Tag Archives: Syr Ruus

4 Reviews: Uncommon Danger by Eric Ambler; Krambambuli by Syr Ruus; St. George and the Dragon by Beth Andrews; The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit by Sloan Wilson

Hi Everyone! I hope you are finding books to read from these brief reviews. Here are four more.

Title: Uncommon Danger

Author: Eric Ambler

Published: 1937

This is an old book I found – I love old books – and selected for prompt #17 – “A character “on the run”” in the 52BookClub challenge.

A freelance journalist is travelling by train when he meets another man who befriends him. That man asks him to carry an envelope for him, that he says holds his savings, because he is afraid that he will be relieved of it at checkpoints. The journalist thinks it odd but reluctantly agrees. That decision places the journalist in great danger when he finds the man murdered. The story involves government secrets, theft, villains, kidnappings, and much going on. Good mystery story.

Title: Krambambuli

Author: Syr Ruus

Published: October 2018

This is the book I chose for the 52bookclub reading challenge prompt #34 “a 5-star read.” I also used this book for the Indigo reading challenge under the prompt “A non-fiction book by a Canadian author.”


I don’t want to say too much and perhaps fail to do this book justice.
This is a memoir that is so very interesting, educational, personal. The author (with whom I am privileged to be acquainted) was born in Estonia, her life being deeply affected by WWII. She, with her mother, became displaced persons who lived in three different countries while trying to find a safe place to make their home. As immigrants they found passage to the US on a ship they hoped would not be bombed along the way. (Imagine it!)
The story is told through memories from the author’s childhood when she was a little girl full of fears and feelings of inadequacy and loneliness. (Her father was more absent than present in her life.) She tells about her life later in North America and her difficult relationship with her mother during her life in the US and after she immigrated to Canada. It made me wonder and marvel at the lovely woman that little girl became, overcoming so much. She has authored several very interesting books and is an encouragement to other writers.

Title: St. George and the Dragon

Author: Beth Andrews

Published: July 2005

I chose this book for the 52BookClub challenge and used it for prompt #43 – “a character with a pet cat.” The cat shows up rather late in the story but it still counts.

This story is based in England when the greatest courtesy was shown ladies by gentlemen, all in great formality and proper etiquette. A man of status challenged his nephew and his friend to accept a wager. He had them go to the elegant home of two young women who lived quiet, private lives, with instructions to woo them, win them, and then jilt them. Their reward would be a large sum of money. There is the suspected matter of “the dragon”, but things do not go quite as planned. Through surprises, resistance, humorous incidents, misunderstandings, the men realize their uncle and friend had placed them in an unexpected position.

Title: The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit

Author: Sloan Wilson

Published: 1955

This is a really enjoyable read, which I chose for the 52BookClub challenge prompt #19 – “Book with a deckled edge.” I also used it for the club’s February mini-challenge prompt ”book with a red spine.” (My copy of the book is not the same as shown here, but is a gray hardcover with a red spine.)


A young man and his wife live in a lower class area and want a better home for themselves and their three children. He changes jobs, going to work for a wealthy businessman, with the hope of moving up in salary and importance, and then suffers through the changes it causes in his life. He also is haunted by a relationship he had during the war when he was away from his wife. He and his wife struggle in their marriage and realize they must be honest with themselves and one another in order to make a future together.
It seems a bit too cut and dried in my opinion by today’s standards, but it still is a great story.

Any comments on these books? Have you enjoyed any of them?

Thanks for reading, and … Happy Musings! 🙂

Book Review: The Story of Gar – by Syr Ruus

The Story of Gar
Book: The Story of Gar
Author: Syr Ruus
Publisher: etc. Press Ltd., 
Canada
Date: 2014
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 166
Price: $20.00
My Rating: A fascinating story 
that's different and sweetly 
memorable

 

 

I was delighted to be gifted a copy of The Story of Gar by Syr Ruus. Having read both of her first two novels – Lovesongs of Emmanuel Taggart  and  Devil’s Hump – which I have also reviewed here, I was eager to find out what marvellous tale the author had written this time. I was not disappointed. 

The Story of Gar is about a young mother looking for a new home for herself and her three small children, a man who is alone and likes it that way, a family of crows also uprooted from their home. We are given the interesting view of life seen mostly from the perspective of one young crow in particular. At first notion it may seem a curious plot, however, you really should read this book! Syr Ruus has woven a story that pulls the reader in, holds one’s attention, and thrills with her storytelling.

This book is really about relationships and interactions – people with people, people with nature. The young family is needing a new life, and the man  who helps them finds his life changing – for the better – because of them. His gift to them brings a whole new dimension to everyone’s life.

The Story of Gar is a novel that a young person would enjoy. There are a couple of tastefully handled places more for mature readers, small sections that can easily be skipped over and not ruin the story should a parent/guardian prefer the younger reader not read them.

A portion of this novel was awarded the Joyce Barkhouse Award by the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia.

The Story of Gar was shortlisted in the Ken Klonsky Novella Contest (Quattro Books, Toronto.)

