Author photo

By Midge Lyndee
Book Review 

Flowers, candy, love letters and the moon

The TALE: Tehachapi Art, Literature and Entertainment

 

February 3, 2024

What can be more romantic than the moon? That big mysterious orb shines softly down on earth in the darkness of night, while sliding translucent across daylight skies. Whether full or merely slivers of itself, the moon is surrounded by billions of stars holding the secrets of the universe close, while enticing lovers to embrace.

February is the month of love, offering an abundance of flowers from florists, to grocery stores and street corners. There is candy too, especially tempting chocolates in heart shaped boxes tied with red bows. Then there are love letters. New ones are held to the heart while older ones are tied carefully in satin ribbons and hidden away to be remembered.

The books for February are beautifully packaged, as well. Inside you find historical substance, geographical perspective and a thriller to keep you on your toes.

"A Wilder Rose: a Novel," by Susan Wittig Albert, tells the life of Rose (Ingalls) Wilder Lane, daughter of Laura and Almonzo. As a writer herself, Rose helped guide her mother in writing the beloved Little House series. But first, she traveled the world, rubbed elbows with great writers and experienced a bigger life than her family ever dreamed possible from their early American woods and prairies. In 1928, Rose returned to the Ozark farm in Rocky Ridge.

The relationship between mother and daughter was complicated as they flushed out the stories of Laura's childhood, stories prepared for a world of readers both young and old, to be savored these many decades. Historical relevance is earned as they describe the life of early pioneers. Brave to leave their known world for the unknown, they carved out early American life a mile at a time. Current events came crashing down on them as well. The Great Depression and the gathering of another war in Europe had people scraping their way through constant turbulence. Rose and her mother Laura earned their backbones.

In "The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris" Jenny Colgan travels the reader to the city of love and reminds us many reasons why we equate chocolate with romance. Readers have commented that it is most important to read this novel with a box of chocolates. The story begins with tragedy and disability accompanied by love and loss. Readers journey through the pages with two women as they heal what is broken.

Lucinda Riley gives us an unexpected thriller in " The Love Letters." When a great writer in England passes, journalist Joanna Haslam attends the funeral. She uncovers the letter Sir James Harrison left hidden. Letter in hand, the journalist exposes a bombshell that many wanted buried forever. Not only does Joanna face an immense dilemma, but evidently the actual author, Riley, had to move through serious obstacles in order to get her manuscript published as well. A fiction and real life collision with the royals of Great Britain.

Returning to the lover's moon, we are gifted with the picture book "The Love of the Moonlight" by Sarah Buckner, illustrated by Paula Ortiz. We find inside the simple story of a young boy enraptured by the moon and wondering how people around the world can look up at such wonder and not feel the love and peace that shines down on all, night after night. The moon shines down on all equally. The moon doesn't compete with the stars or resent their light and beauty. They work together to show us a universe of wonder. The moon illuminates our darkness and the boy sees this as the moon loving us.

February is the month of flowers, candy, love letters and the moon. It's a short month that passes quickly. It is a precious month that reminds us to love. To give and accept love, both romantic love and love wrapped in the form of kindness. And to remember through all the months to come that the moon, as well as the billions of stars, are constantly watching over us. They are our persistent guides pointing toward enlightenment and reminding us life is a precious gift. Whether it is in the romantic sense or for general consumption and dispersal, love calls to us all. It shines and shimmers and gleams. We only have to look up to be reminded.

Good Books. Good reading.

*Midge Lyn'dee is a fictional character used for the purpose of entertainment though the reviews are real and sincere.

 
 

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