Sunday, March 29, 2015

Six books-lots to catch up on!

I have lots of catching up to do with my books....I have been working hard this winter on genealogy and, while I have been reading a lot, I haven't done well with keeping up on reviews.  So this is a catch-up blog today, with brief reviews of the past six books that I have read.

I'll begin with my two least favorite:

The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon: this book sounded good when I read the reviews, so I was anxious to get to it.  It was an interesting story, but I didn't find it very believable (which, admittedly may have been the point)...Two girls lived with their mother in Vermont in an old farmhouse.  One day their mother disappeared.  The girls searched for clues to try to find out what became of their mother and the older girl found a diary under the floorboards that had been written years before by Sara Harrison Shea.  Sara had been found dead in the field behind the farmhouse in 1908, shortly after her daughter had died.  To sum the book up, can you bring the dead back?

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson: a nice book that had characters that were difficult to relate to and weren't especially likable.   Major Pettigrew is a very proper Englishman described as an "elderly" (in quotes by me...he was 68!) widower who fell in love with a woman in his village who was either Pakistani or Indian (it's never made clear in the book), and his proper English neighbors did not really welcome the relationship.  Nor did his son.  Suffice to say, all turned out well in the end.

Canada by Richard Ford: this was a book that I had been interested in reading for some time and when I saw it on the clearance shelves at Barnes and Noble, I picked it up.  It is interesting, because while I was reading the book, I felt like it was really going nowhere, yet since I've finished it, I find myself thinking about it quite a bit.  It is the story of a young boy, Dell, whose parents robbed a bank and were taken to prison, leaving the boy and his twin sister alone in their house.  The sister took off and a family friend friend came to get him.  His mother had arranged for her friend to take her son to Canada so he wouldn't be placed into foster care.  The woman left the boy with her brother, who was himself running from the US law.  The boy was left with a charming, yet deeply disturbed man, along with the characters who worked for the man.  This ended up being quite an interesting book.

A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler: I have always been a fan of Anne Tylers' books and this one was no exception. It is the story of four generations of Whitshanks, a Baltimore family.  Lots of secrets and stories carry through the four generations.  I loved it!

The Secret of Magic by Deborah Johnson: I really liked this book, too.  It is a story based on history from Mississippi in the 1940's.  A young black soldier was killed on his way home from serving in the war, and a young black female attorney who worked for Thurgood Marshall was sent down there to try to find justice.  I thought it was a fascinating tale...the woman who had asked for help was an author of a book that the young attorney had grown up with that was kind of a fairy tale, based there in Mississippi.   A good read.

Ruby by Cynthia Bond: A fascinating book that I will need to read again sometime in order to get everything out of it!  It is also a book about the South and race and was a great read.  Ruby was raised in Liberty, Texas a place of terrible violence.  She left Liberty for New York as soon as she could when she was a young woman.  Years later, she was called back and then never left, but became what appeared to be a mentally unstable woman.  However, an old friend who never stopped loving her rejected what others thought and came to her.  It's quite a beautiful story, but much more complicated than what I am writing here.