Zi71bFS9nQHnivtvUJquhejTHIQ The Story Factory Reading Zone: January 2014

Monday, 20 January 2014

Music Out of the Pages: Mourning

He heard her moans then, rising to a keen of grief, a death song she had been too weak to sing when they had placed that girl-child in the grave.
 from A Name of Her Own by Jane Kirkpatrick

Monday, 13 January 2014

Music Out of the Pages: Bedtime Songs

"She could hear Toupin singing in French, songs that put the engages to sleep each night. She hoped they'd keep singing when they left their boats behind, sing on their horses."

from A Name of Her Own by Jane Kirkpatrick

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Review Wednesday: A Name of Her Own by Jane Kirkpatrick

Goodreads Summary:

 Based on the life of Marie Dorion, the first mother to cross the Rocky Mountains and remain in the Northwest, A Name of Her Own is the fictionalized adventure account of a real woman’s fight to settle in a new landscape, survive in a nation at war, protect her sons and raise them well and, despite an abusive, alcoholic husband, keep her marriage together.

With two rambunctious young sons to raise, Marie Dorion refuses to be left behind in St. Louis when her husband heads West with the Wilson Hunt Astoria expedition of 1811. Faced with hostile landscapes, an untried expedition leader, and her volatile husband, Marie finds that the daring act she hoped would bind her family together may in the end tear them apart.

On the journey, Marie meets up with the famous Lewis and Clark interpreter, Sacagawea. Both are Indian women married to mixed-blood men of French Canadian and Indian descent, both are pregnant, both traveled with expeditions led by white men, and both are raising sons in a white world.

Together, the women forge a friendship that will strengthen and uphold Marie long after they part, even as she faces the greatest crisis of her life, and as she fights for her family’s very survival with the courage and gritty determination that can only be fueled by a mother’s love.

My review:
  An intense historical drama telling the tale of an independently minded woman and her family.

I wasn't immediately grabbed by this book, but as each chapter unfurled I became more and more engrossed with the intensity if feelings that ran through its pages. Marie is a complex character that I'm sure all women can identify with in one way or another, and her passion really helped me to engage with the unfolding events.

I learnt a lot about C19th America from this book, particularly relating to the relationships between Native Americans and the settlers. As each character explored their ever-changing world it became more real to me, the reader.

This book wasn't an easy read, but its well worth the effort. It would particularly interest anyone who wants to know more about social history.

Action Readers Action: Find out more about the original inhabitants of your own country

 What's your favourite book of historical fiction?

Monday, 6 January 2014

Music Out of The Pages: Water songs

"Pierre could hear them coming up the river, singing their French songs. He recognised Michel Carriere's booming voice joined by that English camp boy's fiddle as he stood near the bow. The sounds aggravated his thumping head."

from A Name of Her Own by Jane Kirkpatrick

What's your favourite sea/river song?

Friday, 3 January 2014

The Man in The Rubber Mask by Robert Llewelyn (A Review)

Goodreads Summary:

In a recent pole the robotic Kryten was noted by viewers as their favourite of the four main characters in "Red Dwarf". In this book actor and alternative comedian Robert Llewellyn, who plays the part in the series, tells the inside story of life as Kryten.

My review:
A whirl-wind tour through Robert Llewellyn's involvement in Red Dwarf. There's a lot for fans in this, who will enjoy the behind-the-scenes gossip and be able to imagine the voices of all the actors. But, if you haven't seen the shows I suspect that you might find yourself a bit lost at times, imagining what sort of strange world this man lives in.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

New Year

"To celebrate New Years' Day," Hunt told Pierre when they arrived at the mountain-circled valley.
"It's the Canadian's favourite day," Marie said, her voice like a loon's, sighing and low.
A Name of Her Own by Jane Kirkpatrick

How do you celebrate New Year?
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