Sunday, February 28, 2010

29 - The Wayward Bus; John Steinbeck

The Wayward Bus; John Steinbeck

I'm so glad I finally read The Wayward Bus, as it did not disappoint.  The entire story takes place over a two day period in post WWII (1947). A group of very different people board a bus driven by 50 something, Juan Chicoy, Juan and his wife Alice operate a small luncheonette at Rebels Corners. Juan also is a mechanic, and drives a bus from Rebels Corners to San Juan de la Cruz. Juan is bored with his life and routine, and on this particular trip, heavy rains and an unsafe bridge, has Juan taking an alternate dirt road route. The passengers end up stranded, when the bus becomes stuck in the mud, and Juan tells the group he plans to walk to get help.

Now what really frames the central story is the relationships of all of the characters. Each of characters, in one way or another, are unhappy with their life : bored, love issues, frustrations, addictions etc. There is a pimple-faced teenager with raging hormones, a beautiful but promiscuous young woman, a dysfunctional but conservative husband and wife and their college daughter, a shy insecure waitress who dreams of being an actress and writes letters to Clark Gable, and a few others as well.  Will these individuals recognize that they need to make changes in order to improve their lives?

The Wayward Bus, gave great insight into what life was like for every day people in the 1940s. A terrific character driven novel in which I suspect that many readers might find at least one of these passengers someone they could relate to.  It's not a happy story, but it is one that should hold your interest and make you think. RECOMMENDED (4.5/5 stars)

Have you read this book? If so what did you think?

Gothic Novel Challenge!

(I can't resist a good challenge - can you; Thanks Monica for hosting this challenge).

My Tentative List
  1. We Have Always Lived in a Castle; Shirley Jackson - 5/5
  2. House at Riverton; Kate Morton - 4/5
  3. Bloodroot; Amy Greene - (audio) 4/5
  4. Jamaica Inn;  D. DuMaurier - 4.5/5
  5. Forgotten Garden; Kate Morton - 4/5 (review coming)
 You can participate in a few different levels:

Easy: Read 5 Gothic Novels (my choice)
Intermediate: Read 10 Gothic Novels
Expert: Read 20 Gothic Novels

This challenge will end Dec 31st, 2010 

February Giveaway Winner - Secrets of Eden; Chris Bohjalian

Congratulations Mari and Thanks to Everyone Who entered!

Sunday Salon - February 28th - February in Review

Can you believe February is over? 

It has been the craziest week weather-wise--snow and/or heavy rain for about (4) days straight. The trees sure looked pretty amazing, like a winter wonderland. Here is what my week in books looked like:
Books Completed This Week
Tentative Wishful Reading Plans for This Week

We were doing the happy dance this week. We were nervous about having our accountant do our taxes, especially since 2009 was a bit complicated. We had to to pay state taxes in (2) states, plus it always seems that we owe the IRS (fed and state $$$). So imagine our intense joy when we heard the federal government owes US for a change!! GOTCHA Uncle Sam! Also, one state owes us $25.00, and well, we owe another state around $300 -- after we got the great news, we went out for a celebratory dinner.  The fact that we spent over $14,000 of our own money on health insurance premiums and prescriptions definitely helped us to get these refunds. I am extremely jealous of those of you who have employer paid insurance benefits--we hate writing those checks each month --its so expensive.

NYC plans canceled; It's snowing Again!

Depending on the weather today, we may be off to New York City (when you read this post). We plan to take the train, but since we have to drive to New Haven, CT for the train ( 65 miles away), if it's snowing, we will be staying home.  My husband is hoping to visit with his grandchildren a bit, have a nice late brunch in the city, possibly hit The Strand, and still be home to sleep.  I'm not overly optimistic that the weather will cooperate, as snow is in the forecast once again through Monday. 
Do you have any special plans for today?

