Anni Halla is once again returning to Mersan Valo, her family home set on Lake Superior where she holds many of her fondest memories. This time however, it is because her cherished Grandmother Takia, keeper of the most whimsical stories, has passed away, and Anni is angry at herself for not having returned sooner.
As the family slowly arrives for the final goodbye and the reading of the will, Anni is joined by her twin brother Theo, her mother Arden, Aunt Gloria as well as cousins and other family members – all with an assortment of reasons to be there – some more honorable than others.
As they settle in, strange occurrences start to happen – although that in itself is not unusual for those who have spent time ay Metsan Valo, especially for the twins. This time however, there is something off, almost sinister in the air, leaving Anni wondering how much of her Grandmothers stories were actually stories, and what is to happen now that the storyteller is gone.
Wendy Webb once again does not disappoint. I know I am always in for a read that will have me thinking long after that final page is turned. I love not only the stories, but the bonus of having the settings in areas that are familiar to me just adds to the mystical journey.
I enjoyed this tale centered around folklore. It made me think of my own Great Grandmother and the tales she used to tell as I sat raptured as a child with my head filled with the imagery of her words. The Keepers of Metsan Valo brings with it not only colorful, but likable characters (even the ones you kind of at times.. don’t like so much). A recommended read and one I very much enjoyed sinking into while on vacation.
Book Club Worthy? You bet! There is much to discuss surrounding folklore, tales handed down through the generations, your own strange encounters, as well as a lot of tasty food mentioned that would be fun to make as well.
Wendy Webb is the author of many delectable gothic suspense reads. She resides in my home state of Minnesota.
Yes, my Esken’s gush continues from yesterdays posting of The Heavens May Fall. A brilliant writer who I have found to capture a bounty of talent within a binding. Allen Esken’s never ceases to surprise me.
Detective Max Rupert has never come to terms with his wife’s death, the result of a hit and run. When evidence is found that proves Max’s suspicions, that her death was no accident but cold-blooded murder, Max falls into a world of grief and despair and an unquenchable desire to seek revenge on those involved.
As Max follows the clues he becomes more consumed to the point of not carrying what his decisions going forward could mean for himself. When his obsessive need for revenge brings him to a cold and frozen lake on the far outstretches of Minnesota somewhere where his actions may never be brought to light, Max steps over a line that he himself had convicted many people for less.
Whoa and whoa. Seriously whoa. This book, and its nature really starts in Heavens May Fall as you learn more about Max’s growing obsession with his dead wife. As heaven’s May Fall comes to a close, facts (bread crumbs) are dropped into the reader’s mind that all that surrounds Jenni Rupert’s death is not as it was to seem. Deep Dark Descending really is all about what Max does with this new-found knowledge that his friend Boady placed in his care.
Deep Dark Descending is dark, however I will say understandably so. If you follow Max’s love for his wife and her untimely death as well as other factors that are revealed in this book, you can indeed follow Max down the spiral rabbit hole of Deep Dark Descending.
For myself, I am fascinated with what Allen Esken’s brings into a book. Knowing his background as an attorney makes it all the more fascinating for me as I imagine he is pulling from his own experiences and then adding his own spin to what happens when someone is pushed right to their breaking point.
I devoured Deep Dark Descending on audio, listening every chance I had to know what would happen as Max uncovers hard truths and makes even harder decisions of what to do with these truths now that they are fully revealed.
Good Morning! Happy Wednesday! (Is it crazy that I had to pause there and think what day it was?) Yesterday was my first real full day of feeling like I was moving into my new role. I have home space set up, and made a commitment to be in it. I actually had time to open up a packet of papers that were given to me in mid June as research for my manuscript I am revising. They have been sitting in the library since they were handed to me and are now in the office and I spent time yesterday reviewing them and making notes. It was a good feeling.
This past Monday we had an exciting author at the Brainerd Public Library. Author Johnathan Friesen (pronounced “free-zen”) spoke at our library about his books, and read from his most recent book, Mayday (LOVE the cover!)
I had never read or listened to Johnathan Friesen before and I for one was excited to have him at the library as a YA author. He started out with sharing a very powerful story about his childhood and Tourette’s syndrome. I think most of the room was in tears – and then he turned it around into his passion for writing. At this stage in my life, what he said really resonated with me. He spoke with intelligence and I found myself scribbling on a napkin (I know, I know, you would think I would be more prepared!) to capture some of the things he said…
…and when she left my room, she took something with her. Almost like a magnet it stuck to the back of her shirt…. when she left, the hate I had felt for myself left with her. ~ Johnathan Friesen
Johnathan was a delightful speaker! He was animated and funny and can really channel his inner child! While he spoke about each of his books I found myself trying to choose which I wanted to read, they all in one way or another spoke to me. His book Jerk California is about a boy with Tourette’s. This Schneider Family Book Award winner changed the face of Tourette’s Syndrome for modern teens.
When the event was over, the crowd of 44 people gathered around to but his books. I always wait to be last to make sure everyone has the opportunity to pick up the books that they want. I left this event with:
If you ever have the chance to hear Johnathan speak, I highly recommend you do. I was very impressed with his style and look forward to digging into his books!
you are being guided through a winter wonderland. The snow is falling. Gently. Beautifully. Each flake unique in its own way as you walk through this world of quiet snowfall.
As I sank into the book and viewed the pictures they gave me the impression it was dawn – but no, author Greg Budig whispers his words into the pages:
What seemed like early morning, was really afternoon,
as the ever lowering, powder grey sky covered me in a world of half light.
The words fall on to the pages in a rhythm that reminds me of the snow fall itself. There is something about reading this book…. I can feel the quiet of what is being written. It is a Minnesota snow globe day – where the sky hangs low and dark and all is peaceful.
A beautifully written book. I am Minnesotan and have been all my life and this well written book leaps from the pages into my own world, into my own memories, of walking through the quiet of a snowy, snowy day.
Greg Budig was born and raised on the windswept prairie of western Minnesota in the community of Morris. He grew up with his mom, dad, and four sisters in the spacious house that was attached to the small grocery store that his parents owned and operated for over 30 years. He is the middle child with two older and two younger sisters…needless to say, he never knew the joys of having to share clothes or a room. It was in the privacy of his own room that he spent hours writing, painting, and dreaming.
For over twenty years now, Greg has lived and worked in the city of St. Cloud, Minnesota where he and his lovely wife Cindy are raising three wonderful and imaginative children named Matthew, Emily and Anna. Both their cozy little northside house, as well as their three children, are featured throughout his current book which is entitled “I Hear the Wind”. The book is dedicated to his wife and children, as well as to the memory of his editor Craig Thorn IV who lost his courageous battle with cancer shortly before the book was released.
“Sometimes who we are and what we do are two different things.” Greg has said. He has spent a lifetime working at jobs that have nothing to do with writing or art, but he has always kept the hope alive that his talents will someday be recognized.
I received my copy of this book from Author Greg Budig