Just how I like it – a story about a man, a woman, with a murder mystery in the background. Set on the island of St. Lucia, the story weaves just the right amount of intrigue with a smattering of kidnapping and a murder or two to keep your attention. A very quick read, definitely good as a vacation book.
A patron at the library recommended this to me…it’s a story about a woman unable to have a biological child of her own who makes a split decision one day to kidnap a child. She convinces everyone that she adopted the child and raises the baby girl as her own. Things start to unravel as the daughter, now in law school, discovers the truth. Brings up lots of questions and no easy answers.
Orphan Train is a book set in both the present day and in the late 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s. The two main characters are Vivian and Molly.
The present-day story focuses on Vivian and her relationship with Molly, a teenager who has been bounced around from foster home to foster home and is about to age out of the foster care system. The early years of the story concentrate on Vivian, as a young orphaned girl who traveled from NYC to Minnesota on one of the infamous “orphan trains” that were used to get orphans out of the cities into the country where they might have a better opportunity to find families and to be able to make a good life.
The story is bleak at times, and captures the incredibly hard lives orphans were subjected to in the past, as well as the hard times for some of those in our system today who are tossed from place to place and used for labor and money.
This was a very interesting story about a piece of American history that was previously unknown to me. I really enjoyed the part of the book that dealt with the young Vivian and her life on the Orphan Train. As a result of reading this fictional account of this piece of history, I have looked into reading some of the true accounts of some of these orphan’s lives on that Orphan Train.
I have never read a book like this before. It was recommended to me by a friend, so I took it on vacation and finished it during the week I was away. The narrator throughout is Budo, the imaginary friend of Max, an eight-year-old autistic boy who “imagined” Budo 5 years earlier. Budo watches over Max, but being imaginary, cannot make his presence felt in the real world. This becomes a problem when Max is in real danger and Budo must find a way to help his friend.
The author has created a world of Imaginary Friends that is fascinating and well thought out, and his understanding of little boys like Max is also incredible. Budo’s biggest fear is that he will fade away into nothingness as all imaginary friends eventually do when kids grow up and stop believing in them. The bond between this special “imaginary” friend and the love he feels for the boy who created him makes this such a wonderful story.
Another book from the YA section of the library and it’s a really good one. The subject matter deals with the death of a teenager (not sure why I’ve gravitated toward these books lately), but I did not find it depressing at all. In fact, this is another book that I felt dealt with this subject in a very realistic way. All involved survivors are grief stricken, but there are moments of humor as well. Added to the mix are the feelings of the main characters as they navigate through high school and budding relationships . I enjoyed this book and will look for others by this author.
44 Scotland Street is the first in a series by Alexander McCall Smith by the same name. The story takes place in Edinburgh in a neighborhood with very colorful residents. You will meet Pat, a young woman taking her gap year in Edinburgh; Bruce, who shares the flat with Pat; Domenica, an interesting widow in another flat; Bernie and his mother on the floor below. Bernie is only five and already learning Italian and how to play the saxophone. Pat finds a job working for Matthew in an art gallery but knows little about art.
You’ll find yourself turning pages and deep into the story before you know it. McCall Smith has a talent for giving many details but not getting bogged down in them. He’s very insightful and develops deep characters.
Geraldine Brooks masterfully weaves a tale of life away from home for Mr. March after he leaves his “Little Women” to fend for themselves. As the local young men are gathered together before leaving to join the fight to save the Union, Mr. March is asked to say a few words. As he speaks, he repeatedly uses the word “we.” Looking up, he catches Marmee’s eye, and they both realize that he will be joining the boys.
In the course of the book, Mr. March returns to an area that he used to tour while selling goods door to door. He serves as chaplain and then, after an indiscretion, he is reassigned to Oak Landing, an area where liberated slaves are supposed to be protected and offered wages as they toil to bring in the cotton crop.
This is an intriguing story that brings the reader fact to face with war, slavery, incest, and adultery. What does Mr. March carry with him to remind him of his Little Women, who wait at home? When he returns home, battered and ill, will Marmee still feel the same about him? Will his LIttle Women?