PRAYERS FOR SALE by Sandra Dallas, (c) 2009. I admit I’m partial to historical novels, and even more to those set in the depression era as this one is. It’s the year 1936, two years after the birth of my own mother. Hennie Comfort is an 85 year old woman living in Middle Swan, Colorado in the Rocky Mountains. One day she meets a young bride, 17 year old Nit Spindle who introduces herself asking if she can buy a prayer after seeing her PRAYERS FOR SALE sign on her porch. Nit leaves a nickle for Hennie to pay for the prayer. They become fast friends over time. They have quilting in common plus the loss of a child. So far I’m loving this book and I bet you will too!
GROWING UP by Russell Baker, (c) 1982/1984. This well written memoir reads like a good novel. I don’t know why I put off reading it for so long other than the fact memoirs bore me. This one does not bore me a bit! Russell Baker was a child growing up during the depression and he and his mother and sisters lived with assorted relatives after his father died at the early age of 33 of diabetes, a little known disease back then. Russell’s baby sister Audrey is fostered by his mother’s brother and his wife while his mother, Russell and his sister Doris all go to live with one uncle or another over the years. His mother almost got remarried but that didn’t work out, so she got a job even though they were so hard to find at that time. I don’t want to give away too much of the story. Have a good read.
MOCKINGBIRD A Portrait of HARPER LEE, (C) 2006/2007. I admit I don’t generally enjoy authorized or unauthorized biographies. I also admit to skipping the Introduction, I just don’t like them as a rule! Other than that I’m enjoying the paperback. This is not a trade paperback even though it’s the same size. I do LOVE the larger Trade paperbacks even though I never read the discussions in the back of the book. I Just enjoy the larger sized book which is easier to keep open on my Book Chair while I eat and read. Meanwhile, I find the book interesting. Nelle Harper Lee is in New York City at the moment (in the book) and it’s been picked up by a movie producer. Meanwhile the story flashbacks to her ancestors and parents early life and her own childhood. Other than that I haven’t much to say.
THE VALLEY OF LIGHT by Terry Kay, (2003). This old trade paperback was written by the author of TO DANCE WITH THE WHITE DOG. Remember the old Hallmark movie starring Hume Cronin and his wife Jessica Tandy? This story is about a wandering WWII Army veteran named Noah Locke. A man named Hoke Moore told Noah about a town called Bowerstown also known as the VALLEY OF LIGHT where they had a yearly “Fish-off” or fishing contest is held. Noah it seems has a natural talent or should I say magical touch for calling fish to his hook. Eventually he found is way there, and the folks noticed his natural abilities right away. Just recently he met a young army widow named Eleanor who has fed him a meal before and after he buried one of her old cows he put out of her misery. That’s as far as I got in the end of the 4th chapter. So far I’m finding the book rather charming! Do you think you’ll like it? It doesn’t rush into things though.
NOTE: This book was written by a man, and an old fashioned one at that! I can’t say as I liked the ending, but you’ll have that in life… I still recommend you read it especially if you like to fish.
LILA by Marilynne Robinson, (2014). Lila was an unwanted child who was taken care of by Doll, a homeless woman who would steal her away from the under the old house where she slept when she was locked out at night. Doll slept next to her keeping her warm and oftentimes feeding her. As they traveled around during the great depression Lila grew and one time they stayed a whole year in a town where Lila could learn to read, write and do basic arithmetic.Eventually they end up in a small Iowa town of Gilead where somehow Lila ends up getting married to an old widower preacher. She turns up pregnant but I’m not sure if she already was when they married or if she got that way after. Needless to say Lila is more than a little eccentric. She doesn’t know her own surname and called herself Lila Dahl before she married. It will be interesting to see if Lila stays with her preacher husband or walks away, but now she will have a child, so who knows.
OH MY STARS by Lorna Landvik, 2005, 2006. Poor Violet Mathers is having a hard time as she enters adulthood, in this coming of age story in Kentucky during the Great Depression. Violet was abandoned by her mother and mistreated by her father and finally things are looking up. Finally things are looking up as 16 year old Violet gets a job in a thread factory during summer months while school is out, but even there something horrible happens on her birthday no less! After being miserable for the next two years working in the Thread factory office Violet finds herself on a bus going to California. The bus crashes in North Dakota where the bus passengers are rescued by two musicians and Violet finds herself having feelings for one of them and joins their quest to make a dazzling, new kind of music. This promises to be a very good book!
NOTE: I’m loving this good read novel! If you want to hear how an early mixed race band started out and became famous with their “new” style of music. It makes me wish they were a real band! The story is narrated from time to time by Violet. I have a feeling any other Loran Landvik books will also be a good read.