I received this book last year from Women's Fiction, but life and poor health got in the way and the book got lost in the shuffle.
I rediscovered it on...moreI received this book last year from Women's Fiction, but life and poor health got in the way and the book got lost in the shuffle.
I rediscovered it on my bookshelf, and I apologize for it's late address.
This is an easy to read nice story about a young widow, Cassie, who answers an ad in the newspaper from a young woman, Betty Jewell, who is dying with cancer and is searching for the right person to adopt and raise her daughter, Billie.
It takes place during the Jim Crow era when bad things happened, towns were color-divided and animosity ruled the day.
Other players are: Saint Hughes, a blues trumpeter, who Billie believes is her dad, though she has never met him; Fay Dean, Cassie's sister-in-law; Sudie and Merry Lynn, Betty Jewell's two best friends; and Queen, Billie's grandmother who spend most of the book frying chicken and making biscuits.
The tension mounts as time runs out for Betty Jewell, and her choice of Cassie to raise Billie causes hard feelings, plus Saint Hughes plans to come back after ten years to raise the daughter he thinks is his.
There are some unexpected twists and turns, and it all adds up to be a good read.
I don't care what anyone else thinks, I still give it five stars. Heck, I'd probably give Andrew Sean Greer five stars on his looks alone.
Now, that th...moreI don't care what anyone else thinks, I still give it five stars. Heck, I'd probably give Andrew Sean Greer five stars on his looks alone.
Now, that that's out of the way, this is the first book of Greer's that I've read, and his writing is beautiful. If he told the same story over and over, but used different descriptions, I'd read them all.
Example: "I found Mrs. Green in the living room, looking out the window at the raindrops, each with a tiny streetlight tucked inside it."
This is a time travel story in which shock treatments for depression cause the protagonist to move in and out of 1919, 1941, and 1985. The only thing that would have made this better for me, would be for me to be familiar with the streets of NYC. Then I could have pictured it all.
I was lucky enough to snare this from First to Read. It's already a best seller in Europe. It was written in French and masterfully translated to Engl...moreI was lucky enough to snare this from First to Read. It's already a best seller in Europe. It was written in French and masterfully translated to English by Sam Taylor.
The young author, Joel Dicker, has created a book within a book and the story follows more twists and turns than you can imagine, surprising the reader at every curve, up to the very end.
It involves the case of a fifteen-year-old girl who disappeared. When her remains were discovered thirty-three years later, the case was reopened.
I ordered this book with one of my grandchildren in mind. When I choose books for my grands, I read them first and try to imagine whether or not the p...moreI ordered this book with one of my grandchildren in mind. When I choose books for my grands, I read them first and try to imagine whether or not the parental units will approve.
This book probably has no literary merit at all, but I give it five stars based on how I felt as I read it. It's a romp into the thoughts of a teenaged boy and his meshing of his fantasies with real life.
Just imagine six-feet tall praying mantises,an underground place that was once a lab in which an experiment went wrong, the typical signs of teenage angst, questions of sexuality.
A lot of F bombs, but remember we're looking through the boy's eyes.
You can read better reviews at numerous sites, so I chose to leave that to them. My recommendation is to read this. What a hoot!(less)
I was hooked from the beginning and could not put it down, though it made my heart heavy.
It's fiction, but bas...moreI received this book from LibraryThing.
I was hooked from the beginning and could not put it down, though it made my heart heavy.
It's fiction, but based on real events of parents who followed a so-called Christian minister's guidebook to disciplining children by spanking or whipping them. He recommends starting with a switch on their bare legs when they're only a few months old. And you are to continue until you break the child's will. As the child gets older, the "rod" gets heavier. He recommends flexible plumbers pipe.
I'm warning you it will tear up your guts, but is so well written, you can't stop. You just keep hoping someone will get revenge.
I'm going out on a limb here to give five stars to a book of which I've read only 50 pages. And the reason? Already the author has validated things my Ethiopian friend told me.
The system that we have handling the refugee problems is terribly flawed, but it's the best we can do. Each country finds it necessary to hire some locals to do part of the work. When a UN committee has to decide which refugees get an interview regarding a status change, it's the locals who decide which of the names to give to the committee. This leaves it wide open for fraud: a vendetta against someone they don't like; passing over that one because this one offers to grease the palm; sometimes even stealing one identity to give to another.
The book shows the hardships the humanitarians face at the majority of their outposts: dirt, disease, lack of necessary supplies, pressures that would make an average citizen go crazy, and homesickness.
Loneliness ... how can one be lonely in a refugee camp that has twenty-eight thousand people wanting and needing your attention?
If I had my way, this would be required reading for every single ambassador worldwide.
A solid five stars from me.
Now, back to reading. It was difficult for me to put it aside for a few minutes. (less)
I was interested in this book long before it was released. I had been online friends with the author for quite a while and supported her projects, bu...more
I was interested in this book long before it was released. I had been online friends with the author for quite a while and supported her projects, but had no idea of what her writing style would be.
PRISON BABY touched my heart. When Deborah was twelve-years-old, she discovered, while snooping through her adoptive mother's dresser drawers, that her birth mother was a heroin addict and was in prison when Deborah was born. Since she was very young, she had fleeting memories of people viewing her through bars. It was easy to dismiss these flashes as the dowels on the side of her crib. Now, they had another possible meaning.
She holds nothing back, owning her years of crime and drugs and separation from the wonderful Jewish couple who adopted her. She wanted information about her birth mother to find a key to her unknown mixed ancestry. She did not fit any mold.
This is an amazing book of love, hope, forgiveness, and worthwhile ways of giving back.
Deborah's writing style is superb; how could it not be? Her adoptive parents were well known in the literary circle, and the guest lists for their dinner parties included some big names.
I received this book as part of an early readers program. Sometimes one can be sorely disappointed, but certainly not with this book. The characters a...moreI received this book as part of an early readers program. Sometimes one can be sorely disappointed, but certainly not with this book. The characters are so well-developed that I became engrossed in their lives, and I just kept turning the pages.
It starts when Katie is eleven years old and carries her through high school. Her protector is her grandfather whom she adores, yet she is torn between his common sense way of raising her and her desire to be with her alcoholic, mentally ill mother.
Katie vows she will never follow in her mother's footsteps, but vows are often broken. Along the way are: her friend, Dennis, whom Katie wants as more than a friend, his mother, Ursula, who takes on the womanly duties needed in raising a girl, and her great uncle who lives in the house with Katie and her grandfather. You can probably guess that alcohol finds its way into her life and creates big problems for her.
The love is so strong, and it will win out in the end. This is a wonderful book that will lead you through many emotions. Don't miss it.(less)
I'm not going to review the book; there are plenty of reviews better than I could write. I do want to share how it affected me. It made my stomach hurt...more I'm not going to review the book; there are plenty of reviews better than I could write. I do want to share how it affected me. It made my stomach hurt. It put me in a dark place. I grieved. I couldn't stop reading. It bolstered my resolution to fight against war and the war machine in this country.
Despite it's darkness, this is one of the best written books I've ever read. O'Brien's mastery of the language and the art of writing should not be missed.