Book Reviews

Frolicking Home

We’re getting ready to embark on a five-hour (at least) car trip to visit my parents.  My mom has Columbus Day off, so I figured it would be a good time to take the trip I’ve been wanting to take for awhile.  No matter where I go, their house still feels like “home.”  I’m just dreading the five hours in the car with my son.  Wish me luck!

Hopefully over the weekend I’ll have some free time to tackle my rewriting goals.  On Tuesday I thought I’d made some progress with the opening scene of Ch. 1, but now I’m starting over again from scratch.  I’m determined to get that scene right, no matter how long it takes.  I’m either learning a lot about first chapters or nothing at all… haven’t decided yet. 

This week I listened to the audiobook A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly.  I finished it Wednesday night and it is still haunting me.  At first I found it a tad slow, but soon I was hooked by this part murder mystery, part coming-of-age story, 100% inspiration.  Here’s a blurb from the back cover:

It is 1906 and Mattie Gokey is trying to learn how to stand up like a man — even though she’s a sixteen-year-old girl. At her summer job at a resort on Big Moose Lake in the Adirondack mountains, she will earn enough money to make something of her life. That money could be a dowry to wed the handsome but dull Royal Loomis. It could save her father’s brokeback farm. Or it might buy her a train ticket to New York City and college and a life that she can barely allow herself to imagine. But Mattie’s worries and plans are cast into a cold light when the drowned body of Grace Brown turns up – a young woman who gave Mattie a packet of love letters, letters that convince Mattie that the drowning was no accident.

I fell in love with Mattie’s “words of the day,” her farm-girl metaphors, her struggle to choose between family obligations and dreams of being a writer.  I had to keep guessing at the ending (I love unpredictable stories); it could have easily ended another way.  The audiobook was stellar; the narrator had me laughing at times and crying at others.  

I guess I would classify it as “older YA.”  I hesitate to recommend it to my thirteen-year-old nieces because of some mature content.  I’m trying to think of how I would have felt if I’d read it as a young teenager… possibly scared to ever have children, LOL.  Fellow writer moms, you have to read this book (Syd, Marcy, Elyssa, etc… I’m looking at you ladies!).  It will haunt you, I guarantee it.  

Anyone else read (or listened to) a really good book lately?  Any good news or writing achievements for the week?  I want to hear them!  🙂  Have a great Columbus Day weekend, everyone!

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2 thoughts on “Frolicking Home

  1. Hey EM!

    The good news is that I’m back on the internet (hopefully!). Our chairman is looking to go with a different provider since the current service is terrible.
    Other than what I write for work, I haven’t got much done. I’m about half-way done with that story I told you about.
    As far as reading goes, I’m still working on a short story collection of early fantasy, by authors that influenced J.R.R. Tolkien. Very good so far. It’s title is: Fantasy before J.R.R. Tolkien (or something close to that).
    Have fun seeing the folks. And your son is perfect – so a 5 hour long car ride with him should be great. It’s my brother-in-law you should worry about. =)

  2. Pat, welcome back!! 🙂 We made it to my parents’ house, and you were right–I bickered more with my husband than with my son, LOL. But we all survived better than I expected, so that was a blessing.

    Fantasy influencing Tolkien would be interesting to read. As for what you’re writing, you told me about two or three ideas… I think I know which one you’re referring to though. Can’t wait to hear/read more about it!! Good luck!

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