Empire Falls by Richard Russo
This book was a national bestseller and won the Pulitzer Prize.( It was also a 2005 miniseries--I never saw it.) This wonderful tale of a small diner in Empire Falls is told with flashbacks like those dredged from the memory of an old timer’s soul. It’s a story about control. A cat and mouse game with actual references to a horrible black cat. The town folk don’t want much. They want to live in a nice place, have a few beers and worship in their church. There’s talk of success but there isn’t much hope. Unfortunately, they are just puppets on the river of life and one woman is in charge of their destiny. Full of descriptions of small town life that quite honestly had me nodding off….
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
This book won the Man Booker Prize. (Upcoming movie!)
I loved this book because of things that aren’t apparent until you’re about half way through. It’s the story of a young son of a zookeeper who becomes shipwrecked and left to die. His only chance at survival is to tame his one passenger—a Bengal tiger. There is so much to love about this book that I don’t want to spoil the story, but I do want to share a part of the writer’s point. It’s all about the story. Good or bad, it’s all about what we believe. Like a magician, this writer made me want to ride the waves in his lifeboat. Since there’s more to a story than meets the eye, every writer should read this novel!
The Governor’s Sons by Maria McKenzie
Hopefully a future Oprah Book Club Winner!
A dazzling and enticing excerpt:
Kitty tried to reach the peach he indicated to but couldn’t.
“It’s too high.”
“Now it’s not,” Ash said, grabbing her by the waist and lifting her up.
Kitty laughed, as she was hoisted into the air. After she pulled on the peach, snapping it free from the branch, Ash slowly lowered her to the ground. Kitty held the peach between them, but Ash didn’t remove his eyes from hers.
“Now that one looks perfect,” he said, still not looking at the fruit. “But the best way to test it—is to taste it.” Ash took the peach from her hand, then touched it to her lips.
Kitty held his gaze and took a deep, sensual bite. Juice burst from the peach, trickling to her chin. Ash brushed it away with his thumb, then licked the juice from his finger.
“Now it’s my turn,” he said, before she could eat any more. “You don’t mind if we share, do you?”
Kitty smiled, shaking her head. “I wouldn’t dare deprive you of something this good. It’s sweet.”
Before Ash bit into it, he said, “And it feels just firm enough—and I can see how juicy it is.”
This amazing book is about freedom, civil rights and love. The author's descriptions show thoughtful research into a touchy subject. Taking place in the south her story begins in the thirties and spans decades in one wealthy family. Maria’s point of view seems to be forgiving and accepting of horrible circumstances but rather than rationalizing the painful truth, she paints a realistic, colorful picture of why things evolved the way they did. The main character is a young man called Ash who later becomes governor. His political viewpoints are safe but his heart is confused. Find out if love prevails by reading this heart wrenching and poignant novel.