It’s June and I am officially one-for-three in my quest for Summer Reading Badges. A few false literary starts, one very enjoyable book completely finished, and one-quarter of the way through Book Choice #3.
Hooray for me.
Based on my blog writings of late, I’ll betcha y’all thought
my only friend was Mr. Tel Evision, eh?
C’mon. Tell the truth.
Oh, friends. I’m so multi-faceted I even scare myself sometimes.
I started ‘Julia’s Chocolates’ (Cathy Lamb) and then tossed it. Literally. Tossed a brand-new book. Shameful, I know. Especially when there are starving readers all over the world.
In my defense, I knew I would never work up the want nor energy to finish such an disastrously inane book. And that would be inane with a capital ‘I’. ‘Julia’s Chocolates’ started out feeling like ‘The Secret Life of Bees’ which I loved. Where it all started slipping into Bad Reading for me was when the main character shows up at her Aunt Lydia’s house.
The house is pink.
Okay. For the sake of argument, let’s assume pink is a basic color we all understand. Pink flowers. Pink piglets. Pepto Bismol is pink. Apparently lacking those objects as reference, the author proceeds to describe the pink house as the same color as You Know What And I’m Not Going to Say It Here.
I’m not prude. Really. I’m not.
But. Let’s get real. I can’t imagine ever describing a color as an intimate female body part. The point of the verbiage eludes me. It wasn’t even shocking so much as … well …unnecessary?
When I tripped into the women’s meeting with Aunt Lydia, Owner of Pink House, and a lengthy diatribe of the ‘Breast Power Psychic Night’ she lost me. Totally lost me. I couldn’t decide if the plot was simply cheesey or just stupid. I have officially deemed it both.
And rid myself of the clutter.
Onto a happier note.
Loved ‘Blue Shoe’.
Love love LOVE ‘The Bean Trees’.
What follows is a brief overview ‘The Bean Trees’. Because, quite frankly, I am rather worthless when it comes to writing a book synopsis from scratch. Plus. Nothing I write would be as succinct as what the publisher could dream up anyway.
I’m just bein’ real.
The Bean Trees, Barbara Kingsolver’s debut novel follows the gritty, outspoken Taylor Greer, who leaves her native Kentucky to head west. She becomes mother to an abandoned baby and, when her jalopy dies in Tucson, is forced to work in a tire garage and to room with a young, battered divorcee who also has a little girl. With sisterly counsel and personal honesty, the two face their painful lot (told in ponderous detail). The blue-collar setting, described vibrantly, often turns violent, with baby beatings, street brawls, and drug busts. Despite the hurt and rage, themes of love and nurturing emerge.
Kingsolver’s writing style in the ‘The Bean Trees’ vacillates chapter-to-chapter between the first-person voice of Taylor Greer and third person of Lou Ann; a truly captivating read. The characters feel real and earthy, the story not one of merely building the plot to an ending point, but the savory telling of a story that takes the reader on a deeply involved journey of life.
My first introduction to the author Barbara Kingsolver was her novel, ‘The Poisonwood Bible’. I bought it many (read: very many) years ago and never finished it. I gave up simply because it was overly dark and depressing, layer upon layer of Life Mired in Calamity.
Well. It was on Oprah’s Book Club list. If that doesn’t tell y’all something, I’d suggest you take a plow through some of her book club recommendations. Every author emits engaging prose. But. Every Book a Tragedy De Jour.
As I’m so fond of ‘The Bean Trees’, I just might give ‘The Poisonwood Bible’ another whirl. I really might. I may need Happy Pills to get through it. But I’ll take one for the team.