Author photo

By Midge Lyndee
Book Review 

Beauty and grace

The TALE: Tehachapi Art, Literature and Entertainment

 

February 17, 2024



After all the reds and pinks of Valentine's Day, I think of February as being a lavender month. Perhaps that is because February's birthstone is amethyst, with its deep purple brilliance and luster. Or perhaps I am ready for spring flowers with the happy faces of pansies, an early contender in the garden. Whatever the reason, I chose the following books to review because of their covers. This is not my usual process.

"Tea is for Trouble," by Karen Sue Walker, presents cover art of a pretty teapot with a sprig of pansies as decoration. This is the first book of a series that introduces the reader to April, a woman facing crossroads in her life. On a driving excursion, she happens upon a lovely old Victorian house in a cozy town, and is driven to impulsively purchase the property. She has always dreamed of opening a tea shop and feels this is the perfect time and place.

Of course things do not go smoothly, from a stray cat living in her attic, to a ghost chef appearing in her kitchen. That prompts her to seek medical help from worry she must have a brain tumor. Ghosts aren't real, right? The dead body in the walk-in freezer also complicates things, especially when local police see her as the prime suspect. In spite of all the complications, there is always time for a cup of tea, a sampling of scones and shortbread cookies. I suggest you use your prettiest teapot and cup and join in the fun. Don't forget a few treats!

"It All Comes Back to You" has a cover with a black backdrop that highlights a ring of bright pansy faces arranged around the title. They ease the reader into Beth Duke's dual story about a young woman today and the life of her elderly patient a good 70 years before. After Violet has passed away in the nursing home, Ronni is directed by a lawyer to fulfill Violet's wishes of writing her memoir. Duke relates a complicated and sometimes graphic story of a young teen in the throes of first love. The story jumps back and forth between Violet's past and Ronni's present and future.

When tragedy strikes, there are unexpected turns for characters and readers alike. Life is certainly messy, both in the past and present. There is also an unexpected mystery that evolves, which might surprise you in the end. Not a particularly cozy book, but for those looking for deeper layers of humanity, you will find them luring you around every twist and turn.

Wildflowers in lavender hues will always draw me back to the picture book "Miss Rumphius" by Barbara Cooney. The cover shows a woman walking amongst purple flowers. Printed back in 1985, the story of Alice Rumphius has resonated with many. Alice lived in a house by the sea. Her dream was to travel, wanting to make the world even more beautiful in every nook and cranny. She leaves lupine seeds wherever she roams.

Lupine is a delicate looking but hearty wildflower that resembles snapdragons and larkspur. A member of the pea family, it can be planted in the fall or winter by just sprinkling the seeds on the ground. In spring, they can be introduced into your formal flower gardens or sprinkled along a parkway to delight people as they pass. In nature they can be found along roadsides and up and down hillsides in all types of soil and climates. They reseed naturally.

Miss Rumphius was a real person. During her life she lived and scattered lupine seeds all over the state of Maine, where they still bloom to this day. She left her world even more beautiful than she found it by carrying lupine seeds in her pockets to scatter into the winds.

We can get out our prettiest teapots and invite family and friends to join us in a "cuppa" and chat away the stresses of the day. We can fill our pockets with lupine seeds and leave a little joy wherever we go. We can be present in our everyday lives, aware that our every smile and kind word shared with others also leaves a special kind of beauty behind. We can make a difference in how we see the world and how the world sees us. We can be the difference that so many need and seek. We can seed grace and goodwill wherever we go.

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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