Stones from the River by Ursula Hegi, Ellen Foster by Kaye Gibbons, Black and Blue by Anna Quindlen
In honor of summer, I’ve taken a break from my usual literary diet of nonfiction and have begun delving into some of the novels my daughter recommended. It’s been a great diversion, and I am rediscovering the joy of diving into someone else’s life and immersing myself in it.
Stones from the River takes place in Germany, spanning the years that include the rise and fall of the Nazis. The main character is a young woman who is a dwarf, and focuses on her personal struggles to fit in against a larger backdrop of an entire society that no longer “fits in” to Hitler’s worldview. Thoroughly captivating, often heartbreaking, this was one that I hated to finish.
Ellen Foster is a short book, written from the perspective of a simple girl in the rural South who has grown up in an extremely dysfunctional family and has seen way too much. But the real hero is the foster family from whom she appropriates her surname.
Black and Blue is a book it turns out I’ve read before, but it was worth rereading. I always enjoy Anna Quindlen’s novels, and her descriptions of the heroine’s day-to-day life made my palms sweat, knowing that danger lurked right around the corner. To say I was disappointed with the ending is an understatement, but then abuse seldom has a happy ending.
I’m looking forward to some more beach reads this summer!