Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The Invisible Girls by Sarah Thebarge

This one is a true story. It is a biography of a young woman who nearly died of breast cancer in her twenties. She then decides to make a break from her life on the east coast where she had studied medicine and writing. Having lost virtually everything, including her fertility and her boyfriend, she was searching for a new start and a chance to heal. It is in Portland, Oregon where she has a chance meeting with a Somalian family on a train. From that point on, a relationship begins that will, in the end, change all of their lives. The title of the book refers to the fact that each of these women and girls are not seen by humanity. They encounter practically insurmountable circumstances. Through out the story you hear of Sarah's relationship with God from childhood to the present, and her struggle to understand his existence and plan in the face of severe hardship. The best part of the story is when she decides to give up on her original plans for a career and stays in Portland to help her Somali girls.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

A Few of the Girls by Maeve Binchy

In this collection of short stories published posthumously with a forward by her husband Gordon Snell, Binchy's fans will recognize her voice in each one of them and relate to the themes of love, friendship and the meaning in living day to day.  This is a good summer read, some of the stories are less than 10 pages, so I can pick it up and put it down anytime. I really enjoyed Picnic at St. Paul's, Afternoon Phone-In and Audrey which is told from the perspective of a very wise cat. You'll never guess what amazing favors your furry friends have in store for you!

Monday, August 8, 2016

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany

I’ll confess that I had my doubts about this one.  Harry Potter as a series is an epic story couched in a subplot about four kids just trying to make their way in school like everyone else.  And, in seven books, the story had been told, start to finish.  Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is, first and foremost, actually a play.  If you open the book, it is a script, complete with stage directions. Don’t expect another novel. The story focuses on Harry Potter and his son, and their relationship.  Beyond that, I can’t say much for fear of spoiling the plot for those who haven’t yet read it. But it is interesting to see how Harry Potter would “play out” so to speak, as a play.  Reading the stage directions involving items appearing, disappearing, moving by themselves, and the innumerable set changes would lead me to conclude that the play would be impossible to stage in real life, were it not playing right now in London’s West End.  While it may not add a huge amount of material to the original Potter canon, it is definitely worth a look, especially if you have children who may never have read a story in script format before.  It’s a different way of thinking and it compliments Harry Potter well.  A-

Thursday, August 4, 2016

The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, & June by Robin Benway

Just for fun I read this book written for young people. It is the story of three high school sisters. They have moved to a new city and a new school following the divorce of their parents. Not far into it, you find out that each girl starts to experience a special ability. April, the oldest, can sometimes, kind of, see the short term future. May, can disappear. June can read people’s minds. They showed some of these abilities as very young children, but for whatever reason, the phenomenon laid dormant until now. As they try to adjust to a new home life and school life, they struggle to harness their gifts. They realize they need to control and wisely use what they have. In the process, they first feel like freaks, but eventually embrace their uniqueness and sisterhood. The driving force of the story is a frightening vision that April has throughout about red flashing lights amidst the presence of people she knows and loves. An entertaining and fast moving book.