|Think The Thornbirds. Think Gone with the
Wind. Except instead of Australia, you are in Eastern Texas.
Instead of dreamy Ashley Wilkes, you have lumber baron Percy Warwick.
Mary Toliver will do anything to keep her family ranch, Somerset.
This includes humiliating her own mother, alienating her brother,
and working until she literally drops. It also includes giving up
her chance at true love, marrying her brother's best friend, and perpetuating
the “Toliver Curse.” Told from three different viewpoints, heroine
Mary Toliver, her lost love Percy Warwick, and Mary’s young niece,
Rachel, Roses opens with Mary’s final days, when she realizes she
sold her soul for Somerset and in the process devastated everyone
around her. After a lifetime of secrets, deceit, and family angst,
Mary’s last efforts will protect her niece from the “Toliver Curse”
and finally prove to Percy that she loved him, even more than Somerset.
This sweeping saga won’t change your life, but it’s a perfect read
for the beach.
Recommended July 2010
So Much for That
|Lionel Shriver writes a compelling book. Readers of We
Need to Talk about Kevin will never forget the devastating last
pages. Her newest effort, So Much for That, is compelling
in a different way. Shep Knacker has spent his life planning his retirement
in "The Afterlife" (a Third World tropical paradise). Merrill Lynch
account overflowing from the sale of his business, suitcase packed
to go, Shep is finally leaving, with or without his prickly wife Glynis.
Except Glynis has a rare form of cancer. So begins an unforgettable
and timely journey through the American health care system. Shep’s
account dwindles as he becomes caretaker to his increasingly vindictive
wife, money disappearing to rounds of chemo, specialists, and experimental
drugs. Meanwhile, his best friend Jackson is going bankrupt caring
for his own terminally ill daughter, Flicka, and making unwise decisions
that leave him scarred—physically and emotionally. As Flicka longs
to end her suffering and Glynis refuses to give up, Jackson makes
one final shocking decision, and Shep makes a decision that will change
all of their lives. The final pages are as appalling as they are uplifting.
When you are finished, you will find yourself praying you never, ever
Recommended June 2010