Dowsing For Love

I won Dowsing for Love, by Dick Croy, in a Goodreads giveaway a little over a month ago and finally got around to reading it.  This book tells the story of two men, Cork Rockner and Walter Barry, switching around the points of view until the stories finally converged as the two men were both involved in a project together.

The book begins with Cork having trouble in his relationship with Carlotta, just as he knew he would. Trouble with women seemed to be his pattern, and he fully expected this pattern continue. Perhaps a self-fulfilling prophesy, but still something that he didn’t feel he could escape, he and Carlotta broke-up and he moved back in with his parents. I have to say that Cork was one of the most selfish people, um, characters, that I’ve met. In the first few chapters, he was spouting all sorts of crap to Carlotta. The problem, he said, stemmed from the fact that he couldn’t feel the love for Carlotta that he had at one point. And he also thought that people were in relationships for purely selfish reasons, and that a person’s commitment was to himself, not to the other person involved. He even goes on to say to Carlotta, “It all depends on you. Any weakness or thoughtlessness of mine can’t hurt you, once you’re really able to see that you’re ultimately doing this for you — and I’m doing it for me.” Ha. What a selfish jerk.

Anyway, Cork’s relationships aren’t all that this book is about. Cork used to be a film producer in Hollywood and he did an episode about dowsing and healing, etc. Walter Barry was the featured dowser. After Cork moves back in with his parents, he begins to think about the problems involving his hometown. One of the wells that provides the town’s water supply is contaminated with a toxin. The city is already in the process of drilling test wells, trying to pinpoint the location of the source of the contamination, but so far, nothing has been found. Cork has the bright idea of contacting Walter Barry to see if he might be able to dowse for the source of the contamination. Walter agrees to try and comes to Cork’s hometown.

Meanwhile, Cork has begun to date again and his current girlfriend, Brook, is very supportive of his endeavor to help the city. Finally, Walter is able to find the source of the contamination and city’s other wells are saved from being polluted.

In the epilogue, we find out that Cork and Brook are married and it is hinted at that Cork and Carlotta are friends, or at least civil to each other.

This book has a few appendices about dowsing and dowsing rods that I have to admit I only skimmed over. The author based Walter Barry’s character primarily on Wayne Cook, a real-life California dowser. Also, the author states that the book is a “hybrid novel/biography/nonfiction account of dowsing.” So I do have to wonder about Cork. Was he completely a made-up character? Because while he did have some redeeming qualities, I really didn’t like him.

Overall, I would say that I did enjoy this book, at least from the “novel” standpoint. It was well-written, easy to read, and somewhat educational in how it introduced the reader to the art/science of dowsing.

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The Lion and the Swastika

I won The Lion and the Swastika, by Anna Bruni Benson, in a giveaway on Goodreads. I actually received the book at the end of October, but due to NaNoWriMo, I just now got around to reading it.

This book is basically a coming of age story set during World War II, told from the view point of a young girl, Marina. It is set in Italy, primarily Venice, and includes much history that I haven’t really read about before.

In the beginning of the book, Marina is a young carefree girl. She has grown accustomed to daily sirens, but her life hasn’t seemed to be affected much. Things quickly change as the Nazis/Fascists invade and occupy Italy. Marina is forced to grow-up quickly and even does her part delivering messages and passing information for the partisans. It was during these tasks that she met Guido and fell in love. She is outraged at the injustice and is all to eager to to her part to fight for and defend her beloved country.

Part history, part romance, and part inspiration, this book was very enjoyable to read. Anna Bruni Benson, the author, does state that the story was based on her own experience. However, it is not specified if she based Marina’s character on her personal experiences, or just bits and pieces that she incorported. It would be interesting to know the answer to this question.

I really enjoyed reading this book. I wanted to know more about the characters, especially the budding romance between Marina and Guido. For the most part, it was well written, although there were a few minor typos in the printing of the book. I don’t pretend to be an expert on history, but I do like reading about it, especially through the point of view of characters like Marina.

Darklight

Back to reading again! I haven’t read a book since, well, since October. And since I read Wondrous Strange, I’ve really wanted to read Lesley Livingston’s second book in the series, Darklight. So, within mere hours of finishing winning NaNoWriMo, I was at my local library, checking out this book.

It has been about six months since Kelley Winslow has seen Sonny Flannery. He is back in the Otherworld, doing the bidding of Unseelie King Auberon, tracking down and killing recently released members of the Wild Hunt so that they might not inflict chaos and destruction on the Faerie realms. Kelley now has the lead role of Juliet in Romeo and Juliet back in New York, but misses Sonny more that she can say.

Stubbornly and sentimentally, Kelley cannot stay away from Central Park. One of her excursions ends in a wild chase from an angry and homicidal leprechaun, which results in being thrown into the Otherworld. Her happy reunion with Sonny is cut short, as magick in the Faerie realm seems to have plans for them.

Eventually, Sonny gives up his chase for members of the Wild Hunt, telling Kelley that he loves her and he will never leave her again. Meanwhile, Kelley discovers secrets about Sonny’s father, and power that has been passed down to Sonny. In a “final battle,” Sonny believes that Kelley is dead, causing him to unleash the power he didn’t know he possessed. It is strong and could take over, forever changing him and being dangerous for those around him. Kelley finds a way to hide this knowledge from Sonny, retrieving something that was taken from him that is able to hide this power from Sonny himself.

Kelley knows that Sonny loves her, which makes her the most dangerous person for him to be around. If something ever happened to her again, Sonny could again unleash his power and leave a path of destruction in his wake. This is too much for Kelley to bear, so she puts her acting skills to work. Sonny overhears Kelley’s conversation with her roommate and best friend, Tyff. “I don’t love Sonny Flannery,” she says. And as everyone knows, Faerie can’t lie.

I did enjoy this book, and I’ll definitely read the third and final book in the series, Tempestuous, when it is released later this month. This was a quick read, full of action and a bit of romance as well.