THE CARE AND HANDLING OF ROSES WITH THORNS by Margaret Dilloway, 2012.
If you love gardening you’ll love this book. Gal Garner is a 36 year old biology teacher who struggles with kidney disease, and lives on a pretty tight schedule. In her spare time she comes alive in her garden where she cross-pollinates roses as she tries to win the QUEEN OF SHOW in a major competition. Meanwhile her teen-aged niece Riley, the daughter of her estranged sister shows up on her doorstep, and neither one of them will ever be the same.
This promises to be an interesting book.
NOTE: I AM enjoying this book a lot. It’s not a fast moving plot though, a little toned down due to the character being on dialysis every other day. Maybe she’ll get a kidney.. : )
SAVING CEE CEE HONEYCUT by Beth Hoffman, 2010. Cee Cee Honeycut is a 12 year old girl, living with a psychotic mother named Camille, is the laughingstock of the entire town where they live in Ohio. She could often be seen all dressed up in a ratty, second hand prom gowns with lipstick smeared all over her face, reliving her reign as the 1951 Valida Onion Queen. Cee Cee’s absentee father is a salesman who’s never home and when he is he just drinks all night. When her mother dies in a tragic accident, Cee Cee goes to live with her Great Aunt Tallulah, in Savannah, Georgia where she lives a most interesting life.
NOTE: This is a nice little story so far, I’m enjoying the read. I did enjoy this little HAPPY ENDING story.
SARAH’S KEY by Tatiana De Rosnay, 2007. This is a haunting novel of a small Jewish family in Paris, France. It starts out in July 1942 when 10 year old Sarah is brutally arrested with her family in the Vel’ d’Hiv’ roundup. But Sarah has locked her 4 year old brother in their favorite hiding place and kept the key, thinking she will return soon. That is a very sad beginning.
This is also the story of Julia Jarmond an American journalist working in Paris, who is assigned to report on Vel’ d’Hiv’s sixtieth anniversary. While she’s investigating she stumbles upon a trail of family secrets that connects her to Sarah.
I don’t know why am attracted to Holocaust stories, perhaps I was Jewish in a past life and lived through the horrible times. This is the first novel I’ve read, that’s not based on a personal Holocaust story, although I’m sure some of it’s based on facts, the character’s are not real.
So far each short chapter goes from Sarah’s past life, then to Julia’s present life. So you get the stories pieced together slowly as they meld together. . Maybe that makes the horror of it less hard to take?
NOTE: I loved this book. I highly recommend it!
The ART of HEARING HEARTBEATS by Jan-Philipp Sendker, 2006. Translated from the German by Kevin Wiliarty. This book is a Target Club Pick book.
This is the story of Julia Win whose father disappears one day, much to the shock and confusion of his family. Later they find a love letter he’d written many years ago to a Burmese woman. Julia took it upon herself to solve the mystery about her father’s mysterious past. So she leaves her budding legal career on hold to travel to Burma. In the small mountain village of Kalaw she is approached by a man who knows who she is, and was even expecting her the past four years when her father disappeared. The old man met Julia on her first day in the village, where he began to tell her about her father’s life. They keep meeting every afternoon when he tells her the fascinating story of her father’s life, including his romance with a local girl. I imagine the story will be very interesting to read.
NOTE: This is a good book, I’m enjoying it a lot!
GROWING UP by Russell Baker, 1982. Russell Baker grew up between the two World Wars in the backwoods mountains of Virginia, in a New Jersey commuter town, and finally in the depression-shadowed urban landscape of Baltimore. I hope this is a good book, I only have 3 left in my unread pile. I don’t usually read autobiographies, as I find them boring at some point. Maybe this one will be different.
NOTE: I’m not reading this book after all. I’m just not in the mood for it.
MISS. JULIA SPEAKS HER MIND by Ann B. Ross, 2000. This book is a little “Old” for me.. the main character is old.. much older than me even, probably about 65-70 years old. So does the title sound like Miss Julia is Southern? Well she alright! Her husband of 44 years died of a heart attack in his car as soon as he pulled into the garage. Now she’s a wealthy widow and as she’s trying to adjust to being a widow she gets a knock on her door. A young woman named Hazel Marie Puckett and a small boy are standing there at her door. Hazel then informs Julia that the little boy names Wesley Loyd Junior Springer is her husband’s bastard child. (I don’t really like that word, do you?) Then she tells Julia she’s leaving the child with her so she can go to beauty school in Raleigh. Here’s a teaser:
“I’m sorry to bother you,” she said, hefting up the strap of her shoulder bag. I could see the sheen of perspiration oozing out from under her makeup as she took a deep breath and let the words pour out. “I wouldn’t do this if I could come up with anything else. But I can’t, and he didn’t leave me no choice, and I got to make a livin’. You know how it is: well maybe not. But I’m on my way to beauty school down in Raleigh. Learning nails? You know, acrylic and all? There’s money in nails, and I don’t know what else to do.”
NOTE: Well now, it does sound kind of interesting what a childless 65-year-old widow will do in this situation. I am enjoying the book for now.
I must admit the plot thickens now that I’m half way through the book…almost a low-key suspense novel.