Books Read in February

Lots of my own writing and editing going on this month so that means my reading has dwindled a bit…

“I want to show you more” stories by Jamie Quatro

The vision started coming when I was nine.

These linked stories, set around Lookout Mountain between Georgia and Tennessee, contain sin and joy, adultery and religion and everything in between: a wife and mother recounts the stages of her affair; a young girl attends a pool party with her quadriplegic mother; an elderly woman is determined to walk over three miles to the post office to deliver her handwritten letter to the President of the United States. Alternating between realist and fabulist, these tales are sure to stay with you long after you’ve closed the book.

What I learned: That even fabulist tales are rooted in the nitty-gritty details of that particular story’s world.

“the impossible knife of memory” a YA novel by Laurie Halse Anderson

It started in detention. No surprise there, right?

Hayley and her father move back their hometown after five years of being on the road. They are hoping for a “normal” life but there is nothing normal as Hayley tries to protect her father from himself and the demons he carries with him wherever he goes. There is nothing normal about having to parent your father. There is nothing normal about watching him sink back into drugs and alcohol.

Told in the compelling voice of Hayley, this story honors both veterans and their families as well as the relationship between and father and daughter.

What I learned: That it’s okay to have chapter lengths vary widely. And I know I say this often, but I just love a strong voice that hooks me in the first sentence.