Saturday, June 13, 2009

Summertime sweet

Ahhhh, the joy of being a teacher definitely resides in the summer time break (don't tell the 500 students at my school!). Let the summertime reading begin. My hammock is set up and the lemonade is chilled.

After I finished The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and Al Capone shines my shoes by Gennifer Choldenko, I decided it was time to go back to my beside-the-bed pile of soon-to-reads! I pulled up The Rest of her life by Laura Moriarty. I remember purchasing this book at my lovely library's used book store. It appealed to me because it was about the tenous releationship between mothers and daughters.

In this particular tale, Leigh is the narrator, a woman, wife and mother who still struggles with how her mother raised her. Her mother was cold, bitter and a complainer, not the hug-loving, cookie-baking mama Leigh wanted. But like I tell my own children-"you get what you get and you don't throw a fit". Leigh has never recovered from the many mistakes her mother made while her older sister, Pam is more empathetic to her mom and how rough she had it; trying to raise the two girls on her own, working sometimes more than one job and moving constantly as her mother continues to lose jobs due to her somewhat abrasive personality.

When the book opens we meet Leigh, a high school English teacher married to Gary, a professor at the local univesity somewhere in Kansas. Their oldest daughter, Kara driving in town accidentely hits a pedestrian in a crosswalk, while rescueing a lost dog and trying to call the animal rescue shelter at the same time. Written in 2007, this shows what young drivers deal with in our modern techno world. All I had to do when I learned to drive is figure out the exact moment to let out the clutch! This tragedy is what motivates the story and how the family deals with the stress of the situation is very interesting.

When I purchased the book I didn't realize that I would be reading the book at them same time my 14-year-old son would be applying for and getting (gasp!) his permit to drive! The book took on special meaning because of this coincidence (?). This is a great read; worth it for the wonderful relationships Moriarty has created. Leigh's best friend, Eva and her daughter Willow add to the list of characters meant to shake things up. I know really want to read Moriarty's first book, The center of everything.

I brought home from school 45 chapter book, 4 professional books, and 20 picture books so I'm picking randomly out of my crates for what to read next. all that should get me through until i find a copy of Catching Fire!!!


Janssen said...

I am DYING for a copy of Catching Fire. Soon, I hope!

Peaceful Reader said...

I need to figure a way to find a copy before September.