 February Reading in Review
  1. American Rust; Philipp Meyer - 4/5
  2. Fancy Nancy: Heart to Heart; O'Connor and Glasser - 5/5
  3. Wish Her Safe At Home; Stephen Benatar - 4/5
  4. The Girl Next Door; Elizabeth Noble - 3.5/5
  5. Making Toast; Roger Rosenblatt - 4.5/5
  6. This is Where I Leave You; Jonathan Tropper - 4/5
  7. Sacred Hearts; Sarah Dunant - 4/5
  8. The Girl Who Chased the Moon S. Addison Allen - 4/5
  9. Unfinished Desires; Gail Godwin - 4/5
  10. Unfinished Business; James Van Praagh - 4/5
  11. Ernest Hemingway: A Writer's Life; Catherine Reef - 4.5/5
  12. The Solitude of Prime Numbers; Paulo Giordano - 5/5
  13. The Wayward Bus; John Steinbeck - 4.5/5 (no review yet)
  • February = (13 books) -(3) non fiction (1) audio) (9) fiction (8 review)
  • YTD - (29 Books)
  • Favorite Book of the Month: The Solitude of Prime Numbers
2010 Challenge Progress
  1. 2010 100+ Reading Challenge - 29/100
  2. 2010 Reading From My Shelves Project - 23/75
  3. 2010 ARC Reading Challenge - 22/58
  4. 2010 Pub Challenge - 10/10 - Completed
  5. 2010 New Authors Challenge - 14/50
  6. 2010 Support Your Local Library - 9/50
  7. 2010 Audio Book Challenge - 3/20
  8. 2010 Thriller/Suspense Challenge - 2/12
  9. 2010 Chunkster Challenge - 1/6
  10. 2010 Booker Challenge - 0/6
  11. 2010 Books To Read Before I Die Challenge - 1/20
  12. 2010 New York Challenge - 1/1 - Completed
    YTD - (23 books purchased)  - (Total Cost - $70.22)

    Have a great week everyone !

      Friday, February 26, 2010

      Friday Finds - February 26, 2010

      This meme is hosted by MizB at Should be reading.

       The Stormchasers; Jenna Blum
       I found this book at Lori's Blog, and thought it sounded like one I would enjoy.

      (Amazon) ... As a teenager, Karena Jorge had always been the one to look out for her twin brother Charles, who suffers from bipolar disorder. But as Charles begins to refuse medication and his manic tendencies worsen, Karena finds herself caught between her loyalty to her brother and her fear for his life. Always obsessed with the weather-enraptured by its magical unpredictability that seemed to mirror his own impulses- Charles starts chasing storms, and his behavior grows increasingly erratic . . . until a terrifying storm chase with Karena ends with deadly consequences, tearing the twins apart and changing both of their lives forever.

      Two decades later, Karena gets a call from a psychiatric ward in Wichita, Kansas, to come pick up her brother, whom she hasn't seen or spoken to for twenty years. She soon discovers that Charles has lied to the doctors, taken medication that could make him dangerously manic, and disappeared again. Having exhausted every resource to try and track him down, Karena realizes she has only one last chance of finding him: the storms. Wherever the tornadoes are, that's where he'll be. Karena joins a team of professional stormchasers-passionate adventurers who will transform her life and give her a chance at love and redemption- and embarks on an odyssey to find her brother before he reveals the violent secret from their past and does more damage to himself . . . or to someone else.

      The Infinities; John Banville
      I found this one at Sandra's Blog!

      AMAZON... On a languid midsummer’s day in the countryside, old Adam Godley, a renowned theoretical mathematician, is dying. His family gathers at his bedside: his son, young Adam, struggling to maintain his marriage to a radiantly beautiful actress; his nineteen-year-old daughter, Petra, filled with voices and visions as she waits for the inevitable; their stepmother, Ursula, whose relations with the Godley children are strained at best; and Petra’s “young man”—very likely more interested in the father than the daughter—who has arrived for a superbly ill-timed visit.

      But the Godley family is not alone in their vigil. Around them hovers a family of mischievous immortals—among them, Zeus, who has his eye on young Adam’s wife; Pan, who has taken the doughy, perspiring form of an old unwelcome acquaintance; and Hermes, who is the genial and omniscient narrator: “We too are petty and vindictive,” he tells us, “just like you, when we are put to it.” As old Adam’s days on earth run down, these unearthly beings start to stir up trouble, to sometimes wildly unintended effect. . . .

      Blissfully inventive and playful, rich in psychological insight and sensual detail, The Infinities is at once a gloriously earthy romp and a wise look at the terrible, wonderful plight of being human—a dazzling novel from one of the most widely admired and acclaimed writers at work today.

