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.

December 2023
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October Blog
Filed under: General
Posted by: Ann @ 2:53 pm
Here we are again, ready to move into a new month. I hope you’ve all had a good October. In Northwest Pennsylvania, we’ve had a beautiful month to appreciate the autumn leaves’ transformation from green to glorious colors to bare limbs - the leaves mostly gone and the trees now waiting for the first snow. I’ve been working on my Christmas lists, a necessity with such a large family… and we have two more great grandbabies due in the coming months! We are excited, each grand and great-grand is such a unique and special part of our family tree.

We’ve been well enough. We’ve made some good memories this month with visitors, friends and family - coming and going. I’ve tried several new and delicious recipes which helps us stay in touch as we ‘break bread’ without breaking the bank. I’m sure you all are aware of the increased cost of groceries but compared to the price of eating out, it’s still a bargain to eat at home. I still have lovely bright red geraniums on our front porch along side our fall pumpkins and yellow mums. We’re still waiting on our first frost of the season. Most of our winter preps are done and it’s time to get cozy for winter. I even bought a new flannel comfort cover for our bed, waiting for the first snow to use it. Hurrah!

I’ve read a couple good books this month, fewer than usual. 
The Paris Orphan by Natasha Lester. Historical fiction. 2018. I received this book for my birthday from a dear friend. She knows the kind of books I love; and this one was no exception. It’s extremely well-researched, the plot and characters are complicated as well as compelling. It begins in 1942 in Paris and New York City when American model Jessica May connives her way to Europe as a photojournalist. She is ridiculed and obstructed by most of the soldiers. But finds three friends who help her survive and even thrive. A journalist, an army Captain and an orphan girl. Then the plot moves ahead 60 years after WW2. I had to re-read certain parts to keep the story straight but is was so worth it. A truly great book.  *Natasha Lester also wrote “The Paris Seamstress’ - another great book.

The Little Village of Book Lovers by Nina George. Fiction. 2023. This was another birthday gift from another dear friend. It reminded me a bit of The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. The similarity is not religion but rather the lyrical style. “Everyone knows me, but none can see see me. I am that thing you call love.” The story is set in a small French village in the 1960s. As an orphan girl Marie-Jeanne grew up under the care of her foster father, she develops a great love for books and realizes she has a gift as a matchmaker, using books to bring true loves together in her village and the other villages they visit regularly with their mobile library. She finds love for everyone except herself but never gives up hope and she wonders, will I recognize Love when it finally comes my way? It is a sweet well-written book. 

Our book club’s book for this month was: The Secret Book of Flora Lea by
Patti Callahan Henry. 2023. Historical Fiction. I read this novel last July and this review was published in my July Blog. It generated one of our best ever book discussions. The novel is about two
sisters, Hazel, age 14 and Flora, age 5, who were part of England’s
Operation Pied Piper in 1939. Can you imagine 800,000 children evacuated
from the cities to rural England carrying only small backpacks with
identity and
contact information inside as well as a change
of clothes - within four days of the decree. Train loads of children
headed to safety to escape the German bombs. Many were taken into lovely
safe country homes. ( Three and a half million children were moved to
safety.) The sisters landed with a kind woman and her teenage son. A few
months later, Flora was  playing near the river that flowed through the
fields near their caretaker’s home and she disappeared. Flora was
pronounced dead from drowning a few weeks later. Hazel was tormented by
guilt for twenty years, blaming herself for not watching her sister more
closely. She’s working in a cozy rare bookstore in London when she
opens a mysterious children’s book that contained long-held secrets from
her and Flora’s childhood spent in the English countryside during WWII.
I don’t want my review comments to be spoilers…I will close by sharing
with you: this was the best book I’ve read in a very long time and I
will definitely read more of P.C. Henry’s books.

We have washed several shows on television this month, (mostly streaming- it is so hard to go back to regular television - having to deal with all the silly advertisements.) The the most memorable was ‘The Chosen‘.  We’ve watched the first two seasons. It’s the story of Jesus and how he began collecting and choosing his disciples and his early ministry. It’s so well-done and engrossing.
Till next month, stay safe, well and keep reading my friends.

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