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Archive for February 11th, 2019

Reinventing Hillwilla

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Reinventing Hillwilla (Book 3) by Melanie Forde

Life on a llama farm, set in remote “Seneca County,” West Virginia, transitions from contented to chaotic in this final novel in the Hillwilla trilogy — all under the watchful eye of canine guardian Ralph. Five years after we first met northern urban transplant Beatrice Desmond, she is finally adapting to her mountain hollow among the wary “born-heres” and is more open to the blessings in her life. She has developed a rewarding mother-daughter relationship with troubled local teenager Clara Buckhalter and is inching toward marriage with dashing, but complicated entrepreneur Tanner Fordyce. Meanwhile, Clara sets off on a productive new path, one that would have been unthinkable had Beatrice never come into her life. All of that progress is suddenly jeopardized by Clara’s scheming mother Charyce. Ultimately, the upheaval touched off by Charyce’s schemes serves as the catalyst for new beginnings for the Seneca County misfits (even Ralph).

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 Melanie Forde

About the Author

For most of her writing career, Melanie Forde ghosted on international security issues. She published her first novel, Hillwilla, in 2014, followed by On the Hillwilla Road in 2015. Her West Virginia trilogy culminates in Reinventing Hillwilla, published in 2018. 2018 also brought forth her Irish-American family saga, Decanted Truths, 20 years in the making.

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My Review

5 stars

We have come a long way since she first moved to Seneca County. She is on the verge of getting married but keeps having doubts. Then we have Clara, she has come so far too. She is now about to embark on the next step of her own journey. But then strange thing start happening to Bea. Is Bea starting to lose it or is someone messing with her again?

This story wraps up the series beautifully. Although Bea is still looked at as an outsider by a lot of people, she has come to find her place. But it is clear that someone still doesn’t want her to be happy. But Bea has come a long way to be bullied by anyone. And she is not alone, she has her own family to help her out.

It has been a long journey and I love how Melanie Forde has brought Bea’s world to life. I have to say Ralph is an amazing dog and although heartbreaking I love his role in this story. I grew up on a little farm so when Bea was working with her llama’s it reminded me of home and all the different animals that we raised.

This is an amazing series with a powerful message about living your life whether that is the first half or second. Bea is a great character and one that will stick with me for quite a while. Make sure to pick up a copy of these books. This is one series that should be on everyone’s shelves.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

I would like to thank The Author for the opportunity to read and share this book.

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Vincent Van Gogh – The Ambiguity of Insanity

By Giuseppe Cafiero

Genre: Meta Literature      

Format: Audiobook

My main interest in the life of Vincent Van Gogh is in his humanity. In attempting to understand the man and his art, I have focused on the women and the places which played an essential part in his development. In my opinion, no previous biography has concentrated so specifically on these two factors, which I have used to provide the framework for my account.

The women are presented as women of flesh and blood, certainly, but also in the roles of spiritual guides (Mrs Jones), mother figures (Kee Voss, Sien Hornik, Margot Begemann), or subjects for portraits (Mme Roulin and Mme Ginoux). Places, too, played a decisive part in the development of his character and art. Isleworth, Amsterdam, the Borinange, Arles, St. Remy, Auvers-sur-Oise witnessed and influenced Vincent’s attempts to capture colours, atmosphere and the effects of light.

Anyone interested in the tormented life of this extraordinary man is therefore bound to be fascinated by this account, which also draws out a further vital factor: Vincent’s obsessive determination to become a painter. It is impossible to understand the man without investigating the nature of his obessions.

Obsession was the subtle, tragic malady which slowly but inexorably consumed the man: the obsessive determination to express himself in colour and symbol; an obsession with redemption (seen in his mission to the Belgian miners of the Borinage and his relationship with Sien), an obsession with friendship (the failure of his relationship with Gauguin), his obsession with a self-tormenting spirituality (the relationship with his pastor father), with brotherly love (his relationship with Theo, which touches on the morbid), with the sun of the southern France (Arles and Auvers), and with death itself.

Powerless to intervene, we witness the long and painful progress towards his final suicide, heralded by the longing for extinction once madness (undoubtedly desired and loved as a means to silence his anguish) had proved a grievous companion and certainly not the source of hoped-for peace.

The work consists of ten chapters, each featuring a place and a woman who played an important part in Vincent’s life.

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About the Author

Giuseppe Cafiero lives in the Tuscan countryside, in Lucignano, in the province of Arezzo, Italy.

Born in Naples, he spent his childhood in several Italian cities. In Bologna he began to attend intellectual circles at Roberto Roversi ‘s renowned bookstore, “Palma Verde”.

It was in one of the magazines published by this cultural center, that the first part of “James Joyce – Rome and other stories” was first published.

He later worked for various radio producers, especially Radio Capodistria and the Italian Swiss Radio so he moved to Tuscany. Finally he was able to devote himself to reading and to pursue his literary work.

His main literary influence was Calvin, author of extraordinary literary intellectual subtlety and intelligence. Giuseppe Cafiero continuously reads Borges, another great sublime, inimitable author who also worshiped Joyce.

Giuseppe Cafiero has written renditions, free adaptations, reductions for the radio, translations from French. The spectrum of names is extensive, from Shakespeare to O’Neill, from Raspe to Daudet, from Toller to Brecht. He has written for thaetre and radio, collaborating also with the RAI, Radio Sveringes and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

But his strongest point is the “bio-fiction” as his book about Joyce in Rome, another published in 2008 about Vincent van Gogh, and one about Monsieur Gustave Flaubert in 2010. The three characters were revolutionary in their own field. Van Gogh, with his extraordinarily beautiful explosion of colors. Joyce, who broke with the literary realism of the 1800′s.

Due to his experience writing for radio, his books have a great handling of the language of his characters. This is the case of the program Giuseppe Cafiero wrote called ‘James Joyce in una notte in Valpurga’, in 1990, after which he ended the narrative fiction of Joyce’s stay in Rome in 1906 and 1907.

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I would like to thank Sage Adderley-Knox for the opportunity to share this book.

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