“That was the thing about lies: they demanded commitment. Once you lied, you had to stick to your story.” What a great line!
Miracle Creek is described as a “literary courtroom drama”, and it is, but it is so much more than that. There is enough medical and legal drama in this to feel a bit like John Grisham, yet better constructed for suspense. Immigration, insurance fraud, interracial families, and infertility are themes. But, the theme that runs throughout the book is one of “autistic moms”, and their quest for a “cure” for autism.
As a speech language pathologist, I understand and have witnessed many families who literally mortgaged homes running after the next big thing in autism “therapies”. Miracle Creek addresses one, hyperbaric chambers and pure oxygen treatment. Initially created for healing wounds and treating the bends in divers, this treatment is supposed to help children, on the spectrum , “heal”.
This book starts with an explosion of the chamber, which kills several people who were inside at the time of the “dive”. We, as readers, are given several points of view and attempt to figure out who set the fire to blow up the chamber.
Elizabeth, who has been a “find the cure” mom for autism, is on trial for the arson and murder of her own child who perished in the fire. The author describes very well the feelings and desperation of those who buy into all the treatments. Pak Yoo, the owner of the business, is also suspected, and we find out just who is behind this vicious crime.
For a debut novel, this is simply a fantastic start to this author’s career. You will not be disappointed in the roller coaster of the book.
Release date is 4/16/19
Thank you to #NetGalley and the publisher for an electronic ARC to review in exchange for an honest review.
Pick up a copy and let me know how you like it.
Traveling expands your imagination and world views. Living in South Florida these last few years, I have grown to love the diversity and excitement of other cultures. Today we are in middle Florida at the Kissimeee State Park. It's very different than our world and one, which honestly, takes us back to a time which I had hoped wasn't repeated.
Floridians either embrace their culture or forcefully denounce it. Let's let the pictures speak for themselves.
I have to agree with Barrack Obama. This is a great book. Lauren Groff's writing just is gorgeous, a beautifully flowing style, sometimes staccato, sometimes a bull's eye of descriptions.
I can see why some wouldn't like this book. First, it's written in two chapters, one from the husband's point of view, and the second from the wife's. I happen to love character rich prose that makes me feel that I know the characters. I don't need a lot of action in a book to enjoy it. And I think that is where some would decide it's "boring".
The book is a life long story of a couple, Lotto and Mathilde. First, those names are just a little too....precious. I do wonder about the symbolism of his name. The two meet in Vassar and marry quickly, after two weeks. From Lotto's point of view, things are lovely, and he does great things. He becomes a fledging actor, a playwright and becomes pretty famous.
Where things become interesting, is from the wife's point of view. You learn about her background and the reader sees the marriage from a different angle.
There are lots of twists, but essentially the book is an exquisitely written character study. Five stars, but it's not for everyone.
We are camping at our favorite space, WP Franklin Corp of Engineers Campground in Alva Florida. We loved it Lots of reading and relaxing, as we were both sick. But, isn't it gorgeous?
See ya on the road.
Good Kids, Bad City is another in an unfortunate series of books that address race and incarceration in this racially divided United States. This is an extremely well researched book that addresses the history of racial uprisings based ,this time, in Cleveland, Ohio.
Ricky Jackson and Ronnie and Wiley Bridgeman were good kids. Cleveland, Ohio, a bad city, known for it’s corruption and crime. Cleveland’s racism was in part caused by extreme segregation, resulting in more racism and a government that protected white communities. This served well in the white neighborhoods, but devastated the black sections. When a salesman was robbed and murdered, three young men were nowhere near the crime, but were arrested in order to close the crime.
In 1975, these three boys were convicted in spite of conflicting witness testimony primarily on the evidence of a 12 year old boy, who wanted to be “helpful” to the police. Sentenced to death, they were reprieved when the Court determined Ohio’s system of sentencing was unconstitutional.
It took thirty nine years for the young boy, now in his 50’s to recant his “eye witness report”.
Good Kids, Bad City makes any reader sickened when the realization occurs that these boys did more time than any other people who were eventually exonerated. It brings to the surface how the systematic racism that is our Justice system, does much injustice to communities of color. I am still angry how long it took the twelve year old witness to come forward to exonerated these young men. So many lives wasted.
Every white person who thinks racism is dead in the US should be forced to read this book, among others that accurately describe how there are two separate justice systems, one for whites, and the second, and much more severe, for people of color. Shame on all of us!
