This is a book about the beginning of Ireland, history and mythology based on the poetry of a real pre-Christian bard. I had read and thoroughly enjoyed a few of Morgan Llywelyn books, but this one seemed to start slow and I initially wasn't sure it would hold my interest. But it snuck up on me, and soon my heart was racing with every battle. Highly recommended!
Rosenfelt really captures the contrast between towns like Paterson (where I grew up) and the midwest/small towns where I've also spent some time. This is another book that I couldn't put down. I'm really going to miss these characters once I finish the series.
Within the pages of this book is one of the best explanations I've ever read of what it's like to be a geologist:
"He had worked for one of the mid-sized oil companies for a while, and now was teaching part-time at a couple of different schools, eking out a living as geologists so often find themselves doing. People want oil? We'll find oil until it gluts the market and people think they don't need us anymore. Folks got ground-water contamination to clean up or landfills to be built to ensure that additional groundwater isn't fouled? We'll all jump on that until that's done, and folks think they're done spilling things, and again we're out of a job. Humankind wants to be safe from earthquakes? We'll map the fault lines and advise legislatures until public policy is enough improved that everyone forgets what we did for them lately and . . . yeah, same story, we fall prey to the next budget cut. Folks don't comprehend how long it takes to build such knowledge, and how quickly it can be lost."
The book is a murder mystery. The protagonist, the author and I all have something in common: we are females working in the profession of geology with experience in the oil industry. Although my life has not been nearly as adventurous as Em's (which may be a good thing), I do relate to her on more levels than I do most of the main characters in the other mystery novels I read. Her character development through each book in the series rings true, and I love that at the age of 40 she's still tentative and uncertain about some things. I'm jealous of her, too, as most of us went into geology for the field work but few of us get to keep doing it so long into our careers. And Em gets to do it out west, where you can really see the geology!
As usual, within the context of the mystery, Andrews cogently explains geologic concepts in terms of both scientific interest and public importance. She explains both sides of earth-related controversies - in this case, overdevelopment in an arid region - although this time I thought some of the characters involved were a little more cartoonish than I remembered from her previous books (hence 4 stars instead of 5).
Em's love interest in this book, Fritz, remains inscrutable to the reader as well as to Em until near the end which is a little frustrating at times but I sense we'll get to know him better in the next book. Her ex-boyfriend, Ray, is still around and has acquired a bit of a creepy aspect that takes an interesting turn at the end. The relationship between Em and her college friend, Julia, explores how friendships change when life paths that were similar eventually diverge.
Like all good murder mysteries, some drama and surprises at the end.
All in all, a great read and I highly recommend it and the series.
Couldn't put it down! The crime solving keeps me hooked even though the self-analysis and the whole Jenn thing wear a little thin. Couldn't give it fewer than five stars, though, considering it came in yesterday's mail, I picked it up at 8:30 last night and am posting it this morning!
A whole different cast of characters and a much bigger story than the Andy Carpenter series, but every bit as enjoyable a read. Kept me up past my bedtime because I had to finish it. A couple of the story elements were a little predictable, but that may have been to put the reader in the same place as the main character with respect to figuring out the mystery. And there were still some surprises! After reading 5 or 6 Andy Carpenter books right in a row, I was delighted to find that there is a golden retriever in this book, too, although not as central a character as Tara and Reggie.
When I was a kid I read Nancy Drew and wanted to solve mysteries. I grew up to become a geologist but sometimes hoped I could become a writer. Sarah Andrews is a geologist and a writer, whose character, Em Hansen, is a geologist who solves mysteries. How could I not love these books? This one is beautifully written, especially regarding the conflicts between applied geology and true environmentalism, between careers and marraige/motherhood. I couldn't put it down until I finished it, and then when I did I ordered all the Em Hansen books I hadn't yet read!
An interesting memoir, by an author who lived on Park Avenue while her mother chose to be homeless in NYC. They weren't from there, and how they got there is an interesting, sometimes disturbing, story.
Liked the plot of this book better than Sea Change. Jesse's feelings for the very flawed Jenn show him to be flawed as well. I could do with less of the self-analysis and banter between people in relationships about the relationships, but the murder mystery and crime-solving more than make up for it. All-in-all, a good, quick summer read.