Tuesday, January 27, 2015

THE GATE; THINGS MY MOTHER TOLD ME

THE GATE:  THINGS MY MOTHER TOLD ME
By Stan I. S. Law
The Sadness of Old Age

I am 84 years old while I am reviewing this story and I have read the previous reviews, but one of the areas everyone seemed to miss is that this older Polish lady kept asking the Nuns of this Catholic Assisted Living Residence why they kept trying to keep old people alive when they were no longer functioning, and she tried so hard to have them refrain from doing things to keep her husband alive when he was past ninety, burdened with Alzheimer’s, and being tied in a chair or bed or anything to keep him up right.  I particularly felt this as she tried so hard to help him pass and then when she was in her late nineties, she was forced to live the same way.
The Nuns explained that it was a gift of God, but for any seniors who have reached that stage, no, it is a gift of God to pass over.  The author did an excellent job of describing this Polish couple who had survived World War II, moved to Canada, raised two sons and lived a rewarding life until their physical incapacities forced them to move into a Polish Catholic home.  The dialogue between her son, Raphael and herself was tremendous.  Her honesty with which she decided to read the English version of the Bible to acquaint herself more fully with God, against the Polish bible she had once read, was thought provoking, as well as the conversations with the others.  There is no doubt, that this is a book to alert you to the fact that there are many way to accept God, and there is more suffering among the elders if they have a prolonged lifetime than many might ever suppose.
I recommend this book highly to anyone, young or old, who are walking in these shoes right now for its intellectual education and its deep understanding of this portion of our lives.


Saturday, January 24, 2015

THE VALENTINE CIRCLE

THE VALENTINE CIRCLE
By Reinaldo Delvalle
Mysteries, gore, murder

This is a long story, and although interesting and different, there are aspects of it that are too drawn out and do not move the story forward.  Basically, a man appears on a freighter in Boston Harbor in the late 1800’s, suffering from amnesia, but has vague memories of Japan and a Japanese master who teaches him the philosophy of the East. Due to a shortage on the Boston Police Department, he is hired by Inspector Belloc, with a female assistant Posy Chapman, and Dalton.  Because he is an amnesiac, he assume the name of Silas because it is sewed in some of his clothing, but he has unusual talents. He can climb in and out of windows, up the sides of buildings, can sense people who are unseen, and owns special Japanese weapons that he found among his belongings.  This is why Belloc hired him. 
The plot takes up when Belloc is trying to discover who is attacking teenage girls, whose parents are members of the Valentine Circle, an elitist group in Boston. The unusual aspect of this is that each of six daughters of the Circle are pregnant and are being attacked one by one, and the fetus cut out of their stomachs.  In some cases it kills them.  In others it causes physical and emotional damage. The parents of these girls seem unconcerned.  Then the plot goes into great details attempting to find the assailant, capture him and solve the crimes, except that the Valentine Circle has control of the top brass of Boston’s police department, who use every method to hinder Belloc in this investigations.
The story is full of gory attacks, unusual very dark characters, some of the philosophy of Japan, and almost becomes too much of those aspects.  Because of the repetition of the attacks and pain and anguish involved, it makes the story seem extremely long.  Yet it does have an interesting, unusual plot and a twist to the ending, which is unforeseen.  For readers who like dark mysteries, it is a good book for you.

I was given a complimentary copy of the e-book for an honest review.