Monday, February 18, 2013

Margaret recommends "All Things New"

The civil war is coming to an end but not without the sacrifices of the families left behind to deal with the Yankees. All Things New brings to life the struggles of those in the South particularly the Weatherly family during the Reconstruction of the South.  Josephine Weatherly realizes that her privileged life growing up on their Virginia plantation will never return, while her mother Eugenia believes that all things will be restored to their previous grandeur and social status. Losing her father and brother to the war leaves Josephine with a broken faith in God and struggles with why things have happened to her family.  One thing that she knows for sure is that she needs to learn to survive in this new way of life and realizes that Lizzie, their only servant, is the person who will teach her those skills. But can she make her mother understand and accept this new way of life? All Things New is an absorbing story of survival and forgiveness.

Christian Fiction/ Adults

Anne recommends "The Soldier's Wife"

Fans of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society or those who enjoy historical fiction set in World War II’s Great Britain may find author Margaret Leroy’s novel about a family living on the Island of Guernsey during the German Occupation a great read.  Leroy brings the island to life by her detailed descriptions, but it is the emotional complexity of the islander’s lives that brings the reader into the story.  Vivienne’s husband is away, fighting in Britain’s army.  Vivienne is left to care for her two daughters and elderly mother-in-law.  When German officers commandeer the house next door, Vivienne must deal with conflicting feelings. Whom does one trust during wartime when a mistake can lead to grave consequences?  Recommended for Adults.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Michelle recommends "Gone with the Wind"

Interested in revisiting the South during a time of change and transition? Get comfortable and dive into the classic epic novel Gone with the Wind.  This novel is a full package of love and war, but also a wonderful story of resolve.  Scarlett O’Hara represents the transition South in her own development from her expected role as a traditional Southern women to hardworking business woman.
If Gone with the Wind has a theme it is that of survival.  What makes some people come through catastrophes and others, apparently just as able, strong, brave, go under? It happens in every upheaval.  Some people survive; others don’t. What qualities are in those who fight their way through triumphantly that are lacking in those that go under? I only know that survivors used to call that quality ‘gumption.’ So I wrote about people who at gumption and people who didn’t.
- Margaret Mitchell, 1936 (About the Author)
Recommended for Adults

Friday, February 8, 2013

Kathy recommends "Tell the Wolves I'm Home"

“Tell the Wolves I’m Home” by Carol Rifka Brunt
This debut was my favorite read of 2012.  It is a coming of age story that hits all the right notes. The story takes place in 1987 and is narrated by 15-year old June Elbus, who stays with you long after the book is over. It is told in beautiful prose that gripped me from the first paragraph:

My sister, Greta, and I were having our portrait painted by our uncle Finn that afternoon because he knew he was dying. This was after I understood that I wasn’t going to grow up and move into his apartment and live there with him for the rest of my life. After I stopped believing that the AIDS thing was all some kind of big mistake. When he first asked, my mother said no. She said there was something macabre about it. When she thought of the two of us sitting in Finn’s apartment with its huge windows and the scent of lavender and orange, when she thought of him looking at us like it might be the last time he would see us, she couldn’t bear it. And, she said, it was a long drive from northern Westchester all the way into Manhattan. She crossed her arms over her chest, looked right into Finn’s bird-­blue eyes, and told him it was just hard to find the time these days. 
“Tell me about it,” he said.
 That’s what broke her.

Suitable for Adult and Young Adult readers

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Anne recommends "Broken for You"

Margaret, the long-time owner of a lovely mansion in Seattle, takes in a young boarder, Wanda.  Both women have troubled pasts and have shut out help from the outside world, yet both have a strong objective to seek reconciliation from lost loves and lives.  Through the force of a hidden guilt buried within the beautiful treasures of Margaret’s home, the women find resolution in unexpected people and places.  Recommended for Adults