REVIEW: LIFELINES, BY HEIDI DIEHL

 

It’s 1971 when Louise leaves Oregon for Düsseldorf, a city grappling with its nation’s horrific recent history, to study art. Soon she’s embroiled in a scene dramatically different from the one at home, thanks in large part to Dieter, a mercurial musician. Their romance ignites quickly, but life gets in the way: an unplanned pregnancy, hasty marriage, the tense balance of their creative ambitions, and—finally, fatally—a family secret that shatters Dieter, and drives Louise home.

But in 2008 she’s headed to Dieter’s mother’s funeral. She never returned to Germany, and has since remarried, had another daughter, and built a life in Oregon. As she flies into the heart of her past, she reckons with the choices she made, and the ones she didn’t, just as her family—current and former—must consider how Louise’s life has shaped their own, for better and for worse.

 

 

My Thoughts: Lifelines opens with Louise ready to board a plane for Germany to attend her former mother-in-law’s funeral. Her daughter Elke has begged for her to attend.

In a sweeping style that takes us back and forth in time, we come to know these characters, with all their flaws and foibles. I enjoyed the peek back into the 1970s, with the cultural issues present in Germany heightened by the world known by Louise and Dieter…and then we see what happens when Louise returns to Oregon and meets Richard, who becomes her second husband. There is a push and pull between Louise, Dieter, and Richard as they struggle to set aside their past lives and move on.

In the present, Elke and Margot, children of the primary characters, show us how they try to find their way while attempting to understand what happened between their parents in the past. A saga that spotlights a time and its issues. 4.5 stars.

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HUMP DAY RAMBLINGS: PAST & PRESENT….

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Good morning, and welcome to another Hump Day…the first one in March!

In honor of the new month, I peeked into the archives to see what I was doing a year ago.  Here’s that post:

 

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Good morning, and welcome to my Hump Day Serendipitous Ramblings.

Except…it’s not Hump Day…not yet!

I did a makeover here, late last night while waiting to enter my link over at Bibliophile by the Sea, where I participate in Tuesday Intros.

My header (above), and the background that surrounds us, remind me of Spring.

Today is the first day since the weekend that hasn’t brought rain.  The sidewalks and my patio are dry, although the mess of leaves on the patio should draw me out there…to rake, sweep, or whatever.

But no, I’ll save that task for later.  This morning I’ve been visiting blogs, and thinking about the book I’m reading (No One Knows). And planning about the one to read next.

 

 

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Should I read the older book that has been on Pippa for ages?  Or what about this one that I featured today in my Tuesday IntrosUnder the Influence, by Joyce Maynard.  I have wanted to get my hands on this one since I first heard about it.  I pre-ordered it in November!

 

 

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Since it’s not raining, maybe I should go to the mall and check into some of the things I need, all that I’ve been postponing because the rain made me want to curl up here:

 

 

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Tomorrow (the REAL Hump Day) I have an appointment for my annual physical, something I always dread, as I never know what the doctor will scold me about…or, I do, but I don’t want to hear it!

My granddaughter Fiona texted me about getting together tomorrow, so maybe with that to look forward to….

She has been posting on Facebook about her classes for her Medical Assistant’s certification…about blood draws, etc.  She looks a little scary here with her stethoscope and the scrubs…LOL.

 

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So…it’s that kind of day.  Stuff to do, procrastination, and things to contemplate.  What does your Not Quite Hump Day look like?

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As I ponder the actual day ahead of me, I take a page from last year’s book and ponder what to read next.  As I did back then, I look outside to see what is going on there.  No rain today!

Yesterday I went to Barnes & Noble and did not find a book…I mostly shop on Amazon.  But I did buy a Vintage decorating magazine.  I love looking at the photos.

A difference from a year ago is here in my living room, (below).  Remember, I changed out the lamps.  The one on the left, in the foreground, once lived on my rolltop desk.  The one in the background used to be in the foreground.

 

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Also, Fiona, always trying new things (and faces) is now in a different vocational program….she hasn’t settled on what career path to take.  But she just turned twenty…so let’s give her time!

Enjoy your March…and your Hump Day.  What are your plans, thoughts, reminiscences?

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HUMP DAY READING: WHAT DOES YOURS LOOK LIKE?

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Today I’m participating in Sam’s WWW Wednesdays.  Here’s how it works:

 

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next, and/or what are you eagerly awaiting?

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Currently, I’m reading Beach Blues, by Joanne DeMaio, and already I am feeling swept away to the shore at Stony Point.

 

 

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My last read was All the Missing Girls, by Megan Miranda, a NetGalley review book to be released on 6/28/16.  (Click title for my review).

 

 

 

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What am I eagerly anticipating?  In Twenty Years, by Allison Winn Scotch, an author I enjoy.  Her newest book is coming on July 1. 

 

 

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Twenty years ago, six Penn students shared a house, naively certain that their friendships would endure—until the death of their ringleader and dear friend Bea splintered the group for good. Now, mostly estranged from one another, the remaining five reluctantly gather at that same house on the eve of what would have been Bea’s fortieth birthday.

But along with the return of the friends come old grudges, unrequited feelings, and buried secrets. Catherine, the CEO of a domestic empire, and Owen, a stay-at-home dad, were picture-perfect college sweethearts—but now teeter on the brink of disaster. Lindy, a well-known musician, is pushing middle age in an industry that’s all about youth and slowly self-destructing as she grapples with her own identity. Behind his smile, handsome plastic surgeon Colin harbors the heartbreaking truth about his own history with Bea. And Annie carefully curates her life on Instagram and Facebook, keeping up appearances so she doesn’t have to face the truth about her own empty reality.

Reunited in the place where so many dreams began, and bolstered by the hope of healing, each of them is forced to confront the past.

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What are you reading?  What did you just finish?  What’s up next?  Come on by, and let’s chat.

 

 

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