Tuesday, February 25, 2020
The title caught my eye first. Next, the cover drew my attention. Once I started reading, I knew this book offered more than a way to pass the time. I love short stories because sometimes I get so busy I have read in small bites. This book is like a collection of very short stories that are connected by the garden. Each story is told by a character, an immigrant, in their distinctive voice. I particularly enjoyed Sae Young. As I read, I could hear her speaking in the familiar broken English that I have heard many times, sometimes daily. Another aspect I enjoyed in this book is how it addressed the issues which we deal with today like immigration, racial profiling, and segregation. The author nor the characters never say this is what is happening. It is described as unintimidating as the weather. You know it is happening, and you understand it from the character's point of view. The character's story doesn't end. It's like a conversation. Each person tells their story and simply move to the background while the next person picks up the conversation. I know this book is written for children, but I enjoyed it. I often enjoy a good children's story, probably because I have read so many to and with my children; the ones that offer wisdom as well as entertainment. One is never too old to learn something new. 😃
Tuesday, February 18, 2020
The Gravel Road by Patrick Brown, I felt compelled to share my experience with the story.
This is a beautifully written story. When I read the first sentence, I knew I had to read this story. The strange thing is, I can't explain why. Each page drew me farther into the story, and I became more invested in the characters as well as their plights. The characters were written so well that I could envision them as real people. Throughout the novel, there are these little mysteries that teeter on the edge of the story. I confess that although I had one of the mysteries figured out quite early because of my profession, it took nothing away from how much the story captivated me. Although my eyes filled with tears during the last few chapters, the author gave me a reason to smile at the end. Life happens. To be able to share a story like this in a way that evokes such a wide range of emotions from a reader is a gift. The funny thing is, I have been seeing this book on Twitter for months, maybe longer. Last night I clicked and read the first sentence of the sample and downloaded the book. I thank the author for sharing Clark, Ernie, Rachel, and even Abigal. I don't know if one can consider the El Camino, Jack Daniels, and two shot glasses as characters, but they helped to make this unforgettable story. Definitely five stars, teardrops, and smiles.
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