      Saving Gracie; Carol Bradley
      This is going to be a tear jerker, especially since it is about the same breed of dog and circumstance, as the one my sister-in-law adopted on Saturday. Her dog Mica is so lovable.

      AMAZON... Journalist Bradley exposes the hidden world of puppy mills, where dogs are caged like chickens and forced to repeatedly breed until they die. Unlike most factory farm animals that endure painful confinement and are slaughtered within six months of birth, mill breeding dogs are sentenced to many years of existence in deplorable conditions; many don't learn to walk because their cages don't give them enough room to stand. Bradley details the raid of one such mill, Mike-Mar Kennel in Oxford, Pa., which led to the seizure of more than 300 dogs, mostly adults that had languished for years with broken limbs and untreated diseases. Dog 132, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel later named Gracie, was rescued during the raid. Nearly blind, with decayed teeth and a strong aversion to human contact, Gracie flourished under the love and patience of her adoptive owner, Linda Jackson. Bradley's powerful narrative will tug at heartstrings, raise public awareness, and, hopefully, help put an end to puppy mills.

      Wednesday, February 24, 2010

      Waiting on Wednesday - The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake; Aimee Bender

      Waiting On Wednesday is hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine.  What book are you waiting for to be released?  Here's my pick:
      (Doubleday - June 1, 2010)

      (amazon website)
      The wondrous Aimee Bender conjures the lush and moving story of a girl whose magical gift is really a devastating curse.

      On the eve of her ninth birthday, unassuming Rose Edelstein, a girl at the periphery of schoolyard games and her distracted parents’ attention, bites into her mother’s homemade lemon-chocolate cake and discovers she has a magical gift: she can taste her mother’s emotions in the cake. She discovers this gift to her horror, for her mother—her cheerful, good-with-crafts, can-do mother—tastes of despair and desperation. Suddenly, and for the rest of her life, food becomes a peril and a threat to Rose.

      The curse her gift has bestowed is the secret knowledge all families keep hidden—her mother’s life outside the home, her father’s detachment, her brother’s clash with the world. Yet as Rose grows up she learns to harness her gift and becomes aware that there are secrets even her taste buds cannot discern.

      The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake is a luminous tale about the enormous difficulty of loving someone fully when you know too much about them. It is heartbreaking and funny, wise and sad, and confirms Aimee Bender’s place as “a writer who makes you grateful for the very existence of language” (San Francisco Chronicle).

      Wordless Wednesday

      Tuesday, February 23, 2010

      28 - The Solitude of Prime Numbers; Paolo Giordano

      The Solitude of Prime Numbers is a quiet but poignant coming of age story about two lonely misfits: Alice Della Rocca and Mattia Balossino. The story begins in 1983 and ends in 2007.

      Alice is pushed, by her overbearing father, at a young age to become a world-class skier, but a serious skiing accident, in the Italian alps, leaves her scarred and with a permanent limp. At school, she desperately wants to fit in, but she is taunted by other classmates, engages in self loathing behavior, and, as a result, detests her father for the life she seems faced with.

      Mattia is a twin, while he is brilliant, his twin sister Michela is damaged: "his brain seemed to be a perfect machine, in the same mysterious way that his sisters was so defective". Despite this the twins are placed in the same class at school, and Mattia finds himself constantly trying to shelter his sister from the taunting and the laughter of other students. He is forced by his parents to take his sister everywhere. When an incident occurs for which Mattia feels responsible, his life becomes full of guilt, and self loathing behavior as well. In high school he is sent to a new school, and the teachers are not sure how to handle the gifted, but socially withdrawn Mattia.

      Alice tries to befriend Mattia, and is attracted to him. When she learns that he is a genius, she asks him if he likes to study. His reply is: "It's the only thing I know how to do." (He wanted to tell her that he liked to study because you can do it alone, because all the things you study are already dead, cold and chewed over). Needless to say, for Alice and Mattia the high school years had further scarred these two individuals who felt rejected by the world. "They had formed a defective and asymmetrical friendship, made up of long absences and much silence, a clean and empty space where both could come back to breathe when the walls of the school became too close for them to ignore the feeling of suffocation."

      Taking separate paths after high school, Mattia, a brilliant mathematician, goes off to the university. The two reconnect off and on. Mattia summed it all up by saying he and Alice were "twin primes" alone and lost, "close but not close enough to really touch each other ---lonely individuals forever linked but separated."

