I thought I’d whip out some book reviews today. This time I’m going to wander into the obscure – or maybe I should say less known. Yeah, books that you may not have heard of, but might want to know about.
Boo by Renee Gutteridge – What a different book this is! My friend, Karen, loaned it to me several years ago thinking I might find it intriguing. She was right. It’s a small town, quirky character, kind of book about a horror writer who becomes a recluse in the town of Skary, Indiana. The townspeople can’t figure out why their star citizen, whose status brought a small boom their way, has kept himself hidden away, and neither can we. There’s also a budding romance for the recluse with a surprising and gentle message about how conversion can affect a person and a whole town, for that matter. I appreciated that there was no clubbing-over-the-head religious aspects of the story. There are two other books in the series, Boo Who and Boo Hiss (which I have not read, yet).
Call the Midwife –Shadows of the Work House by Jennifer Worth – Because its was an Amazon “deal” I bought this book even though it’s the second in the series. I’d seen the PBS production and know most of the stories in the other books. This one offered, among other things, all the gritty details that help us understand the nature of the people, called paupers, who had come out of the horrors of the work houses in late nineteenth and early twentieth century England. The characters the author chose to highlight from her very real experiences with them, pull thoughts and emotions from you that you might not realize you had. I especially enjoyed the protagonist’s, Miss Lee, relationship with the elderly Mr. Collett. A very good read.
A Fortunate Life by A. b. Facey – My son, Blaine and his daughter, Elaina, recommended this one to me. I’m so glad they did. Oh, my stars. If you ever thought you had it rough you’d have to think again after reading this man’s story. Born in 1894 in the West Australian outback, Mr. Facey takes us on a trip through his life that will have you glued to your seat with your hand at your mouth. His hard journey, alone, began at the age of eight when he was forced into hard labor at the hands of anyone who would let him do the work. He never went to school. I could scarcely believe some of the things that happened to this poor guy. He worked for one couple who wanted to adopt him and when permission was denied, the man beat him within an inch of his life. Cringe worthy reading and yet, in his later years, Mr. Facey still managed to call his life fortunate. Very humbling to read. His grandson wrote the introduction for the book, one that Mr. Facey had to be talked into writing. I’m so glad they did!
How about you? What are you reading?