Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Turn the Page...Tuesday

Hey!  It's Turn the Page...Tuesday and I'm not late this month.  There is still 1 hour and 50 minutes left in this Tuesday and I think I can squeeze my post in before it's over!
I read two books this past month and my favorite was Kindred by Octavia Butler.

Incredible! In Kindred, Octavia Butler creates a surreal world in which Dana, a black women in 1976, is somehow pulled through time again and again and deposited into the antebellum south. During the first travel expreience, Dana finds herself on the banks of a river where a small red-haired boy named Rufus is in serious danger of drowning. She jumps in to save his life, only to be confronted by the muzzle of the boys dad's rifle. Dana feels dizzy and once again finds herself back in her Los Angeles home, wet and muddy. Her husband, Kevin, saw her go and come but finds the story she tells him very hard to believe. A few hours later, Dana is called to the past to once again save Rufus' life. This time she realizes she is not only traveling to another place but also to another time. Each time she "visits", she seems to stay in the past longer. Rufus Weylin turns out to be the son of a plantation owner and Dana finds herself in the dangerous world of the slave trade. Tom, Rufus' father, is a man of his time who looks at his slaves as property and thinks nothing of beating them, selling them and hunting any runaways down with the help of patrollers and packs of dogs. As Rufus grows older, will he become another version of his father?
 The author has painted a picture of a harsh time and done it very well. Dana is a very likeable woman who struggles with living in two very different times. She finds that to keep herself and the other slaves around her safe, she had to learn to quietly accept, at least outwardly, the way things are and what is expected of her as a black woman on a plantation. It is disconcerting to her, and to the reader, to realize how easy it is to make a slave of someone.
 This is a very good read that brings our countries slave era into sharp focus. A novel that I would recommend to everyone and have already lent out to a friend.
The second book I read this past month, How to Bake a Perfect Life by Barbara O'Neal, was a quick and fun read.

How to Bake a Perfect Life is set in Colorado Springs in a bakery run by Ramona Gallagher. Ramona inherited the old Victorian house from her Grandmother and has opened her bakery in it where she makes and serves wonderful artisian breads. The story opens with Ramona and her daughter, Sophia, talking in the kitchen when the phone rings and Sophia gets the news that her soldier husband has been wounded in Afghanistan. As Sophia rushes off, she asks her mom to take in Katie, Sophia's step-daughter. Katie has had a hard time and her mom has just been arrested for meth use. Bringing Katie to live with her brings back memories from Ramona's teenage years. As a 15 year old, she became pregnant and was sent to live with her Aunt Poppy until the baby was born. There Ramona learned the art and love of bread baking from her aunt. She hopes that maybe she can help Katie to come to terms with her new life by helping her find something to love as well. Katie comes with a dog, Merlin, who seems to have special skills in keeping Katie safe and out of trouble.

Not going to say more so that I don't give away to much. Just know that this is a very fun read and fairly light even though it deals with some tough issues. I'll certainly pick up more by this author. Oh! And there are some wonderful bread recipes interspersed throughout the story that will be baking in my oven soon.
As for reading a book from a series this month - I read about half of L.M. Montgomery's Pat of Silver Bush but just didn't get it finished.  Maybe in March...
Pop on over to Adrienne's Some of a Kind to see what others are reading. Add your voice and let us know where your reading is taking you these days.


Jeni said...

Hi Paula! Were your ears burning the other night -should have been cause Mary and I were talking about you and your book reviews! Our Women's Group at church is in the process of trying to set up a book club of sorts which Mary said she'd love to join but because of her living in Ontario, it would be difficult but then we thought about you and began thinking that maybe we could start a book review club online -using you as a guide! What are your thoughts on something like that?
Oh and I just got my copy of the new Jodi Picoult book -"Lone Wolf", read it and loved it! I've been on a reading kick since Christmas night (no needlework, just reading!) and have read a whole bunch of books in that time span! Gotta get back to the embroidery again though and soon! Peace!

Bonnie said...

I always enjoy hearing about what others are reading. Hugs! Bonnie

Sara said...

Those both sound good! I've seen the How to... novel, and wondered about it. Thanks for the reviews!

Stacey's Treasures said...

These both sound like great books!!!

Tipper said...

I'm going to add Kindred to my list : )