Till The Rivers All Run Dry

Download eBook This review may contain some spoilers. A captivating historical fiction set in 1941, before America’s involvement in World War II. Ricky Parker, thirteen-years-old, travels with his parents to Venezuela; his father has been sent to help in the search for precious oil to fuel the war in Europe. But in the South American heat, just north of the equator, Ricky and his family are thrown into a melting pot of cultures, with the threat of disgruntled natives on one side, and, perhaps more unnerving for some of the Americans, German workers and families living in close proximity on the other side of the camp. This serves to create a tentative feeling around the site and a sense of foreboding that keeps the drama ticking along. But Ricky wants for nothing more than to sink into his comic books, or to swing his bat on the baseball field. The war, oil, his father’s engineering brain – none of these things concern him. To complicate matters, he falls for a young German girl, Hannah, and begins to understand a broader picture, of both love and life. They grow closer, knowing that one day, due to the growing animosity between their two governments, they will be forced to part. But when someone turns up dead in the camp, fingers start pointing, people become anxious and things begin to escalate. With time ticking down until America will be hurtled into the war, it’s only a matter of time until matters implode inside the camp. This is a well-written work that bottles the fear and tension of that era while serving up a...

Coming Home

Download eBook This review contains some spoilers. Coming Home is a fast read and yet still feels too long. This is the story of a young lady, Kira, who, on the eve of her moving to a new home, loses her two cats, who are her pride and joy in this world. Unfortunately, there’s not enough time to find the cats before leaving, and so begins a long search, as Kira tries to track her cats down, who are having something of an adventure themselves. As a fellow cat owner, the novel was at times touching, but more often incredulous. You will need to suspend your disbelief on some occasions, as people and faith are entwined in the quest to get these cats back to their owner. Some plot devices dampened my enthusiasm for the main character; in one example she decides to take a long journey involving two trains in the hopes of finding her cats who have recently been spotted. But she ends up falling asleep on the first train and ending up in the middle of nowhere. I don’t know about you, but if I knew my cats were lost, and I had a chance to find them again, I wouldn’t be drifting off to sleep on the train over there. My anticipation and fear would be keeping me very much awake. I was very annoyed with the character at this stage, which is unfortunate, because Kira is a fairly likeable character. She responds to situations in the way you’d expect a teenage girl to respond. Yet, apparently, these cats mean so much to her, but...