BLACKBIRD, A Childhood Lost and Found by Jennifer Lauck

BLACKBIRD, A Childhood Lost and Found by Jennifer Lauck, 2000. This is a New York Times Bestselling Memoir. I admit I don’t read memoir’s very often, but this one seems to flow like a nice novel. It’s not bogged down with family photos either, which distracts me from the story and makes tend to skip over the story itself.. Frank McCourt who wrote Angels’s Ashes and ‘Tis, both of which I loved reading, recommends the book.

After the Acknowledgments, before the first chapter starts there’s a page of a hospital’s patient Death Summary for the author’s 33 year old mother Janet Lauck’s health in 1971. She had a benign tumor removed in 1961, and her health went downhill from there with weakness, fatigue, cough, paraplegia, bladder infections, the return of the tumor, etc. Finally in  October 1971 when the report was written with all these respiratory problems, she tried taking her own life with an overdose of pills, but died of respiratory arrest or arrhythmia. It’s such a pitiful life, yet she smoked up until the end of it.

So far the first chapter opens with Jennifer’s early childhood, taking care of a sick mother, who’s recovering from or dying of cancer. It seems she was surrounded by the love of her family, including her mother’s siblings and their children. I’ll let you know what I think of the book as I get farther along, but I will let you know the family moved from Carson City, Nevada to California for Jennifer’s mother’s health, where her mother eventually dies and her dad remarries. When her dad and stepmother go on their honeymoon the kids get sent to some wacko religious summer camp, and it looks like a lot of child abuse goes on there. Halfway though the book poor Jennifer is in a cabin awaiting her own first experience of sexual abuse on a mattress with dirty sheets surrounded by children’t clothing.

NOTE:  This is NOT a happy little story folks!  :  (  Sorry to give so much away, suffice it to say if you were abused yourself you might not want to read this book, but it’s not as bad as I thought it would be, with graphic details of the physical abuse like a Jodie Piccult book. Does it have a happy ending? I’m not giving it away.


THOSE WE LOVE THE MOST by Lee Woodruff, 2012. My cousin gave me this trade paperback over a month ago but I was put off by the depressing subject matter- the death of a 9 year old child, so I read a chapter and set it aside.Now I’m desperate for a good book so I’m reading it despite the subject matter.

There are two couples involved in the story. The parents of the deceased child are Maura and Pete Corrigan, and they have another son and a two year old daughter. Maura’s parents Roger and Margaret are trying to help them through this tragedy, but all four adults have other things to contend with besides the death of their beloved child. There’s a mistress Roger has to deal with, and his memory is lacking these days. Maura blames herself for her child’s death and she seems to have an emotional affair to deal with. Last but not least is the teenage driver who accidentally killed their son is asking for forgiveness. A lot if guilt in this story from one thing or another.

TWENTY WISHES by Debbie Macomber

TWENTY WISHES by Debbie Macomber, 2008. I’m getting down to the knitty-gritty in my unread book pile, it’s got a half dozen Macomber novels. This story takes place in Seattle, as do many other Macomber stories. Ann Marie Roche is 38 years old and a childless widow. She owns and runs a successful bookstore on Blossom Street. Remember Blossom Street?  On Valentine’s Day Anne’s gets together with her other widow friends to write a list of twenty wishes of things they always wanted to do but never did. Later Anne Marie volunteers at a local school where she meets 8 year old Ellen. I have a feeling little Ellen’s father will be Ann Marie’s love interest.

NOTE: This book seems awful familiar! I may end up not reading it, since I may have read it long before I started my Book List in my book reader’s journal. Well I’m still reading it for now, even though I’m sure I read it years ago. I’m enjoying it, it’s light reading..

PEARL by Lauraine Snelling

PEARL by Lauraine Snelling, 2004.  This book is a sequel in the DAKOTA TREASURES series. I read RUBY many months ago, and found this book at a flea market but put off reading it due to the Bible quotes, and scriptural references. BUT.. the story is interesting so I’m reading it.

