knows Ross still loves Elizabeth and Demelza is the one who wants to be number one in Ross’s life.

 

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The book is full of memorable characters with Demelza being my favorite. Winston Graham has a way of making the wind, sea, weather, and landscape connect to the feelings of the characters and the imagery of Cornwall pulls you in with all the vivid details.

“He felt he would like one more look at the sea, which even now was licking at the rocks behind the house. He had no sentimental notions about the sea; he had no regard for its dangers or its beauties; to him it was a close acquaintance whose every virtue and failing, every smile and tantrum he had come to understand.” 

The book started off slow for me, but once I got into the story I loved it and couldn’t wait to read the other books in the series. I ended up reading every single book in The Poldark Saga and highly recommend it to all that enjoy reading historical fiction.

 My rating on this is 5*****

5 Sterne

Add it on Goodreads or find this edition on Amazon

You can find many editions of this series on Amazon, eBay, and many other sites.

  • Mass Market Paperback: 347 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; First Ballantine Books Edition edition (April 12, 1977)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345256549
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345256546

Continue reading “Shabby Sunday: Poldark by Winston Graham – 1977”

Thornhill by Pam Smy – Book Review

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Thornhill

by Pam Smy

Blurb: Parallel stories set in different times, one told in prose and one in pictures, converge as Ella unravels the mystery of the girl next door.

1982: Mary is a lonely orphan at the Thornhill Institute For Children at the very moment that it’s shutting its doors. When her few friends are all adopted or re-homed and she’s left to face a volatile bully alone, her revenge will have a lasting effect on the bully, on Mary, and on Thornhill itself.

2016: Ella has just moved to a new town where she knows no one. From her room on the top floor of her new home, she has a perfect view of the dilapidated, abandoned Thornhill Institute across the way, where she glimpses a girl in the window. Determined to befriend the girl, Ella resolves to unravel Thornhill’s shadowy past.

  • Age Range: 10 – 14 years
  • Grade Level: 5 – 9
  • Hardcover: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Roaring Brook Press (August 29, 2017)
  • ISBN-10: 162672654X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1626726543

My Review:

I’ve been pondering about what to say about this book for days. It took me awhile to see how I felt about the book and I ended up reading it twice. I could feel myself frowning the entire way all the way to the end.

There are two different storylines parallel to each other. The prose is the story of Mary in 1982, while the haunting, interlaced, black and white illustrations are Ella’s story in the present.

Mary is an orphan living at Thornhill in 1982 and is waiting to be adopted. She’s one of the only girls left along with a very mean girl who enjoys tormenting and bullying Mary to the point that Mary remains locked in her room most days.

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She dreads even coming out to eat and spends all of her time in her room making dolls or reading The Secret Garden. Mary’s story is told from her diary pages. I found it emotional and really couldn’t understand why something wasn’t being done to control the behavior of these girls who were treating her wrongly and bullying her. There are spoilers/hints along the way which gives you an idea about the end. I thought that was almost too much.

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Ella’s story is quite different. Told in the present, she’s moved into a house right next door to Thornhill and deals with her own set of problems. Her mother is absent for whatever reason, and her father is busy with work-related engagements, so Ella is left alone most of the time. Thornhill is viewed from right outside her window and she becomes curious when she sees a girl in the garden there, even though Thornhill has been shut down since 1982.  It’s abandoned, but Ella is curious and begins to wonder about the girl she sees from time to time. She begins exploring the garden because, what else is there for her do?

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This is a fairly large book at about 540 pages, but many of the pages are illustrations which make it a fairly quick read. I found the illustrations paired with Mary’s diary haunting and I didn’t want to put it down until I could find out what was going to happen with these two girls. I found the book unique, chilling, and atmospheric, but honestly, I wasn’t happy with parts of the story, especially the unexplained abrupt ending. Overall, it’s good and even though it’s juvenile fiction, it kept me engaged until the end.

My rating is 4.5****

4-stars

Continue reading “Thornhill by Pam Smy – Book Review”