Thursday, June 08, 2006

Enrique's Journey, Still Life with Murder, At Risk, More

Is it just me or does it seem a little unfair how the three networks are either ignoring Ann Coulter or attacking her? She's had three New York Times bestsellers, but they won't review her books. Charles Gibson talks about her as if she were some fringe writer that no one has ever heard of or read and talks about hate speech. Take a look at Ann's website and you'll see that none of the big three have her on any of their programming to interview her about her new book. They're just going to attack her without actually talking to her. And they say their is no liberal media bias.

Enrique’s Journey by Sonia Nazario is a fascinating look into the journey of a young boy trying to make his way to America from the Honduras to find his mother. Enrique’s mother Lourdes left her five-year-old son in the Honduras for the United States in hopes of providing a better life for him. Reporter Nazario retraces now 17-year-old Enrique’s quest to find his mother in the US. During the course of his journey, he is beaten, robbed several times, slips into drug use, and finds great charity among the poorest of the poor. I was surprised to read of Mexicans’ prejudices against Central Americans and how harshly they treat illegal immigrants. This book is extremely relevant today with the current questions of amnesty for illegal immigrants within the US. Much of the outcry against actions against them comes from Mexicans, but they way they treat Central Americans within their country is an equal tragedy. Nazario does an excellent job of treating both sides of the immigration issue fairly. She doesn’t take sides and just reports the story without bias. Her suggestions for changing the situation of mothers leaving their children behind are few, but worth considering. Want to find out how you can help? Go to to learn more.

Still Life with Murder by P.B. Ryan is an amazing mystery. The characters of William Hewitt and Nell Sweeney leap off the page. Boston governess Nell is drawn into the underworld after presumed dead William Hewitt is arrested for the murder of a street thug. Long hidden secrets are revealed, including some of Nell’s own. Ryan is a master at writing dialogue; it’s rare that a author writes characters with such flair. The chemistry between William and Nell practically ignites the pages. The mystery itself is handled well with excellent pacing, and I was surprised at the depth of darkness within William, which only makes him more fascinating. I can’t wait to read the next in the series.

Sisterchicks on the Loose by Robin Jones Gunn is a fun, sweet ride. Penny and Sharon have been friends forever, so when Penny buys them tickets to visit her mother’s homeland of Finland, Sharon of course goes along for the ride. While both women go looking for something, what they find is themselves and the Lord. Both Penny and Sharon are such real people, it was hard not to laugh out loud at their escapades, especially Sharon’s encounter with a baby on the plane. In finishing the book, I found myself wishing I had a Sisterchick to share the book and life with. One warning to readers: after reading this you’ll find the song Penny Lane stuck in your head for days!

At Risk by Patricia Cornwell was a bit of a disappointment. Winston Garano is suckered into investigating a twenty-year-old murder by his boss Monique Lamont, but when he starts everything around him seems to fall apart. I’m assuming that Cornwell is attempting to start a new series with this thin book, but the characters are clich├ęd: driven, beautiful district attorney, handsome detective with a chip on his shoulder, his frumpy assistant who is desperately in love with him, etc. While the murder is the linchpin of the book, it’s really ignored throughout much of the book on other subplots. In fact there are so many subplots that it takes several pages of explanations at the end of the book to bring them all together. I miss Scarpetta, but even at Cornwell’s worst, she’s a better writer than many are at their worst.

Mia's cleaning up after her tea party. She and Belle had animal crackers and tea while watching Barney. She's growing up so quickly; last night she figured how to open up our bedroom door. She must have gone in and out twenty times practicing her new skill. I'm reading Crack in the Edge of the World by Simon Winchester and wishing he would just get on with it.