Sunday, April 25, 2010

Two Reviews

I haven't been doing much reading for my book challenges lately. I have mainly been reading my book club selection, and picking up random titles from the library. I read these two books over the past week and a half or so...

Cold Sassy Tree, by Olive Ann Burns
I am surprised that this one wasn't listed on the 451 Challenge...its a classic American novel of sorts. I remember reading it in the 11th grade as part of our American Literature class. It was one of the few things we read in that class that I enjoyed..not big on classic American lit...as we focused a lot on very early American authors. Anyway... Cold Sassy Tree is a "Georgia/southern life" novel. It was written in 1984 but is set in 1906, in Cold Sassy Tree, Georgia. Cold Sassy Tree, Georgia is apparently located near Commerce, for those familiar with the area. I guess our teacher chose it to give us something "local" to read. The description on the back of the book reads:

"Cold Sassy Tree, Georgia had never been a whirlpool of excitement. If the preacher's wife's petticoat showed, the ladies would make the talk last a week. But on July 5, 1906, things took a scandalous turn. that was the day E. Rucker Blakeslee, proprietor of the general store and barely three weeks a widower, eloped with Miss Love Simpson--a woman half his age, and worse yet, a Yankee! On that day, fourteen year old Will Tweedy's adventures began and an unimpeachably pious, deliciously irreverent town came to life."

I enjoyed reading this again! It has some really funny parts, and is also very real parts from the narrator's (Will Tweedy's) personal perspective. I noticed that there is was a sequel printed after the author's death...I will have to see if I can find it! You definitely leave this book wanting to know more about Will Tweedy and where he will eventually end up.

"A Woman's Place," by Lynn Austin

Lynn Austin is a christian fiction author that I always enjoy reading. She isn't quite as heavy as Francine Rivers, but is miles ahead of Beverly Lewis and Lori Wick on the "depth" scale. I like historical fiction like this... mostly story using history to enhance the plot. I don't enjoy historical fiction that reads like a textbook for pages at a time. ugh.
This is the story of four women who all take jobs at the local navy shipyard to help build ships for World War 2. They come from very different backgrounds and each chapter is titled by one of their names and tells a little about their life and perspective. Virginia: a bored and neglected housewife, Rosa: a girl who had a very rough childhood now living with her new in-laws during her husband's deployment in the war, Helen: a rich heiress, middle aged never married former school teacher, and Jean: an independent, spirited 19 year old girl who doesn't just want to settle down and have kids.
They all work together in the shipyard and the book tells about their friendships developing and their lives during the war.
I greatly enjoyed it. It isn't one of those "one big event" type books, but tells several years worth of events and trials in their lives.

1 comment:

Andy's Bethy said...

I am pretty sure I have picked up "A Woman's Place" before, but never actually read it... I think it may even be at my Mom's house. I just have too many on my "to read" list. "Cold Sassy Tree" sounds wonderful. I will have to look for that one too.