My Own Little Book Corner

Monday, February 6, 2017

2017 Books Read - January

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
This is a story that took inspiration from a Russian folk tale about a snow girl who came to life.  Jack and Mabel Childress moved to Alaska and claimed land.   They are a childless couple who had lost a baby and were looking for a new start.   One night they build a snow girl.   The next morning it is gone,but a little girl, Faina appears.   She is a child of the woods.   The question that is always in the background is whether Faina is a human or a snow child.   This is a very interesting read on many levels.  A book I recommend.

The Book of Someday by Dianne Dixon
A sort of love story.   The Book of Someday was begun by Livvi Gray when she was a young child living in what appears to be a loveless family.   As an adult, her book gets published.   That is where the main story begins.   The story involves 3 women who don't realize they are connected but different events draw them together.   Livvi, Micah, a well known photographer, and the woman in the silver dress and pearl button shoes.   This could have been a really good story, but as I was reading it all I could think of is "made for TV movie."   It lacked depth of character and just did not grab me.  I did finish it so it wasn't all bad, but not one that I would put at the top of a list.

Small Great Things by Jodi Piccoult
It's been 8 years since I read a Jodi Piccoult book.   I kind of got Piccoult fatigue - much like I did with John Grishom - and had not really considered any of her books.   The subject of this one and a recommendation by a friend, drew me in. This is a story of a black labor and delivery nurse, Ruth Jackson, a white supremacist couple, Turk and Brittany, a lawyer, Kennedy and how racism is part of our everyday life.  Ruth is a great L & D nurse but she is forbidden to care for Turk and Brittany's son because of her skin color.   The rub comes when she is left in the nursery with him as the only nurse and he stops breathing.   The baby dies and Turk and Brittany demand justice.   This is a good story and it will make you think.   I did feel while reading it there were some contrived situations.  It's not that I don't believe that people are treated the way that Ruth was, it just seemed a little over the top at times.  It became a very preachy book and I think it could have gotten the point across without going so over the top.   I almost hate putting it that way because I do not want to minimize what I know some people live through only because of their skin color.   It did make me think and is well worth the read.

The Sleepwalker by Chris Bohjalian
Chris Bohjalian is one of my favorite authors.  He has a way with words and the style he writes draws me in.  This story was no different - I was hooked and read it in 2 days.  (It is a relative short book.)  The story is about a family left behind when their sleepwalking mom disappears.   All things point to her drowning, but no body can be found.  The main character is the daughter, Lianna, who is keeping the family functioning while trying to piece together not only what happened to her mom, but also learning some things about her mom and dad that she didn't know.  There is always a sense that there is more to the story than an accident while sleepwalking and Lianna is trying to get some closure in this area. How everything plays out and fits together is very interesting,  

 There is great character development and I loved all of the people in this story.   There is a narrative before each chapter that it is not clear until the end whose story it is.  All of these are things I like about Bohjalian's  books.  My one complaint about this one is the ending.  Not so much what the ending is, but it just felt a little bit like there should have been a little more to the story,   But even with that, I recommend this book.