Here's what I found while browsing Librarything.com this week:
Sins of the Seventh Sister by Huston Curtiss:
Nestled in a web of murder, rape, abuse and adultery is the often happy and always loving home of Huston ("Hughie") Curtiss. His memoir, which roots itself in the events of 1929, when he's only seven years old, reveals a slice of the eccentric life of one white West Virginian family. Hughie's mother, the powerful, progressive and indefatigable Billy-Pearl, heads the family and has a knack for attracting the desperate and destitute. She adopts a motley crew, including a castrated orphan who becomes a successful opera singer, a black family running from the KKK and a homeless schoolteacher. The seventh of 11 daughters, Billy tries her best-with the help of her ever-expanding extended family-to eradicate prejudice, abuse and poverty. Together the extended family struggles through the '29 stock market collapse and the dangerous racism plaguing the South, resorting to measures as drastic as murder to keep themselves safe. Hughie's seven-year-old's perspective-from which much of the book is written-often colors the tale. Like other children his age, Hughie sees his mother as larger than life and capable of saving the world. But this bias is tempered by Hughie's slight resentment toward her as he vies for her attention. The author draws himself as a sometimes selfish but caring child who has to learn that the world needs Billy as much as he does. This vibrant and unsentimental account intertwines the fates of dozens of unique characters and moves smoothly from one remarkable-and often unbelievable-story to the next.
Billie Standish Was Here by Nancy Crocker:
CAN ONE UNLIKELY FRIENDSHIP SAVE A LIFE?
Billie Standish has pretty much no one. Her parents are too caught up in their own lives, and the only t...more CAN ONE UNLIKELY FRIENDSHIP SAVE A LIFE?
Billie Standish has pretty much no one. Her parents are too caught up in their own lives, and the only two girls in town her age want nothing to do with her. When it looks like a nearby levee might break, and Billie's elderly neighbor, Miss Lydia, is the only other person besides her family to stick around, a friendship is born out of circumstance. What happens during that time, in that empty town, is a tragedy that Billie can't bear alone. Can the love of one woman nearing the end of her life save the life of a young woman just at the beginning of living hers?
The Water Dancers by Terry Gamble:
A stunning debut novel from a new voice in literary fiction, set on Lake Michigan following World War II, The Water Dancers limns the divide between the worlds of the wealthy elite "summer people" and the poor native population who serve them–and what happens when those worlds collide.
When Rachel Winnapee first comes to work at the March family summer home on vast and beautiful Lake Michigan, she quickly learns her place. Servants are seen and not heard as they bring the breakfast trays, wash and iron luxurious clothes, and serve gin and tonics to the wealthy family as they lounge on the deck playing bridge. Orphaned as a poverty–stricken young girl from the nearby band of Native Americans, Rachel is in awe of the Marches' glamorous life–and quite enamored of the family's son Woody.
Rachel is soon assigned the task of caring for Woody, a young man whose life has been changed utterly by his experience as a soldier in WWII. The war has cost Woody not only his leg, but, worse, the older brother he loved and admired. Now back at home, Woody cannot bear to face the obligations of his future – especially when it comes to his bride–to–be Elizabeth. Woody finds himself drawn to Rachel, who is like no one he's ever known. The love affair that unites these two lost souls in this Great Gatsby–esque portrait of class division will alter the course of their lives in ways both heartbreaking and profound.What books did YOU find this week?