I'm back. It’s been a long stretch since my maiden blogging voyage in December. An injury sidelined me but gave me lots of time to read (though I had to type with one hand for awhile). So here goes, again, and hopefully I'll share on a more regular basis from now on, especially considering the number of books I’ve written up during my enforced leisure
Three Weeks In December by Audrey Schulman
What a tour de force! Schulman traces two stories, separated by a century and set in Africa, which reveal haunting parallels. Both protagonists are outsiders. Jeremy is an engineer, fleeing from small-town New England because he finds human contact, especially with women, fraught. Max is an ethno-botanist who comes to Rwanda in search of a vine with healing properties. Her Asperger's gives her amazing focus in the field and uncanny connection with the gorillas of the region. Bothcharacters suffer physically and face terrifying enemies: for Jeremy, man-eating lions; for Max, crazed child soldiers. It doesn't end well for either, but their journeys bring them some fulfillment and heroism along the way. Very intense and atmospheric.
Here are some other books to consider:
You Know When The Men Are Gone by Siobhan Fallon
Short stories centered around a world I have little access to: Fort Hood, Texas where soldiers come and go to Iraq and their wives and girlfriends wait and cope and adjust--or don't. On the surface, discipline and conformity rule daily life on the base, but inter-familial tensions intensify as worry builds and communication falters. An army wife herself, Fallon reflects a wide range of emotions and experiences, from pride and loyalty to alienation and desperation. This book goes a long way to dispel stereotypes about military life that I, with an anti-war bias, have held for years.
Winter's Child by Margaret Maron
A Deborah Knott Mystery set in North Carolina. Deborah's a judge, finally hitched to Dwight, a cop, who made an unfortunate marriage to a Southern Belle before he copped to the power of Deborah, his first love. His ex, Jonna, has mysteriously disappeared and then his 8 year old son, Cal, goes missing too. Action centers around a historic house with a resident ghost and secret passages. Maron conveys southern mores very well, so it's escape reading with a bonus