Sunday, March 20, 2011

Oskaloosa Moon by Gary Sutton

What a sweet, nostalgic read...I truly enjoyed it.

Starting out with strikes against him, no loyal friends but one, rich girls that teased him......Moon was a loveable, honest, caring child of a single, disinterested mother and a child who worked hard at his paper route and at keeping people honest.

Moon's honesty and innocence was a major theme.  The cruelty of the town's doctor toward Moon will break your heart.  It was unbelievable to think that someone would feel they had that much power over a child just because he was not perfect.
I enjoyed reading about Moon's antics, his loyalty to his only friend and to his mother who really didn't care about him, and a Grandmother who was always worried about something. :)  Moon is the all American dream to have as your child and a child that depicts the era of where we all came from and at times long for.
You will admire and love Moon for his resiliency and acceptance of his life's misfortunes and be saddened at how his story is an unfortunate commentary on society....if you aren't perfect, no matter how brilliant you are, you usually have a difficult time succeeding.
Gary Sutton, the author, graciously sent me a is an impressive read.  Oskaloosa Moon captures the trials and tribulations of growing up in the 1950's and lets us know what it is like to have a handicap, which actually doesn't hold Moon back.  Moon's handicap essentially helps him to continue through life and make something of himself even if it isn't in his chosen field of expertise.  The book will or “should” teach us all a lesson.
 Thank you, Mr. Sutton, for your amazing book.  It made me cry, it made me laugh, it broke my heart, and it also should be read by everyone.  5/5

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Door at the Top of the Stairs by Alison Naomi Holt

Deep and hidden memories, new-found friends to help, a job that helps with the pain....Jesse had all of these, but could the pain go away?

When Jesse arrives on Morgan and Ryland's farm for a job, the conflict between Jesse and Morgan was instantaneous...they both were head strong and wanted to be in control.  Morgan had a great life as owner of a profitable farm, Ryland was the calm, retired psychoanalyst, and Jesse was 26 with horrible memories of torture that affected her daily life and memories that she couldn't get to surface.

Using her professional skills, Ryland set up a session each day at one o'clock to try to help Jesse get rid of the demons that were plaguing her and causing  her to have unbearable headaches.  The sessions were tortuous for all, but they must help Jesse.   Jesse was difficult, but they understood why....she was always ready for a fight, and did get into a few.   They all agreed, though, that whatever it takes to cure Jesse is what they would do.  Of course, there were others who tried to get in their way and cause more problems.

 The book had excellent details of situations and the characters' could easily visualize each scene and experience the emotions.  Ms. Holt did a superb job with getting you involved..the book definitely held your interest, and made you hopeful that Jesse would finally get well.  The book reminds the reader that the mind is very powerful, but also very fragile.  

Just an ending note...I would classify some parts of this book as a don't expect all sweetness and light...there are some brutal scenes.  5/5

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Four Ms. Bradwells by Meg Waite Clayton

Spending three days at Chawterely House was going to be memory-filled, fun, and somewhat painful for Betts, Ginger, Laney, and Mia.  They were going to spend some time together while Betts waits for the confirmation of her appointment to the Supreme Court.

The house was only accessible by boat, the girls had spent many summers and spring breaks there, and it hadn't been lived in since Ginger's mother, Faith, had died.  The description of the house and its many rooms made you envious of all the parties and family gatherings that most likely had taken place there.  Their first night was spent reminiscing and getting reacquainted for what in all likelihood was the last time they would see each other for a while.

The following morning a news article appeared in the paper that possibly would have an impact on Betts' nomination.  Everyone realizes what might happen because of the article, and they go to the lighthouse to re-live the first spring break they spent on the island and trust that reporters don't make their way to the remote island.
The reporters do make it to the island, things get a little tense among friends, and secrets become revealed after 30 years of keeping them hidden from each other.
The book really didn't get interesting until a little over half way into the was about lasting friendships and how friends overlook each other's faults sometimes for a good reason and sometimes not.

Even though Clayton had a clever idea of having flashbacks of a scene that panned to the same scene happening in the present, the book was very confusing and wasn't easy to follow.   I found myself having to keep checking back to see who was talking and what was actually taking place. It seemed as if there were some kind of inside secret that wasn't being revealed to the reader.  I really enjoyed THE WEDNESDAY SISTERS, and was expecting the same in this book.  3/5.