Monday, April 26, 2010

Imperfect Endings by Zoe Fitzgerald Carter (#24)

Zoe's mother Margaret is facing the end of her life suffering from Parkinson's disease plus a number of other maladies; she decides to end her life with her daughters' support. It is a complicated issue; Zoe and her two sisters find themselves conflicted, understanding their mother's choice while not wishing for her death. This is a thoughtful well written book on a controversial topic. Well done.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman (#23)

CeeCee is an Ohio child living with a mentally ill mother and absent father in the 1960's as this book begins. Soon events transpire so that CeeCee finds herself moving to a totally new setting, Charleston, South Carolina, with her Great Aunt Tootie, the housekeeper, Oletta, and a cast of amusing neighbors and friends. This book is very light, entertaining reading, nothing totally memorable, but very pleasant to read. I recommend it.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Staying True by Jenny Sanford (22)

Jenny Sanford, the former wife of the governor of South Carolina, Mark Sanford, tells the story of her marriage to a man who had wonderful leadership qualities but at the same time was dealing with his personal demons. There were issues in the marriage for years culminating in the famous "lost" time where no one seemed to know where he was and he was actually in Argentina with his "soul mate". Jenny Sanford is the mother of four boys and seems to have her head on straight. I enjoyed this book and hearing her side of the story.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

House Rules by Jodi Picoult (#21)

Such a great writer! Jodi Picoult never disappoints. Her writing is carefully crafted from all the viewpoints of the characters.
Jacob Hunt has Asperger's syndrome, high functioning autism, and is accused of the murder of his tutor, a lovely young woman helping him with socialization skills. His mother Emma, his lawyer Oliver, his brother Theo, his tutor Jess all come alive in this book. It is a mystery: how did Jess die, what role did Jacob play, how did his Asperger's syndrome affect everyone involved. Jacob has a special skill and talent in forensics; what affect did this talent have. I enjoyed this book so much and recommend it highly.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

A Slaying in the Suburbs: The Tara Grant Murder by Andrea Billups and Steve Miller (#20)

I remember well when this murder case was in the news. Stephen Grant was seen on TV tearfully and convincingly requesting that his missing wife return. It turned out that he had strangled his wife to death, cut up her body, and scattered the remains in a nearby park. He was having an affair with a teenage nanny from Germany who was living in the house while his successful wife was traveling on business. It was a fascinating and unforgettable case.
This book gives a detailed account of the case. Step by step we are taken through the events of the case. At times it is hard to read as the grisly details are revealed. To say I enjoyed the book is not quite accurate because this case cannot be enjoyed and we all know how it ends. It is a well written book about an unforgettable case.

Monday, April 5, 2010

So Much for That by Lionel Shriver #19

Shep Knacker is a handyman in New York City with a dream of moving to a tropical island and giving up all the cares of the big city life. To this end he has been scrimping and saving all his life, keeping his money in an investment account, waiting for the day when he could go, with or without his beloved wife Glynis and their son. However a diagnosis of cancer for Glynis changes everything as well as health problems for Shep's elderly father and also his best friend and fellow handyman Jackson.
This book is a commentary on the American medical care system and the failings of medical insurance.
After finishing it, I was surprised how much I enjoyed this book. The themes of illness and lack of adequate and compassionate care would seem to be a downer. Shep is a very wise man so the end of the book is definitely on a positive note. I recommend this book highly.