This story starts out in March, 1883 Chicago. Pearl is a woman, a school teacher who is running away from a marriage her well to do father is pushing her into to a widower with 5 children. She runs away to Little Missouri aka “Little Misery” to teach at a newly formed school. I’m nearly half way done with the book and the woman is still in Chicago.

Native American Gardening: Buffalobird-Woman’s Guide to Traditional Methods, by Gilbert L. Wilson

Sounds interesting!

Blogging for a Good Book

NativeAmericanGardeningNative American Gardening: Buffalobird-Woman’s Guide to Traditional Methods was first published in 1917 as Agriculture of the Hidatsa Indians: An Indian Interpretation and has been reprinted in numerous editions (and with slightly varying titles) in the following hundred years. This is not surprising because Buffalobird-Woman’s comments, interpretations and knowledge of organic gardening are just as relevant today as they were a hundred years ago.

I originally searched for this book because I had read that it was a great way to learn about organic gardening methods but I found myself fascinated by Buffalobird-Woman’s strong personality as she talked about the history of her tribe and the lives of northern Native Americans. Buffalobird-Woman, or Maxi’diwiac, was born around 1839, two years after smallpox nearly completely wiped out her tribe of Hidatsas. When she was interviewed by anthropolgist Gilbert L. Wilson in 1912, she had never learned to speak English, so her memories were translated…

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THE WANDERER by Robyn Carr

THE WANDERER by Robyn Carr, 2013. Robyn Carr books usually have some hot sex scenes. I guess I can take it! LOL This is the story of Hank Cooper who inherits an old friend’s entire beach side property on the Oregon coast that developers are very interested in. Was his friend murdered? Now he finds himself with a community’s destiny in his hands. Hank Cooper was always a wanderer, but he finds himself getting attached to the people of Thunder Point especially Sarah Dupre, and it seems the whole town is watching his every move as it will affect their lives.

Gee here I am on page 106 and his love interest hasn’t been introduced yet!

WILLEM’S FIELD by Melinda Haynes

WILLEM’S FIELD by Melinda Haynes, 2003. Haynes also wrote MOTHER OF PEARL does her name sounds familiar? This hardcover book has sat in my kitchen since June when I went to that huge library book sale. I kept pushing it aside. due to the first few pages I read, but I decided to read more last night and this morning.  It is very quirky I admit and I love a quirky story.

WILLEM’S FIELD is the story of an old man named Willem Fremont, and is set in the 1970’s. Willem has been living with a panic disorder most of his life, which causes embarrassing scenes when he’s in a public place. It almost seems like he has Turrets Syndrome to me, yet not exactly, when he has verbal outbursts. Now that Willem is a much older man he wants to go back home to Purvis. Mississippi and find out how it started and how to cure it. Once in Purvis Willem meets the Till family who now owns his family farm. The Tills have their own problems, tiny Eileen Till runs the farm and her two grown sons are lazy. Sonny is perennially unemployed and is building a shrimp boat in his mother’s landlocked back yard. Bruno has returned home from the Vietnam war with a spinal injury, and wears a back brace while he escapes into the National Geographic magazines, while his wife Leah tries to cope while her marriage fails by finding comfort in the day to day life on the farm.

Here’s the teaser:

Willem relaxed a little, and his hand slid off the newspaper.

   “My God, is that you?”

Willem saw where she was looking. The folded newspaper. IN a glance he saw the words EL PASO COUNTY peeping out underneath his thumb. Today officials at the Colorado Springs  Police Department issued a missing-person report for William Frem was covered by his palm. Too bad his hand wasn’t big enough to cover his picture.

“Is that you in the paper?”

 He looked up at her and saw open curiosity that lacked the intellect go much deeper.

NOTE: I’m really enjoying this book even though I put if off for so long thinking I wouldn’t!  It’s introduced the family who lives in Willem’s old family homestead, and the broken family who lives in the Inn where Willem is staying, and other characters.