Friday, February 29, 2008


Pacific Avenue by Anne Watson

I found this book to be captivating. Pacific Avenue is so raw in its emotions, it was as if the author was writing her own story. I had to keep reminding myself this was a piece of fiction. It is not a predictable story in any way. Each new page captures you and leads you to the next.
This book has some scarred figures and will take you on an emotional ride. Richard, the young African American college student, just back from Viet Nam. He is estranged from his family, and his nights are filled with the horrors he experienced during the war while he sleeps. Even during the day he is haunted.
Kathy is a young white college student whom her mother never liked. Kathy could never measure up to her mother's standards. She was taught that it did not matter what the color of a person's skin was. She begins a relationship with Richard and invites him to dinner at her parents' house. Her mother did not seem pleased, but her father accepted him. To her mother racism becomes prevalent.
They continue to date and eventually become lovers. Kathy invites Richard to share in her family's Thanksgiving dinner. Everything is going fine until Richard hears a loud crash from the window shutters. He automatically dives under the dinner table, the food that was there falls to the floor as well as plates. Her mother is appalled by his behavior. While Richard is cleaning the food off of his clothes, it is her sister's fiance Sam that comes to Richards defense, and tries to make family members understand Richard's behavior.
This book shows us the dynamics of a generation that is just beginning to step out of the mold that has plagued both blacks and whites in this nation. It is a story of the love that two people share. One black and one white.
Kathy and Richard quit school, and leave Baton Rouge for New Orleans. They are hoping that there they will be accepted as a couple. For a short period life was great. They had the freedom they had sought. They made new friends and found jobs. Life was hard, but they were making it together. Yet it was also the beginning of Richard's descent. It becomes hard for him to tell reality from his days in Viet Nam. Eventually, they part, but not for the reasons anyone who is reading this may think. It is where they find true tragedy.
Kathy jumps on the first bus leaving. She is running away from her past, and the events that have destroyed her world. She arrives in San Pedro, California not knowing what she will do. She is a young woman who is mourning her loss. Her pain will not go away, and she does not know how to pick up the pieces and begin a new life. How she does it is her story, the story of Pacific Avenue.
The author has sought to entertain you and to keep your attention focused on the book. She has done so until the very last page.
Five stars Anne; as this book is an excellent read for all.
Sandra Heptinstall
Whispering Winds Book Reviews

Friday, February 15, 2008


This is more than just a collection of pretty pictures. It shows the pride and diversity of the city. Ms. Amori really gives us a history lesson of the past and future of Scranton.

There is an old saying and it is; " One picture is worth a thousand words." That is so true in this book. When I look at "Lest We Forget" memorial, I remember the thousands of people who died because of one man's madness who was called Hitler. The monuments of our military reminds me of all the sacrifices people have given for our country.

I want to jump into the book and see the St. Patrick's Day Parade, and be a part of all the fun people seem to be having. I want to sit in the tree house, take a ride on the train or trolley. Then go and have fun at the water slides.

Every picture in this book has a story to tell. Whether it be the monument of a coal miner or the beautiful mountains and lakes. The love of baseball with Roger Clemens, or the stately buildings of the Universitys and homes.

Thank you Ms. Amori for taking us all to visit---Scranton The Electric City.

Camille Claudel

Camille Claudel, A Novel By Alma H. Bond

For the sake of space I have deleted my review on this site. The book is excellent and you can find my review, as well as others on Amazon,Barnes & Noble, or Powell's.