Oh, my! I spent WAAAAAY more time than I should have reading this month, thanks to a couple of books I couldn’t put down. But that’s what summer break is all about, right? Neglecting housework, laundry, and cooking and enjoying a good book!
The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier
This was my least favorite book this month, but still quite captivating. I really enjoyed learning more about Quakers and their role in society, especially the slavery issues.
Here’s the synopsis:
In New York Times bestselling author Tracy Chevalier’s newest historical saga, she introduces Honor Bright, a modest English Quaker who moves to Ohio in 1850, only to find herself alienated and alone in a strange land. Sick from the moment she leaves England, and fleeing personal disappointment, she is forced by family tragedy to rely on strangers in a harsh, unfamiliar landscape.
Nineteenth-century America is practical, precarious, and unsentimental, and scarred by the continuing injustice of slavery. In her new home Honor discovers that principles count for little, even within a religious community meant to be committed to human equality.
However, drawn into the clandestine activities of the Underground Railroad, a network helping runaway slaves escape to freedom, Honor befriends two surprising women who embody the remarkable power of defiance. Eventually she must decide if she too can act on what she believes in, whatever the personal costs.
A powerful journey brimming with color and drama, The Last Runaway is Tracy Chevalier’s vivid engagement with an iconic part of American history
Then Came You by Jennifer Weiner
This is my idea of a perfect beach read, much like all of Jennifer Weiner’s books. I found myself empathetic to all the women involved, even though their motivations were entirely different from one another. The ending was pretty improbable, but that didn’t hinder my enjoyment of the book.
Here’s its synopsis:
Annie Barrow, a struggling Pennsylvania housewife, thinks that carrying another woman’s child will help her recover a sense of purpose and will bring in some much-needed cash.
India Bishop, thirty-eight (really, forty-three) and recently married to the wealthy Marcus Croft, yearns for a baby for reasons that have more to do with money than with love. When her attempts at pregnancy fail, she turns to Jules and Annie to make her dreams come true.
But each of their plans is thrown into disarray when Bettina, Marcus’s privileged daughter, becomes suspicious that her new stepmother is not what she seems . . .
Told with Jennifer Weiner’s trademark wit and sharp observations, Then Came You is a hilarious, tender, and timely tale that explores themes of class and entitlement, surrogacy and charity, the rights of a parent and the measure of a mother.
Under the Dome by Stephen King
OK, so I mostly started this because the TV series was starting this month, and I can’t bear to watch things on television if they are inspired by a book and I haven’t read it yet. Let’s call it a quirk, shall we? That’s why I can’t watch Game of Thrones…yet. I’m working on that series now.
Anyway, I don’t often read Stephen King, but when I do, I’m always surprised at how readable his books are. I guess that’s why he’s written something like 452,784 books. I loved this book, although I did wish I had it in digital format rather than propping up almost 1100 pages while reading. I wholeheartedly recommend it (although I know some of you did not enjoy it at all).
On an entirely normal, beautiful fall day in Chester’s Mill, Maine, the town is inexplicably and suddenly sealed off from the rest of the world by an invisible force field. Planes crash into it and fall from the sky in flaming wreckage, a gardener’s hand is severed as “the dome” comes down on it, people running errands in the neighboring town are divided from their families, and cars explode on impact. No one can fathom what this barrier is, where it came from, and when — or if — it will go away.
Dale Barbara, Iraq vet and now a short-order cook, finds himself teamed with a few intrepid citizens — town newspaper owner Julia Shumway, a physician’s assistant at the hospital, a select-woman, and three brave kids. Against them stands Big Jim Rennie, a politician who will stop at nothing — even murder — to hold the reins of power, and his son, who is keeping a horrible secret in a dark pantry. But their main adversary is the Dome itself. Because time isn’t just short. It’s running out.
Because we’ll be in the throes of moving cross-country in July and August, I won’t have any book recommendations for you until September…but I plan to get lots of reading done during this summer, so get ready!