This was an exceptional book. Sarah Addison Allen is quickly becoming an all-time favorite writer. Her writing is just so beautiful, and I love how she incorporates the most amazing magic in her books.
In this novel, Emily has come to her mother's home town to live with her grandfather after her mother's death. She quickly realizes that the mother she knew was completely different from the Dulcie that the town remembers. As she tries to discover what her mother was really like, and why her mother kept so many secrets from her, she finds love, acceptance, family, and magic.
Julia has returned following her father's death - finding that he was in debt, she took over his restaurant with a self-imposed time limit of 2 years before selling the restaurant. As the 2 year anniversary approaches, she must finally deal with the past so that she can live happier in the present.
If you enjoyed The Sugar Queen and Garden Spells, you will love this one.
The story is not a happy one - it deals with murder, abandonment, loneliness, alcoholism, and of course the bigotry that Rachel must face, while still trying to deal with the loss of her family. But the novel is beautifully written, a nice paradox to the ugliness of the subject.
It's interesting as well to set the story of race in the 80s. The 1960s are such a popular setting, but this works so much better. Twenty years after the Civil Rights movement and we see that much has not changed at all - in fact, as the Grandmother notes, it's gotten worse - with the startling observation that much of the pain is inflicted on the black community by other blacks.
There's the mystery as well - did the mother throw her children from the roof and jump? Or was someone else up there pushing them to their deaths? The truth is shocking, and heartbreaking.
This novel is well-worth the time, and will give readers much to ponder. Highly recommend.
After hearing so much about this book, I finally grabbed it and read it in one big gulp. This was a great read! The writing is truly magical.
This is Lil's story - she was Cinderella's fairy godmother and after she failed her duty, she was banished from the fairy world and into the human world.
She works at a bookstore, and lives a quiet life as an old woman. Until she meets Veronica, and comes to believe that the fairies are coming back for her and giving her the chance to redeem herself. If she can find true love for Veronica, maybe she can finally be forgiven and return to her home and family.
There's a lot of sadness, loneliness, and loss in this book - Veronica's first love died, George is divorced, and Lil craves to be reunited with her family and home. But there's beauty too, and hope for redemption - will Veronica and George be able to move away from the past and fall in love? Will Lil be forgiven, most importantly by herself?
An excellent read. I found myself thinking of the characters and the story long after I set the book down. This one will go on my keeper shelf - it was just wonderful and well worth a second read down the road.
Apparently I'm one of the only ones who didn't love this book!
I just think it didn't do justice to the history. I never felt a connection to Henry or Keiko. The characters were just not real to me, and I felt myself debating too many times about whether to keep reading.
It's not often that a book moves me the way this one did. After devouring most of it yesterday, even staying up late in the night, I finally finished it this morning, with tears streaming down my face.
This is a beautifully written novel (written by Ms. Ogawa in Japanese and translated by Stephen Snyder). It's a simple story of a woman who is the housekeeper for a mathematical genius - one who survived a tragic accident almost 20 years before leaving him with a short-term memory that lasts only 80 minutes. Each day, she must re-introduce herself when she comes to work. The Professor lives with notes clipped to his clothes, reminders to help him live. When he meets her son, he insists that she bring him with her every day. Nicknamed Root, the son and the Professor develop a fascinating relationship, sharing a love of math and baseball.
I could go on and on describing this book, its loveliness, and its love in every single page. Instead I will just say, please please read this book.
I just went through a reading slump - I picked up and started about 3 books and then set them aside -- until I picked this one up! I couldn't put it down. This was so well-written and emotional. There were many times I just sat and read with tears in my eyes. But it was joyful too. Very life-affirming.
I highly recommend this book for all ages - even though it's considered Young Adult, it's still very relevant for adults as well.
Absolutely riveting!! The story of Henrietta Lacks and her family is amazing. She died of an exceptionally virulent form of cervical cancer, but her cancer cells have lived on and are pretty much immortal. Her cells have helped scientists study viruses, cancers, and other things like space travel and radiation exposure. It's fascinating how the medical community has used the cells, and yet neither she nor her family have any ownership of them. This books deals with the ethics of medical research, while also examining the treatment of blacks from the 50s to present day.