The hardest part about setting out on a new adventure is the waiting. All I want to do is move, step forward, experience the new. Instead, I am forced to stay in one spot for hours and wait for a stranger to announce that the first step into my new venture is to begin. Not for the first time, I wish I had the money to bypass the regulations thus allowing me to move unfettered towards my destination. Unfortunately, I am merely a part of the herd.
Visiting the museum with Gerald was always such a risk. So far, though, the day had been all that she had wanted and planned. The group had seen some beautiful paintings; the children had been interested in the artifacts unearthed by archaeologists in central Europe; lunch had been surprisingly tasty; and no-one had wanted to cut the visit short due to boredom. They all moved down to the basement to look at the exhibit labelled “Though the Ages”. In front of the first exhibit, she held her breath. Predictably Gerald began, “When I was young …” Everyone groaned!
“The trouble with me is, I can’t let things go. They bug me. I see problems and I want to fix them, right here, right now. My nickname isn’t Fixie for nothing”
I Owe You One by Sophie Kinsella (2019, Penguin Random House Canada)
The opening lines of Kinsella’s latest novel introduces us to Fixie, the main character. Throughout the novel we read how she continuously works to fix things and how she allows opportunities to pass her by because of this. And yet she has a chance to grow and to learn when to let things be. I enjoyed Kinsella’s latest rom-com and if you enjoy reading this genre, you will too. If you want to know more, you can read my review here.
What do you think of the introduction to the main character? Are you curious about her?
The setting to her new home was perfect! The rooms above the garage led to a view of the crashing ocean and the start of a different life. She would not miss the grey skies and gloomy house she grew up in. She would certainly not miss her austere father who insisted on curbing her movements! Here she would follow her inclination to dress as people her age do, to paint the entire day if she wished, and to make friends with whomever she pleased. Not only was her new home promising but also her life far from Gleneagles.
“So tell me about yourself,” he says. He smiles what he hopes is a sweet smile – neither too big nor too small, one that hints at a wry, maybe even offbeat sense of humour that he thinks would appeal to her. He wants to charm her. He wants her to like him.”
All the Wrong Places by Joy Fielding (2019,Penguin Random House Canada)
Fielding begins her novel with a description of the online predator that plays an important role in her story. I like that right from the start the reader knows his intentions – and that he deliberately plans to ensnare women.
I loved this fast-paced thriller. If you want to know more, you can read my review here.
What do you think of the introduction to the online predator?
He had spent weeks waiting, hoping, praying that she would come. This morning he had woken up optimistic – the ocean liner was docking today and he was sure she would step down the gangplank.
He watched people disembarking and sensed their excitement. His avid search, however, did not show him a woman with straight black hair wearing her trademark sunhat and glasses. With the disappointment weighing him down, Alec acknowledged that she wasn’t going to come. A life on the islands far away from the city’s buzz was not for her. He had to accept her decision and move on.
Her mind flashed back to a party game they played as children: blindly they had pinned the tail to the donkey. Mistakes were laughed at and the consequences for errors minimal.
Now the consequences were fraught with danger. Going in blindly to complete the task meant the loss of their company and possibly their lives. What they were planning was no game and had to be done correctly!
Planning and thinking of solutions for all scenarios led to success. The result was not perfect but they had a man in and the transmitter was set and in place.
Her mantra for the last few months echoing in her head, Sandra padded softly to the edge of the pool. She wanted to slice her way through the water but could not allow herself to sink into the contaminated liquid. Her last attempt to fight her allergy had landed her in hospital for a few days.
The sound of women’s chatter and the splash of water roused her from her reverie.
“Morning everyone, welcome to your Aqua Fitness class. My name is Sandra and I will be your instructor today.”
The bleak, arid land stretched out before them. Her search for shelter seemed hopeless but she would not give up! Shifting the weight of the sleeping child in her arms, Lily strode forward determinedly. The car had broken down but surely there had to be a homestead somewhere in this godforsaken land. Over the hill, she saw it in the distance. Help. Water. Refuge from the blazing sun.
“Mama, are we nearly there?”
They were welcomed with generosity. The homestead came to be the perfect place to change an identity and to hide from a killer.