Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Niece & Nephew!

I'm really excited. I just got the news that over the course of the summer, I'm going to get both a niece and a nephew! Jesse's brother Eric and his wife Pam are going to Ethiopia in June and adopting a three-year-old little girl named Hana. We've been praying for the adoption for awhile, now we'll be praying for their safe trip and for this new little girl. Yesterday my sister Cindy called after her ultrasound to announce that I'll have a nephew, probably in early September. She had a 4-D ultrasound done, so there's no doubt about the sex, and the pictures are in color. I can't wait to see them, and now I can start shopping for baby boy things.

Slow Way Home by Michael Morris is a good Southern novel with an extremely strong little boy as the main character. The author does a terrific job at capturing Brandon's anger and helplessness as he is pushed around from one family to another. Brandon Willard is abandoned by his mother to his grandparents, but when she decides she wants him back, they take him on the run. Poor Brandon is moved again and again before finally finding his way home. There are Christian elements to this book, but they aren't overemphasized. The way Brandon clings to Jesus is a strong testimony to the power of the Spirit. The episode with the Ku Klux Klan in Florida seems a bit odd, but much of the book is made up of short, odd episodes in this little boy's life, perhaps it was intentional. The one complaint I have about Morris' writing style is his overuse of metaphors and similes. Many paragraphs end with one or the other, and while some are powerful, the amount of them makes the reader immune to their power.

The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan is about the Great Dust Bowl of the 1930s. Egan does a fantastic job of setting the stage by giving details about society and the environment preceding the catastrophe, and his use of real people telling their own stories makes the book a riveting, haunting read. Egan keeps the scientific elements to their core and speaks in laymen's terms (something Simon Winchester should take note of) so that in reading of the years before the dusters, it's almost like reading a suspense novel: you know something horrible is coming. This dark time in American history left no one who lived through it unscathed, and I'm so glad that Egan has recorded these people's stories. Readers should also read this story as a warning to our current global warming situation. We can't make sweeping changes to the earth without facing the repercussions, and we are powerless to change the weather or turn back the clock and fix what we've wronged. This well-written historical book is interesting and has a message for us today, my only quibble: I would have like more pictures.

It's warm today with scattered thunderstorms. I love listening to the thunder roll across the sky. Enjoy the day!