The first week of September passed in a blur - Two granddaughters hit new milestones, one began preschool 3 days a week and absolutely loved it, and the oldest began kindergarten, another success. The third granddaughter gets one more year home with mom and preschool next year; we are all getting older.
Yoga, dining out, movies out, pedicure and preparing for a Vermont getaway rounded out the week. I also finished (2) books.
This week with will include a hair appointment, lunch with friends from high school, yoga and time in VT.
As we enjoy perfect early fall weather, (70 degree days and 45-50 degree nights) our hearts go out to those in Houston and Florida and elsewhere affected by the recent hurricanes.
BOOKS READ this WEEK
Before, Durning and After by Richard Bausch
Yet another more recent novel (2015) set against the backdrop of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. A story in (3) parts: "Before, During and After" we meet Natasha Barrett, who works for a US Senator - her life in flux, after her most recent relationship with a married man ended.
AT a party, in April of 2001, Natasha meets Michael, a recently divorced Episcopalian priest, 16 years her senior. Great sex = plans to marry (be prepared for details). But, before they are scheduled to marry (and weeks before 9/11), she flies to Jamaica for a pre-wedding vacation while Michael stays back to attend a wedding in NYC.
Something awful happens to Natasha in Jamaica which she keeps to herself but, it's something that changes her and her relationship with Michael, leaving him confused and suspicious, leaving the reader with a story that is sure not to end well.
Great character development of flawed characters and, although the story seemed to veer off track at times and slow, for the most part it was a good story. I will say that because of all the detailed sex some readers will be put off by this novel.
Little Fires Everywhere; Celeste Ng
Penguin - Sept 12, 2018
Shaker Heights, OH touted as the perfect neighborhood for a happy life, well, maybe not for every family who lives there. We learn from the very first page that the home of the Richardson Family burns to the ground and, that the fire was most likely set by their youngest child, Izzy.
The story takes place in 1997-1998, Shaker Heights is a neighborhood with strict rules, and strict parents who expect their children to be high achievers. In fact, he oldest daughter, Lexie is expected to enter Yale in the fall. The two sons that follow are Tripp, a popular, athlete and Moody, quiet and shy but a good student. The youngest daughter Isabel (Izzy) is seen as somewhat out of control as she's not afraid to speak her mind, and feels like she's treated differently than her siblings. Father is a defense attorney, and nosy mom works as a local reporter.
When Mia Warren, an artist, and teenage daughter Pearl move into the Richardson's rental house, the two soon become more entwined in the Richardson's lives, which in unplanned and unintentional ways stokes the impending fire. To say more would really lead to spoilers.
I loved this book, carefully, crafted characters, dysfunctional families, race, prejudice, secrets, and more. This one would make for a fantastic book club discussion
fantastic story - 5/5 stars
The Glass Castle (2017) - (Overview) A young girl comes of age in a dysfunctional family of nonconformist nomads with a mother who's an eccentric artist and an alcoholic father who would stir the children's imagination with hope as a distraction to their poverty.
OMG - I loved the memoir by Jeanette Walls, and the movie was fantastic as well. Woody Harrelson plays the alcoholic father and the vivid dysfunction of this family at times brought me to tears. My husband thought it was excellent as well and we couldn't stop talking about it. Have you seen this one?
We decided to celebrate the 40th anniversary viewing of Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) on the Big Screen and was happy we did. Believe it or not, I don't think I ever saw the full movie before this - just bits and pieces. We really enjoyed this on the big screen.
Solitary Man (2009), starring Michael Douglas was one movie I had never seen, and, although it wasn't the best movie we ever saw, we enjoyed it.
(Overview) - A car magnate (Michael Douglas) watches his personal and professional life hit the skids because of his business and romantic indiscretions.
Have a Great Weekend