The past few weeks on the Gulf Coast have seen moderate temperatures. We have had some springtime storms and lots of sunshine. It’s the perfect weather to catch up on some books I’ve wanted to read. In both my Mississippi and Wisconsin art groups, we also have a Book Share included in our day of painting. Artists find more inspiration in reading than do some readers. My March book share highlights await you.
Book Share Review: Run Rose Run
Run Rose Run by Dolly Parton and James Patterson
Who better can write the story of an aspiring country vocalist with a deeply hidden past than the country music icon who grew up poor in Appalachia and the King of hidden clues?
The songs we sing are the threads of the story we lived. Nothing draws us in more than the lyrics of fear and longing for that which may never be.
Annie Lee has a voice that touches even the most rigid heart. Her lucky break comes in a bar. That’s where perhaps the only person who will ever matter spots the raw talent he knows is moldable into something unforgettable.
Take a trip with Dolly Parton through the streets of chance encounters and sudden breaks in the country music world. Discover the depth of untouched secrets and the breadth of the dreams we dare to grasp. Run Rose Run is a book filled with the sights and sounds of an ever-changing country music world. Follow the hopefuls who continue to engage with the city and her people.
Run Rose Run is not the typical Patterson fare. Another poor girl from the mountain country brightly colored its pages: her rich giggle and stubborn determination glow from each page. Don’t pass up an opportunity to take a glimpse into Dolly’s heart and rediscover the incredible writer who broadened her imagination.
Book Share Review: Wish You Were Here
Wish You Were Here by Jodi Picoult
Diana O’Toole, the main character, has a plan for her life. Like most young adults, she’s set goals for herself and has a plan to achieve them. Like each of us, a global pandemic rearranges everything she thought she understood about life and the future.
How far are we willing to go to remain safe? Diana went to the Galapagos Islands. It was a trip planned initially with her boyfriend. As a New York hospital resident, Finn must stay behind to work. His goal: to save the thousands soon to become infected with the new virus spreading throughout the world.
Wish You Were Here is a story of lost dreams and new realities. Diana left behind her dreams of an art career. Without her suitcase, how will she survive on an island now quarantined? Also, will Finn ever give her the engagement ring?
She finds herself in an island paradise, woefully unprepared to manage without the help of others. Diana quickly becomes the embodiment of the resilience and humanity we have all experienced in one form or another during Covid.
Above all, this book forced me to reflect on the courageous reactions we have each had to an unending pandemic. We have endured something none of us could have imagined would grip the entire world in a vortex of spinning realities and conspiracy theories.
Allow yourself to explore Diana’s new realities and perhaps understand yours.
Book Share Review: The Hiding Place
The Hiding Place: The Triumphant True Story of Corrie ten Boom
Forgiveness is the most difficult lesson in the Bible to learn. It is a lesson I have tried to accept and practice since childhood. The Hiding Place is the remarkable story of a Christian family who did everything in their power to help the Jews and those working in the underground during WWII.
Corrie ten Boom grew up in Haarlem (Holland, Netherlands) as the daughter of a Clock smith. My heart soared with the compassion shown to all by Corrie’s father. Through him, I heard my grandfather’s words as his heart also led him to live by the lessons we witness in the pages of the Bible.
After the ten Booms helped save over 800 lives, someone betrayed them in February 1944. The Gestapo picked them up and transported them to various concentration camps. Sadly, the Gestapo separated other family members but Corrie and her sister, Betsey, remained together. What is most remarkable about this book is the sacrifice of so many while faith kept burning in their souls. Faith kept them alive through some of the harshest conditions.
Most of us will never experience the terror of the concentration camps, and the brutality of men and women pitted against fellow citizens. Yet as I sit here writing this review, I hear the cries of hatred and dissent that are again unleashing themselves on our streets. My heart has become so heavy with the realization that we have not learned the lessons history has placed before us. My strength comes from the pages of the Bible Corrie and Betsey kept hidden throughout their imprisonment. The two sisters shared The Word with all who listened.
I hope you enjoy these books as much as I did.