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.
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May 2024
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03/29/24
March Blog
Filed under: General
Posted by: Ann @ 12:29 pm
Happy Spring and Happy Easter to all my blog readers. I trust you are well and managing the lingering cold winter-like weather. As a daily dog-walker, I have to say, snow is much prettier in November than March! We did have a few beautiful sunny warm days several weeks ago. Obviously they were only teaser spring days. Here we are preparing for Easter, I have 118 plastic eggs ready for our great-grandchildren’s annual Easter egg hunt. I hope the weather will cooperate for an outdoor hunt, but what will be, will be. Our Easter will be considerably smaller this year. One son and his family are in SC awaiting the birth of their first grandchild, her water broke early this morning and she’s in labor as I type. It’s hard to concentrate as my thoughts and prayers are with our beautiful granddaughter… This will be our 10th great-grandchild. Each one is so very precious and special. SPECIAL UPDATE: Noah was born while I was writing my blog. He’s 10 lbs. 3 oz, 23 1/2 inches. Can’t wait to meet him, he’s adorable!
My library visit on Thursday evening, March 21 was fun and well-enough attended. The library’s interviewer, Janelle, asked excellent questions during a very relaxed interview-format type of program. It was cozy and I enjoyed it very much. Now I’m motivated to somehow find the time to get my next book edited and published.
I’ve read a few good books this month, by chance two of them were about American women in Vietnam in the 1960s:
The Women by Kristin Hannah. 2024. Historical fiction. (It’s our Book Club’s choice for April.) This is one of the best books I’ve read in a very long time. Frankie and her cohorts, all the military nurses in the Vietnam War, prove over and over again that women can be heroes. Frankie follows her older brother to Vietnam, as a freshly graduated registered nurse, much to her parents dismay. She’s as green and inexperienced as the young men who are drafted to fight for our freedom in Vietnam. She’s overwhelmed with the bedlam of the field hospital’s surgery triage, the high drama of chaos and makes every day feel like she’s on the precipice of life and death. Friendships became sisterhoods for the battlefield nurses. But Frankie and her veteran friends found there real battle is transitioning back to civilian life - being spit on in the airport when she first arrives to a changed and divided America, angry protestors, and her distraught parents who never really accepted her decision to go to Vietnam. The family’s unresolved grief over her brother’s death in a jungle helicopter crash, it’s an unforgettable story of deep friendships and bold patriotism.


Absolution by Alice McDermott, 2023. The next book I read was ironically and unbeknownst to me also about Vietnam an in the same time period. It was also a good book but the characters were less likable and believable for me. This is a story about the military officer’s wives and their efforts to create lives conducive to their ambitious husband’s successful military and government agency careers. Conniving and distorted facts were the pillars of the wary alliance between the characters. Trisha is a shy newlywed; Charlene is a practiced corporate souse and mother of three. Sixty years later Charlene’s daughter reaches out to Tricia, after an encounter with a Vietnam vet.

The Whistler by John Grisham. 2016. I realized I’d read this book several years ago when I was well into it again. But I still enjoyed it and found I remembered little about the plot from back then. (I find that is the case with most thrillers I read.) The heroine, Lacy Stotlz, investigates a corrupt judge in Florida that has links to the local coast mafia, a casino, multiple businesses and hotels. Her partner is murdered and her life is on the line but she survives with a little help from her loud obnoxious brother and the FBI. A fun read.


The Judge’s List by John Grisham. 2021. This is another novel about investigator Lacy Stotlz from The Whistler. She still has the same job and is tiring of it. Then is contacted by a mysterious woman who uses several aliases - her father was murdered 20 years ago and the case is unsolved and forgotten by all except her. Proving the guilt of a serial killer judge who is forensics, police procedure and the law requires cunning fortitude, patience and seems almost impossible. Even better than The Whistler. Another fun read.


The Covenant of Water by Abraham Verghase. 2024. We listened to this fabulous audio book driving home from SC last month and through many meals and short trips after returning. It’s a very long book but so very worthwhile. The author is the narrator and he does an excellent job. It’s a saga about a rural Christian Indian family in India through three generations. It helps westerners better understand Indian culture and see the similarities as well as the many differences. I will paraphrase a statement made by a Hindu passenger on a train car early in the story, six passengers were sharing the compartment and all came from different religions, social stations and areas. “Isn’t it amazing how we can all share the same compartment for a long journey. No one cares about the other’s political or religions- we are just traveling companions and get along well.” (I thought to myself, how sad it is not that way in our lives today as we watch the deep political divides in our own country seem to get deeper with each passing month.) This is a fantastic and worthwhile book to read or listen to, the author is a genius as the story twists and turns and the wonderful characters interact with each other. Loved this book!


The Edge by David Baldacci. 2023. This s A 6:20 MAN Thriller. I hate to admit it but his one kept me awake a couple nights. The characters were so well developed and the plot so twisted, I suspected every person in the large cast of characters of the murder…A CIA operative is killed in her rural hometown Potter, Maine. Her laptop and phone are missing. national security is at risk. But agent ex-army Ranger Travis Devine learns that small towns hold secrets. As he mixes in with the locals, he feels more and more like the outsider he is. The local police are mostly uncooperative and resent his part in the investigation. There’s a long history of secrets, and someone will stop at nothing to keep them from being exposed. Travis does not know who to trust and who wants him dead.
We’ve also watched some good movies:
 
Oppenheimer was excellent. We had to watch it after it swept the Academy Awards.
We also watched Cleopatra, the Roman Empire and Alexander on Netflix documentary series. Currently we’re watching Moses. All are excellent and well done.
Till next time, please keep reading my friends and stay well.
Later, 
Ann

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