The Best Place by Tyler R. Tichelaar

974510_10151663791848201_608006594_n COVERWhat do King Arthur, Lyla Hopewell, and Marquette, MI have in common?  (Answer to follow)

Lyla Hopewell is full of spunk, spitfire, and is as tough as they come.  Sometimes growing up in an orphanage will do that to someone.  And, sometimes, when the pain is really deep, from let’s say . . . losing your family, that spunk and spitfire can burn inward until there is nothing left but empty bitterness.  Lyla’s journey to finding herself and learning the mysteries of her past is a long one.  People think that when you reach a certain age that you can no longer learn anything.  Lyla can tell you a different story because she doesn’t stop learning in 2005 when she is 77-years-old.  That whole year blossoms into something beautiful from one single, quiet closed-up life.  And, all the time that Lyla is learning to live her best friend Bel is experiencing her own difficult times, and this sets a bit of a small wedge between the life-long friends.

Now, I can’t tell you what happens between the girls because I’ve still got about 40 more pages to read.  I didn’t want to spoil the ending for anyone and I knew I might just do that—so I stopped short.

What I can tell you is the character development in this story is excellent.  Each person has strong definitive lines that are kept within in their own personality traits.  And, I don’t understand how the author can live inside a little girl’s head, go through the pain that this woman went through for 77 years, and then little by little as that magical year of 2005 passes by, all the bitterness starts to melt away, and she finally realizes what her life has meant and what wonderful possibilities she has in front of her.  How can someone who is absolutely crazy about King Arthur, and Marquette, MI possibly know what goes on in the life of an old woman?  Wait!  I forgot . . . it’s not one old woman–I forgot Lyla’s friend, Bel.  Not only that, but he absolutely nails the personality of the snippy, smart aleck 14 year old, and the 25 to 35 year old who is in love with the son of Lyla’s one-and-only pitiful romance from year’s past.

Now, no one gets murdered in this book, there’s no bloodshed to speak of, and really no violence going on—well . . . there would have been if Lyla could have gotten her hands on that little smart aleck, Josie.  She sure tried hard enough to catch her—and, for a 77 year old woman she sure gave that little girl a good chase.  So, if you don’t mind missing all the gory stuff and would just like to cuddle up with a really good story—then, this is your book.  Look at it this way–anyone who can write about King Arthur and Marquette, MI and still write a really great book about a woman’s life has got to be a very well-rounded, talented author.

Thank you Tyler Tichelaar for this lovely copy of your book “The Best Place,” and for the opportunity to give you my honest opinion of what I read.  I can’t wait for what you have in store for us next time.

 ♥  Read an excerpt from Tyler’s book. . . .

THE BEST PLACE–AT AMAZON

  • File Size: 738 KB
  • Print Length: 465 pages
  • Publisher: Marquette Fiction; 1 edition (June 10, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00DFKMUHS
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She’s My Dad by Iolanthe Woulff

Intriguing! Honest! Refreshing!

My first thought when I saw the high ratings for “She’s My Dad” was the author must have a lot of friends–the book cannot be that good.  And, even though I do review books I am happy to report that all the reviews are accurate.  There’s no fudging on this one.

“She’s My Dad” is not what I expected it to be.  It is not a journey of mismatched sour romances; nor it is a bShe's My Dad Coverook of soul searching, familiar movies, or transsexuals. Even though the book does have a transsexual person in it, it is not about the process or the whys and whatnots. It is a modern day allegory that shows the inside truth of people set in a northern Virginia college town.  The college openly accepts everyone through their doors who wants an education; but, there are some people who were bred in Southern tradition and are set about what they feel should be right and proper—and, they are not happy about Windfield College. And, they plan to do something about it.

This book is as fun as it is smart.  It is not written in the typical fifth-grade English that most novels today are. Actually, there are interesting words that pique one’s curiosity of how the characters interact with each other; however, not so many as to bog down the flow of the storyline. In addition to the intelligence of the book, it is witty, clever, and engaging—full of suspense and mystery.  Ms. Woulff has an amazing ability to paint the character portraits with incredible sharpness and clarity so you don’t lose sight of who is doing what.

What further surprised me was the interesting storyline.  I certainly was not expecting sub-plots that involved big ugly brutes and wealthy crime bosses who were involved in home-grown terrorism.  There are many interesting side stories that puzzle into the main characters’ lives and plot of the book.  Every one of them is clearly defined and is woven ever so carefully into the climax of the novel.  Normally, this type of literature (crime, guns, things that go boom, etc.) does not interest me; but, this was so well written I could not put it down.  The more I read, the h
ungrier I got.

Be forewarned that there are a few characters that use foul language occasionally; and, there are some scenes that are briefly sexual. That being aside, considering the sensitive nature of some of the material, I felt, it was handled with great care.

Overall, I absolutely loved the book!  Loved it!  The message it brings us is so important—so necessary, that I wish it were in every library, college, and bookstore in America.  Better than that—it really needs to be a movie.

Note: I’d like to thank both Iolanthe Woulff for this lovely copy of “She’s My Dad” and Review the Book.com for this opportunity.

SHE’S MY DAD at Amazon

  • File Size: 653 KB
  • Print Length: 471 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1432744054
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Outskirts Press, Inc. (November 13, 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0030EG3HW