Rainwater by Sandra Brown. Has Sandra Brown ever written a bad book? If she has, I suppose they didn’t make it to publication. Maybe she’s got a few trunk novels under her bed or hidden in a closet. Sandra Brown is one of the few authors I will pick up on name recognition alone. I’ve certainly never read anything by her that I found less than enjoyable and Rainwater was no exception. It’s a bit of a departure from her usual stuff, in that it’s a short book and it’s set in (where else?) Texas in the 1930’s. It isn’t a romance novel in that the hero and heroine don’t ride off into the sunset together to live happily ever after, but there is a love story at the heart of the book. It’s riveting and touching and it’s a good story, so I encourage you to read it.
Chronicles of a Midlife Crisis by Robyn Harding. A sort of funny, touching story that looks at a marital split from both the husband and wife’s point of view. Ms. Harding makes it easy to understand how a marriage can come apart at the seams when a workaholic woman has her priorities mixed up and a husband who feels neglected begins to look elsewhere for what he needs. As we all know, the children, or in this case the only child, a fifteen-year-old, is deeply affected by what happens between her parents. If you’ve been married for a while, or even if you haven’t, you’d probably enjoy this read.
Crazy as Chocolate by Elisabeth Hyde. I seem to come across quite a few novels about the relationships between daughters and their mentally ill mothers. This book was published in 2002, and the daughter Isobel is approaching her 41st birthday with trepidation after her mother’s suicide at the same age. There must have been a lot of undiagnosed and untreated mental illness during the 50’s and 60’s which drives authors to write about those situations. (Although Isobel’s mother’s illness is supposedly being treated.) There are lots of flashbacks to Isobel’s childhood to give insights into her mother’s behavior and how it affected her and her sister, Ellie. As an added bonus we are allowed to see how Ellie, who suffers from her own mental health issues, is impacting her seven-year-old daughter. An interesting and enjoyable read.
P.S. Please pass along the link to this blog to booklovers you know. I started the Picky Reader series to help myself remember what books and authors I’ve read and liked, but also because I think good stories are meant to be shared.