Vicky Berdecio

Job Title: 

The Secret Language of Stones: a novel (Daughters of La Lune)

Summary: 
This new novel by M.J. Rose is set in Paris in the summer of 1918, as the first World War rages in Europe and the monarchy in Russia is deposed. Part of a series of novels featuring the daughters of La Lune, a 16th century courtesan and witch - the main character of this story is Opaline Duplessi, a young woman who has apprenticed herself with a Russian jeweler who once worked with the famous artist Faberge. Like her mother, Opaline has the gift of second sight, in her case a form of lithomancy which allows her to translate the energy emanating from precious stones to receive messages from people who have passed on to other realms. This story is filled with romance, mystery and magic, with lots of suspense and a very happy ending.

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The Witch of Painted Sorrows

Summary: 
New York Times best-selling novelist M.J. Rose published this title in her Daughters of La Lune series in March of 2015. It takes place in 1890's Belle Epoque Paris, a gothic novel like no other. This book tells the story of Sandrine Verlaine who travels from New York City to her grandmother's mansion in Paris. There she meets an architect named Julien Duplessi. Together they find and open the door to the bell tower of the mansion, which reveals an artist's studio dating back to the 16th century. As Sandrine explores the studio she finds paintings and books which inspire her to take up the life of an artist as well. Love, passion, mystery and magic - this book has it all. It is a wonder-filled thriller you will not be able to put down.

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Nightbird

Summary: 
Being a big fan of Alice Hoffman's novels, I recently enjoyed reading a book she wrote for a much younger audience. "Nightbird" is a winner of the Great Stone Face Award and a thoroughly enjoyable story. In her usual manner, Hoffman blends together ordinary down-to-earth living with a sense of the magical. This story takes place in the little town of Sidwell, situated in the Berkshires. The characters include a young girl and her older brother with wings, due to an age-old curse placed by a woman who was a witch. A very easy read, (it was written for youngsters) this tale nevertheless keeps the reader riveted, eagerly going from chapter to chapter, unable to put it down because one wants to find out what will happen next. And of course it has a very happy ending!

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Commonwealth

Summary: 
When Bert Cousins arrives at Franny Keating's christening party uninvited and impulsively kisses Franny's beautiful mother, he sets in motion a series of events which will forever change the lives of six children and four parents. Thus begins Ann Patchett's latest novel about families and the complex relationships involved, spanning a period of five decades. Set in California and Virginia, the author vividly paints a picture of the lives of two families, depicting them through lively dialogue, characterization and description. Touching on the themes of love and the loss of love between siblings and parents, Patchett's heartfelt work is storytelling at its best.

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Faithful

Summary: 
New York Times' best-selling author Alice Hoffman's latest novel is a touchingly heartbreaking tale. It tells the story of Shelby Richmond, a young woman who has been in a car accident which leaves her feeling isolated and self-destructive. She then moves from her hometown on Long Island to New York City, where she begins to meet the people who will help her to regain her self-esteem and confidence, and heal her wounded spirit. Shelby gets a job in a pet store and winds up adopting three dogs, as well as having an affair with a man who is a veterinarian. In addition to the friends she meets at work, there is an angel watching over her who leaves her postcards with illustrations and encouraging words. At once down-to-earth but also magical, this novel tells a beautiful story about a young woman's journey as she regains her ability to feel hope and love.

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Sunflowers

Summary: 
Art historian Sheramy Bundrick has written her first novel of biographical fiction about the last two years of Vincent Van Gogh's life. Told through the eyes and voice of a woman named Rachel, the story is about their relationship which began in July of 1888. With vivid descriptions of Vincent's artwork, as well as lively dialogue, the author brings this brilliant and troubled soul to life in a way that is almost miraculous. This book is highly recommended for anyone interested in learning more about this artist, the creative process, and the world of art.

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The Other Einstein

Summary: 
Mileva "Mitza" Maric is an extraordinarily brilliant, gifted Eastern European woman studying physics in Zurich, Switzerland at the dawn of the 20th century. There she meets and falls in love with the charismatic Albert Einstein, a fellow student in her all-male class. Together these two young scientists share many ideas, mathematical calculations as well as physical intimacy. When Mitza becomes pregnant out-of-wedlock she is forced to abandon her studies and return to her family to have the child. This carefully researched historical novel poses many questions regarding Mileva's role in the development of the theory of relativity. It proposes that she deserves far more credit for the development of this groundbreaking vision of the nature of the universe. Written in the first person, Marie Benedict gives this forgotten woman a heart, mind, and voice that tells a story which needs to be shared with the world.

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The Muse

Summary: 
New York Times bestselling author Jessie Burton has written a second novel - this one set in London in the 1960's and in 1930's in Spain. The author deftly weaves together two separate stories which are connected by a mysterious painting. The main characters are two young women: one, an artist named Olive Schloss, living with her family on the southern coast of Spain on the eve of the civil war; the other, Odelle Bastien, an immigrant from the Caribbean working at an art gallery in the UK. As the book progresses the reader begins to see the clues which tie the two tales together. Part mystery, part thriller ...this is a totally engaging story.

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The Ten Trusts : What we must do to care for the animals we love

Summary: 
.Published in 2002, this book lays out a plan for caring for, and respecting all living beings: a set of ten commandments for the 21st century. It also shows how we can cultivate an attitude of compassion towards the entire animal kingdom, including ourselves.. Primatologist and conservationist Jane Goodall teams up with ethologist Marc Bekoff to put forth a series of principles for guiding our thoughts, and more importantly our actions, toward non-human animals. The inhumane practices of factory farming, medical research, hunting and poaching, and loss of habitat are described in great detail, but the authors also offer much hope as people around the globe wake up to these realities and take positive actions to remedy them. This book offers a unique vision of the future in which humans work together to transform the earth into a place where we honor and respect the interconnectedness of all life.

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The Second Chance Dog - a love story

Summary: 
Hidden within the library stacks, in the Large Print section, is a wonderful, inspiring non-fiction love story with a happy ending. If you are in need of a little uplifting to your day, Jon Katz's story just might help. This is the story of a dog named Frieda, a dog adopted from an animal shelter in upstate New York and brought to Jon Katz's farm by a woman named Maria. Frieda is a rottweiler-shepard mix, and was raised to solely be a guard dog. After faithfully working for several years guarding an auto shop, she was abandoned by her owner in the Adirondack woods. For several years she fended for herself until a local animal shelter was finally able to bring her to safety. This is the tale of how Katz was able to integrate Frieda into a warm, caring, and compassionate household and heal her aggressive tendencies, to become part of a working farm with donkeys,sheep,barn cats, chickens and other dogs. There is also the story of how Katz and Maria grow to love and trust each other and eventually build a life together filled with mutual support and respect. I highly recommend this easy read.

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