[Book Review] Gables Court

I was emailed by the author to review his book yesterday — I read it in one night. Let me just start off with stating that this is the first review request where I’m compelled to give a rating of 5 out of 5 stars! The book is that good!

Gables Court, by Alan S. Kessler (available on Amazon.com) is a very well written novel. I am usually not so generous with my criticism (even when I always try to be “nice” to every novice author who requests an Amazon review from me); but this book really has the makings of being a potential hit or even a NYT Best Seller.

I admit, at first, I didn’t think I would enjoy it. I mean, Kessler started his novel with one-page chapters and a rather odd fixation on Van Gogh that seemed all over the place, all of a sudden jumping from childhood to adult in a matter of less than 5 pages into the novel — but the novel redeems itself relatively fast, so that even though you’re not quite sure if you’re interested, you are engaged quickly once Samuel actually starts having a real dialogue in the book.

Samuel is a wealthy secular Jewish lawyer, during the Vietnam War era, when the draft was in full force. He’s from the New England area, and moves down to Miami to get some work experience as a newbie lawyer. He starts off with eviction cases. He moves to an apartment complex call the Gables Court, where he meets characters that develop his life (even though he’s already 24 by the time this all happens — so he’s no naive “little boy”).

You feel kind of bad for the poor schmuck! He can’t get a break in love, it seems. Kate reminds me of Ginger (Sharon Stone) from that mob movie Casino (the one with Joe Pesci and Robert De Niro). I mean, even though it doesn’t really go into any details, you kind of just assume she’s a woman who has lost her looks as the years go by, and it was something that she had depended on heavily… you also assume she’s some kind of druggie too (at least I did).

I was disappointed by the abrupt ending though, kind of a non-ending almost. All of a sudden he feels there’s a chance of hope in love when he’s at a diner and sees some Russian waitress who references Van Gogh — a bit too Hollywood-ish in my opinion, but even the lacking of an ending doesn’t take away from the overall appeal of the bulk of the novel.

I highly recommend this book as a “good read” — I wish Mr. Kessler huge success with it.

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NYE

2017…

Like 2016, the year had it’s ups and downs, with my hubby being one of my greatest blessings. We got engaged after 8 months, and he has truly turned out to be as amazing a husband as I had ever hoped for in 2017. We had a wonderful (short) 6 months engagement, beautiful wedding, a lovely honeymoon, and now a honeymoon-baby (the baby is due on our wedding anniversary week in 2018, so he’ll be born within our first year of marriage — the “honeymoon period”!). ♡

But like 2016, 2017 ended on a death.

Although, I was more devastated by Shari’s passing in 2016 because it was more personal to me. It was the first time I’ve experienced the death of someone I had a personal relationship with. This has been an especially hard week for my mom-in-law who has to deal with two deaths back-to-back of family members that she was very closed to during the holidays.

Despite the heart aches, I continue to count my blessings with everything God has given me. I can’t look back, because the past only makes me weaker. I have so much to be grateful for.

Dealing with any sort of loss is hard. I wish the year had ended on a happy note, but sometimes I think a bad ending reminds me of how many things I do have to be thankful for — I mean, I’ve gotten everything I’ve ever wanted, ever since I was 13 and wrote out my list after reading The Great Gatsby. (I don’t have the list anymore, but I surprisingly still remember it.)

2018 will be better. I will make it better. ♡

(This was a wonderful week in Key Largo, at the most beautiful private resort) – I hit the jackpot with my hubby, he’s the greatest guy, I am so blessed. God loves me the most. ♡

Honeymoon ♡

My hubby booked our honeymoon on his own (I feel we could have definitely gotten a better deal if we had shopped around online, but he doesn’t have the patience for that kind of stuff). We spent about $5,000 on our honeymoon, he had booked it through Expedia, I think (I vaguely remember).

We went dining at lots of local restaurants, but also at the beautiful restaurants at our resort. Our resort was gorgeous, with its own private beach; lots of activities on site, dining, even live entertainment on site — there was bocce ball, tennis, basketball, foosball, etc. A beauty spa, gym, fire pits… I even stole their mini shampoos and soap when I left because it smells like heaven, ha!

The only thing was that there was occasional sprinkling of rain, kind of like in Hawaii actually — but one night, I did get caught in a heavy downpour with lightning and thunder though.

We went kayaking (my hubby wanted to go scuba diving or snorkeling, but I don’t know how to swim)… and since I never went kayaking either, I wore a life-vest, and my hubby didn’t paddle very far out from shore. We went fishing right off our pier at the resort’s private beach; we also went deep sea fishing on a charter boat, went on a glass-bottom boat ride to a coral reef, checked out an aquarium… Mostly we dined and stayed in bed (I want a honeymoon baby, ha!). ♡

Baghran

The mister text me super early this morning. For some odd reason I went to sleep around midnight and woke up around 3AM. Why???

He told me they’re flying to their FOB today, and they took some rocket hits in Baghran, but thankfully no one got hurt.

I try to text his mom with updates because he usually spends his free time just texting me instead. They were stuck in Kuwait for a few days because the heat was so bad that their flight was cancelled due to the plane being too hot, making it too heavy to fly.

The guys had left last week, and it was also the day that I got my essay results for my license. Sometimes I feel bad when I send his mom updates because I don’t want his family to feel ignored by him or second place, but I think they would rather know what’s going on with him over there than had no update at all about him.

Every day he sends me a text to tell me that he loves me and misses me. He’s definitely my motivator when I get out of bed at 05:30, and leave the house at 06:20, just to get to work around 07:30… ugh, I haven’t done an hour commute for work since I worked in NYC! I only signed a one year contract with the school district, and we’re preparing for Georgia next summer. (I’ve never been to the peach state before!) ♡