Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Roses and Blue Shoes

Two more reviews for today.

A Rose by the Door by Deborah Bradford is a sweet piece of Christian fiction. I wasn't as moved by this book as I have been by Bedford's other works, specifically If I Had You. Bea Bartling tends her pioneer roses in Ash Hollow, Nebraska and looks into the face of everyone who comes to see them searching for the son who ran away. When tragedy strikes, and he is killed she turns her back on her faith. The secret that is the core of this story seems a bit overwraught. Because the rest of the story is pinned on it, once it is revealed, the rest of the book kind of falls apart. The characters never quite came to life for me, and the end ties up a bit too neatly. Honestly, a sequel to this book would probably be stronger than the original. I really do love Bradford and her other books, this is just a weak anomaly.

Blue Shoes and Happiness by Alexander McCall Smith is the latest entry in the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series featuring Precious Ramotswe. Smith's books are always such a breath of fresh air. Like other great writers, he creates his own pacing so that when reading his books, the reader unconsciously takes on the rhythm of the story. I seem to breathe a little differently and my mind works just a little differently when I'm reading one of his books. Jane Austen has the same affect on me. Mma Ramotswe is faced with several cases this time involving blackmail, stolen food, and a newspaper advice columnist, but the cases are beside the point. The joy of the book is being a part of the lives of Mma Ramotswe and her circle of friends and peeking inside her magnificent brain, if only for a little while. This book, like the others in the series, speaks so strongly about love of family, country and doing the right thing for the right reasons. Definitely 5 stars.

Molly is home sick again today with a nasty cold. Mia is in her dancing dress being Angelina Ballerina. I have much to love and be grateful for as well.