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The Language of Flowers: A Novel by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
 
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Beautiful, Interesting
The Language of Flowers

On the "language of flowers" side, I thought about the flowered napkins and paper plates I use and give as gifts ... and the message I may be sending! On the effect of the foster-child system, my eyes were opened again to why impossible people get to be impossible--it is not that they want to be but that they are fired in a kiln of cruelty and abandonment ... but Victoria had a gift and the smarts to use it and create a life for herself. Loved the book!

 
Book Club Recommended
Adventurous, Fun, Beautiful
My Grandmother Asked me to tell you she's sorry

The writing/translation was a huge gift/joy in itself. The story a fantasyland of kingdoms and creatures yet a gritty reality tale--how little we know of the people around us when we are 7, and what a difference it makes to slide the world onto its axis when we do know, but the price of knowing is great. I had to put myself behind the eyes of a 7-year-old to really get into the book without adult judgment. Every character unforgettable, Elsa and Granny the most of all, of course. Getting to know these people was one of the greatest pleasures ... I am so glad I had to read this book for book group--might have missed a fantastic (in every sense of the word) read!

Zeitoun by Dave Eggers
 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Insightful, Interesting
Zeitoun

Disturbing, surprising, leaving questions and head-shaking over the government's treatment of its citizens in an emergency, this book is really a personal story of one man, one family, surviving Katrina. Hard to believe this can happen in America, and yet, it's not hard. The value of helping people in trouble, the selflessness that is twisted by authorities, the shadow of the aftermath of such an experience--Eggers does a humane job of putting us there, in the canoe, in the cage, in the desperation. Leads to a lot of questions and reflections!

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Insightful, Beautiful
Homegoing

A complete panorama, and thanks to the family tree at the beginning, an understandable one, of an assembly of Ghanian kinsfolk from their painful life in Africa to multi-storied lives in America. Beautifully written, I was amazed that the young author kept such a firm grasp of her huge story-canvas all the way through. The big picture floated over the individual stories and made this a great and moving read.

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