The Darkest Child

The Darkest Child
The Darkest Child
by Delores Phillips

My rating* – 5

This book gets a 5 because I didn’t just read it…I lived it and I LOVED IT!

Set in Georgia in the late 50′s you can expect the elements of that time in history – racism, lynchings, fighting for equality – but that is all happening in the background. This story is about Rozelle Quinn or Miss Rosie, narrated by Tangy Mae Quinn her 7th and darkest child.

Tangy Mae is coming of age in time when Georgia was also coming of age. She is intelligent, she wants to finish school when finishing the 11th grade is unheard of in her family, she is curious about boys and she (like the rest of her siblings) is a victim of severe abuse. Her abuser? Miss Rosie!!!

Miss Rosie is freaking crazy. You want to look away, you keep praying for a silver lining and you continue reading because in your heart of hearts you just know it cannot get any worse, it just can’t….and then it does. And after only three chapters in you will be plotting the most painful death you can imagine for Miss Rosie’s. At least I was.

Delores Phillips delivered on this her debut novel. The plot was well-crafted and the themes were all relatable despite the extreme dysfunction. There is deep love and bitter hate existing in the same space. I mean this is the kind of story that book clubs are created for – it was chosen as this month’s pick for my club and I cannot wait to discuss this horrific yet somehow beautiful story.

Some of my favourites line were:

    “In less than five minutes our mother had taught us to never touch her metal box, and the true meaning of fear. I wondered that day if I was the only one in the room who knew that there was something terribly wrong with our mother.”

    “Satan is not going to leave. The only way to get him out is to invite God in, and God is not welcome in my mother’s house.”

    “I touch my scar to remind myself that I am not a coward. I am a Quinn.”

The Darkest Child is the most engrossing story I have read since Room by Emma Donoghue. I devoured it in just over eight hours and I didn’t want it to end. I wanted it to go on and on so that I could get some closure. But it when it ended it was in the perfect way. You have to read this book. You just have to. If only to come back here and discuss it.

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*my personal quality ratings are the scores I give books on a scale of 0-5 based on my personal opinion of a book. 0 is “birdcage liner” and 5 is “off-the-hook good”

Quote of the Day

Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark in the hopeless swamps of the not-quite, the not-yet, and the not-at-all.
Do not let the hero in your soul perish in lonely frustration for the life you deserved and have never been able to reach.
The world you desire can be won.
It exists.. it is real.. it is possible.. it’s yours.

- Ayn Rand

7 for Seven

I opened the newspaper this morning to read the gruesome news that a father killed his two children – ages 2 years old and 10 months old – and then himself. Worse start to the day and week! What possesses a father to kill his child – far less his two babies? I pray that those babies find peace.

Today more than ever, I needed some positive vibes. We take so much for granted everyday. I hope you take some time to just slow down and acknowledge all the blessings in your life. Be thankful for life. Appreciate your loved ones.


…every Monday, we post seven positives from the previous seven days of the week as a reminder of what we have so that the week starts out on an upswing. There is much truth in the belief that happy people attract good things, so it is important to start the week out right. Sometimes it’s the more grand, but other times, it’s the simple things.
~ Key + Arrow

7 for Seven originated at Key + Arrow and I think being thankful for all the goodness in my life has been the best way to start my week. So much so Mondays are becoming one of my favourite days of the week. I love reminding myself how much I have to be thankful for.

So here are my 7 positives for this week:

7 for Seven week 15

My hope is that by turning my focus to all that I have to be grateful for at the start of my work week, by sowing my own seeds of faith and gratitude, I can carry with me and reap the rewards of “positivity + balance + bliss” throughout the days ahead. Here’s to good health and being able to breathe!

What are you grateful for this week? Please feel free to share below.

The Night Circus


The Night Circus
by Erin Morgenstern

My rating* – 2.9

This review contains spoilers.

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway: a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them both, this is a game in which only one can be left standing. Despite the high stakes, Celia and Marco soon tumble headfirst into love, setting off a domino effect of dangerous consequences, and leaving the lives of everyone, from the performers to the patrons, hanging in the balance. - Book Description courtesy GoodReads

I wanted to like this book and I tried hard to. But like the two magicians trapped in this monochromatic prison of their own “creation”…I too felt trapped in the imagination of Erin Morgenstern. And this was not a good thing.

