Book Reviews: A Jolt to the Heart and The Cookie Caper
December 11, 2014
THERE IS ONE CENTRAL THEME that makes a work of fiction worthwhile for the reader. The story didn’t really happen, but it could have. And if it did, how would the story affect those whose lives it either brought together or tore apart.
Felicity Price has told such a story in her riveting novel, A Jolt to the Heart.
The small town of Christchurch is in shambles.
Ellie’s life is in turmoil.
An earthquake has struck.
Destructive aftershocks have left the town and the countryside in ruin.
What caused it?
Will the violence ever cease?
And will anyone ever be quite the same again?
Ellie doubts if she will.
She, the friends she knows, and the strangers she doesn’t, all face a sever strain of monumental proportions.
They must rebuild their town.
And in the midst of chaos and tragedy, they must rebuild their lives.
For Ellie, it won’t be easy.
Hundreds are dead.
Her husband is among them.
And standing with her at his funeral is an old flame that should have been permanently extinguished forty years ago.
Lew Hastings had dutifully served as best man at Ellie’s wedding, but his secret and his undying love for her had never died or withered away.
It’s not the time for his feelings about Ellie to be rekindled.
But he can’t stop his own emotions.
Their personal lives are on a collision course that could be just as destructive as the earthquakes.
Can Lew forget the past?
Can Ellie ever walk away from the pain of the present and begin again?
Will love escape them?
Or will love prevail?
Felicity Price skillfully peels away one layer after another to reveal a bittersweet romance between two people caught and trying to survive in the ugly ruins of a natural disaster.
It’s a terrible shame that we have to grow up. There was a time when we could see the curious complexities of the world through the eyes of someone like KaSandra Dang. She had the eyes of innocence, and her personal tale winding through the 112 pages of The Cookie Caper is guaranteed to make you smile, feel better about yourself, and celebrate the joys of living regardless of your mood on even the worst of days.
You’ll stand and cheer for KaSandra and the determination she exudes. She is only ten years old. She’s a fourth grader and known as KK to her friends.
She is bright.
She is smart.
She is saucy.
She has a tough but positive attitude and has never seen any odds or obstacles that she doesn’t believe she can overcome.
KK doesn’t understand defeat.
It’s not in her vocabulary.
KK is the hero of a story that will immediately be near and dear to the hearts and
minds of parents, teachers and children alike.
The illustrations are engaging and wonderful visuals, and the storyline carries a simple, gentle, and heartwarming message that won’t soon be forgotten.
The Cookie Caper has a mystery, to be sure.
Who is the schoolyard thief?
Who is stealing student lunches?
Can KK and her cohorts – Winifred, Claire, and Daniel – be clever enough to set a trap and capture the formidable “Lunch-ito Bandito?”
And will they be able to unravel a super secret neighborhood organization called Secret Agents for Moms.
Don’t dare bet against them.
KK and her friends know what’s important in life.
They understand loyalty.
And they make us wish that we were children once again and wondering why we no longer are able to see complexities around us with simple and innocent eyes.
In writing for children, Nicholas Sheridan is a talented author who has told a story that touches us all.