Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Thirteen Moons - Charles Frazier

This is my third Charles Frazier book, the first two being Cold Mountain and Nightwoods. And once again Frazier took me back to my homeland in the Appalachian mountains with descriptions and voices that conjured up nostalgia in my heart.

Thirteen Moons tells the story of Will Cooper, a boy of twelve who finds himself indentured to a stranger. He's given a map and a key and told to go run the mans store out in the Cherokee Nation in the Appalachian mountains. He quickly develops a bond with the people of the region, adopted by Bear, a Cherokee chief, and warmly welcomed by the community.

Will's story is a story of the search for a home and belonging, fortune and adventure, friendship and loyalty. The adventures he leads and the love he pursues work together to build his character and future.

I really enjoyed this story, and the manner in which it was written. I guess Charles Frazier is just one of those writers who creates a success every time he puts pen to paper.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Next to Love - Ellen Feldman

This book seemed to have mixed reviews on Amazon, but I didn't read them until I was already caught up in the story. Seeing as how I was already caught up, I guess you can assume that I didn't agree with the negative reviews.

Seemed like the biggest complaint was that the story jumped around between character perspectives and went back and forth in time. But I kind of like books that tell you the story from every one's perspective. The time bouncing did get a little confusing, but it didn't disrupt the story, and it wasn't drastic. We're not talking like leaping forward or backward by decades. It would just let one woman tell her part, and then bounce back a year to pick up what someone else was experiencing during the same time and events.

I'm having trouble with words today, so I'm just going to share the synopsis from the author's web page. It describes the story to a 'T'.

"When their men go off to war, Babe, Millie, and Grace, three childhood friends in Massachusetts, live on letters, and in dread of telegrams that can bring only bad news. But as the war drags on, and when peace breaks out, they experience changes that move them in directions they never dreamed possible. The women lose their innocence, struggle to raise their children, and find meaning and love in unexpected places.
And as they change, so does America—from a country in which people know their place in the social hierarchy to a world in which women’s rights, the Civil Rights movement, and technological innovations present new possibilities and uncertainties.
Yet Babe, Millie, and Grace remain bonded by their past, even as their children grow up and away and a new society rises from the ashes of the war.
A story of war, loss, and the scars they leave, Next To Love depicts the enduring power of love and friendship, and illuminates a transformational moment in American history."

This was a great story. I got very involved and attached to characters. I was a little disappointed in the ending. It kind of was anti-climatic, but overall, I'd recommend this book for anyone who is looking for a fulfilling read that they don't have to think too deeply on, but will still move them.