Tuesday, April 22, 2014

THE BOOK CLUB MURDERS

THE BOOK CLUB MURDERS           
By J Ollman
Who done it?

This is a simple, well –written novel of murders being committed in a small town in Minnesota, the victims being members of this particular women’s book club, of whom Beth Reddy is a member.  Beth is a private investigator along with her boyfriend, Damian George.  When the local law enforcement do not seem to be making much headway, the book club hires Reddy and George to investigate and see if they can solve these murders.  The plot has some interesting twists and turns, including a few interesting characters.  It reads well and is entertaining without straining the reader’s need to remember many clues and nuances.  I enjoyed it and I recommend for those who want a fast, interesting tale.

I was given this e-book free for an honest review.

Monday, April 21, 2014

CALL ME LEILA

CALL ME LEILA
By N. G. Hanna
Three generations of poor women in Egypt

This is a character study of three generations of women from the same heritage, which is not a page turner but definitely has its own interesting aspects.  In El-Mansoura, Egypt in 1950, Saadeya, a young mother of five children, finally bears a baby girl, Meshmesha, and her husband leaves her in disgust that it is another girl.  Saadeya does the best she can, but she is sick and worsening, finally dying.  Meshmesha’s father remarries a woman who can’t stand his daughter and when she is nine years old, the step-mother convinces the father to hire her out and he will receive her wages.  He does this and the little girl works hard from dawn til night.  She learns of her father’s death when they say they no longer need her and turn her out.  Temporarily, she later is turned over to an older woman, Um George, where as a teenager, she meets and marries a poor man, Attia. 
Eventually Attia sneaks into France because work pays better, but his wife hears nothing from him.  In the meantime her has hired her out as a maid in a wealthy household, where the matron, Nabila,  has unusual green eyes, a hereditary trait, which runs through that family.  She also has a teenage son who is a student in medical school and Meshmesha innocently enjoys sex with him and becomes pregnant.  When her baby girl is born, she has these peculiar green eyes, is named Galeila and for a time the wealthy grandmother believes her son is the father, although Meshmesha does not state this.  Eventually Attia returns, almost kills his wife when he sees her new daughter.  The crux of the story is that local older women convince Galeila to marry so she will be supported, and for twenty-five years, she is miserable with her husband and continually seeks to find her father although she knows little about him.  The story goes from the recent Egyptian uprising when she runs away from her husband and changes her name to Leila and her continual seeking of her family.  The ending leaves a couple of loose ends, but nothing to detract from the story. 
It is an unusual story, but gives great insight to the lives of poor women in Egypt after WWII.  I enjoyed it because of its cultural and historical background.