Saturday, April 25, 2009

One True Thing :: Anna Quindlan


Of course, I finished this book before I realized it seemed familiar - it was made into a movie with Maryle Streep and Renee Zellweger, a movie I wanted to see. Anyways, I enjoyed the book.

The theme seems to bring the focus on a mother's unconditional love for me. A successful daughter is called home by the remote father to care for her mother who is dying of cancer. Ellen, the upwardly mobile 24-year-old, has always been like her father - going places, while her mother was a good mom - but at home, not a stereotype appreciated by Ellen. So to leave her life behind to stay home with mom is a chore. The chore turns into the best thing that has ever happened. Ellen realizes some areas of her life that need work, and forges an enviable relationship with her dying mother. A mother who she finally really sees clearly, perhaps for the first time. Ellen ultimately forgives (mom more than dad) both of her parents for their shortcomings and accepts their human-ness, my favorite quote::

Our parents are never people to us, never...
As a mother, this has become reality for me as my own occasionally defiant daughter doesn't see me as a person, as a human with the right to make mistakes. I didn't give my parents credit for being regular people either, until I was a mom - back in the day they were my parents, period. Two people who just don't understand. Remember that Fresh Prince song?

So the story ends, with a trial and a twist - you'll have to check it out to learn more. I recommend it.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Revenge of the Spellmans - Lisa Lutz

As a child I was addicted to mysteries. I swear I read every Nancy Drew book out there, and as a result of that I need something really good to entertain me as an adult. I enjoy the Stephanie Plum books as audio books, but I don't read or listen to much else.

Then I met the Spellman family, created by Lisa Lutz, and introduced to readers in The Spellman Files , this family who goes through all the drama and family squabbles that other families experience, but add in the family PI business and you get a great story.

The third book in the series Revenge of the Spellmans was no exception. I was glad to see what all the characters were up to since the second book ended. Izzy Spellman has decided to take a break from the family business and she works as a bartender, and is participating in court ordered therapy. But everything around her is changing and she's trying to figure out her place in it all. But she can't avoid her true calling and before long she's involved in another investigation. However that's not all, her sister Rae is up to her old tricks and something is a bit off with her brother, and then there's the small matter of Izzy is being blackmailed, so there's a lot going on, but it's all told in a highly entertaining and captivating fashion.

If you enjoy a good entertaining story I would recommend checking out all of Lisa Lutz's novels.