Saturday, July 9, 2016

The Little Red Chairs

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Author: Edna O'Brien 

Published: Little Brown and Company, March 2016

Pages: 297

Genre: fiction

Obtained: library

Summary: A stranger, Dr. Vladimir Dragon arrives in the small Irish town of Cloonoila.  Most of the people there come to like and trust him.  Then, one day, Dr. Vladimir is arrested for being a war criminal who has orchestrated mass murders.  This deeply affects the people of Cloonoila, especially Fidelma McBride who has been romantically involved with him.  We travel with Fidelma on her journey to come to grips with what has happened.  

Thoughts:  This was a hard book for me to get into.  There were three parts to the book.  During the second part, I finally started to connect with the story, but then lost it again in the third part.  Throughout the book, I always felt like I was being kept at a distance.
       I also could not connect with the characters, especially Fidelma.  Dr. Vladimir was an interesting character, and I did start to connect with some of the characters Fidelma met in part two, but their stories did not seem to go along with the main story causing poor flow.  I felt like part two could have been developed into a separate novel.
     Then, there was the ending.  I usually like an unexpected ending, which this was to me.  But the ending was just too quick and disappointing.  The ending did not seem to go along with the story either.
     This was a depressing, dark tale with an incohesive, distant feel.


Company: Tea Forte

Tea: Lemon Lavender

Obtained: gift

     This lemon lavender tea is from a gift pack of Lotus Single Steeps.  Each pouch in the gift pack is premeasured to brew 12 ounces of tea.  The pouches are quite convenient, especially if you carry loose tea with you.
     I opened the pouch easily and put the contents in my tea pot.  I could see chamomile flowers, green leaves and chunks of dried apple.  The scent was of chamomile and lavender.  I poured 12 ounces of water that had been boiled over the leaves and let this brew for 5 minutes.
     The liquid was a brownish yellow and there was a very faint lemon and chamomile scent to the tea.  The taste was a nice combination of chamomile and lavender with a touch of lemon.
     This blend is composed of chamomile flowers, lavender, linden leaves, lemon balm, and apple pieces.  It is also caffeine free.  It is described as "relaxing and meditating" on the Tea Forte website.  I would agree. The only thing I did not like about this blend was that even though I used a very fine sieve, there were lots of tea leaves left in the liquid.

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