Sunday, 5 August 2012

Another "long weekend" posting...

This long weekend always seems to mark the midpoint in the summer for me, and I know that, once this civic holiday weekend passes, September is just around the corner.  It is muggy and overcast, with chance of thunderstorms today, perfect weather for writing about books and then spending the afternoon reading.  Tomorrow should be clear and less muggy, so I'll likely want to be outside, not inside reading - better take advantage of the weather conditions today!

I wanted to talk about one book I'm reading and one book I just finished listening to.  The Town that Drowned by Riel Nason is a novel set in the 1960s in a small fictional east coast town that is slated for flooding due to the construction of a dam.  The story is told from the point of view of a 14 year old girl who has had a "vision" of the underwater town when she fell through the ice at a skating party, long before it was announced, cementing her already somewhat outcast status.  She has an "eccentric" younger brother Percy, who likely has some degree of autism, a father who works for the government, and a beautiful mother who is a painter.  The town is filled with quirky characters who respond differently to the situation that is thrust upon them by the government in unique and often unusual ways.  It reminds me of To Kill a Mockingbird in many different ways.  Both are told from the point of view of a young girl who seems wise beyond her years, and who has a younger brother for whom she is responsible.  Both feature fathers who have some status in the small town; in Mockingbird, the father was a lawyer, in Town, he is a government employee.  Both also have a family which the town pities because the fathers drink away the family's food and shelter money, and the town helps to support them while not acknowledging this help.  I'm only half-way through the book, but I'm really enjoying it and look forward to finishing it.  Alas, for all the interest I have in this book, it seems to take me a long time to get through just a few pages, so I must set it aside and read my next book club selection, Mennonite in a Little Black Dress by Rhoda Janzen, as our meeting is next Saturday.

I finished listening to Absolute Certainty by Rose Connors yesterday.  It is the first in the "Marty Nickerson" series and it was pretty interesting.  Nickerson is an assistant district attorney who secures a murder conviction at a trial in the small town of Chatham, Massachusetts, only to discover another body using the same MO as the convicted man awaits sentencing.  While she tries to pursue justice and "do the right thing", all those around her are trying to deny that the crimes are related and that they may have convicted the wrong man.  While the story was very interesting, I found that the writing was bogged down with so much detail about the legal system in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts that I often lost track of the storyline.  Having said that, I just realized that this is the first in the series, and I have listened to another in this series some time ago and do not recall having a similar response, so perhaps she was just using this novel to set the stage for the rest of the series.  I will definitely listen to the others in this series, but not right away.

That's all I have to talk about today, so I will drink my tea and get reading.  Happy Civic Holiday!!

Bye for now!
Julie

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