Coastal Critics Literary Association

Rules of Deception

Discussion – Tuesday September 16, 2008

The political climate that this international spy thriller is based on could not be more current or better researched–agencies within agencies, leaders lying to their people, wars being started for public reasons that have nothing whatsoever to do with the agenda behind them–it’s all there. Reich won the International Thriller Writers Award a couple of years ago, and it doesn’t take long to figure out why. Fans of Robert Ludlum and Tom Clancy will embrace this author with open arms and sleepless nights as they push through his books many twists and turns that lead to spectacular endings. Men will love the action and technical details, women will love the strong central female character who is full of surprises. And every fan of thrillers will love the white knuckle last few chapters. Some readers may be bothered by an undercurrent of anti-American sentiment, but given the settings and situations is this book, it would be clearly a plot flaw for it NOT to be there.

Buy it here

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August 6, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | 1 Comment

Restless

Discussion Tuesday, August 19, 6:00PM

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Sally Gilmartin can’t escape her past.

Living in the idyllic English countryside in 1976, Sally is haunted by her experiences during the Second World War. She also suspects someone is trying to kill her. With mounting fear, Sally confides with her daughter Ruth; a woman struggling with her own past. Sally drops a bombshell. She is actually Eva Delectorskaya, a Russian émigré recruited as a spy by the British prior to the Second World War. For the past thirty years, Eva has led a second life hiding from the ghosts of her past.

Eva reveals her secret to her daughter through a series of written chapters for a planned book. As Ruth delves into her mother’s writing, she learns the shocking truth. Eva was recruited in Paris prior to the Second World War, following the death of her brother Kolia; also a British spy. Taught by an enigmatic spymaster named Lucas Romer, Eva learned the art of espionage and was made part of a unit specializing in media manipulation. Above all, she was taught ‘Rule Number One’ of spying: trust no one — a rule broken when she and Romer began a dangerous love affair. The affair had tragic consequences.

In 1941, Eva and Romer were assigned to the United States. They were given the task of manipulating the American media into motivating the public to support entry into the war on the Allied side. While in New York, Eva’s affair with Romer set in motion events that culminated in her betrayal and her flight from the British Secret Services. She found eventual refuge in a new life as Sally Gilmartin.

Thirty years later, Eva’s identity unravels with her confession to her daughter. Ruth struggles with the truth, and her own recent past fills her with self-doubt and insecurity. A failed relationship in Germany resulted in a son and an eventual return to England. Her mother’s confession leads Ruth to the realization that her mother is entangling her in one final mission — a showdown with Eva’s past betrayer.

Restless twists and turns through the double life of one remarkable woman. Through Eva’s life, William Boyd asks the intriguing question — How well do we truly know someone?

Buy it here

July 20, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Great Expectations

Tuesday, June 17, 6:00PM – Postponed

Tuesday,  July 22, 6:00PM

July 20, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Life Of Pi

Discussion -Tuesday, April 15, 6:00PM

 

 I enjoyed this magical tale, which offers an interesting thought: If the truth doesn’t make a good story, maybe you should invent a better one – one with fantastical impossibilities, metaphorical beauty, and deeper meaning than the original story. At least that’s what I walked away with.
Without spoiling the story for anyone, Life of Pi for me, is about a young boy’s struggle to make sense of a horrific set of events. Raised in a zoo in a remote Indian city called “Pondicerry”, Pi (a word based on a mathematical impossibility) is blessed with a colorful imagination and an ability to spin profound stories. This ability, and his love for God, proves to be his salvation. The ending of the story, and its meaning, it really left to the reader to decipher, and our book club was divided in opinion on that issue.
However, we all agreed that it was a beautiful, hopeful story. What resonates the most with me was the chapter in which Pi decides to secretly follow three different religions – Hinduism, Christianity, and Islam – simultaneously. When he is confronted by all three religious elders and told that he cannot worshop in all three religions, that he must choose, Pi’s response is:
“I just want to love God.”

Buy it here

July 20, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

How Reading Changed My Life

Monday, March 31, 6:00PM

 

In the national bestseller, “How Reading Changed My Life”, Anna Quindlen writes, “There was waking and there was sleeping. And then there were books”. Quindlen is not alone in her passion for books. Here she explores what many of us feel (but may not be able to articulate quite as beautifully): The power of great literature to take us on adventures far from our everyday lives, to bring people into our homes we wouldn’t ordinarily meet, and to comfort, inspire, educate, and delight us. Everyone who loves to read will want to share Quindlen’s warm-hearted musings.

July 20, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment