FAYE DASEN: 'CeeCee Wilkes' Is Definitely Page-Turner
I read the other day of the recent death of author Phyllis Whitney, who lived to the ripe old age of 104.
She wrote books for children, and young adults, and romantic mysteries that were among the earliest books I remember reading. She kept on writing until she was 94; her final novel was "Amethyst Dreams," which I had the pleasure of reviewing for The Pilot.
Her books have never lost their charm, and I'm sure they will still be read and re-read for many years to come.
Now -- on to this week's selections.
The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes
By Diane Chamberlain
Mira, 2008, $13.95
Oh, my gosh, this was a wonderful book. I hated to put it down! The first chapter ends: "Corinne stood next to him, clutching his arm, as her mother cleared her throat.
"'Timothy Gleason is not guilty of murdering Genevieve Russell,' she said. 'And I can prove it because I was there.'"
And the reader is hooked right there. We have to know the whole story, which is told from the perspectives of CeeCee and her daughter, Corinne who is really not her daughter at all. The book is set in North Carolina and Virginia, so many of the locales are familiar.
I don't want to give away the story here. Suffice it to say that I loved this book. Chamberlain has another that's due out in June. She is the author of 16 books, including the Keeper of the Light trilogy, and lives in North Carolina.
Lady of the Roses
By Sandra Worth
Berkley, 2008, $14
This historical novel is set during the War of the Roses. Isobel, who is an orphan, is a ward of Queen Marguerite, who is married to King Henry VI (considered mad by many). When Isobel is on the way to the Lancastrian court, she meets Sir John Neville, brother of Warwick, leader of the Yorks. It's love at first sight, but Isobel figures there is no way the Queen will agree to let her marry a Yorkist. To her surprise and delight, the Queen acquiesces and allows her to marry her true love.
The story of the ups and downs as well as dangers during these troubled times is told from Isobel's point of view.
History buffs will definitely enjoy this book.
By Janna McMahon
Kensington, 2008, $15
Virginia Lemmons and her husband, Roger, have just been going through the motions. When Roger leaves her and their teenage children, Shannon and Will, to take up with a beautician, Virginia just tries to put it out of her mind and keep on plugging along.
She's got more important things to worry about. Fourteen-year-old Shannon, on whom she has always kept a tight leash, is struggling to break free, and Will resents his father's actions more than he lets on.
This is a family drama set in the late 1970s in rural Kentucky. We get the story from the perspectives of different family members as they try to work out their problems.
This book grabbed my attention quickly.
Contact Faye Dasen at firstname.lastname@example.org or 693-2475.
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