Daniel’s life is full — he’s both a doctor and a vicar, he runs a busy clinic in Bristol alongside his sister’s project, a home for abused women. DaniDaniel’s life is full — he’s both a doctor and a vicar, he runs a busy clinic in Bristol alongside his sister’s project, a home for abused women. Daniel’s familial relationships, though, are practically at zero. His sister reunited with her husband and spends her time in London and Kent, his parents recently passed away, and the love of his life died years ago when he was away at college. He was fine with all of that until he unexpectedly inherited an estate and a title. Taking advice from his brother-in-law, who is more experienced in this business of being a lord, he heads off to London as a man in want of a wife.
Jessie is also adjusting to changed circumstances. Her elderly husband has died, leaving their young daughter an heiress but also in danger. She is in want of a protector. But, her hidden wicked past causes her to reject Daniel. She doesn’t need a saint as a suitor.
The Girl on the Train is a thriller with many scenes taking place in view of a commuter train into London. There’s more than one narrator (pay attentiThe Girl on the Train is a thriller with many scenes taking place in view of a commuter train into London. There’s more than one narrator (pay attention to the chapter headings!) but Rachel is our main one. Her life is in shambles, but riding the train each weekday gives her some structure. The people in the houses she sees from the train provide fodder for her fantasies. Fantasy is not reality, though, and reality takes a very dark turn in those houses.
St. Louis City is not part of St. Louis County. St. Louis County has 90 municipalities plus a number of unincorporated areas. The City separated fromSt. Louis City is not part of St. Louis County. St. Louis County has 90 municipalities plus a number of unincorporated areas. The City separated from the County in 1876 at a time when the City had 80% of the population and more educated and sophisticated residents. St. Louis City didn’t want to be saddled with the expense of infrastructure developments in the County at a time when it was mostly rural and filled with country bumpkins.
This instinct to create more governments played out in the suburbs that developed over the next century in St. Louis County, when the population exploded. Rather than allow themselves to be annexed into existing County towns, new neighborhoods joined together to form their own new municipalities.
Over the years, a variety of attempts have been made to restructure things. The business community finds the plethora of governments onerous to deal with and would love to see a streamlined system. In our fragmented system, governments compete with each other when, from a more regional viewpoint, it’s obvious that cooperation would work better for all involved. The efforts to reunite the City and County had two things in common — they failed and they didn’t even attempt to touch school districts, “the third rail of metropolitan reform.” (p. 81)
More thoughts on my blog, including the discussion in our book club and thoughts about the current state of K-12 education in St. Louis and America: Fragmented by Design....more
Pulitzer Prize-winning Devil in the Grove reports the history of an incident in Lake County, Florida, when four black men were accused of raping a whiPulitzer Prize-winning Devil in the Grove reports the history of an incident in Lake County, Florida, when four black men were accused of raping a white woman in 1949. The aftermath included white race riots, KKK-influence on government actions, violence by law enforcement, and multiple court cases.
The subtitle mentions the one case that is at the heart of the book but readers are given lots of context — the NAACP in the early 1950s, Harlem near the end of the Black Renaissance, Washington DC at the beginning of the Red Scare. Brown v Board of Education (the Supreme Court decision that ended school segregation) was still a few years in the future, but we get to see the last part of the decades-long process that led to that landmark decision. Thurgood Marshall had roles to play in all of these arenas.