In May, I selected eight books I wanted to read for my private summer reading program. Below are numbers six and seven. I've run out of summer and haven't gotten to that last book - The Uninvited Guests - but I'll tack it on my so-far-unwritten fall list.
Funny - in a "not really" sort of way - that I find myself identifying more with the matriarch in many books lately, rather than the younger heroine. I liked Annie. She grates on people, she's a perfectionist, she's a little bossy - at least that's what her husband and daughter see. But when you get inside her head, she is so much more and her motives are always for the benefit of her family. Jackie, her daughter, should be the more compassion-inducing character - young widow, war veteran, single mother - but I found her a bit self-indulgent and headstrong. I'm sure many readers under forty will see the relationship differently.
Whichever side of that line you're on, I think you'll enjoy this story. It's a 4-star winner on my scale. Here are a couple of quotes I especially liked:
You want a piece of advice from a tired sixty-three-year-old waitress who has seen it all? . . . Love your momma, honey, and try to treasure every minute you spend with her. Forgive her everything she does. She's not out to aggravate you. I'd give every last tooth I have left in my head to have my momma back for just ten minutes. I'm not lying either. She was the best friend I ever had, and well, I didn't know it until she was gone.
The young people dressed as though they had no respect for the sanctity of the occasion of worship, but don't get me started on that either. Church is no place for shorts and jeans, even if one attends the twenty-eighth splintered-off sect of some minuscule, hardly-heard-of Protestant church that holds it's services in a barn. Sorry. You're going to worship the Lord? Dress for the occasion, please.Irresistible and offbeat, is an original and deeply satisfying story of having the courage to take a leap into the spotlight, no matter where you land. (from publisher's blurb)
Being a big fan of Dancing With the Stars, this book caught my eye just for the potential of a behind-the-scenes glimpse. Deirdre has shades of Bridget Jones, and similar humor. She is a charming protagonist - so totally unaware of her own talents and value - that you want to call in and vote for her. Also a 4-star read.