Thursday, November 17, 2016

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

Jodi Picoult is no stranger when it comes to writing novels that deal with difficult subjects or subjects no one wants to discuss. "Small Great Things" deals with racism and the amount of research that went into this novel is evident. It is based on a true story and the title of the novel is taken directly from one of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's. speeches. Racism is strong in American and it is only getting worse.

Ruth Jefferson is a labor and delivery nurse with over 20 years of experience. She is good at her job, she loves her job but her life is about to change with the birth of one child, a child of a white supremacist.

Turk Bauer and his wife have just had their first child, a white male. Ruth enters into the room to do routine exams of a newborn and the atmosphere quickly changes, becomes tense. Ruth takes a mental  note but carries on as usual then Turk asks to speak with her supervisor. Shortly after a note is put on the newborn child's file that no one black is to handle him. Ruth is understandably upset as she is the only black nurse and the note is directly aimed at her.

A series of events puts her in a situation in which she is alone with the newborn and then he stops breathing. She jumps into action but it is futile and the baby is pronounced dead. Turk Bauer and his wife believe that Ruth willfully and with purpose murdered their son and a court battle begins.

This story is told in many voices. Ruth's, Turks and Kennedy's (Ruth's lawyer). Picoult does an excellent job of telling each characters life story. My only issue is that I felt the ending was abrupt and could have used another 20-80 pages. I was left wanting more.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Two by Two by Nicholas Sparks

Truth be told, I don't pick up novels by Nicholas Sparks much. They usually induce a lot of eye rolling and dramatic sighs from me. They are usually unrealistic and farfetched but this novel --- was different from other books of his that I have read. It felt more real, more true to life.


Russell Green and Vivian are a young couple with an adorable daughter. Vivian was a stay at home mom until Russell ventured out and opened his own business. She felt the need to work and bring in some money but..... Vivian's new job is demanding and she is gone all the time.

Russell is left to struggle with getting his business off the ground and taking care of his daughter. He finds it difficult to do both and everything around him starts to slowly crumble. Things turn for the worst but love for his daughter helps him prevail.

Russ Green is a wonderful, flawed character. A character you want to win, win, win! It's easy to experience his highs and lows and his lowest low had me bawling my eyes out. Viviana is a character you love to hate. She is selfish, self absorbed, spoiled and not the type of person you would personally want as a friend.

There are a lot more characters in the novel and my most favorite being Russ's sister. This is an overall easy, entertaining read.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Keeping Faith by Jodi Picoult

Keeping Faith is about so much more than a little Jewish girl who gets stigmata.

It is about the relationships we have with people. It's about mothers and daughters. Husbands and wives and the relationship we have with ourselves.

Mariah and seven year old Faith catch Collin having an affair. It isn't the first time and this time he is leaving. Mariah is in deep despair and then her daughter starts talking to her '"guard" and providing religions information that she would have no knowledge of as religion is neither practiced or discussed in the home.

Collin is convinced that Mariah is having a set back (she was institutionalized seven years prior when he had another affair) and he starts legal proceeding to gain full custody of Faith.

The media gets a hold of information regarding a little girl who has stigmata and Ian Fletcher a self proclaimed atheist and television personality make it his mission to show that these miracles and stigmata are a farce.

The stories weave together and the characters teach readers about forgiveness and kindness.

This book is not heavy on religion which is a good thing or I would have given up rather quickly. It took a bit to get into the book but once I did it was worth it. I remember liking it a lot more the first time I read it but I felt as though I had a better understanding of the characters and what they were going through. The title, "Keeping Faith" means so many things and this time around I was able to see that and explore it. Be prepare to dislike characters and struggle at times with the story.




Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Hungry Heart: Adventures in Life, Love, and Writing by Jennifer Weiner

Jennifer Weiner memoir is beautiful, honest and bold. I laughed, I cried and I related to her on so many levels.

I use to like Jennifer Weiner and now I love her and want her to be my best friend ( if I believed in best friends that is). Weiner is honest and opens herself up to her audience especially in terms of private life affairs. She took a risk sharing her life with readers and this book starts with her childhood and catches up to current day.

Jennifer discuses topics such as an absentee father, struggling with weight, self esteem, divorce, pregnancy, love and her some of her books.

Jennifer is a champion for women and after reading her memoir I hear more of her "voice" in her fictional novels.

If you are a fan, pick up this book and read it today.

The Mothers by Brit Bennett

The more time he spent around her, the more he realized how rarely he thought anybody else was actually good. Nice, maybe, but niceness was ...