Monday, August 23, 2010

I'd Know You Anywhere by Laura Lippman

Wow...another remarkable read by Laura Lipmann.  Ms. Lippman has excellent portrayals of the characters, a great storyline, and vivid descriptions of situations and gripping scenes.  You can just feel the emotions of each character.
A perfect family, a tranquil life and then......after 20 years a letter arrives in the mail.   Not a friendly letter, but one from someone you would not want to remember. Eliza lives with her husband and two children in Maryland and has a secret from her teenage years that she wants to forget, but the letter brings the nightmare back and also brings a decision about whether to reply or just ignore the communication.   After she makes a decision, a phone call from the sender, along with his continued, manipulative influence further complicates the situation. 
We, the readers, relive Eliza's nightmare of the terror and control she had to endure as we also follow Eliza in her present life.
“There was a bond.  He could make her do anything.  Wasn’t that proof of something between them?  He had granted her life.”   Page 276   My rating is 5/5 – you won’t want to put it down.  It is pretty intense and frightening how someone could have such power over another human being.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman

Flying dishes, prom gowns, red high-heeled shoes, embarrassing school days....what more could a child take.  
Cee Cee Honeycutt lived with her parents who consisted of a mother who thought she missed out on life since she left her home town in Georgia to marry an older man and her father, an absent traveling salesman.  Life didn't really turn out very well for anyone in the family, but once Cee Cee met Great Aunt Tootie, her life was something she never would have imagined.

Here is how she happened to be with Aunt day as Cee Cee's mother was coming back from the Goodwill store wearing her newest prom gown, she absentmindedly ran into the street and was hit by an ice cream truck and died.  Cee Cee was then moved to Savannah, Georgia, with her Great Aunt Tootie, but not before her loving neighbor, Mrs. Odell, told her about the Life Book we all have with pages that need to be turned when the time comes. 

And what a page in Cee Cee's life was turned when she arrived in Savannah....loving people to surround her and protect her, especially Oletta, Aunt Tootie's cook, and of course Aunt Tootie who showered Cee Cee with hugs and affection that had been lacking in the previous twelve years of her life.  Cee Cee’s unconventional neighbors and a beautiful home also helped add pages to her Life Book.
You will absolutely LOVE this book especially if you like sweet, nostalgic, heartwarming reads with a Southern charm...some of the scenes were laugh-out-loud and others brought tears to your eyes with the tenderness.  

The characters were lovable and genuine.  It is a beautiful, touching read...just like a BIG hug. 
Going to end my review with a quote from Oletta, my favorite character:  "Don’t go wastin’ all them bright tomorrows you ain’t even seen by hangin’ on to what happened yesterday.  Let go, child.  Just breathe out and let go.”  Page 290    Cee Cee definitely had “bright” tomorrows to put in her Life Book thanks to all the loving women in her life.

Thanks, Miss Hoffman… This is going to be one of my all-time favorite books.


Monday, August 16, 2010

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

What can you say about a 50-year-old classic such as this, nothing but FANTASTIC and lots of lessons learned about integrity and respect.

I remember reading it in high school, but appreciate it more as an adult...the relationships between the characters, their thoughts and morals, and the life style of that 1930's era is so charming and sweet as well as sad.

I loved Scout...she was just wanted to be with Scout, Dill, and Jem during their summer fun and antics, during their agony at the trial's outcome, and when events occurred in town after the trial.

Don't miss reading it for the first time or reading it again.  5/5

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Good Daughters by Joyce Maynard

What a heartwarming, cozy, feel good read.....a sweet, nostalgic book...but with all good things there usually are regrets, heartbreak, and secrets.  I really enjoyed this will be surprised at who/what the "good daughters" turn out to be and will also learn some fun agricultural facts about fruits and vegetables.

Dana and Ruth were born on the same day, but they came from two completely different backgrounds.  Dana Dickerson had a childhood that wasn't stable, and Ruth Plank had one that was totally what a childhood should be.  Dana's parents were flighty, moved around, and their father never held a job for too long...her mother was an artist and acted as though she didn't even have any children.  Dana actually never even called her parents Mom and Dad.  Ruth's parents were very down to earth, had a farm to take care of, made sure their children were taken care of, and were called Mom and Dad.

Ruth's mother felt some sort of kinship with Dana's mother since their children were both born on the same day, even though Dana's mother laughed at Ruth.  Ruth's mother would make a point of visiting the Dickersons each year even though it was a long trip and as usual an uneventful, uncomfortable, and unfriendly occasion.

The book continued by describing the lives of the two families during the 1950's with the focus on the girls and their choices of careers and partners that of course had been affected by their family and childhood. 

I really enjoyed the was during the time I was a child, and I could relate to some of the situations...if you liked The Glass Castle, you will like this as well.  My rating is a 5/5.   Great story.