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Signed Books! Get 'm Before They Are Gone!

Louise Penny - The Long Way Home

While Gamache doesn’t talk about his wounds and his balm, Clara tells him about hers. Peter, her artist husband, has failed to come home. Failed to show up as promised on the first anniversary of their separation. She wants Gamache’s help to find him. Having finally found sanctuary, Gamache feels a near revulsion at the thought of leaving Three Pines. “There’s power enough in Heaven,” he finishes the quote as he contemplates the quiet village, “to cure a sin-sick soul.” And then he gets up. And joins her.

Together with his former second-in-command, Jean-Guy Beauvoir, and Myrna Landers, they journey deeper and deeper into Québec. And deeper and deeper into the soul of Peter Morrow. A man so desperate to recapture his fame as an artist, he would sell that soul. And may have. The journey takes them further and further from Three Pines, to the very mouth of the great St. Lawrence river.  To an area so desolate, so damned, the first mariners called it the land God gave to Cain. And there they discover the terrible damage done by a sin-sick soul. 

Deborah Harkness - The Book Of Life

Fran Recommends:

When Deborah Harkness came in to sign The Book of Life, talking with her inspired me to re-read the first two, to read the completed trilogy as a whole. So I started with Discovery of Witches, continued with Shadow of Night and finished up the trilogy four days after I started the whole journey again.

Man, are these good books!

For those who are already in love with the “All Souls” books, Ms. Harkness fulfills the promise of the first two books. Her resolutions to the various problems, including what Ashmole 782 really is and can do, and how it relates to Diana, is beautifully complex, and is completely satisfying. She’s left herself openings to continue in this world if she wants to, but if she doesn’t, that’s fine too, although I hope she does come back to it, because I really love these people.

For those who are unfamiliar with the trilogy, Diana Bishop is a professor of history focusing on alchemy. She’s also a witch, one who hates to use her magic and keeps track of any infractions she indulges in. When she “calls” a dusty old book to her for her research, Ashmole 782, Diana sets into motion events that will change more than just her life.

You see, Ashmole 782 may very well be the history of the origins – and possibly the ways to destroy – all the witches, vampires and daemons roaming the earth. Each species wants it, and will do anything to keep the others from finding it. However, Diana teams up with Matthew, a vampire with a secret. She and Matthew challenge the established order of things, and in doing so, find each other.

Deborah Harkness is herself a professor of history, so her take on the creation of Ashmole 782 and the impact a single book can have on whole populations. What happened to witches in the past, and various historical events that highlighted the vampires’ lives is brilliantly depicted and elegantly woven. You know you can trust the facts as well as her interpretation and spin on what happened. Her writing is rich and lush, and she has built a world that is completely believable and real.

But it’s her people who are at the heart of the trilogy. All the beautiful background in the world wouldn’t matter if you didn’t care about the people, and in the pages of these books. You meet some amazing, troubled, determined, and memorable characters. Even her secondary and tertiary characters are fully developed; they matter.

I enjoyed re-reading the first two, and I know without a doubt that I’ll re-read these time and time again. This is, without a doubt, one of the best trilogies I’ve ever read.