Tuesday, August 24, 2010

It's Tuesday - How the Heck Did I Miss That Book?

Still more books that never hit my radar until now!

A Gracious Plenty; Sheri Reynolds
(1999)

I really enjoyed  LOVED Rapture of Canaan by this author and Firefly Cloak was good too, but somehow missed this one.

(AMAZON)......Badly burned in a household accident when she was a child, Finch Nobles grows into a courageous and feisty loner who eschews the pity of her hometown and discovers that she can hear the voices of the people buried in her father's cemetery. Finally, when she speaks to them, they answer, telling their stories in a remarkable chorus of regrets, expla-nations, and insights. A Gracious Plenty is like an extraordinary amalgam of Steinbeck and Faulkner, Spoon River Anthology and Our Town. It is a reading experience that you will not soon forget. 

 Slammerkin; Emma Donoghue
(2001)

AMAZON.....Donoghue shows her mastery of eighteenth-century England and epic storytelling in this first novel about a young woman named Mary Saunders, who was born poor and destined to remain so. Taking as her premise the true crimes of the real-life Mary Saunders, Donoghue paints a colorful and complex life led amid the dirt and filth of lower-class London streets. While her mother sews dull-looking quilts, Mary spies the lewd women dressed in bright, vibrant colors that work the streets for their bread and butter. Determined not to be a maid or a seamstress, Mary yearns for a better and easier life. Too young to learn other trades, too poor and uneducated to be a governess, but just the right age (14) to start in the oldest profession, Mary takes to the streets in order to survive. This serious but suspenseful and even entertaining novel examines and juxtaposes the roles, responsibilities, and limitations of women without means, showing the intricate relationships between women of limited power. What is most amazing is Donoghue's capacity for tackling weighty issues (prostitution, crime, and slavery) while avoiding didacticism.

Kaaterskill Falls; Allegra Goodman
(1998)

AMAZON.....Kaaterskill Falls is a small town in upstate New York, summer home to Orthodox Jews who come from their tightly knit community in New York City carrying family memories and long friendships. They also carry a stifling adherence to the Jewish religion and obedience to Rav Elijah Kirshner, who is near the end of his life and struggling to reconcile his feelings for his two sons. The women of the community are bound by traditions that dictate their dress, manners, and preoccupations. Elizabeth Shulman, driven by ambitions beyond raising five daughters, opens a store with the Rav's approval and later runs afoul of the son who succeeds him when she violates a tradition. The men are not immune from the restrictive environment. Isaac Shulman yearns for a more learned place in the religious community. Jeremy, the Rav's scholarly but rebellious son, is haunted by his father's disapproval. Goodman, author of the best-selling short story collection The Family Markowitz (1996), renders a finely drawn portrait of an insulated community in this debut novel.

Has anyone read these? What are your thoughts?

17 comments:

  1. I hadnt even heard of this author so I am thankful to you for highlighting this.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I haven't even heard of any of those books, but the authors are all familiar.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Slammerkin is one of my very favorite books, and I think you would love it! I also have a copy of Kaaterskill Falls on my shelf that has been there for a long while. I must make time to read that one!

    ReplyDelete
  4. All of these are new to me. I like the sound of all of them. Really!!
    I'm going to add them to my Indiebound wishlist right now. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  5. A Gracious Plenty sounds just like my kind of book, thanks for mentioning it.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I've been itching to read Emma Donoghue for a while now. Never heard of the other two though!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Diane, there are so many books that I haven't heard of yet, including the ones you mention here. It would be impossible to keep up with all the new books! :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Diane, I think I've all 3 of these books on my shelves at one time or another. And....I never read any of them, and....they are not on my shelves now. All 3 were impulse buys, as are most of mine, and I had to have them. Then didn't read them. All looked quite interesting and still do.

    The state of my reading life. LOL

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hmmm, they all sound interesting but i really missed these..lol

    ReplyDelete
  10. Kaaterskill Falls is one of my top favorite books. I've listened to it three times, and recently bought a print copy for myself. Oh, it is wonderful. I can't say enough good about it. I'm thrilled you mentioned it since so many people read your blog - I hope you will draw them to this great book.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I heard a lot of good stuff about Slammerkin. I'll be curious to see what you think of it!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I haven't read any of these but I was drawn by each of the synopsis. I think A Gracious Plenty is one that I would seek out for sure.

    ReplyDelete
  13. After adoring Room, I'm curious to read Emma Donoghue's backlist too!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I have A Gracious Plenty in my staks but haven't read it or anything by this author yet.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I really want to read The Room by Donoghue

    ReplyDelete
  16. Ok. So I tried reading Slammerkin and got to where there was only fifty pages left and quit. SO unlike me. I just got tired of the sexual stuff which I would understand if there was character growth or change but there wasn't. I just couldn't handle all that for a character who just didn't change.

    ReplyDelete
  17. brrr.. I think I should NOT read these posts :o)! They make me feel so overwhelmed.. :D

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for taking the time to visit and double thanks for any comments. If you ask a question in your comments, I will try to reply to it here, or by email if your settings allow me to do so. Thank again for visiting.

(I apologize for the word verification, spammers spoil it for all sadly.)