Tag Archives: murder

The Monday Book: THE ANGEL MAKERS by Jessica Gregson

So you’re in a rural village during World War I and the guys are off fighting and you realize you’re better off without them. A few of you are, anyway. And then this prison camp of Italians gets put in nearby, and they need people to wash and cook…..

Yeah, you can kinda write the script from there. When the husbands come home, they leave again. Feet first. Through the door.

But let’s say some mothers-in-law and maybe an elderly parent or two need help across to the other side as well. How long will it take before the authorities come to investigate? And how quickly will they figure out what’s happening?

This book is all about the plot. Normally I like character-driven books, but this one had me rooting for the bad girls to the end. That plot just keeps rolling forward. It doesn’t even twist and turn. And the whole thing is the fictional retelling of a true story.

Heh heh heh.

There aren’t any particularly wonderful quotes. The writing is solid. The characters are pretty straight-forward. This is all about whodunit, and why, and whether they get caught or not.

Two syringes of poison up for this very interesting novel based on real events.

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Filed under Big Stone Gap, book reviews, Life reflections, Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap, publishing, reading, Uncategorized, Wendy Welch, what's on your bedside table, writing

Got Postcards?

Every once in awhile I ask blog readers for something. I try not to do it often, but it seems like a good reason this time; it’s for Jack.

So…. got postcards?

Jack and my friend Elizabeth (she’s in Little Bookstore) do prison visits, along with a few other Friends from the Quaker meeting at our bookstore. Each month they sit chatting with two or three federal prisoners who don’t have visitors for some reason. The prisoners have requested someone through the Prison Visiting Service, an ecumenical group.

Jack and E go out at 8 a.m. and return home about 1 p.m., drained. It’s hard to make these visits; I don’t go; I know my limits. Two weeks in and I’d be contacting lawyers and media, mounting campaigns to improve food, ensure funeral visits, all that stuff. I’m an empathic listener, internalizing everything.

Jack is not; he’s a smart, sympathetic listener with common sense. One man Jack visits was brought to America illegally as a seven-year-old, lived his life without papers and then, at the age of 32, was the passenger in a car stopped for running a red light. He’s doing six years. The other guy Jack visits has killed two people and stolen things. He’s doing life.

About ten days before their next visit, Elizabeth and Jack send prison-required postcards to their guys, telling them they’ll be there. The prisoners decorate their cells with these cards and trade duplicates with fellow inmates.

So…. if you have some cool postcards from your area, and it wouldn’t cost you much to slip half a dozen into an envelope, Jack and E and the other Quakers doing prison visits would get new views to send, and the guys would get cool cards to post on their wall. We’re running out of Wise County postcards.

We don’t know what it would cost those of you in Korea, Britain, and some other countries to mail six unused cards, so if it’s expensive, forget it and thanks anyway. American views from anyplace would be very appreciated, and if international posting can be done, yippee! Send them to 404 Clinton Ave E, Big Stone Gap, VA 24219. And thank you, on behalf of visitors and visitees alike.


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