Monday, July 28, 2014

Thunderstruck & Other Stories by Elizabeth McCracken

In this collection of nine short stories, McCracken delves into the themes of family, love and loss.  The stories are heart breaking with dark humor.  Hungry is set in the 1970's Des Moines where Sylvia is taking care of her granddaughter Lisa, as her son is dying in a hospital.  Sylvia is torn between wanting to be there for her son and keeping Lisa 'happy.'  In Juliet a library patron is murdered.  How does the staff react to this tragedy?  How much does one really know a person?  The title story explores the parent-child dynamics; perceptions are at stake.  These stories demonstrate how fleeing life can be.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Dancing with Fireflies by Denise Hunter

This is the story of young Jade McKinley. She grew up in a Midwestern town with a loving family and close friends. After the death of her serious boyfriend she decides to go to Chicago to begin a career as a guitar player and never look back. After some time has passed she finds herself alone, pregnant, and broke. She is forced to return to her home town to get help and recover. Afraid to face her parents at first, she stops at the home of the young town mayor and longtime friend of the family, Daniel Dawson. Read and find out what happens to young Jade as she bravely faces an uncertain future. I found this book to be a relaxing summer read, good for taking a break from the busy activities of life.