Just some BOOK TALK in advance of Day to Read, January 10, 2008 today:
I just finished a truly remarkable book: No Place Like Home by Barbara Samuel. It's a small book, in a lot of ways. A simple story about families and generations and labels. There's a romance. In fact, there are several.
It's so much more than the sum of its parts, however. I happened onto this book because it fit a category of research that I'm doing for my mystery. It was on my list of "books to read for research." While I usually enjoy these, I don't tend to jump up and down, as I might for, say, the latest John Burdett or Kathy Reichs.
This book was just exceptional, however, and absolutely earth shaking for me. Ms. Samuel gets families on a very deep level - the good, the bad, the ugly. She writes a book that brings ultimate joy from tragedy, but her characters have rough roads to cross along the way. I was entangled not only with her marvelous, rich characters, but with my own musings about my family relationships, past and present.
I ended up crying from about 3/4 of the way through the book until the very end. And I don't cry easily. And I didn't feel the least bit manipulated. This was just beautiful writing and beautiful characters and a perfect treatise on families and society and much more.
It's not for everyone who reads this blog. It's a quiet novel. There are no action sequences. No governments fall. But man, what a lovely, lovely story.
My best news of last night was that Ms. Samuel has several other books and I can now snap up. Happy reading!