Picky Reader – 18

Magnolia Wednesdays by Wendy Wax.  Gosh, there’s a lot going on in this novel.  Lots of sub-plots and characters.  All the characters seem to have something to hide.  Secrets, if you will.  I guess ultimately, that’s the theme of the book.  We all have this convenient ability to avoid the truth when we want to even if we’ve made a living of digging it out when it’s someone else’s life.  I can’t say I was a hundred percent crazy about this book, but there was enough there and it’s well-written enough that I was intrigued enough to keep reading to the end. 

Sweet Dream Baby by Sterling Watson.  There’s a pall hanging over this book from the first page.  It’s haunting.  Beautifully written and compelling.  There’s an intensity that almost made it uncomfortable for me to read.  But read it I did.  I’m surprised it didn’t have a reader’s guide at the end because there was an awful lot of symbolism going on that even I could pick up on.  The lead character, Travis, grows from a boy to a man frighteningly and disturbingly fast in 341 pages.

Local Knowledge by Liza Gyllenhaal.  This is a well-thought-out, well written novel.  Don’t be surprised if you see pieces of yourself in the author’s depiction of small-town life, family relationships, friendships and careers. 

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