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.
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.
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.
A SOFT PLACE TO LAND by Susan Rebecca White, (c) 2010. This is a coming of age story of two teen-aged half-sisters who become orphans when their mother and Ruthie’s father die in a plane crash. Then the girls get separated to be raised by relatives. Ruthie ends up with her father’s sister Mimi and her husband Robert and Julia ends up with her father and step mother Peggy. Along the way family secrets are revealed. The sisters argue and don’t talk to each other.. Life goes on you know?