My sweet mama Carmel Paine has read 25 books already this year (!!!), so I thought I’d ask her to write a guest post on her favorite books so far. I enjoyed hearing her perspective on the books she likes, and I’m sure you’ll love her reviews, too.
My daughter Emily has asked me to rate a couple of the books I have read this year. I actually don’t feel qualified. I have never really been a reader, so Emily didn’t get her love for reading from me — I got it from her! Since the beginning of the year, I have read 25 books. I do not follow any guide or reading challenge, I just read a quick detail on the book and go from there. If the book goes in a direction that makes me lose interest, I’ll try something else. If I am reading for pleasure, I don’t feel as though I have to finish a book I started.
A year and a half ago, Emily shared her Audible account with me and it very simply changed my life! I listen to books she purchased on Audible, but I also use my local library and the Libby app for other audiobooks, ebooks, and the old school way of holding an actual book. I love each and every way, but I have realized that a great narrator can bring a book to life. They can make me feel as though I am sitting with them in a cozy room in a comfortable chair as they tell me their story. My choices for my favorite books are based on my heart. I don’t mind if it is a sad story, only that my heart is invested in the characters!
#1: Before We Were Yours
by Lisa Wingate
It is a compelling story of a very sad chapter in our nation’s history.
Two main characters: Rill Foss and Avery Stafford
It is 1939 in Memphis. Rill Foss is 12-years-old and lives on a shanty boat with her family on the Mississippi River. Her father has to take her mother to the hospital one day, and Rill and her younger siblings are taken by force and put in an orphanage. The assurance that they will be returned to their parents is not true. Rill fights to keep her brothers and sisters together.
Two generations later, we meet Avery Stafford, a federal prosecutor, who returns home to be of assistance when her father has some health issues. Avery has a chance encounter that makes her question her family’s history and it sets her on a path to find answers.
I found myself dreaming about Rill and her family, and once I finished the book I continued to ponder what it must have been like and how anything like this could have actually happened.
#2: A Week in Winter
by Maeve Binchy
This was my first book by this author, and I loved it. Ms. Binchy is a fantastic storyteller and I was hooked from the beginning. The story takes place in a small town in Ireland. Chicky Starr has returned home and has turned an old mansion into a restful place by the sea for vacationers. Once it is ready, the guests arrive for their Week in Winter vacation. Chicky has an interesting story of her own, but I also loved getting to know each character in the book and their stories of their pasts and how they have come to enjoy their time at Chicky’s place. I didn’t want the Week or the book to end!