      MY THOUGHTS -- I loved this book. Not only is a debut novel, written by a physicist, it was first written in Italian, and beautifully translated to English. The story is told in short, alternating chapters, and it drew me in from the very first page. The characters are damaged and sympathetic. It is a beautiful story which shows just how a traumatic childhood can scar us for life. It's a story of missed opportunities, and one that I will not easily forget. The ending surprised me, and I look forward to more books by this talented author. READ THIS BOOK! - ( 5/5 stars )

      (Early Review Copy received through the Amazon Vine Program)

      (UK Cover)

      27 - Ernest Hemingway: A Writer's Life; Catherine Reef

      I admit to knowing very little about Ernest Hemingway's life until I read this book, except that he was undoubtedly a talented writer and literary icon, and that he loved cats. In this 192 page biography with young adults as its targeted audience, that all changed for me. Each page was filled with interesting facts about Hemingway, as well as loads photographs at various stages of his life.  Some of the facts I found interesting were: POSSIBLE SPOILERS....

      He was born on July 21,1899 in Oak Park, Illinois.  His writing always reflected what he was feeling. The Sun Also Rises, was inspired by bullfights he saw in Spain.  A Farewell to Arms was based on his World War I adventures. In 1953 he won the Pulitzer Prize for An Old Man and the Sea, and in 1954 The Swedish Ambassador to Cuba awarded him the Nobel Prize for Literature.  Like his father, he committed suicide on July 2, 1961 in Ketchum, Idaho.  His health was failing and he suffered from depression.  Many of his books were published after his death. His house in Key West, Florida is a national historic landmark, and is open for tours.

      MY THOUGHTS - In my opinion, this book is a great biography for anyone interested in a brief, yet well rounded book about one of the great writers of all time. RECOMMENDED - 4.5/5
      (Library Book)

      26 - Unfinished Business: What the Dead Can Teach Us About Life; James Van Praagh

      Unfinished Business; James VanPraagh

      I have always had an interest in stories about the afterlife.  Right before my brother passed away in November of 2009, his wife and I asked him to give us a sign after he passed, that he was still watching over his wife (on earth). He smiled and nodded his head saying that he would. In the (3) months that he has been gone, (18) light bulbs have had to be replaced in the house he shared with his wife.  Some went out on significant days: Thanksgiving, Christmas, his  birthday, his wife's birthday and Valentine's Day.  Coincidental ? I think not, as during that same period we only replaced (1) light bulb. 

      In Unfinished Business , the author and famous medium James Van Praagh shares feedback obtained from some who have passed, about the importance of making amends here on earth. It appears, according to the author, that the "unfinished business" on earth which we take to the grave does appear to carry over into the afterlife.  Some of the stories are shocking and might bring a tear or two to your eyes.  From such issues as: guilt, regrets, blaming others, forgiving and forgetting, and the importance of overcoming obstacles that are getting in the way of true happiness. 

      These spirits have shared what they have discovered on the other side.  Their stories help the reader to understand why some things that happened on earth, had to happen. The author, through feedback gained from contact with some spirits, shares ways that we can turn our earthly "unfinished business" to "finished business" by clearing our conscience, ridding ourselves of emotional baggage, developing a positive outlook, having compassion for others, and by having hope and faith, now while we have the opportunity. 

      MY THOUGHTS - In my opinion, there will always be believers and non believers as to whether an afterlife exists. I enjoyed this book, and the stories, and  would recommend this book to those who have recently lost a loved one. I feel that this book might be a source of comfort to those who are grieving. RECOMMENDED - 4/5 stars  (Library Book)

      Tuesday Teasers

      Miz B and Teaser Tuesdays asks you to:
      • Grab your current read, and let the book fall open to a random page. 
      • Share two (2) (3) sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12. 
      • You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from.


      (p. 33)..."She felt caught here now, like a bird in a net, and however much she struggled she would never escape.  If she wished to be free, she must go now, climb from her window and run like a mad thing along the white road that stretched like a snake across the moors. Tomorrow it would be to late."
      What are you reading? Please leave your teaser link; Thanks

      Sunday, February 21, 2010

      Mailbox Monday


      Mailbox Monday is a fun meme where bloggers reveal the books that arrived at their house (by mail) over the past week. It is hosted by Marcia of The Printed Page. 
       Did you get any good books? Please share!

