Friday, May 2, 2014

May column

Are you looking for a little gift for someone special? Why not stop in to the book store in Granby and pick up a gift certificate? It can be redeemed for books or hand crafted items.

I have noticed that when I pick out a few books to read for the month that they end up having a general theme that will in someway connect the books. I do not do this intentional but it is just something I noticed. This month two of the books I choose have young teenagers that are learning to make their way in the world. My third book may not meet with approval of some people, but I read a wide variety of books and think that there is something for everyone, so I will report on it and you can decide.

The Secret Life of Bees
Sue Monk Kidd

I really love this book and hope to find some more of Kidd's writing soon. The setting is in South Carolina during the 1960's. Lily is 14 years old and carries a burden that she killed her mother when she was only 4. She has grown up with a cold, often abusive father. Her surrogate mother is their black maid, Rosaleen. Lily goes with Rosaleen when she tries to register to vote. (the first time for blacks in the south) Rosaleen gets into trouble and is arrested for spitting tobacco on the shoes of some guys who harass them. Later they come to the jail and beat her up. About this time Lily's father is threatening to do her harm for her involvement so she runs away and manages to sneak Rosaleen out of the hospital where she was taken for sutures. In their flight they end up about 100 miles away. Lily found the name on a picture of a bee keeper that was in the few possessions she had belonging to her mother. They are led to the home of three eccentric black sisters who take them in. Through their love and understanding Lily blossoms and you will have to read the book how the connection to her mother and these three ladies comes about. This book was made into a movie staring Dakota Fanning and Queen Latifah. I can certainly see them playing in these roles.

Thirteen Moons
Charles Frazier

Did you know there are thirteen moon cycles with 28 days in between? I didn't know that till I was about half way through this book that I figured out how the title fit perfectly.
The setting is in the mid nineteenth century in the raw country of the new America and the edge of what was then the Indian Nation in North Carolina just after the Revolutionary War.
Will Cooper is a 12 years orphan living with relatives, when he is handed a map, keys, and a horse and “sold” into indentured service to find his way to the edge of the Cherokee Nation and run a trading post. The story progresses with his being adopted into the Cherokee Tribe and being a very smart young man who loves to read, he taught himself about the law. As a teenager he found the love of his life who would be an illusive figure throughout his life. He spends most of his life working to protect the rights of his “tribe” even though many where forced to move to Oklahoma. The ones who stayed were legal land owners and he helped them buy up mountain land, establish small towns and industries. As a lawyer and later a Senator, Will goes to Washington City many times to fight to preserve the Cherokee’s homeland and culture. Thirteen Moons is a great novel about a man’s passion for a woman, and how loss, longing and love can shape a man’s destiny over the many moons of a life.

Suzanne Weyn

I like to think that all things are possible. When I read a book like this it resonates with me on a level that many may not agree with. The ultimate historical romance: one love story unfolds over many centuries and many lives.
From prehistory to the present, theirs was a love for the ages. It starts with a fight in a cave over an elusive green jewel . . . and then travels over time and lives to include Egyptian slaves, Greek temples, Massachusetts witch trials, Civil War battlefields, Paris on the eve of World War II, America in the 1960s . . . and a pair of modern-day teenagers. For readers who believe that love is stronger than time or death, this is a great novel suited for young adult reader. Weyn writes other books for teens and young adults.