DANDELION SUMMER by Lisa Wingate, (c) 2011. This heartwarming family mystery is about an elderly man named J. Norman Alvord and the friendship he has with a rather neglected teenager named Epiphany Jones who is hired to cook and clean for him a few nights a week after school. At first they don’t get along well, but as time goes on they become friends and help each other out with their various problems. I found the writing style very enjoyable and hope you will also. I look forward to reading more of Lisa Wingate’s books in the future.
GRACE by T. Greenwood, (c) 2012. This is one of those expensive trade paperbacks with a thick cover with an inside flap front and back. I’m enjoying the book so far. Grace is the little 5 year old sister of Trevor Kennedy. Trevor is thirteen years old and he towers above everyone else in his class. He’s got the body of a young man in his 13 year old body, yet he has this high pitched voice of a boy. Trevor is the class misfit with his bleached blonde hair and very pale complexion and he has been teased all his life, but now that he’s older and much larger than everyone else has anger is a little more hard to control when the teasing starts so he gets held in detention after school for an hour a few times. Trevor’s family loves him especially little Gracy’s unconditional love. Trevor is given special attention by his elderly art teacher and she gives him a camera to express himself. Walgreen’s is where Trevor and Gracy’s mother has a shoplifting habit it’s also where Crystal the store’s clerk see’s the photos when Trevor brings his film to be developed. Something happens as Crystal’s life becomes entwined with the Kennedy family, and something horrible happens. What? I have no idea, and it’s better that way. I like this book a lot so far.
STONE GARDEN by Molly Moynahan, (c) 2004. This was a lovely “coming of age” story about a 17 year old girl named Alice McGuire who’s best friend and boyfriend Matthew Swan comes up missing while in Mexico. The whole town is heartbroken and this story is how they deal with the death of a special person.
IF I STAY by Gayle Forman, (c) 2010. This book reminds me the story LOVELY BONES. I watched that movie and I read the book. The movie was down right depressing watching the spirit of the girl as she visited her family and her murderer. Then her bones are never recovered from that trunk in the sink hole. How depressing can a story get. Even though the murderer get his in the end it was still sad. Now IF I STAY, is quite similar except the 17 year old girl Mia is in a coma, and her spirit watches everything going on. Seeing her parents dead bodies and her own damaged body on the side of the road. Meanwhile she and her younger brother are alive. So I guess her spirit/soul gets to decide if she goes with her parents or stays on earth with her brother. Although I thought we didn’t get a choice, that the creator chooses? Anyway I will continue to read this book.
SUCH A PRETTY FACE by Cathy Lamb, (c) 2010. This nice trade paperback was so enjoyable to read. Stevie is a formerly obese woman, who had a heart attack at age 32 and then chose surgery to save her life. So then she pared down 170 pounds and weighed a nice 150 pounds at 5′ 7″ tall and she was beautiful just like her mother who was a former Broadway star before her insanity showed up in her early 20’s. Stevie ate to deal with her grief and pain after her Schizophrenic mother committed suicide and tried to kill Stevie and her little sister Sunshine by drowning in the nearby river. Afterwards with her mother and sister gone, a traumatized Stevie is still be raised by her mother’s parents whom they lived with during her mother’s illness. After their deaths Stevie ate to deal with the pain and loneliness and plumped up to a major 325 pounds. Shortly after her grandfather and then her grandmother died and Stevie was sent to live with her mother’s sister Janet and her family, which wasn’t the best thing for Stevie since her uncle was such a cruel person, making everyone’s life miserable who lived in his house including his two children Lance and Polly. Everyone in that family including Stevie had emotional issues and trauma to deal with. It was an interesting book although I get a little bored with the flashbacks.
DROWNING RUTH by Christina Schwarz, (c) 2001. This WWI era psychological thriller starts out in 1919 when a young mother named Mathilda Neumann drowns beneath the ice of a rural Wisconsin lake. Her death dramatically changes the lives of her daughter Ruth, her husband Carl who was away at war, and her sister older Amanda. Ruth grew up a little wild compared to the actions of her classmates. I swear I read this book a long time ago actually, but that didn’t stop me from reading it again. If you want to find out what REALLY happened to Mathilda you’ll have to read the book yourself!
SHADES OF GRACE by Barbara Delinsky, (c) 1996-2005. Grace Dorian is a eloquent and classy advice columnist. The Confidante is America’s favorite advice column, and Grace made it so. The column is her whole life, plus that of her daughter Francine and granddaughter Sophie who work for her. Grace’s once sharp mind is beginning to dull, her witty remarks and sharp thinking are slowly fading away. Meanwhile Francine won’t accept her mother’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis, as she’s reluctantly becoming attracted to her mother’s doctor who diagnosed Grace’s illness. It’s interesting to read considering I turn 59 this year and have my own occasional forgetfulness. It’s a well written book. I have read only a few of Delinsky’s books and am so happy to see she wrote many more.