SHADES OF GRACE by Barbara Delinsky

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

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

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?

BROOKLYN STORY by Suzanne Corso

BROOKLYN STORY by Suzanne Corso, (c) 2011. Samatha Bonti is half Jewish and half Italian, struggling to survive in Brooklyn, NY.  It starts out the summer of 1978 in Bensonhurst which is part of the borough of Brooklyn in NYC.  It is known as “Little Italy” for obvious reasons. Sam lives with her mother who was abused by her Italian husband, thanks to him Samantha’s mom went into premature labor and almost lost Sam. He eventually walked out on his family. Consequently mom becomes addicted to drugs and alcohol and her Jewish grandma Ruth moves in. Samantha has a dream to become a writer and move to Manhattan. Meanwhile she meets and falls in love with an Italian mobster and he has the means to ruin her life… I wonder if he does?

Montana 1948 by Larry Watson

Montana 1948 by Larry Watson, 1993. I bought this old trade paperback at a yard sale Labor Day weekend. It’s the size of a trade paperback but doesn’t have the question and answer section in the back, so is it really a trade paperback? This summertime coming of age story is about a boy, an only child, 12 year old David Hayden, growing up in a small town in Montana where his father is a sheriff and his mother works for the Record of Deeds office in the courthouse across the street. The story is how one family deals with what’s been happening to women of a local Sioux tribe. This book is described as a “thriller and page turner.” It’s all about doing the right thing.  I’m really enjoying this book, the writing style is very readable. I highly recommend it.  It won’t take long to read this short under 200 page book.

NOTE: I’d like to read more by this author.

RUSH HOME ROAD by Lori Lansens

RUSH HOME ROAD by Lori Lansens, (c) 2002. This is a wonderful book! I highly recommend it! I want to read more of her books in the future.This is the story of a poor mixed race Canadian child named Sharla Cody. She’s sadly neglected by her whoring mother and sexually abusive boyfriends. Finally she is abandoned and left to raise by a little old colored lady down the street named Addy Shadd. The story weaves memories of Addy’s life in with the present raising of little Sharla who was never raised to know right from wrong or about being clean. I’m enjoying the book a lot and know you will also. This is the third book I’ve read recently that takes place in Canada. I wonder if the same person didn’t donate a bunch to our old library.

NOTE: I REALLY enjoyed this book! Please read it. It was heartwarming , it was not a real tear jerker, but it made my eyes water a little at the end..

MADE IN THE U.S.A. by Billie Letts

MADE IN THE U.S.A. by Billie Letts, (c) 2008. Let me assure you this is a VERY good book! This is a coming of age family drama book, my favorite kind I must say! This is the story of 15 year old Lutie and her 11 year old brother Fate McFee. They are living in Spearfish, South Dakota. Their mother has died and their father, an alcoholic was left them with his live in girlfriend, 300 pound Floy, (short of Florence). The only problem is Floy just dropped dead at the local Walmart and in order to avoid being hauled off by Child Services they steal Floy’s old car and take of for Los Vegas to look for their father. Once there they end up living on the streets in their car. They are having quite an adventure and not all of it good. Sometimes it’s heartbreaking to read, but I highly recommend that you do! I’ll let YOU read the ending yourself. It’s bad manners to give away the ending. I will make sure I read more Billie Lett’s books.