Sunday, November 6, 2011

Chasing the Red Car by Ellen Ruderman

 
A book about politics, a young girl's life, her liberal attitude, and US history during the McCarthy Era. 

Kim's liberal attitude started at home.  She called her parents by their first names without any objection from them, but even though Kim was free to call her parents by their first names, she had to walk on egg shells because of her mother.  She never knew what would set her off.  Her parents' constant fighting was very unsettling for Kim and her younger sister.  The summer before Kim was to enter high school, her father had a job change, and a move was necessary.

Their move from New York to California was quite traumatic for Kim, but her mother was excited.  The move/drive to California actually was a humorous part of the book. 

When they did arrive at their new home, not much had changed with her parents, and the teenage concern about school and finding friends was utmost in Kim's mind.  She did find a good friend with whom she shared adventures….they remained friends into adulthood.  Kim commented:  "No matter how bad things get at home, when I'm on this trolley and were going someplace, life is good."  Page 55. 

School also became a haven for her writing and for her political views that were published in a school newspaper.  Her haven became as chaotic as her home life after tragedy struck her favorite teacher, Mr. Samuels. 

High school ended, and Kim enrolled in UCLA.  The troubles at home continued, but she met a man who helped her through them and through school.  He made her forget what was going on at home and what had made her the way she has been her entire life.  Lucien made her realize she had to live her life and complete whatever she needed to do for herself.  He was the love of her life and she of his….so they thought.

The book moves through Kim's life at the university and then jumps forward to her adult life.  She had a great deal of heartache in her life because of family problems...tissues needed at times.

The story of Kim Lebow kept my interest for the most part, but since I am not political or liberal, portions of the book were not to my liking.   The storyline veered away from liberalism as it moved into Kim's adulthood and was on a more personal level, but then her life and the story came full circle and many answers were revealed to her.  The book was very well written and brought attention to social as well as mental issues which can ruin lives.

Not sure what to rate it....I liked the personal level, but truly didn't like the political and liberal aspect.

23 comments:

  1. Sounds like an interesting book!

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  2. I enjoyed your post.
    Thanks for your recent visit and I'm following you on GFC

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  3. Hi. Thanks for visiting my blog. Great review. =D

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  4. Intriguing review. I like your style. New follower :) I love a book blog!

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  5. Hi, Elizabeth! I really like your blog. I'm always on the lookout for new and interesting reads, so I'm going to enjoy your reviews a lot!

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  6. Hi! Thanks for stopping by my blog.

    I love book reviews. A book like this would normally fly under my radar. It sounds really interesting. I'm always looking for new books to read.

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  7. Hum, I personally wouldn't like it either, but I know people who would!

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  8. Great book! I absolutely LOVE your header! Awesome!

    Hi! My name is Chrissy. I'm following your blog now. I'm here from The Weekly Book Blog hop hosted by Beck Valley Books. It's great to meet you!

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  9. Thanks for stopping by Life Lessons! Returning the follow! Look forward to your posts. Have a beautiful weekend!

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  10. Sounds like an intriguing read. Thanks for sharing this.

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  11. I am blog hopping & following you from Beck Valley Books. Growing Old With Grace http://growing-old-with-grace.blogspot.com/. Hugs, GraceinAZ

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  12. Great review! Thanks for stopping by my blog today--I am trying to follow your blog but it keeps redirecting me to Google. I will keep trying

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  13. Hi Martha...thanks for stopping.

    When I clicked on your name here, it said the page couldn't be found.

    Perhaps the link to your blog needs updating?

    Hope you get things straightened out.

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  14. Great review. Thanks for stopping by the ole JW blog.

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  15. This sounds like something that might interest me from the standpoint that this was the era I grew up in. I enjoy life writing like this.

    Thanks for visiting and following my blog. I will do likewise here. By the way I lived in Pittsburgh from 1957 to 1958, then we made the cross country move to San Diego, CA--another thing I can relate to in the book you've reviewed.

    Lee
    Memoirist Ann Carbine Best visits Wrote By Rote on Saturday 11/12/11

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  16. Thanks for stopping by the blog. Love your reviews!

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  17. Hi Elizabeth - returning your visit :) I love your blog. You review quite a range of books. I only looked at one mailbox Monday and was experiencing that envy you mentioned :) I wish I had time to read that much!

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  18. This book sounds like a great read. I don't think I've read anything about that era. Thanks for the review!

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  19. It sounds interesting. I don't do politics but the plot might be something I would read.

    Thanks for finding my blog and staying! :D

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  20. Thanks for visiting my blog! I appreciate the honesty of your review and will check this book out!

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  21. Reading your reviews, Silver is very exciting!

    Very different-blog. I like it alot!

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