If you want to read this book it can be obtained directly from the author. Please write to her at: syr(at)eastlink(dot)ca 

You can find The Story of Gar listed on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Book Review: Devil’s Hump – by Syr Ruus

Devil's Hump
Book: Devil’s Hump
Author: Syr Ruus
Publisher: etc. Press Ltd., Canada
Date: August 2013
Genre: regional fiction
Pages: 148
Price: $20.00
My rating: an amazing tale to satisfy the mind

 

I purchased this book from the author, and what a treat. Syr Ruus has written an amazing tale to satisfy the mind. She believes “one shouldn’t take the time to write what is already on the bookshelf” and – since this approach does not work for everyone – I admire her for daring to be different and succeeding at it. Her writing is compelling. Devil’s Hump is not like any novel I have ever read, which is certainly not a bad thing. It was intriguing and kept me curious and reading.

The story around Devil’s Hump begins in the early 1920’s on a fictional island off Nova Scotia, Canada. (FYI: there are hundreds of small islands off Nova Scotia’s coast so it could be similar to several of them.)

Devil’s Hump is written in five sections, each addressing a pivotal character in the story. Although separated it’s not disjointed because each part relates back to, and interconnects with, the main story in a very interesting way. The reader gets to know each character and to appreciate how they individually saw and understood the events that happened. When reaching the ending to this marvellous story, the reader may wonder ‘what if?’ while at the same time being satisfied with how it wraps up.

Syr Ruus wrote a very interesting and well-constructed novel. Although it is not always advisable to try to write the way people speak because it can get hard to follow, Syr Ruus did this and effectively mastered it, adding so much depth and realism to the story. The dialect helps to shape the characters and brings the reader right into the old General Store to eavesdrop and nod along with the locals eager for the latest gossip and opinion-sharing.

You see, there was a series of dramatic events that occurred – a diphtheria epidemic, deaths, dramatic life-altering decisions, mystery surrounding one particular secluded family, a newcomer, a discovery. No one knows all the details of how it played out, except one person thinks he knows. Most of it. Only the reader is permitted the luxury of that knowledge. It is well worth the read to that end.

Devil’s Hump is sold in a very few Nova Scotia shops and not on the Internet, but it can easily be ordered directly from the author. Please write to her at: syr(at)eastlink(dot)ca

For anyone local who has the chance to attend a book reading, Syr Ruus is reading from her novel, Devil’s Hump, on Tuesday, August 19 at the LaHave Islands Museum Hall on Bells Island (as the novel was inspired by the LaHave Islands) from 3-5 p.m.

If you would like to contact or connect with Syr Ruus through Facebook, she has two locations: Her personal Facebook page is HERE where she uses her full name of Sirje Ruus, and her Author Facebook page is HERE

You can find Devil’s Hump listed on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

 

Book Review: Lovesongs of Emmanuel Taggart – by Syr Ruus

Book: Lovesongs of Emmanuel Taggart
Author: Syr Ruus
Publisher: Breakwater Books
Date: August 1, 2012
Genre: fiction, comedy
Pages: 250
Price: $18.95
My rating: great reading for those looking for something different with humour and wit regarding the human condition
 

Having met the author, Syr Ruus, at another author’s (Laura Best) book launch, I made it a point to find this book. (It was on Amazon.)

Lovesongs of Emmanuel Taggart is an adult novel, fictional and amusing.

Emmanuel Taggart is a forty-five-year-old man who feels his life is stuck in a rut. His two sons are grown and out, leaving just his wife and him. One cold February day he feels ill so leaves the office early. From there the story takes the reader on an adventure unlike any this reader has journeyed before – in a good way.

Believing himself to be living his last months of life, Emmanuel Taggart sees doctors, endures tests by specialists, and meets people along the way whom he never would have approached before.  His mind takes him places he wouldn’t have dared to think until then, and he begins – not without feelings of guilt – keeping secrets from his wife. It gets more and more complicated, and more and more amusing, as he convinces himself that he is dying while he spins a web in which he traps … himself.

Syr Ruus tells a marvellous story, one that has twists and turns and delightful visuals to keep the reader devouring the pages. It is enjoyable the way she words things, such as this when Emmanuel’s secretary, Rose, is concerned about him:  “I looked out and saw your car still sitting here in the lot. Then I started thinking you weren’t feeling so good and maybe you passed out or something, and I says to myself, Rose, you better check this out. And here you still are, Mr. Taggart. Are you okay? You don’t look so good.” Shivering. Pulling her coat together to protect her scrawny neck, sleeves blowing empty at the sides.

Can’t you just see those empty sleeves flapping in the breeze, and feel that shivery cold? brrrr

Emmanuel Taggart makes discoveries about himself along the way, and not only about himself. There are surprises – some nice, some awkward, some that shock him. And there are surprises for the reader. This is a novel to add to your library.

Lovesongs of Emmanuel Taggart by Syr Ruus won the H. R. (Bill) Percy Prize from the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia. I hope you will read it to find out why this author’s writing is so highly regarded.

You can find Lovesongs of Emmanuel Taggart listed on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