Posts Tagged ‘Amy M.’s Picks’

Thirteen Moons by Charles Frazier

December 29, 2011

 This book has been hailed by many as a fine example of modern literary fiction, and I have to agree with that assessment. I was drawn in by the aspect of a historical novel that was set in the North Carolina Mountains I love so much, and I kept reading because I was drawn in by Frazier’s way with words and the ability to paint a picture for the reader. One could almost believe that the author was actually there and witnessed these events.

Frazier uses the life story of the fictional Will Cooper to tell the larger story of a tumultuous 19th century and the immense challenges faced by the Cherokee during that time. At the age of twelve Cooper is sold into indentured servitude and left alone to run a trading outpost on The Nation, Cherokee territory. Though his presence there is an uneasy one at first, eventually he is adopted into a local tribe and establishes a close relationship with the tribal leader, Bear. As his life story progresses he finds his family, finds and loses the love of his life, fights in a war that is not his, makes and loses his fortune, and more. He becomes a business man, a tribal leader, a politician, a lobbyist, and a traveler. Throughout his life he struggles to find his way as a person who was born into the world of white men but came to manhood in the world of Indians.

Told as if Will Cooper himself had sat down in his old age and written down every part of his life that he could remember, this is a novel that will keep you turning the pages to the very end; and then perhaps wishing for a bit more.

Find and reserve this book by one of North Carolina’s own in our catalog.

Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen

November 17, 2011

Everyone knows that food can have a powerful effect on people, but the recipes that Claire Waverly cooks up in Garden Spells take this concept to a whole new level. The Waverly family has been well known in the small town of Bascom, North Carolina for generations; both for their magical garden and for their special talents; Claire has used the family’s magical  reputation to build a successful catering business where the dishes served often do more than just satisfy hunger. It is the secret that everyone knows about but refuses to speak of; deep down everyone knows that Claire is the one to call on for catering services if you want an evening to go just right.

While Claire has settled into a predictable and uncomplicated routine while accepting her family legacy, her sister Sydney hasn’t exactly embraced the family gifts with open arms. Years ago, Sydney fled her family and the small town life in search something more. Now she is back with secrets to hide and a young daughter in tow, and her homecoming is sure to upset Claire’s predictable world.

Claire and Sydney must learn how to live together again as well as recognize and appreciate each other’s unique talents. Though they each have their own challenges to face, both of them have also something to teach the other about learning to live and love again. With the help of a few loyal friends and some slightly quirky family members, they will both learn to embrace their family history and greet the future with open hearts.

Find and reserve this book in our catalog.

The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown

October 6, 2011

“See, we love each other. We just don’t happen to like each other very much.” The quote on the cover of Weird Sisters is what caught my eye and prompted me to pick it up off of the shelf. I don’t often read family saga novels, but this one was an appreciated exception to the rule. The novel centers around three sisters Rose, Bean, and Cordy. After growing up in a household where books reigned supreme and Dad offered advice and guidance by citing the words of Shakespeare, they have opted to take three very different paths in life. Rose, as the oldest daughter, is the responsible one who stayed close to home to care for her aging parents, while Bean headed straight for the biggest brightest lights she can find and Cordy, the baby of the family, has spent her adult life so far drifting from situation to situation and town to town, seemingly seeking a place where she feels like she belongs. When personal crises and their mother’s illness bring Cordy and Bean back home, the three must learn to live with the unique quirks of their family again while they continue to tackle the personal issues that they brought home with them.

The story is a worthwhile read for anyone, but perhaps especially so if you have siblings. It was easy to get wrapped up in the characters as I found myself hoping that Rose would make the same decision I would have while doubting that she would, or mentally rolling my eyes at Bean’s escapades.  You quickly realize that this isn’t the story of each individual sister but rather the story of the sisters collectively, and for this reason, it works.

Find and reserve a copy in our catalog.

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