Saturday, February 28, 2009

Secret Daughter: A Mixed-Race Daughter and the Mother Who Gave Her Away (June Cross)

Great book. I don't read a lot of memoirs, but J. kindly left this at my house and I picked it up.

An interesting portrait of a woman who was subject to the particular pressures of her day, very similar to The Girls Who Went Away, in that it helps us understand why a woman would make a choice that many of us think impossible.

I was amazed at Cross' empathy for her mom, her ability to still revel in her love for the woman who essentially told her that if she were lighter skin she would have raised her but since she wasn't she left her to be "kept" by a family friend.

Interesting too, the number of informal relationships where children stayed with adults who were not their parents with no real legal relationship in place... reminds me of Dr. Mark's idea that perhaps a more limited government in the child welfare arena would be prudent. I don't know about that, but it made me wonder.


Anway, definitely an A. She really delivers an unflinching portrait of her life.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Nineteen Minutes (Jodi Piccoult)

So hard to write about Jodi Piccoult's books... they are all so good but they are also so well written that I don't want to give away any details. This is an amazing exploration of high school life and parental reaction to tragedy. I love the Piccoult's parents are always so believable - never perfect, always realistic with flaws and all. 

This book also contains some interesting-to-me discussions of research in psychology and behavioral economics and some great insights into group dynamics, especially adolescent peer groups.

Anyway, really enjoyed and pulled some quotes I liked - Overall A.

Great quotes from this book:
  • Children didn't make their own mistakes. They plunged into the pits they'd been led to by their parents.
  • You could lose track of someone when you blinked...
  • Peope were happiest when they were very young and very old. The trough came, roughly, when you hit your forties.
  • Somehow Alex had assumed that time was infinite, that Jose would always be there waiting. She never guessed that she herself would one day be left behind.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Secret Prey (John Sandford)

Just in time - a Davenport that makes me want to keep reading the series.

They reintroduced Weather - and they were broken up as I kind of thought they should be at the end of the last book. I don't think we've seen the end of Weather and Lucas but I do think that they need more time before plunging back in.

Also, Lucas finally gets to have a fling with Marcy, which is good.

Finally, the predator in this book was AWESOME. First female "bad guy", I think, and she was CRAZY bad. Loved it.

One of my favorite in the series.