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Adult Fiction Books

Coincidence, J.W. Ironmonger’s U.S. Fiction Debut

coincidence

 

Are you in a book club? Looking for the next book club pick that will rival your previous good picks?  I’ve stumbled across this one that proves to be a keeper.  It’s called Coincidence and it’s JW Ironmonger’s US fiction debut. Ironmonger (dontcha love that name?) was born in East Africa and has been previously published in the UK where he now lives.

Ironmonger prolly lives in a quaint little house near 212B Baker Street.  Not really, because that street is in London and Ironmonger (can’t stop saying that name!) lives in Shropshire, which, according to Wikipedia, is west of there.

So, more like a quaint little village that Hyacinth Bucket lives in.

 

 

Back to Coincidence:

Azalea Lewis’s life has been dominated by coincidences – a bizarre, and increasingly troubling, series of chance events so perfectly coordinated that any sane person would conclude that only the hidden hand of providence could explain them.

On Midsummer’s Day, 1982, at the age of three, Azalea was found wandering a fairground in England, alone, too young to explain what had happened to her or her parents. After a brief investigation, she was declared a ward of the court, and placed in foster care. The following year, the body of a woman – her mother – was found on a nearby beach. Everyone had forgotten about the little girl, and no connection was ever made. The couple who adopted Azalea brought her to Africa where – on Midsummer’s Day, 1992 – they were killed in a Ugandan uprising while trying to protect their children. Azalea is spared on that day, but as she grows into adulthood, she discovers that her life has been shaped by an uncanny set of coincidences – all of them leading back to her birth mother, and the three men who could have been her father, each who have played an improbable but very real role in her fate.

Troubled by what she has uncovered – and increasingly convinced that she, too, will meet her fate on Midsummer’s Day – she approaches Thomas Post, a rational-minded academic whose specialty is debunking our belief in coincidence, the belief that certain events are linked, even predestined by the hands of fate. Even as they fall in love, Thomas tries to help Azalea to understand her past as a series of random events – not divinely predetermined. Yet as the fateful date draws closer, Thomas begins to fear he may lose her all together; that she may throw herself into the very fate she fears.

I know right?  Can’t wait to read it!! Doesn’t this sound like the perfect book club book?

And who doesn’t’ love the name Azalea?

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Books

A Christmas Carol – The Concert

Every year many families engage in their holiday traditions.  My family is no different.  I have been a public television fan since  Sesame Street and Mister Rogers came on the air.  In the Philadelphia metro region, I have come to look forward to watching holiday shows on my local station, WHYY.  We are Dickens fans and competitively seek the latest or oldest or most unusual retelling of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.  My husband is a fan of the ghastly old Jacob Marley and his shackles.

Imagine my delight when I discovered there was a musical version of my fave holiday tale!

A Christmas Carol – The Concert, is the classic Dickens tale performed as a dramatic concert featuring a full symphony orchestra, choir, rhythm section, a Narrator, and three soloists. With a brand new score by Bob Christianson and Alisa Hauser, A Christmas Carol – The Concert has musical styles that range from classical and Broadway, to blues and gospel. Hear and see this classic ghost story as you’ve never heard it before!

I watched A Christmas Carol with trepidation; fearful that my Dickensian fantasies would be torn to shreds by a goofy guitar riff or an unusually uptempo piano beat.

unconventional librarian

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am pleased to say that I was not disappointed! A Christmas Carol – The Concert was everything I’d hoped it would be.  It was the same tale that I loved, married by that magical je ne sais quoi that only public television can provide.  A Christmas Carol certainly should be sung! The full throated narrator (E. Faye Butler) jolts you out of your seat as she introduces the tale.  You are hooked as the performance draws you in.  I didn’t move until Belle (Arya Daire) and Scrooge’s (Michael Aaron Linder) break up scene.  Who knew a break up could be so emotional? I moved to grab tissues; I knew I would need more.

And I did need more tissues.  Even though we all know the story of poor little Tiny Tim, Bob Cratchit’s (one of many roles played by the talented Scott Coulter) beautiful ode to his son left me weeping and cursing old miserly Scrooge. Even though we all know how A Christmas Carol ends, isn’t it grand to see the old miser’s face wake up and realize he’s gotten a chance at redemption?

Yes it is. It is quite grand.

And so is this musical performance.  Start to finish the concert kept me entertained and will be part of my holiday tradition in the future.

Now I want a sparkly jacket like the orchestra conductor (Amy Duran) and I want to learn to speak as majestically as The Narrator.    In fact, I may practice on everyone I meet.

After I watch A Christmas Carol – The Concert one more time.

A Christmas Carol – The Concert airs December 22, check your local TV listings.  Come back and tell me how you loved it!