Then again, I always say the same thing about journal keeping so, time to just dive in. For this post I'm going to try and narrow down my top three books for this year - so far.
Written by my sweet friend, Beatriz Williams, Tiny Little Thing is about another of the Schuyler sisters - Tiny. Things aren't going so well in Tiny's seemingly perfect life. Tiny has married into the powerful and illustrious Hardcastle family and her husband, Frank, is running for a senate seat but there are some secrets that seem to be lurking beneath the surface of this perfect family during their annual summer holiday on Cape Cod. When Tiny's sister, Pepper, arrives for a visit, followed closely by Frank's war-hero cousin, Caspian, and an envelope with some incriminating photos follows close behind, all begins to unravel.
I don't know how I never read any of Karen White's books until about 18 months ago but, somehow, I missed them. When my friend, Beatriz, said she would be collaborating on a book with her I decided to pick one up. After I devoured her Tradd Street series (highly recommended), I moved on to some of her others. In September I read Pieces of the Heart and I fell in love with this book! I was torn between not being able to put it down and wanting to take my time and enjoy it more. In this story Caroline Collier is under doctors orders to take a vacation from her high pressure job. She returns for the first time in years to her overbearing mother's vacation home in the mountains of North Carolina. This place used to be a refuge for Caroline when she was growing up but since the loss of her younger brother, who died at the age of 17, she has not been able to face the demons of the past. There are still tensions between her and her mother but she finds courage to face her fears through her relationships with a lifelong friend and some new neighbors. The writing is wonderful!
The Boys in the Boat is the story of the eight man rowing team from Washington state who won the gold medal in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. We have always heard a lot about Jesse Owens but not much about this team of persevering young men who had to fight hard for their position on the team and fight even harder for their victory at the Olympics. It tells of their history as young men, particularly from the point of view of Joe Rantz. He was interviewed by the author shortly before his death in his 90s. The rest of the book was constructed by using the journals of the other seven rowers, coaches, and others connected to the team. It's told in such a masterful way that you forget you're reading a true story and not a novel. I highly recommend this book.
So, there are my top three - so far - for this year. Honorable mention goes to: