The Butterfly Garden by Chip St. Clair
Fear rocked Chip St. Clair's world. As a boy, he never knew what would set his father off--maybe the ice cubes had melted in his glass of Tab, maybe dinner was overcooked or undercooked or the gravy was too runny. Regardless, the beatings always came. As did the twisted games of cat and mouse--being thrown from a rowboat into frigid Lake Michigan, the middle-of-the-night moves to different states, or being left to dangle over a ten-story balcony while his father watched from inside. But one fateful night when the police answered the call, the truth came to light from the shadows, sparking national headlines: Chip St. Clair's entire life--his name, even his date of birth--had been a lie, and the man he called 'Dad' was an impostor, an escaped child killer who had been on the run for over two decades. The stunning revelation would send one of America's Most Wanted to justice and another on a quest for his true identity. With chilling detail and a riveting, lyrical narrative, The Butterfly Garden reveals St. Clair's struggle to piece together his haunted past before it consumes him and shares his inspiring metamorphosis from victim to victim's advocate. The Butterfly Garden is a timeless triumph, a reminder that hope can be the most powerful of all emotions, freeing us to soar despite the past and the odds against us.
Cakewalk: A Memoir by Kate Moses
From Goodreads: From the author of the internationally acclaimed Wintering: A Novel of Sylvia Plath comes a funny, touching memoir of a crummy—and crumby—childhood. Growing up in the 1960s and ’70s, Kate Moses was surrounded by sugar: Twinkies in the basement freezer, honey on the fried chicken, Baby Ruth bars in her father’s sock drawer. But sweetness of the more intangible variety was harder to come by. Her parents were disastrously mismatched, far too preoccupied with their mutual misery to notice its effects on their kids. A frustrated artist, Kate’s beautiful, capricious mother lived in a constant state of creative and marital emergency, enlisting Kate as her confidante—“We’re the girls, we have to stick together”—and instructing her three children to refer to her in public as their babysitter. Kate’s father was aloof, ambitious, and prone to blasts of withering abuse increasingly directed at the daughter who found herself standing between her embattled parents. Kate looked for comfort in the imaginary worlds of books and found refuge in the kitchen, where she taught herself to bake and entered the one realm where she was able to wield control. Telling her own story with the same lyricism, compassion, and eye for lush detail she brings to her fiction, coupled with the candor and humor she is known for in her personal essays, Kate Moses leavens each tale of her coming-of-age in Cakewalk with a recipe from her lifetime of confectionary obsession. There is the mysteriously erotic German Chocolate Cake implicated in a birds-and-bees speech when Kate was seven, the gingerbread people her mother baked for Christmas the year Kate officially realized she was fat, the chocolate chip cookies Kate used to curry favor during a hilariously gruesome adolescence, and the brownies she baked for her idol, the legendary M.F.K. Fisher, who pronounced them “delicious.” Filled with the abundance and joy that were so lacking in Kate’s youth, Cakewalk is a wise, loving tribute to life in all its sweetness as well as its bitterness and, ultimately, a recipe for forgiveness
The Sky Always Hears Me: And the Hills Don't Mind by Kirstin Cronn-Mills
I borrow the car again from Grandma and drive out to my hill. I scream I AM A BIG FAT ZERO, plus I AM SWEARING OFF KISSING FOREVER, and I HATE BEING A SECRET SEX FIEND, about sixteen times each. Then I sit very still and watch a hawk swirl over the fields. I have to get a new life before I go crazy.
Sixteen-year-old Morgan lives in a hick town. Her mom was killed in a car accident when she was two, her dad drinks, and her stepmom is a non-entity. Her boyfriend Derek is boring and she can't stop staring at her coworker Rob's cute butt. Then there's the kiss she shared with her neighbor Tessa . . . But when Morgan discovers a devastating secret about the one person she completely trusted, her entire world crashes and she must redefine her life and herself.
Compelling and complex, The Sky Always Hears Me is a fast-paced narrative with raw humor and a heart-wrenching twist.What books are on YOUR wishlist?