      Diane's bookshelf: mailbox-monday

      Travels in the Scriptorium: A NovelWhen Elephants Weep: The Emotional Lives of AnimalsA Lotus Grows in the MudBaker TowersGods in AlabamaSilver Bells

      More of Diane's books »
      Diane's mailbox-monday book recommendations, reviews, favorite quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists

      Sunday Salon - February 21st

      Did you have a good week?  I'm feeling spring getting closer around these parts.  We had a few inches of snow earlier this week, but it is nearly gone as it has been around 40 degrees most of the week. I can't wait for spring, resuming daily walks and other outdoor activities.  
      This was a very busy end of the week for me.  On Thursday, I met one of my best friends from high school for lunch. The last time we think that we saw each other was (27) years ago, when her oldest daughter Jessica (now married - was 3 years old and we all  went to the beach.  Then full-time jobs, evening college classes, and husbands, childrens activities, and all that stuff happened, and we stopped getting together. Now we each have one married child and one unmarried one, both of us have divorced (I remarried,she did not), and I was shocked to hear her former husband passed away (3) years ago at age 54 from the BIG-C.  We had a wonderful afternoon together, never an awkward moment or were we at a loss for words. Yes, we've gotten older, gained some weight, and colored our hair, but it still seemed like in some ways we were 18 years old again.  Our other two friends perhaps can join us the next time. One thing is for sure, we are reunited and this will be, at-least a monthly gathering of lovely 50 something women :)

      Friday, the husband and I went to the movies again, to see the release of Shutter Island. We both liked the movie a lot. You need to pay attention, but the movie follows the book closely, and it was easier to understand the entire story with the movie, than with the book IMO. It's not really creepy, but the setting, (an asylum for the criminally insane located on an island during a hurricane just set the mood so well). RECOMMENDED!

      Yesterday, my SIL, her sister and I drove to Petco in Torrington, CT to pick up Mica, her rescued, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who is (4) years old.  Mica took a 16 hour journey on Friday from Georgia along with about 16 other rescues. He had been fostered at a home in GA for 6 weeks, and is just so sweet.  I think Mica will be the perfect companion for my SIL who lost her husband (my brother) 3 months ago.

      Isn't he adorable?

       Bookish Stuff

      Books Completed This Week

      This Weeks Tentative Reading Plans
      Special Thanks Goes To: 

       Alayne @ The Crowded Leaf  and Cheryl at C. Mash Loves to Read for passing along these generous awards tome this week. Many Thanks to both of you.
       Have a fabulous Week Everyone!

      Saturday, February 20, 2010

      A Kandle for My Kindle

      Kindle (and other eBook owners) - have you seen the new reading light designed for the Kindle? It is called The Kandle (isn't the name just perfect ?) Love this gadget!

      It's $25.00 currently (with free shipping on Amazon), comes with two extra disc type) batteries, and fits securely by clipping to the top of the Kindle. I love the way it looks and fits (firmly grips to top of book). The first photo (to the left) makes it look a bit larger than it actually is. It does work well for reading in bed or in poorly lighted places. You can even clip it to the side of the Kindle to more fully illuminate the entire screen.

      It seems like it would be perfect for the Sony Reader or Nook as well, but if you own The Kindle, The Kandle is the perfect aesthetic match.

      (product description)

      The Kandle features a new patent pending design that attaches to eBooks and printed books without blocking the screen or page. The perfect accessory for any eBook, the Kandle is designed for the Amazon KindleTM 1, 2, and DX, Sony® Reader Digital Books, and other eBook Readers. The Kandle boasts double pivoting arms that allow for easy positioning and adjustment to tailor the screen illumination. The Main Pivoting Arm rotates 90 degrees from its closed position, and the Upper Pivoting Arm rotates another 70 degrees for complete customization. Unlike other eBook lights, the Kandle is powered by two lifetime x2 LEDs that are optimized to distribute light evenly without creating glare or eyestrain. The Kandle features a new patent pending design that attaches to eBooks and printed books without blocking the screen or page. The perfect accessory for any eBook, the Kandle is designed for the Amazon KindleTM 1, 2, and DX, Sony® Reader Digital Books, and other eBook Readers. Unlike other eBook lights, the Kandle is powered by two lifetime x2 LEDs that are optimized to distribute light evenly without creating glare, thereby minimizing eyestrain and screen hot spots. Petite and light, the Kandle is ultra portable and folds into a closed position where the LEDs are fully protected from scratches or breakage. Petite and light, the Kandle is ultra portable and folds into a closed position where the LEDs are fully protected from scratches or breakage. Ships with 2 CR2032 batteries included.

