December 10, 2009

Review of 2009

Well, I havent gotten much of a chance to read this week with all the prep for Christmas. However, I have been reflecting on the books I have read so far this year. I started the year off with a bang. I read some great books and had plenty of time for reading, as I was out of work. My favorite books of the year are from that time period.

I began the year with The Romanov Prophecy by Steve Berry. The story is about an African-American lawyer named Miles Lord from Atlanta (a reoccuring proffesion and city in Berry's books) who went to Russia to assist with the selection of the new tsar. According to the novel, after the fall of the USSR, Russia had tried domocracy and failed. The people then decided to go back to having a tsar. They tracked down the closest living relations to the Romanov family and each person had to put in a claim to the thrown.  After being almost killed in Moscow, Miles Lord is on the run, trying to get out of Russia and find out why he is being targeted. He meets a beautiful circus performer who seems to be a link to his answers. Using a diary and the words of Rasputins prophecy, the two characters travel all over Russia and across America to find the true decendent of Nicholas Romanov.

The book was written in 2004 and puts the theory out that Anastasia and her brother survived the executions and went on to have children. This theory is based on the burials that were found in the 70's. One of the daughters and the son's bones were not among the remains. However, shortly after this novel was written, another grave was found with the remains of the two young Romanovs. Regardless, I found the novel very interesting and exciting. Berry gives a very detailed description of the capture, inprisonment and execution of the Romanov family. I was compelled to read more from Berry and picked up his Cotton Malone series. I read book 1, The Templar Legacy and loved it as well. Cant wait to get to the next one.

The next book I read was my favorite of the year. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. Written in the styles of the Bronte sisters, Thirteenth Tale is destined to be a classic. Listed as a Gothic Suspence novel, it begins when an amateur biographer, Margaret receives a letter from the famous novelest Vida Winter. Ms. Winter is famous for her ability to dodge reporters asking for biography. Now with failing health, she has decided it is time to let the truth be known. She demands that Margaret come and live with her for a period of time so she may relate her story in whole before she dies. She begins telling a tale of two siblings involved in an incestious relationship reminicent of Heathcliff and Catherine in Wuthering Heights. As Margaret learns of the Angelfield families dark secrets it stirs a repressed memory of the dark secret hanging over her own family. But who is Vida Winter in this tale? The answer may shock you, it sure did me!!

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