Monday, April 24, 2017

The Tavern By Marguerite Steen

Summary By Goodreads:

Can you ever truly know someone…?

Don Florio Conde and his wife Doña María Teresa own a small tavern in Andalucía. It’s a place where the wealthy brush shoulders with the poor, where people from all walks of life are welcomed with open arms. Yet behind the smiling faces that greet new customers hides the anger and frustration that María Teresa and her husband feel for each other. Over twenty years of marriage has left them little more than resentful strangers. She is a domineering shrew and he a submissive drunkard.

When Florio agrees to let a wealthy patron of the inn, Don Joaquín Saavedra, use their spare room for a discreet liaison with the married wife of the powerful Don Alfredo Fedriani, he dreams of the money and prestige that Don Joaquín’s trust and gratitude will bring. But when María Teresa hears of the plan, she is horrified. Unlike other taverns, she has always enforced a strict policy against allowing her rooms to be available for such improper use. Desperate to retain the tavern’s reputation for respectability, María Teresa refuses to allow the affair to be conducted under her roof. Unable to see the consequences that might result from offending such a powerful man as Don Joaquín, she manipulates events to make the room unavailable on the night.

Furious at the insult, and the lost opportunity to meet his mistress, Don Joaquín vanishes from the premises and refuses to return, taking the patronage of other wealthy customers with him. Despairing, Florio spends more and more time away from the tavern, and his wife, drowning himself in wine and letting his eye wander. Neither is a new occupation for him, but this time the girl who has caught his fancy is none other than the pretty young thing that María Teresa adores.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Upon Several Occasions By Elizabeth Berridge

Summary By Goodreads:

'Bad luck's been on her ever since she was born' and the pitfalls that surround Mady Barnard form the backdrop to this moving story of community.

Birth, marriage, death and a trip to Bristow link the industrious characters of Elizabeth Berridge's subtle and insightful third novel, first published in 1953. Mrs. Barnard's aspirations for her daughter Mady, the grief felt by Mrs. Peters, the rector's wife, over her son's death in Burma and Doris Weldon's frustration with her children tell of day-to-day life in the village. In the background remains the Women's League, a subterfuge where knitting patterns and scone 

recipes are swapped and where gossip is circulated with passion.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Revenants, The Odyssey Home By Scott Kauffman

Summary By Goodreads:

A grief-stricken candy-striper serving in a VA hospital following her brother’s death in Viet Nam struggles to return home an anonymous veteran of the Great War against the skullduggery of a congressman who not only controls the hospital as part of his small-town fiefdom but knows the name of her veteran. A name if revealed would end his political ambitions and his fifty-year marriage. In its retelling of Odysseus’ journey, Revenants casts a flickering candle upon the charon toll exacted not only from the families of those who fail to return home but of those who do.

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