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Infinite Country by Patricia Engel | Thoughts

   Published : 2021   ||    Format : print   ||    Location : Colombia ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆   What was it about the country that kept everyone hostage to its fantasy? The previous month, on its own soil, an American man went to his job at a plant and gunned down fourteen coworkers, and last spring alone there were four different school shootings. A nation at war with itself, yet people still spoke of it as some kind of paradise.. Thoughts : Infinite Country follows two characters - young Talia, who at the beginning of this book, escapes a girl’s reform school in North Colombia so that she can make her previously booked flight to the US. Before she can do that, she needs to travel many miles to reach her father and get her ticket to the rest of her family. As we follow Talia’s treacherous journey south, we learn about how she ended up in the reform school in the first place and why half her family resides in the US. Infinite Country tells the story of her family through the other protagonist, El

Review: The Lumby Lines by Gail Fraser

Title: The Lumby Lines
Author: Gail Fraser
First Published: May 2007
Publisher: New American Library
Source: Received for free from FSB Associates for review
319 pages

In a nutshell
Somewhere in the Northwest is a quaint little town called Lumby, where the "police department" was actually one person who worked part-time until two years ago; where the local paper consists of just two reporters; where Hank, the plastic pink flamingo, dresses in appropriate, and occasionally inappropriate, attire; where goats that accidentally slipped into banks, enjoy a breakfast of ten- and twenty-dollar bills; and where everyone knows everyone else.

Into this town moves Mark and Pam Walker, leaving their hectic East Coast life behind. Their plan to restore the Montis abbey and turn it into an inn, is a dream come true for them. But in the process, they ruffle some feathers and have to face several obstacles, especially posed by William Beezer, the owner of The Lumby Lines, the Lumby newspaper.

There is a discussion question at the end of the book mentioning about readers who want to escape to Lumby soon as they finish the book, since it appears to be a place where life is easier, people are more honest and communities are closer. I don't know about you, but I'm ready to go to Lumby.

I think...
When The Lumby Lines begins, Simon Dixon, the sheriff, has just entered his office to hear of 3 complaints: some kids have been catapulting chickens over goalposts; a woman complained that each time she turns on the kitchen light, the doorbell rings; and a pair of goats have been making a breakfast of ten- and twenty-dollar bills in the bank they got stuck in. Now if that didn't suck you in, nothing else will!

Sheriff's complaints, July 4:
8.41a.m. Allen Miller, age six, called to complain about his mom's oatmeal.

The Lumby Lines has some very vibrant characters. Mark and Pam Walker are planning to move to Lumby to restore Montis abbey, which was once home to a resourceful set of monks. The monks, themselves make an appearance, when they come to visit the new owners. In the cast is also Pam's best friend, Brooke Shelling, who comes to Lumby as an architect to help the Walkers realize their dream. In the process, she falls in love with the town. Another interesting character is William Beezer, who is never introduced directly in the book but is mentioned in third person.

Sheriff's complaints, July 5:
6.06p.m. Mrs. Hutchings reported small black bear going into neighbor's garage.

My favorite character though is Hank, the plastic flamingo who "stays" near Montis Abbey. Hank's attire changes along with the town's big news of the moment. For instance, when construction starts over in Montis abbey, Hank is dressed in workman's clothes. On 4th of July, someone has attired him in the colors of the US flag.

Sheriff's complaints, July 28:
3.27p.m. Woman reported that a car in front of Dickenson's has too many bumper stickers on it.

Can you imagine a town where the main hobby is reading the Sheriff's report? Scattered through the book are some of those Sheriff reports and other clippings from the local newspaper. I thoroughly enjoyed these digressions. There are stories about flying pigs and a moose with a tricycle in its head. Lumby briefly has a dog for a mayor. There is an unknown person who paints the mailboxes of some residents green, leaving their owners shocked when they wake up in the morning. Oh, and you will never believe who ate all that marijuana being grown as in the Montis abbey (for good reasons). Really! That just had me in fits of giggles.

Sheriff's complaints, August 20:
7.02a.m. Man from Hunts Mill Road reported that his mailbox was painted during the night.
7.56a.m. Lumby resident from Hunts Mill Road reported that all the mailboxes on the street had been painted except for hers.

The Lumby Lines is one of the quirkiest books I've ever read! It has humor, plenty of HEAs, and some very interesting characters. It is something you can read when you are really under the blues and need a book to pull you up. It is one of those feel-good books that will leave you smiling. Most of the book is predictable and there are no major mysteries, except for maybe one or two, but even in spite of that, it leaves you with a nice feeling. I already can't wait to pick the next book in the series!

What did you think?
Have you read this book? I'd like to know what you thought about it. Please leave your review link in the comments, or a brief opinion, if you hadn't reviewed it.


bermudaonion said…
I haven't read the book, but it sure does sound sweet! Thanks for the review.
Sounds like a fun little book. We have a local/shmocal paper that comes out once a week and the sheriff's blotter is a hoot!
Tales of Whimsy said…
Sounds magnificently unique. I can't wait to try it. You totally sold me. I'm off to add it to my TBR list. Thanks Aths :) You rock :)
NancyO said…
nice review! I keep looking at this book thinking ...later...later, but maybe I'll have to pick it up!
This sounds so awesome. I love the sheriff's complaints.
erisian said…
your in a nutshell section kinda lost my interest..

then i got to the rest of your review and realized why you needed to set it up in that manner.

wouldnt have read this,. but now definitely plan to :)
Athira said…
Kathy, it was pretty sweet! I liked it!

Helen, wow, I would love to read that paper!

Juju, I'm so glad I could convince you! You need to tell me how you like it. :)

Nancy, I said later... later... so many times too.. and I can't believe I liked it so much.

Steph, the Sheriff's complaints had me ROFL-ing all over!

Erisian, I wasn't so sold out on the synopsis either! But I'm glad the review convinced you. :)