Sunday, October 7, 2012

Books, kids, mysteries solved

 We travelled to see Charlie in one of his soccer games yesterday.  He had a surprise for us!  He lost both of his loose teeth.  The bottom came out while he was eating.  The top was much more traumatic.
 He and a friend were running at recess and clonked heads.  Charlie went one way and the tooth went another.  This is the exact spot on the school playground where it happened.  In his house, the Tooth Fairy leaves $2 for the first tooth and $1 for each tooth thereafter but this one had some trauma pay attached and paid $5.  He said to his dad, "Dad! I got a dollar but it has a '5' on it!"
 I just can't stop looking at these blue eyes! 
 Friend Marg asked if I use a hoop when I quilt because I quilt by hand.  Yes.  I know these have been advertised in backs of magazines but I have a dear neighbor who made this for me.  It completely transformed my quilting.  The base sits on my lap (or is propped sideways) and I can feel underneath with one hand while guiding the needle with the other and don't have to worry about holding anything. I love this thing.
 Mystery solved!  While email conversing with Marg, I figured out what the orphan needle of another post was.  It's a size 24 Chenille.  Industrial looking.  No gold tip.  I found the 9 embroidery was too thin to go through the rigors of two layers and batting.  They kept snapping in half mid-stitch.  This one has heft, the eye is just right and while it eventually does bend, it's sturdy. 
 I also just finished two books.  This one was fascinating.  It was an advance copy, it's coming out soon.  I learned so much!  Who doesn't know the painting by Leonardo DaVinci?  This author took me through every possible scenario from the politics of the time, to Leonardo's being hired to do this painting and why, given his horrible reputation for an even worse work ethic.  I learned what he wore, ate, who his friends were, how he painted, mixed his paints, experimented and anguished for the chance to be hired to make military machines. We learn in great detail about this painting, who the people were who were models, who the guests were at this dinner and what was portrayed as served on this table, and why. We are given the historical perspective in great, fascinating detail.  Things I was fascinated to learn about.  I didn't want to put it down and when I did, couldn't wait to pick it back up again. 
    I've read all of Kate Morton's books and enjoyed them all very much.  I was excited to get the chance to have an advance copy of her new book and I was not disappointed.  Rather I stayed up longer than I should have too many evenings to read it. 
    This one concerns secrets.  Secrets have heavy weights attached to them and the ones that Dorothy Nicolson carries are no different.
    Dorothy is 90, her children have gathered for what is her last birthday.  Daughter Laurel remembers an event many years before that she wants to understand before her mother passes away.   Laurel is sixteen when she witnesses a crime her mother commits. She is old enough to remember this crime and carries it with her for 50 years. Dorothy wants to talk but it's very hard when you have to gather the strength for every breath.
    Using photographs and the hints her mother tells her, Laurel discovers more than she bargained for.  She uncovers Dorothy's life during World War II, who her friends were and the relationships she had and through alternating timelines we learn first.  Now that her mother is dying she knows she has just this one chance to find out why her mother did what she did.
    This sounds like I'm keeping secrets from you and not making this very interesting. I'm not trying to sound like a blurb on the back of a book, I'm just trying not to give anything away!  If you are familiar with Kate Morton's books, this one won't disappoint you.