Tuesday, September 25, 2012

My Thoughts On "Into the Free"

Into the Free: A Novel
Source:  Goodreads

Into the Free is about Millie, a young girl living in Mississippi during the depression.  She lives with her depressed and mentally unstable mother and has an abusive father who seems to only come home to beat her mother.  She spends her young life hiding from her father and picking up the pieces of her broken mother, but she longs to be free...free of fear, free of sadness, free of loneliness.  Her only friends are her elderly neighbor, Sloth and a gum tree she names Sweetie.  When Sloth dies she feels like she's all alone until she meets a young gypsy boy named River and she finally feels like there's hope.  But when the unthinkable happens she if forced to face the world truly alone and she will learn just how strong she is.


Although this book is sad and at times hard to read, it is beautifully written, and I truly enjoyed the story.  Millie is such a lovable character.  I just wanted to reach into the book and take care of her. She doesn't even realize how brave and strong she really is.  Into the Free is an example of a serious coming of age story.  Watching Millie come into her own made reading the hard parts worth it.  It is a testament to the resilience of children and the human spirit.

I'd recommend this to anyone who likes to read historical fiction, southern fiction, or coming of age stories.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

My Thoughts On "Rising Storm" By Kathleen Brooks

Source:  Goodreads

Rising Storm is the second book in Kathleen Brooks' Bluegrass Brothers Series.  It follows Marshall, an elite military man turned hometown sheriff and Katelyn Jacks, an ex-supermodel who worked her way through college and has come back to her grandparents small hometown to start her career as a vet.  Even thought they can't stand each other, they can't seem to avoid each other or the small town gossip mill, and they soon discover they're feelings for one another might not be what they thought they were.  Yet even as they fall in love they are forced to fight for their lives and the lives of innocent dogs when they try to track down a dangerous, illegal, dog fighting ring, and are targeted  by the criminals running it.

Rising Storm is exactly what I expected from Kathleen Brooks.  It's the fifth book I've read by her, and I wasn't disappointed.  Once again we get to visit with the unforgettable characters of Keeneston, Kentucky and have some fun along the way.  Rising Storm is full of humor, romance, and suspense.  I'd recommend it to anyone who loves to read romance with a little suspense thrown in or anyone looking to read something regional.  Although Keeneston is a little over the top idyllic, the book still gives you a snapshot of what a small Kentucky town might be like.

I can't wait to read the next book in the series.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

My Thoughts On "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett

Source:  Goodreads

I think most everyone has read The Help, and now I have too.  I loved it!  My favorite books to read are those so rich in characters that you just can't figure out who you love the best.  The Help is one of those books.

The Help is set in 1960's Mississippi and follows the lives of three very different women.  Aibileen is a strong black woman who works as a maid and whose strength and faith inspire all around her.  Minny is a spunky black woman, a mother, and a maid who tells it like it is and is the best cook in town.  Skeeter is a privileged young white woman trying to find herself in spite of an overbearing mother, a not so great group of friends, and an environment full of prejudice.  As Skeeter's eyes begin to open to the injustices around her, she teams up with Aibileen and Minny on a project that will not only rock their small town, but change their lives.

Even though I loved this book, I wasn't crazy about the ending.  I was left wanting something more, but I guess every book isn't going to end the way I want.

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes to read southern, historical, or women's fiction.  I've avoided watching the movie until I could read the book, and now I'm excited to watch it.