“Fierce competition” my ass. This “competition” was a beautiful ballet of tit for tat. Nothing fierce about it. While reading this book I kept getting the feeling that the writer was envisioning how the scenes would look on the silver screen. While at first tolerable, Morgenstern went into so much detail in some cases about the “amazements” of the circus that after a while it was just boring. She would do well to learn that it’s okay to let the reader’s imagination do the heavy lifting sometimes.

There are two suicides and a murder, so there is that. But it felt gratuitous somehow. This circus does not have animals thank the literary gods for that, but there are ageless magicians with no shadows (vampires?) and some ghosts thrown in for good measure. There is glass-shattering sex which made me laugh out loud. Also not a good thing. Celia and Marco’s love story is wooden and there were shocks of red hair everywhere. Oh and Morgenstern must have said the circus smelled like caramel at least 10 times.

I gave this book an almost 3, because the prose was well written but other than that I just wanted it to get to its point. I think some of the scenes will be magnificent to see on-screen – the book is being made into a movie this year so Morgenstern has achieved her real goal.

My favourite line was:

    Wine is bottled poetry.

Because you will need lots of it to get through this book. There are fifteen different POVs and keeping up with the time jumps gets tedious very quickly. Good luck making the relevant connections. This book had potential because it deals with some pretty heavy stuff – love, death and living a life worth living, dreams and dreaming and how we perceive the world around us. But it never quite gets there. The story is slow and the descriptions of everything while beautiful is ultimately boring.

I will however, go see the movie because Hollywood magic – beautiful actors, awesome soundtrack and the power of green screens, with an explosion thrown in – just might take this story to level it was trying so hard to achieve otherwise.

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*my personal quality ratings are the scores I give books on a scale of 0-5 based on my personal opinion of a book. 0 is “birdcage liner” and 5 is “off-the-hook good”

7 for Seven

Can you believe it? We’re already 7 days into April – no joke!

Where did the time go right? I still cannot believe that I have been doing this 7 for Seven series for more than three months already. But I am so happy that I started it.

…every Monday, we post seven positives from the previous seven days of the week as a reminder of what we have so that the week starts out on an upswing. There is much truth in the belief that happy people attract good things, so it is important to start the week out right. Sometimes it’s the more grand, but other times, it’s the simple things.
~ Key + Arrow

7 for Seven originated at Key + Arrow and I think being thankful for all the goodness in my life has been the best way to start my week. So much so Mondays are becoming one of my favourite days of the week. I love reminding myself how much I have to be thankful for.

So here are my 7 positives for this week:

7 for Seven week 14

My hope is that by turning my focus to all that I have to be grateful for at the start of my work week, by sowing my own seeds of faith and gratitude, I can carry with me and reap the rewards of “positivity + balance + bliss” throughout the days ahead. Here’s to good health and being able to breathe!

What are you grateful for this week? Please feel free to share below.

BBQ: You are my dream girl

Man do I suck at dating.

And dating on an island with just over 1.3 million people can be damned hard at times. Everybody knows everybody…and after I factor in married men, incarcerated men, men who like men only, men who are actually ready for a relationship, the ones I’ve dated which I can count on one hand aaand my brother (is it weird that I included my brother here?)…I’m not left with that many options.

Yup sometimes things can get very bleak! That’s why today’s Beautiful Blog Quote is an important reminder that Love and Loving starts within. (Tweet this)

GGRenee, of All the Many Layers is one of my favourite bloggers. I am always inspired by her posts and interviews. On Tuesday she interviewed the lovely Isis Nezbeth and her woman to woman advice is nothing short of a diamond. You can read the whole awesome interview here.

Dream Girl 2014

GG Renee is living life her way. She is focused on “constructing the present and dreaming the future”. She is always creating and if you want to read more about her and be as inspired as I am you can click here.

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I’m participating in this wonderful series created by Kozo over at everydaygurus.com If you haven’t heard about it please click here to read more.

BBQ
If you want to be part of this awesomeesauce BBQ, here’s how you do it:

  • Take a quotation from a favourite blogger
  • Create a BBQ post with the quotation
  • Link back to the blogger you quoted
  • Tag your post BBQLUV
  • Link to other BBQLUV posts (optional)

Weekly Photo Challenge: Threshold

Stone Haven Beach, Tobago

“(S)He had the vague sense of standing on a threshold, the crossing of which would change everything.”
― Kate Morton,
The Forgotten Garden
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