October Books

Little Bee by Chris Cleave
When a person reads as much as I do, it takes a humdinger to really knock my socks off. This is one of those very special stories and I don’t want to spoil it, but I will tell you it’s funny, and it’s horrific. After you read it you may want to tell everyone about it but please don't tell them what happens. Just tell them it’s about Little Bee, a young Nigerian refugee, and Sarah, the British widow who takes her in, and Sarah’s two-year-old son. ♥ ♥ ♥

Little Bird of Heaven by Joyce Carol Oates
When ZoĆ« Kruller is found murdered, the police have two suspects: her estranged husband, Delray, and her lover, Eddy Diehl. As the story unfolds, the Krullers' son, Aaron, and Eddy Diehl's daughter, Krista, become obsessed with each other, each believing the other's father is the guilty party. Alternatively told in the very different voices of Krista and Aaron, Little Bird of Heaven is classic Oates -- dark, cruel, haunting and believable. Although not one of my favorite Oates books, it’s a good read and fans will like it regardless of what I say.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
It’s January 1946 and writer Juliet Ashton receives a letter from a stranger, a founding member of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. The story continues as Juliet writes back and gets to know (and love) the other members of the group. And so the remarkable tale of the island of Guernsey during the German occupation unfolds. With each new letter in the series I realized how much we have lost with our modern TXT and flurry of email -- the beauty and art of the written letter. Although it brought to mind the lovely 84, Charing Cross Road, which I read many years ago – TGLPPS is a lovely book and one that I highly recommend.
As a side note -- Mary Ann Shaffer worked as an editor, and a librarian, and this was her first --and sadly, last -- novel. Annie Barrows is her niece, and stepped in to help finish the novel when Shaffer became ill and eventually died. As Barrows said, “The only flaw in the feast is that it ends.” ♥ ♥ ♥

The Sand Castle by Rita Mae Brown
This little novel brings back the infamous Hunsenmeir sisters, introduced to readers in Six of One (1978), Bingo (1988), yadda yadda. The Sand Castle focuses on a day in 1952 as sisters Wheezie and Juts; Juts's seven-year-old daughter, Nickel and Leroy, her eight-year-old cousin head to the seashore. As the day progresses, everyone fights and the ‘big blow-up’ is meant to show the importance of family. The story has a bad case of the doldrums – even for fans of the Hunsenmeir sisters.

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