March was an incredibly busy time chez Ravenous Reader, but somehow quite a bit of reading managed to get done. Besides what I’ve already reviewed, I also read~
Good Family, by Terry Gamble: A bittersweet family saga, set on the shores of Lake Michigan (familiar territory for me), this novel centers around 40 year old Maddie Addison, a filmmaker who returns to the family fold just as her mother lies dying. Maddie has to deal with some disturbing memories as well as with some troubled family relationships. It sounds like a downer, but there was enough quirky family humor to relieve the tension. I like these kinds of stories – big families and their many problems – and I enjoy books set in water locales. Win – win on this one, which I downloaded from the library onto my e-reader.
That Old Cape Magic, by Richard Russo: Okay, I’ve never met a Russo novel I didn’t like, and this one was no exception. His themes are oh-so-familiar by now (middle aged characters confronting their mortality, their future, and their past), but he’s got such a deft touch at combining humor and pathos, I never tire of his middle aged characters and their angst. This story is book-ended by weddings which occur on Cape Cod, one year apart, and the changes that occur in the life of our protagonist, Griffin, whose childhood memories of this location are cause for much introspection. Loved it.
The #1 Ladies Detective Agency, by Alexander McCall Smith: Somehow, I’d let this series of McCall Smith’s pass me by, even though I’ve enjoyed all his other writing. This one came with my e-reader, and it was as purely delightful as I’ve come to expect from this author.
Lost Letter was sent to me by the author, Neil Mulligan, and was a pleasant surprise. A poignant WWII novel about a young couple who marry just days before he ships out. She gets pregnant, he gets killed- she raises their daughter alone, with only the letters he wrote her and her memories. Fast forward 60 years, and she’s terminally ill, her daughter caring for her. In a military base, a lost letter surfaces…his final correspondence. Will his last words reach her in time? Of course this story has special significance for me, because my parents were also sweethearts during this tumultuous time. Lost Letter was a real spellbinder – I found myself unable to put it down and read it in two sittings.
Now it’s April – and I’m enmeshed in The Brothers Karamazov for Bellezza’s read-along. I’m also reading The Help, which I know many of you have read and enjoyed. It is a marvelous story, and I’ll be interested to see what Steven Spielberg does with his movie version. What fun this would be to cast! I’ll also be reading/reviewing This One is Mine, (Maria Semple); and The Sweet By and By, (Todd Johnson)
Back to the books…
What’s on your reading list for April?