I have been trying to get this posted for a week. It is harder to find time to write the book review than it was to read the book!
First, Dancing at the Rascal Fair by Ivan Doig. This was the book for the Book Blogging Babes for January. I am glad Liz recommended this one. I love when someone helps me find an author I might otherwise never have found on my own. She said the author's style reminded her of Stegner. I agree but I think I liked Stegner's characters more. It is the not unusual story of live in the frontier west. I love that subject, it always makes me so glad I live in this century. It was a very engrossing story of two men and how their lives and families develop as they make a new life in Montana. I thought the two men created an interesting contrast. They were a perfect example of the different ways people handle challenges in life. One becomes bitter as things don't go according to his great plan. The other, while not perfectly happy tries to do the right thing and have a good life. As Liz and Janice have both mentioned enough about Anna, I did wonder if it would have bugged me as much if I weren't married. Right after I finished Dancing I read Messenger by Jeni Stepank. Do you remember seeing this amazing boy on Oprah? I do. I remember how absolutely mesmerizing this amazing child was. Such an old soul yet, joyful soul. Watching him always made me think how we are encouraged to be like a child. This is a book his mother wrote about his life and their life together. Amazing poetry and quotes through the whole thing. I am kicking myself that I returned it so I can't list a bunch for you although my very favorite was his personal philosophy to play after every storm. Amazing boy, amazing mother. I found this book even more engrossing than Dancing at the Rascal Fair and that is saying something. I was afraid for the end to come though, I mean you know from the beginning he dies young and I don't do well with bad things happening to children. But I couldn't stop reading it and didn't cry like I thought I would. I found myself wanting to be better after reading this book, better mother, better person, better peacemaker. That is exactly what Mattie would have wanted us all to feel.
The Book Blogging Babes are reading E.M. Forster's Room with a view in February, one of my faorites! Want to join us?