Book Beginnings on Fridays is a meme hosted at Rose City Reader where you share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author’s name.

This was first brought to my attention by

What Stacy is Currently Reading:


Fall of Cities: Planting the Orchard

“Hey, it’s soft lad. Blimey, what are you doing on the Iraq border, up on the sharp end?” The wide smile took the sting out of the words as the corporal punched the arm of a soldier stacking boxes in the front of the lorry. The soldier turned showing that he was also a corporal but his uniform was a lot cleaner.

Vance Huxley. Planting The Orchard (Kindle Locations 31-33). Wicked Moon Penning.”

My thoughts:

At first, I thought this was about the first Gulf War, with the troops in Iraq & Kuwait and the oil wells burning, but then, after reading a bit, I realized that it was not that war, but a speculated one in the future, and to say that all hell as broke out would be an understatement.

She Was Born A Good Girl by Garfield Whyte

“2009 Hopewell, Santa Cruz, Saint Elizabeth, Jamaica “To be good is to be forgotten. I’m going to be so bad I’ll always be remembered.” ― Theda Bara
It was a bittersweet moment for Thalia Manning. Zoe was growing up. It seemed like just yesterday she was waiting to get on the bus for her first day of kindergarten. Having Zoe when she was so young was the hardest thing Thalia had ever done, at 15, with no money. Heck, she hadn’t even finished high school nor did she have any basic childcare skills. She felt her life was over, almost never-ending. Her days and nights were spent feeding, winding, changing, and bathing her. Thalia exhaled. She had survived, with Dryden’s support and love. Zoe was ten years old now, and she was twenty-six. And different: she was older and wiser, and had a well-adjusted girl to show for it. Thalia was still young; she could do it again if Dryden wanted to. ”

My Thoughts:

I wonder Zoe was exposed to at a young in due to her mother’s poverty, naivete, and immaturity? Was she exposed to or experienced things personally that will have a huge impact on her future?

What Daisy is Currently Reading:

The Devil Take Tomorrow by Gretchen Jeannette

“Swirling mist cloaked the trio of rebel soldiers galloping furiously toward a rendezvous. Raking spurs across lathered hides while shouting urgent commands, the riders thundered over muddy roads that snaked up hillocks and plunged through woooded defiles blazing with the colors of autumn.”


The Best American Series: The Best American Mystery Stories, edited by Michael Connelly

“I drive a two-seater. It’s a drop-top sports car built low to the ground for better control and handling. Alright, it’s an automatic with a push-button, electronic top. But that’s not the point. The point is when the top’s down and I’m sailing through the curves along the bay, the wind cutting in behind my shades, I can’t think of a better car to be in.”


Assiyah Rising: Part One by T. H. Ansz

“October 27, 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, International Caribbean Waters The cramped, dimly lit operations room of the Soviet submarine was filled with hot, sticky tension. Three naval officers stood around the periscope, sweat covering their brows, their voices raised over the loud humming of machinery.”

T.H. Ansz. Assiyah Rising: Part One (Kindle Locations 38-41).

My Thoughts:

Very impressive beginning. Very strong and really draws you in. I liked the fact that the beginning was unexpected because you were taken by surprise in a good way.

The Friday 56

The Friday 56 is a meme hosted at Freda’s voice.

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader
(If you have to improvise, that’s ok.)
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it)
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post below in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url.
*It’s that simple.

You know me– I always do one off my shelf that I have already completed, usually a throwback (often a way, way throwback LOL)…. so without further Adieu, the next one in line is:

