Books, Personal

Friday Peanuts – Books, Books, Books

Friday Peanuts

There’s only so much you can do when you’re up at 2 am nursing.  In order to keep myself awake I like to read.  Thus, I’ve read a lot of books in the last six weeks.  I thought I’d share my thoughts on some of them with you today.

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Irene Hannon – One Perfect Spring

One Perfect Spring by Irene Hannon

Haley Summers is 11 years old and writes a letter to a business that grants charitable requests to find her neighbors long lost son.  Many lives are changed as Keith Watson is tasked with the project.  A tale of discovery, romance against all odds, and a rekindling of their relationship with God, you will enjoy reading about Claire Summers, Keith Watson, Maureen Chandler, and David McMillan as their lives are drawn together through the search for Maureen’s son.

A compelling story that draws you in to the lives of the characters and entices you to continue reading.  This novel is very well written and invites the reader into the lives of the characters.  Addressing many common issues facing people today such as a distance from God and how relationships evolve this book with appeal to all ages of readers.

Publication date: May 6, 2014
Genre: Christian Fiction, Contemporary
Setting: Present day St. Louis, Missouri 
Rating: A

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher.  I was not required to write a review nor was I instructed what to write. All opinions are my own.  Please see my link/review disclosures for more information.

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The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

Theo Decker is 13 years old when he survives a harrowing incident in New York City that claims the life of his mother and leaves him in possession of a world famous painting.  Since his father abandoned he and his mother he stays with the wealthy family of one his friends until his father returns for him and takes him to his new life in Las Vegas.  As Theo ages he’s faced with many choices.  Grappling with his longing for his mother, an unfamiliar living situation, and an uncomfortable relationship with his father, Theo spirals into recklessness and heavy drug use.  And throughout it all his constant awareness of the stolen painting and what he should do with it lingers in his mind.

A coming of age novel that travels with Theo from his teenage years until adulthood, the reader is immediately drawn into Theo’s life and is immersed in his quest to understand his new life and adapt to living without his mother.  There is prevalent drug use throughout the novel as well as violence and occasional adult situations.  But this is a book that you won’t want to put down as you feel that you are right next to Theo as he navigates the underworld while maintaining relationships with those who have no knowledge of his unsavory associations.

Winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for fiction, this novel is intriguing, captivating, disturbing, and melancholy.  If you’re looking for an uplifting coming of age novel this is not the novel for you.  But if you want to be entertained and transported to an unfamiliar reality then you should read The Goldfinch as soon as possible.

Publication date: October 22, 2013
Genre: Fiction, Contemporary
Setting: New York, Las Vegas, Europe
Rating: A

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No Dark Valley by Jamie Langston Turner

No Dark Valley  by Jamie Langston Turner

Celia Coleman faces the death of her grandmother and having to return to her grandmother’s hometown for the funeral and to take care of her estate.  Celia’s memories of the small Georgia town are not fond but as she spends time with her grandmother’s things she’s faced with the realization that she must come to terms with her and her grandmother’s past.  This includes finding answers to the questions about her grandmother’s Christian religion.

Bruce Healy lives with his sister and must face the ghosts of his promiscuous past as he tries to move forward in his new Christian faith.  As he encounters his next door neighbor Celia, can they find what they have in common or will the memories of their pasts force them to remain alone?

The first half of the book is told from Celia’s point of view and the second half from Bruce’s.  This was disconcerting to me as I was not expecting the change in narrator.  Despite that, the novel is captivating and insists that the reader confront any unresolved questions and fears that they have from the past.

Publication date: November 1, 2008
Genre: Christian Fiction, Contemporary
Setting: South Carolina, Georgia
Rating: A-

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One Lavender Ribbon by Heather Burch

One Lavender Ribbon by Heather Burch

Adrienne Carter has found herself divorced and buys an old Victorian fixer-upper in Southern Florida to escape Chicago and the memories of her unhappy marriage.  During her renovations she finds a stack of letters tied with a lavender ribbon.  As she reads through the letters from a WWII solider to his girlfriend she is transported in time and drawn into the lives of the man and woman.

Adrienne sets out to find the owner of the letters and discovers new friends and a type of family that she’s never known before.  With the best of intentions she continues to make decisions motivated by the content of the letters and deals with the fallout when the solider’s grandson is not happy.  Adrienne’s quest to discover the origin of the love expressed in the letters  makes her reconsider her determination to never love again.

The novel is an epic romance that covers multiple generations and many obstacles.  The reader will find himself cheering on Adrienne even as her schemes seem a little unthought out and precarious.  This is a wonderful summer read.

Publication date: July 1, 2014
Genre: Fiction, Contemporary
Setting: Southern Florida
Rating: A-

 

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2 Comment

  1. Reply
    Logan
    June 20, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    I will definitely be checking these out!

  2. Reply
    {Featured Blogger} Great Summer Reads
    June 25, 2014 at 9:02 am

    […] Summer time is really the only time that I have to sit down and relax with a good book. Thanks Tales of a Peanut for this great blog post summarizing some potential good reads to fight the summer boredom! I […]

Thanks for sharing!

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