BITTERSWEET by Nevada Barr, (c) 1984. This was a wonderful historical story and so well written! Takes place in the 1870- 1880’s era. It is described as being an “unusual love story between two women” The story starts out in Philadelphia with Imogene a spinster teacher who gets run out of town over an affair with one of her students who later gets married and dies in childbirth. So Imogene moves onto the next town in western Pennsylvania where she meets Sarah, another student, and although they have feelings for each other nothing ever happens sexually. Sarah also gets married quite young and has a baby boy. But Imogene’s past catches up with her and she and Sarah are run out of town. Now you see I already told you too much, I’m sorry about that. Now Imogene and Sarah who nearly beaten to death by her husband leave town heading for Nevada territory. I don’t want to tell you anymore except to say it wasn’t heaving on the “making love” angle. I’m not gay but still I found the storytelling so well written I wanted to read a sequel. This is a story about true love and gender has nothing to do with it. This was Nevada Barr’s first novel and I have no idea if she wrote more. Let’s hope so.
RIVER OF SUMMER by Lois Gilbert, (c) 1999. This old paperback was quite nice! No cell phones or computers in the story. Yet it really held my attention as the newly divorced Zoe Harper is running away from her old life as a house renovator and a selfish ex-husband who forced her to get an abortion early in their marriage, yet divorces her to be the father of his younger lover’s baby. So here’s Zoe, traveling across country to start a new life in her old Winnebago camper. One day while driving through the Utah desert she see’s a man hitchhiking along the side of the road next to his broken down car, and she just drives by, but then she runs over something and has to stop and investigate. The young hitchhiker runs over and asks her for a ride, and what she ran over by the way was his duffel bag. She refused to give him a ride, not trusting him at all, as she never picks up hitchhikers anyway, it’s just not safe. Meanwhile she ends up giving him a ride, and they slowly become friends and then lovers. Zoe doesn’t like the fact that she’s 11 years older than Paul. He’s 28 ans she’s 39, but the relation blooms anyway. NOW! Does this sound interesting? I enjoyed the book a lot and was sorry it ended.
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.
A GOOD AMERICAN by Alex George (c) 2012. This book was the Library Journal’s BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR. It’s about German immigrant Meisenheimer family. The story is narrated by James a third generation American living in Beatrice, Missouri, which is where his grandparents Frederick and Jette Meisenheimer settled after a perilous trip across country and the the swollen Mississippi River. The stories this family yells are sometimes humorous, and sometimes sad. It promises to be a good read though, and I look forward to reading it.
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!
SOMEWHERE ALONG THE WAY- A Harmony Novel by Jodi Thomas, (c) 2010. I love stories about misfits and the unwanted of society and how they try to fit into life in a small town. It’s not always easy to fit in but the homeless find there way there. Harmony is a small town in Texas. It starts out with a dream an elderly woman named Stella is having portending something bad will happen in Harmony. Something about a gas spreading all over the town. Next is the story of Reagan Truman, only Truman isn’t her real surname, she’s a homeless girl who is taken in by an elderly man named Jeremiah Truman. He tells the town she is his niece so they accept her. Somehow she just fit in and she’s working at the diner where she talks to her friend Noah and meets a man named Gabriel Leary, who limps three miles into town to collect diner takeout. For some odd reason he’s using another man’s name and getting his mail and having packages delivered at a building in town. There’s also Edith who works in the diner as a waitress, and Liz Mathewson a lawyer fresh out of law school, trying to make a name for herself. She meets Gabe who unsettles her life a little. Liz’s brother Hank is romancing the local sheriff Alex McAllen but she won’t settle down for a wedding. I may have left a few people out. Does this sound like a good book? Well I think it is!
A NEW HOPE: A Thunder Point Novel by Robyn Carr, (c) 2015. Divorcee Ginger Dysart was living in deep grief over the SIDS death of her 4 month old son, when she moved to Thunder Point, a small town on the Oregon coast. There she starts a new life working in a flower shop, where she makes good friends and meets up with one angry and drunken man named Matt Lacoumette at a friend’s wedding reception. He’s angry over his own recent divorce and holds a grudge against his ex wife Natalie and ended up acting like an ass towards Ginger at the reception while asking her to dance. The next day he drops by the flower shop to apologize to Ginger and they end up going out and becoming fast friends, but they are both gun shy of starting a new romantic relationship. Of course they have phenomenal sex; (Don’t they all in these romance novels?) Meanwhile they are trying to work out their problems of Exs and grudges and grief… I’m enjoying the book a lot and bet you will also!