Thanks to #NetGalley and the publisher for a free ebook in exchange for an honest review. #GoodKidsBadCity
Two young women, friends from a small Midwestern college, are pulled from the frigid winter waters of a Minnesota river, one dead and the other barely alive. The incident-which is no accident-recalls a similar tragedy 10 years earlier in the same Iowa town on the Minnesota border. The survivor, whose father is the former sheriff in the border Minnesota town, soon realizes their stories have deeper connections than just the river. Small towns with secrets is a territory that many writers employ, but Johnston takes his characters to a new level, fully realized characters, each filled with currents of love, regrets, and grief. Tim Johnston is a master at peeling back his carefully plotted story, one piece at a time. The Current is a sometimes bleak read, that will bring a feel of a Minnesota winter seem so real, you will want a fire, a quilt, and a cup of hot tea.
The Current had some moments of overwriting, in my opinion, and could have done with some skillful editing. I found myself trying to get through some of the back and forth and felt that some writing could have been omitted.
Overall, a four star book, and I will be reading more from Tim Johnston.
Thanks to #NetGalley and the publisher for a complimentary copy of the ebook in exchange for an honest review.
I remember the day I bought this book in 2009. I was living in Baltimore, on my own, after leaving my husband. I walked into an independent bookstore and this was displayed in those beautiful displays that only independent booksellers can do. I was vulnerable, broke, depressed and feeling really alone. The bookseller told me this was an amazing book that she had just finished the night before. She said a theme was hope and family. Well, I needed that, didn't I? I grabbed the book, paid, and left the bookshop.
I started it that same night and because I was still working in the public schools it took me forever to get it about a third read. Then, I left it somewhere in the doctor's office and was saddened. Work and life never led me back to that book. Until this past weekend.
This past weekend, I made a detour into a thrift shop. I always look in the books first, as I just know there are hidden gems waiting for some love. There it was. A copy of Cutting for Stone, that I had lost ten years ago. For a buck! Sold.
What an absolutely beautiful book! I now have this addition to my top five all time best books! Beautifully written, it tells the tale of conjoined twins and the intersection of love and forgiveness, mixed with intercultural issues. I loved the medicine within the book, much of which is pretty forward thinking and feminist. A lot of the medical writing is graphic, but the author is a MD and knows his subject. The book captures the innocence of childhood, adolescence and the tragic consequences of our decisions and the trajectory lives take as a result of them. This is a must read book for all. Five huge stars! Push it to the top of your TBR.
We made our first official trip in our new home, Delores.
During our time in the Everglades, we had our first guest, Luke's lovely sister, Carol, joined us for three days. Now, if you haven't been in the Everglades, it is a gorgeous spot in winter, where the sun is bright and the nature is varied. Seeing beautiful birds, fishes and yes, those gators is really something everyone should see. Just not close up and personal. Walking the dogs, one of those green boys got a glimpse of our well fed pooches and decided to swim quickly toward us. We ended up taking the dogs quickly away from his eyeline, and back to the campground. They aren't kidding when they put up those signs, I suppose.
I spent my spare time reading Lauren Groff's book of short stories, Florida, while escaping gators and enjoying the sun. If you haven't read Ms. Groff, please do, as her writing is beautiful and haunting. But don't expect this book to be a feel good read. The darkness of the stories was overwhelming at times, but still worth reading. Each of the stories has a Florida connection, even if some are based in Europe. Not my favorite book, however the writing alone is worth savoring. I recommend the book with four stars.
A small black dog is born to a chained dog and eventually adopted by a loving family. When he begins to grow from puppyhood , the family had little time for him any longer. Once Toby was a pampered pet, but soon becomes a bored, neglected outdoor dog, looking for warmth in a flimsy doghouse.
A book discussing how many Americans treat pets, and dispose of them after the shine wears off, this is a sad commentary on the human condition. Written as a first person account from the dog's view, it details the neglect and sadness of not being loved and cherished within a family. I can't say I enjoyed this book, but it an important book to help people understand the responsibilities of pet ownership. As the mom of two rescue dogs, I am all too aware of how many dogs are euthanized each year. This book reinforces that awareness.
Breed specific bans are dangerous and result in a fear for certain breeds, rather than taking animals case by case. The author is a lawyer and advocate for animal adoptions, in particular, pit bulls and pit bull mixes.
A book worth reading, although it is so sad. Perhaps someone reading this will adopt, and not shop.
I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
What a wonderful book! As a pediatric speech language pathologist, I'm always looking for books for children to improve their language and communication skills. This book will fit the bill.
How often have we had a child have difficulty with time, asking "how much longer" or "Is is Tuesday yet? " . This book is about an owl who asks his mom each day if it is his birthday yet? It counts down from 10 days, and has an activity they will do in preparation for his birthday. Beautifully illustrated, I believe that each young child would enjoy looking at the pictures, as well as listen to the text. This would be a great addition to every parent's library to read to their young child.
Thanks to the author and publisher for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Reader, Traveler, Reviewer. Come join us as we travel the US in our RV. I review books.