I have been on a reading streak! I have a bunch of books on my Kindle to read and I recently reserved fifteen novels from the library and half of them came in at once. I am so excited when I can sit and read for an hour or two.
Here are my latest recommendations. Have you read them?
The Healing by Jonathan Odell. When I heard this book compared to The Help, I knew at once I had to read it. I loved The Help (fun fact- it was rejected by 64 publishers before being published) and was excited to read something similar. However, The Healing is NOTHING like The Help.
The Healing takes place in the late 1800′s and slaves are not free yet but that freedom is coming. Young Yewande is taken from her mother and given to the mistress of the house who has just lost her own child. She is renamed Granada and becomes the mistresses “pet” who is dressed in the dead girl’s clothes and allowed to live in the big house.
Polly Shine is a medicine woman who can treat any illness, birth babies and concoct medicine that will cure the sickest person. The master buys Polly to live on the plantation and treat the sick slaves. Polly spots Granada and feels that she has a gift of “the healing,” and she orders Granada to come live in her house and learn. Once again Granada is ripped from what she knows to be placed in an unfamiliar situation. The two women grow closer but eventually tragedy strikes and seventy five years later, Granada is still living on the same plantation. This book was very rich in detail and so vividly written that you almost feel like you are living the story. Very good.
The Homecoming of Samuel Lake by Jenny Wingfield takes place in 1956. The Moses family is used to moving around, going wherever preacher Samuel Lake is needed but this year, he finds himself without a church and back in the hometown of his wife, Willadee. Their daughter Swan is an outspoken, outgoing eleven year old. During a family reunion, Willadee’s father John suddenly dies and this sets in motion the tone for the rest of the summer. Samuel is without a job, Willadee’s mother Calla is on her own running the family business, a general store. Swan and her brothers end up befriending a little boy named Blade whose father is the town bully, a nasty man who beats his children and wife. Blade seeks refuge with the Lake family and Swan takes it upon herself to protect the little boy from his father. There are plot twists and subplots which make for such an engaging book that I didn’t want it to end. After I turned the last page, I picked up…
…Stay by Allie Larkin. I’m not quite done with this one but am so excited to share it with you. This book is a departure in tone from the other two novels. Taking place in the present, its the story of Van Leone, who has been in love with her friend Peter since college. But Peter marries Van’s best friend Janie and Van is alone. Until she gets drunk one night and impulsively orders from the internet…a pure pred German Shepherd.
The puppy arrives from Europe and is not the cute, little pup Van assumed she’d be receiving. Instead, “Joe” is a big beast who only res pones to commands in Slovak. Its a love story, between a woman and her dog. I love this book and its so cute, well written and funny that I don’t hesitate to recommend it.
If you are looking for other books like this one, I recommend authors Catherine McKenzie and Liane Moriarty.
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