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Name : Kathy G.

My Reviews

Loving Frank: A Novel by Nancy Horan
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Interesting, Dramatic
Loving Frank

Mamah and Frank Lloyd Wright meet when he designs a home for her and her husband. Conversations and many meetings lead to a soul connection/love that causes both to leave their spouses and children. Therein lies the conflict and the continuing agony for both. A bit too much agony for me thus the 3 rating. Travel, architectural design, and a Swedish feminist's ideas, are important to this historical fiction story that takes place before WWI. The end is gut wrenching but all too true and you won't see it coming. Quite an achievement for this first time novelist.

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

This double strand story takes you into the life of a foster child at age 9 and her emancipated life at age18. Diffenbaugh takes the reader on an authentic and emotional ride through the eyes of this hardened child who loves and lives for flowers. When she goes to live with Elizabeth, the woman who is to be her final adoptive mother, she learns the Language of Flowers from the days of Victorian courts. This knowledge serves her well and along with the flower dictionary at the back of the book, adds a fascinating level for the reader. This is a lovely story of pain and love and loss and fulfillment all wrapped in bouquets of flowers.

Palisades Park by Alan Brennert
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Adventurous, Interesting
Well Researched Carnival Life

The George Washington Bridge goes from New Jersey to New York City. Palisades Park was on the Jersey side of that bridge and author Alan Brennert actually grew up within a mile of that park. This is an ode to the memories of that park that alternates between a recitation of facts and a story developed around characters who live the "carney" life. The bulk of the story takes place in the 40's and 50's and Brennert's excellent research provides a super review of where men & women have come from socially and culturally in the U. S. A little girl who dreams of becoming a high diver has her work cut out for her in the 1940's! If the reader lived through any of these decades, there are unending touchstones of memory--the hair rollers we slept in, the radio shows, the Diving Horse in Atlantic City, the smell of French fries from the stand in the park. So much more is told in a pleasant linear story. Not as good as Molokai, but a nice expansion of childhood memories and what lives were lived behind the carnival facades.

The Water Is Wide by Pat Conroy
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Informative, Inspiring
The Water Is Wide

At age 24, Pat Conroy left his high school teaching position in Beaufort , South Carolina, to teach the 18 black students on nearby Yamicraw Island. His idealism and perseverance in spite of hair-raising extremes of conditions and personalities, make for a spell-binding memoir. Conroy's story is laugh out loud funny, and deeply disturbing in the black vs. white cultures of the south in 1969. The issues raised are still unfortunately alive and newsworthy today.

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