Tuesday, April 08, 2008

The Other Daughter

I belong to a great book group on Shelfari called Play Book Tag. Each month the group picks a different genre of books and then reads one they haven't before. Then we discuss what we liked and didn't and talk about books in general. The administrator of the group is always coming up with great ideas to encourage more reading and conversation. This month she started a game called Last Tagger Standing. We're divided into four teams (I'm on Team B). Each three day cycle, we have to read as many pages as possible. The team with the lowest total pages is up for elimination, and the lowest reader on that team (if there are more, it's chosen randomly) is eliminated. Fantasy books are counted as double. I've always thought of myself as a pretty prolific reader, but my numbers are nothing compared to what I'm seeing other members put up. It's all in fun, and it's a great community of readers. I have 36 hours left in this cycle and I'm at 1355 pages so far (996 of those fantasy, which was really 498 doubled).

The hard part is that I don't read much fantasy any more, so I'm hitting up the kids' libraries. I just finished reading Molly's heavily read copy of Twilight by Stephenie Meyer(I can't tell you how many times she's read it, and she's loaned it to all her friends). I was going to read Doogie's copy of Eldest by Christopher Paolini next, but I have to find out what happens next between Edward and Bella. Molly's reveling in the opportunity to lord her superior knowledge of a book over me; I'll let her have her fun for now. Wait until the new book, Breaking Dawn, comes out in August. I already have it on reserve at the library, and I'll get it before she does.

The Other Daughter by Miralee Ferrell starts out with a bomb dropping into Suzanne Carson's world. On the evening of her birthday, a thirteen year old girl shows up on her doorstep claiming to be Suzanne's husband, David's, daughter. While David and Suzanne's two children, especially daughter Megan, accept Brianna without hesitation, as does David's father. But Suzanne is bitterly resentful at David's unfaithfulness and sees it as a sign that his God and religion are illusions. David loves his wife and children dearly, and for fear of hurting them keeps his distance as well from this young, vulnerable girl. It's not often in Christian fiction that in a marriage, the husband is portrayed as the faithful one and the wife as the unbeliever. Suzanne's insistence on relying only on herself separates her not only from God, but from David, Brianna, and even her children. Ferrell's writing is skillful as she portrays Suzanne sympathetically even when she's acting in a way that's not. Because she writes so openly about Suzanne's hurt and pain, it's easy to care about the character and appreciate her growth throughout the story. While the ending may be a little pat (but entirely enjoyable), Ferrell excels at creating a powerful story with realistic characters about the power of trusting in God.

Today's pic is from the Valentine's Day session we had done. I love the looks on the kids' faces.


Anita said...

I love your blog, Christy!! Thanks for sharing it :).

I bet your daughter is loving that you are stealing her fantasy novels to read . . .lol . . .

I can't wait to find more time to look through your blog in more detail. I love book blogs!!