Peace River Country by Ralph Allen

Hardcover, 221 pages
Published 1958 by Doubleday
Page 56:
“The way it happened that Dutch Reiseling became Harold’s friend was what Harold’s mother would have called a case of silver linings. Privately Harold considered her frequent use of expression both indiscriminate and unwarranted, but there was no disputing that his friendship with Dutch Reiseling burst right out of one of the blackest clouds he had ever known.
It was now spring and the first crisis was well behind them. It had taken all of Harold’s cunning and red-eyed sullenness to arrange it that way, but ultimately it had been so arranged that he began school before Easter and Kally did not begin until after Easter. He was not going through that again, not, of all places, in this newer, larger, stranger town.”
Kirkus Review:
“The effects of “”taking up with strangers”” is reflected in the stay of Harold and Kally Sondern and their mother in Elevator, Saskatchewan, Canada. They have come here from the towns of Dobie and Regina, making their way until Chris Sondern, their father, proves he can be cured of his chronic alcoholism and go with them to Peace River country. While they travel and move on, he fights his losing battle with the bottle and bottle-loving friends along the way. Living with the Chatsworths in Elevator, Harold’s friendship with a baseball hero is the means of separating Vannie Chatsworth from her possessive mother and his club initiation is the cause of Mr. Chatsworth’s defending him. These are the terminal acts that drive Mrs. Chatsworth to get in touch with his father and Chris, for the first time, heads immediately for his family. But Mrs. Sondern, knowing the time has not yet come, travels on to Moose Jaw and there, Chris, desperately hunting for them, meets with the accident that kills him….And the three continue their interrupted way to Peace River country. Nomads of the late ’30’s, the Sonderns’ small struggles are pathetic and gallant, sorry and funny, dogged and loving, in which defeat is never admitted.”
My thoughts:
4 **** stars
I liked this tale of a broken home, broken promises, a father’s addiction,  and the toll it takes on a Depression era family. A single mom trying to raise her two children alone and find a better life in rural, small town Canada, and is besotted by continual struggle at the time when a boy is just starting to understand and make sense of his parents, his life and the world. Told for the most part through the eyes of the young boy to whom all these things are a normal way of life, the story is heart-breaking.
I did not know that it had been made into a movie.
Encounter Peace River Country
Tags:  Drama
Genre: Drama
Writers: Ralph Allen
Production Company:
Movie Keywords:
Actors: Muriel Cooper (Mrs. Sondern)Martin AndrewsTony BrownEric ClaveringClive EndersbyMichele FinneyRon HartmannAlex McKeeJohn ParisBilly PottonRuth SpringfordPeter Sturgess
Duration: 60 min

Though it was published 14  times between 1958 and 1962, so it was pretty popular.

According to, the author:

Ralph Allen (journalist)

Ralph Allen (journalist)Ralph Allen (25 August 1913 &ndash2 December 1966was aCanadian journalisteditorand novelist.

Born in WinnipegManitobahe was raised in OxbowSaskatchewanAt sixteen he became a sports reporter for “TheWinnipeg Tribune“, before moving to Torontos renowned “The Globe and Mail” where he served as a warcorrespondent during the Second World WarIn 1946he joined newsmagazine “Macleans“, becoming editor in1950He left Macleans in 1960 and worked for “The Toronto Star” from 1964 until his death in 1966.

Allen was the author of several booksincluding the novel “Peace River Country” (1958and “Ordeal by Fire: Canada19101945” (1961), a history of Canada during the period of the two world warsIn 1967Christina McCall edited acollection of Allens columns from Macleans entitled “The Man From Oxbow“. Oxbows town museum is named inAllens honour.


* “Home Made Banners” (1946)
* “The Chartered Libertine” (1954)
* “Peace River Country” (1958)
* “Ordeal by Fire: Canada19101945” (1961)
* “Ask the Name of the Lion” (1962)
* “The High White Forest” (1964)
* “The Man from Oxbow: The Best of Ralph Allen” (1967)

External links

* [ Ralph Allenat The CanadianEncyclopedia
* [ Macleans: The First 100 Years]

And this is the museum dedicated to him:

Ralph Allen Memorial Museum

Box 90
Oxbow, SK
S0C 2B0
Phone: 306-485-9687
Send email

Housed in a converted CN station, the Ralph Allen Memorial Museum is the only museum with a complete set of memorabilia pertaining to author and war correspondent Ralph Allen.

The museum also features railway artifacts and a display about the nearby oil fields.

Location Notes

802 Railway Ave.

Operating Season

June – September


Saturday and Sunday from 2 pm-5 pm during the summer months. Please phone during the off season to make an appointment to view the museum.

Admission:  By donation.

Daisy’s Friday 56:

Devil’s Gate by Clive Cussler and Graham Brown

Page 56:

“The strangest part,” he said “is that they sank the ship deliberately instead of taking her for a prize, and they killed the crew. It was more like a terrorist action than a pirate raid.”