      Library Loot - 2/20/2010


      I have not been doing very well with my library books lately, but it does make me happy to look at them until their due date ( pathetic,I know ).

      Diane's bookshelf: library-loot

      A Lotus Grows in the MudBaker TowersGods in AlabamaSilver BellsAn Unfinished LifeGood Grief

      More of Diane's books »
      Diane's library-loot book recommendations, reviews, favorite quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists

      Friday, February 19, 2010

      Friday Finds - February 19, 2010

      This meme is hosted by MizB at Should be reading.

      Amazon Best Books of the Month, February 2010: From a single, abbreviated life grew a seemingly immortal line of cells that made some of the most crucial innovations in modern science possible. And from that same life, and those cells, Rebecca Skloot has fashioned in The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks a fascinating and moving story of medicine and family, of how life is sustained in laboratories and in memory. Henrietta Lacks was a mother of five in Baltimore, a poor African American migrant from the tobacco farms of Virginia, who died from a cruelly aggressive cancer at the age of 30 in 1951. A sample of her cancerous tissue, taken without her knowledge or consent, as was the custom then, turned out to provide one of the holy grails of mid-century biology: human cells that could survive--even thrive--in the lab. Known as HeLa cells, their stunning potency gave scientists a building block for countless breakthroughs, beginning with the cure for polio. Meanwhile, Henrietta's family continued to live in poverty and frequently poor health, and their discovery decades later of her unknowing contribution--and her cells' strange survival--left them full of pride, anger, and suspicion. For a decade, Skloot doggedly but compassionately gathered the threads of these stories, slowly gaining the trust of the family while helping them learn the truth about Henrietta, and with their aid she tells a rich and haunting story that asks the questions, Who owns our bodies? And who carries our memories?

      (Saw this one on Savidge Reads Blog)

      In the house of the mosque, the family of Aqa Jaan has lived for eight centuries. Now it is occupied by three cousins: Aqa Jaan, a merchant and head of the city's bazaar; Alsaberi, the imam of the mosque and Aqa Shoja, the mosque's muezzin. The house itself teems with life, as each of their families grows up with their own triumphs and tragedies. Sadiq is waiting for a suitor to knock at the door to ask for her hand, while her two grandmothers sweep the floors each morning dreaming of travelling to Mecca. Meanwhile Shahbal longs only to get hold of a television to watch the first moon landing. All these daily dramas are played out under the watchful eyes of the storks that nest on the minarets above. But this family will experience upheaval unknown to previous generations. For in Iran, political unrest is brewing. The shah is losing his hold on power; the ayatollah incites rebellion from his exile in France; and one day the ayatollah returns. The consequences will be felt in every corner of Aqa Jaan's family.

      Good To a Fault; Marina Endicott

      Canadian writer Endicott's second novel (and stateside debut) is an enjoyable and affirming meditation on altruism, goodness, and loneliness. The quiet, circumscribed world of divorcée Clara Purdy gets shaken up when she gets in a car accident with the Gage family, who are homeless and have been living in their car. In the aftermath, the mother, Lorraine Gage, is diagnosed with cancer, and Clara takes the family into her home while Lorraine undergoes treatment. The father absconds almost immediately, and Lorraine's mother, Mrs. Pell, proves to be deeply unpleasant. Clara, however, continues to visit Lorraine in the hospital, tend to the three children, and eventually takes in Lorraine's alcoholic brother as well. Her willingness to go to such lengths for strangers is a perpetual curiosity to those around her, and just as the Gage family solidifies around her and she begins a new relationship, Lorraine's health takes a surprising turn and Clara must decide again, what is the right thing to do. Endicott's rich writing struggles to find its groove at first, but the balance of prose, plot, and purpose soon evens out into a touching story.

      Did you find some of your own that you'd like to share with the rest of us? Please say YES!