"Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed."

Saturday, September 30, 2017

September Books

Joy School by Elizabeth Berg -- this book continues the story of Katie Nash whom I read about last month; Katie moves to Missouri with her military dad, and she meets new people. This book is about that. I am enjoying these Katie stories.

True to Form by Elizabeth Berg  -- same as above except it's the third book, and continues Katie's life in Missouri as a 13 year old

Necessary Lies by Diane Chamberlain -- a great book alternating between the voices of Ivy and Jane (and Brenna twice); Jane goes into social work, but has too much heart.  She gets too involved with her clients especially the Hart girls, Ivy and Mary Ella.  This novel dealt with eugenics and sterilizations of the "feebleminded" and "morons" in North Carolina, which ramped up its program after the war with Hitler (ahem!). 

Snobbery With Violence by Marion Chesney -- I read another book in this series (out of order) last month, and found it cute so I decided to read another. It features the same main characters, Lady Rose Summer who doesn't want to settle for just any ol' husband, and Captain Harry Cathcart.  An Edwardian Murder Mystery

The Ambassador's Daughter by Pam Jenoff -- this book says it's the prequel to two other books she's written. I've read one of them, but it's been 8 years ago so I might have to reread it!  This book was about Margot and her father - German Jews living in Paris and later Versailles after World War I.  The world was figuring out the treaty and how to deal with Germany.  Margot meets interesting people: Krysia, the Polish musician, who runs with a secretive crowd.  She also finds work with a handsome soldier, Georg. 

The Ladies of Covington Send Their Love by Joan Medlicott -- Three senior ladies living in a boardinghouse in Pennsylvania visit an old, run-down farmhouse in Madison County, North Carolina, that one of the ladies - Amelia - inherited upon her cousin's death.  Grace and Hannah join Amelia in sizing up the place, and ultimately decide to fix it up and move there!  My mom found this book at the local library, and it seems it's a series of sorts.  I may find others to read. While we can't find Covington in Madison County, we do recognize many of the other towns and cities mentioned in that area of WNC.

Benjamin Franklin's Bastard by Sally Cabot -- a fictitious account of Benjamin Franklin, his common-law wife Deborah, and Benjamin's son who lived with them since infancy

The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis -- a junior fiction book I found at the free little library; Starts off in Flint, Michigan, but later in the book the Watson family visits their grandmother in Alabama

The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan -- When Nina's library branch is closed, and she doesn't get a new job within the library system, she contemplates opening a book shop - in a big van.  Does she really have to move to another country (to Scotland from England) to do so?

At the Edge of the Orchard by Tracy Chevalier -- a book about the Black Swamp in Ohio, of growing up there with warring parents, of apple trees, and finally leaving home going westward until he gets to the end of the country.  The story of James and Sadie, and later their son Robert as he deals with the past.  A different tale, pretty good.

Hasty Death by Marion Chesney -- I finally looked up the order of these Edwardian Murder Mysteries, and saw books 2 and 4 (which may be the final one) in the local library; so this continues the story of Private Detective Harry Cathcart, Lady Rose Summer, Daisy, Beckett, and the other characters I've grown to enjoy in the previous 2 books I've read.

Our Lady of Pain by Marion Chesney -- book 4; see above

Pretending to Dance by Diane Chamberlain -- Even though I figured out what was going to happen, this book still made me cry.  Two storylines here: Molly and her husband trying to adopt a child, and Molly thinking back to her life in the mountains of North Carolina where she lived with a therapist father with MS.  A touching story. 

Burnt Mountain by Anne Rivers Siddons -- I've read a couple other books by this author which I liked fairly well. This one was puzzling. I hardly ever read reviews of books I've read, but did so just now, and find I'm not alone in my thoughts on this one.  It's about Thayer who grows up outside of Atlanta. She has a difficult relationship with her mother (of course), but loves her father and grandmother.  She goes off to camp each summer, and later becomes a counselor.  She met Nick Abrams. And later she marries an Irish fellow named Aengus.  Boy, is he strange. 

A Star for Mrs. Blake by April Smith -- In 1929, Congress passed legislation that allowed mothers and widows of men killed while serving overseas, and who were buried there, to travel on these pilgrimages to visit their graves.  This is what brought together five women from the northeast US, and this book follows them on their trip.  The story of Cora, Minnie, Katie, Wilhelmina, and Mrs. Olsen among others who traveled with them or met them there. 

The Madwoman Upstairs by Catherine Lowell -- Samantha Whipple goes to school at Oxford, lives in a tower, and tries to follow clues her deceased father left her about the supposed Brontë family legacy.  A rather odd book. I didn't care overly-much for the main character's snarkiness all.the.time.   I guess she'd be hilarious to some people. I didn't find it quite so cute. 

The Gardens of Covington by Joan Medlicott -- second book in a series mentioned above; this continues the story of Hannah, Amelia, and Grace, along with the interesting people within their new community in Madison County, NC.  I have close relatives in that particular county though it appears Covington is fictitious.  Still, it's neat to see Asheville, Weaverville, Mars Hill, Marshall, and Hot Springs mentioned.  I enjoyed reading more about their lives and the happenings there.

The Orphan's Tale by Pam Jenoff -- While working at a train station, Noa sees a train car full of infants. Realizing these infants are being left for dead, she takes one and escapes to the woods.  She's found nearly frozen to death in the woods by Peter, a clown from a circus that still travels through Nazi-occupied lands.  This is the story of Noa and Astrid, both aerialists.  Good story.

Cherished Mercy by Tracie Peterson -- book 3 in Heart of the Frontier series that was about sisters Grace, Hope, and Mercy who traveled west. I wanted to see what happened with Mercy, of course. 

A Land More Kind Than Home by Wiley Cash -- another story that takes place in Madison County, NC.  This is about a family and a church, a weird church lead by an evil man. When a young boy winds up dead, the secrets of this church are exposed.  A rather disturbing book, really. 

The Lies We Told by Diane Chamberlain -- when a hurricane brings disaster to the North Carolina coast, Drs. Ward, sisters Rebecca and Maya; and Dr. Pollard, Maya's husband, Adam, are sent to help.  When Maya is ordered onto a chopper which crashes, Rebecca and Adam presume she's dead.  Maya is living on a piece of land, made an island by the flooding. She has no way to get off the island for a couple of weeks. In that time, she becomes involved in the island life while Rebecca and Adam deal with the drama around them.  Riveting story.

A Drunkard's Path by Clare O'Donohue -- book two in the Someday Quilts Mystery series; Nell and her quilting friends try to solve the mystery involving the death of two young women.  This is a good book to read while at the park or children's museum with Sophie; which is mainly where I read it. 

Real Friends by Shannon Hale -- Bridget gave this a raving review so I put it on hold at my library. It just became available the other day, and I picked it up, read it all at the park (took about an hour or less), and returned it the same day since I see others have a "hold" on it.  It's definitely the most colorful autobiography/memoir I've read. It's the story of Shannon in elementary school, dealing with her best friend and later The Group.  It's told in a comic book style which is why I could read 220 pages in about an hour.