Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Old Border Road by Susan Froderberg

Old Border Road has exceptional descriptions of characters, situations, and Arizona scenery.  The characters are unique, and the storyline is appealing.

The main character, Katherine, lives with her in-laws in southern Arizona and must work with them in their everyday routine of keeping up their ranch while her husband is habitually absent at night.  Katherine has to work hard, deal with unhappiness, deal with loneliness, and with THE KNOWING.  

As time goes on, could her second thoughts as she walked down the aisle as a seventeen-year-old bride have been an omen for her life's path?

Katherine....aka as "Girl" learns how to rope cattle, ride horses, make dinners, repair clothing, and cope with a drought plaguing Arizona.  All characters mesh well together even though they are distinct in their own ways.

Ms. Froderberg's style is splendid...her beautiful prose reels you into the tale and allows you to become absorbed in the lives of Girl, Son, and Rose's Daddy.

I thoroughly enjoyed the book...it is one you will want to read as well.  5/5

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender

A brother that disappears, a father who works all the time, a bored mother who works in a wood shop, and Rose who tastes feelings in food.

"So every food has a feeling, George said when I tried to explain to him about the acidic resentment in the grape jelly."  Page 36

Poor Rose...besides not liking her favorite cake anymore and having an aversion to food because of what the taste brings out, she had to try to stay clear of  her older brother so she wouldn't bother him and "make him flip."  Her brother didn't want any parts of her, but his friend George helped her with finding out what was going on with her taste buds.

With George's help, Rose figured out that she could tell what kind of  mood someone was in and what stage of life the ingredients in food had been simply by tasting the cookie or whatever food she happened to be sampling.  She hated food because of this.  Later on she found out something about her grandfather that gave her some insight into her “problem.”

Rose could taste her mother's feelings in all the food she made each night and found out something that she really didn't want to know about her mother.

The book was a sweet read sharing all the good and bad things that go on in families with the adults and the siblings. It also had some odd situations, which I am still confused about, but on the whole I enjoyed it and will give the book a 4/5.   Overall, a very creative and different idea for a book.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Todos Santos by Deborah Clearman

Guatemala, a mother's love, summer, painting, having fun, fear, daily life, superstitions......

A summer in Guatemala....this definitely sounded exciting to Isaac and much better than spending it in summer school in Iowa.  Isaac accompanied his mother to Guatemala and stayed with his aunt while his mother made a trip to Todos Santos to do some painting.

While his mother was away, Issac met another American boy who was bad news, but whom Isaac continued to befriend.  The boys planned a trip of their own without actually telling anyone the truth about their destination.  Their adventures as well as the adventures of Catherine made up most of the book...Catherine found things she wasn't expecting and Isaac did as well.  The trip Issac and Bernie took was frightening to me....seeing the risks they took in a foreign country made my heart race.

Meanwhile, Catherine was enjoying herself and learning many things about the culture of Guatemala...both good and bad aspects.  The book had vivid descriptions of the beautiful landscape of Guatemala and the lifestyles of its people. The characters were interesting and colorful.

The book took me a while to read not because it was difficult, but because I was afraid to see what was going to happen to Catherine and her son. It also was heart wrenching to learn how the citizens of Guatemala actually lived on a daily basis and how the leaders were so self-centered, corrupt, controlling, and superstitious.

 Deborah Clearman is a very talented author...she has fantastic descriptions of characters, scenery, and emotions.  You could feel the emotions of each character as they were dealing with the situation occurring at the moment......the well-described scenes and emotions made the book unique for me.

I truly enjoyed the book except for the fear factor that I brought on myself.  :)

Also stop at Black Lawrence Press to view Ms. Clearman's video of the background for her novel...quite intriguing.

http://blacklawrencepress.com/ - go to the side bar and choose Authors.