Ann's Blog
Ann McCauley is a Pennsylvania women's literature author, who wrote the books Runaway Grandma and Mother Love, both available for sale at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

June 2024
« May    
February Blog
Filed under: General
Posted by: Ann @ 6:55 pm
I look out at the snow covered landscape and count my blessings that we are cozy and warm in our home, this is about the time of the year when we all start to yearn for spring in a big way. We were fortunate to have spent January 21 through February 5 at Hilton Head, S.C. It was sunny almost everyday and the temps ranged from high 50s to the low 70s. My husband and I went for several walks around the resort grounds and pools. We shared a condo with my sister and her husband, we also have friends who live there every winter. The days went by so quickly. We attended an amazing Comedy Magic Show one night. We all visited the Pat Conroy Literary Museum in Beaufort, It was wonderful; I highly recommend it to any book lovers who are in that area. Beaufort is a beautiful small southern town with a host of great seafood restaurants. (My sister and I went to see a movie that I will not mention because we both disliked it so much. It had wonderful reviews and we felt absolutely cheated…) On our last night on the island, we went to see the play, A Curious Incident of a Dog in the Night -Time. I’d read the book several years ago and loved it. The play was well done and we both loved it. I read several books, (that I will share below), and it was a relaxing break for all of us.

I hate to admit but my goal of writing two hours each day has not yet come to fruition. We’ve a had a family emergency that trumped all else in our lives. Prayers are welcome…

 Books I read this month are:

The Vanished Days by Susanna Kearsley. Historical Fiction. 2021. This novel was written by a prolific writer with a large following. It was my first time to read one of her books and I’m hooked. I definitely want to read more of her work. This novel was set in 1707 when the Borderlands to the Scottish Highlands join forces to protest the new Union with England. Discontent and political unrest was rampant, somewhat similar to today’s. A young widow’s attempt to collect her husband’s lost wages comes under suspicion. An investigation uncovers multiple layers of romance, endurance, adventure, and the courage to hope. Plot twists abound and the characters are well developed. It is not only a matter of justice, but of lost love and a nation betrayed. This is a truly remarkable story and if you enjoy historical novels, this may be just the book for you.

West With Giraffes by Lynda Rutledge, Historical Fiction. 2021. This was a fun read, reminiscent of Water For Elephants.The narrator is 105 years old Woodrow Wilson Nickel, who finds himself recalling unforgettable experiences he cannot take to his grave. It was 1938 and the Great Depression was still a reality for far too many people. He begins, “Few true friends have I known and two were giraffes…”  It’s part adventure, part historical saga, and part coming-of-age love story. If you liked Water For Elephants, then I believe you will love West With Giraffes. It explores what it means to be changed by the grace of animals, the kindness of strangers, the passing of time and a story told before it was too late. I highly recommend this book, it’s a feel-good and informative novel based on true events of the first giraffes to be trucked from the east coast to San Diego after surviving a hurricane at sea. It was a story that caught the world weary public’s heart in 1938.

Angels Flight, by Michael Connelly. Murder/mystery. 2001. (I bought this audio book at a consignment store to listen to as we drove home from Hilton Head.) An activist attorney is killed in a small L.A. trolley called Angel’s Flight. The case is so explosive that Harry Bosch is appointed the lead investigator. the dead mans’ enemies inside the LAPD are many and it falls to Harry to solve it. The streets are vibrating with tension and Harry’s year old marriage unravels. As the hunt for the killer leads Harry to another high profile murder case, one where every cop had a motive. The question is, “Did any have the guts? A great who-dun-it novel!

The Maid by Nita Prose. Fiction. 2022. This delightful novel was my book club’s choice for February. And I loved it. (Though circumstances prevented me for attending the discussion. I’m sure it was well received by the other members.)
The protagonist, Molly Gray is not like everyone else. She struggles with social skills and misreads the intentions of others. Her Gran used to interpret the world for her, codifying it into simple rules to live by. Molly is a high functioning Autistic who loves to clean. She is proud of her job at a classy hotel, loves her maid uniform and views everything in concrete terms. She is trying to follow her grandmother’s rules in the months following Gran’s death. But when Molly  finds a dead body in a hotel room she is supposed to clean, she is suddenly in over her head; unexpected plot twists and great characters kept me turning the pages as I rooted for Molly. This debut novel was written with wit and wisdom. The Maid has already been bought for a movie. It also made me keenly aware of hotel maids. I tipped much better when we stayed in hotels on the way to and from Hilton Head.

The Pulpwood Queens Celebrate 20 Years edited by Susan Cushman, introduction by Kathy Murphy. 2019. This was an interesting anthology of essays, written by dozens of  writers who are part of Kathy Murphy’s Pulpwood Queen Book Clubs and most are also Girlfriend Weekend, tiara wearing participants. It was fun read and their enthusiasm is a bit contagious. I bought it at Pat Conroy’s Literary Museum. He and his wife, Casandra King, were involved with the Pulpwood Queens, his wife still is.

We’ve started watching Heartland again and are enjoying it even more the second time around!

Till next time, stay safe and well. And keep reading my friends.

Later, Ann

Leave a Reply