Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
As a kid, I always loved St. Patrick’s Day though I’m not entirely sure why. I’m not Irish, but there’s something about the green shamrocks, colorful rainbows, and cute leprechaun’s everywhere that just jazzes me up!
Anyway, I’d love to hear about what you’ve been reading lately…drop me a comment below!
Last Week’s Reads:
*** Something Happened to Ali Greenleaf by Haley Krischer
This book is heavy, heavy, heavy and contains all the trigger warnings, but it was so good and so important. At a party where there is underaged drinking, Ali Greenleaf finds herself following her crush upstairs to a bedroom. Things get out of hand and Ali ends up running out of the house in tears, and Sean Nessel runs to his best friend, Blythe, to help him out of this situation he finds himself in. As Blythe and Ali become friends, they learn they have a lot in common, and everything they’re carrying eventually comes to an explosive conclusion.
Not only are there strong content warning themes, this book also has subtler themes of friendship, loyalty, and the challenges high schoolers face these days. My son is just finishing up his freshman year of high school, and while some of the scenes in this book don’t seem to run true to our local high school, I, as a parent, want to be as informed of the things going on with young adults these days. I thought that Krischer did a great job of relaying the confusion, angst, and pain that a victim of rape goes through, and I’m glad I finally picked this book up!
No Visible Bruises: What We Don’t Know About Domestic Violence Can Kill Us by Rachel Louise Snyder
Before reading this book, I didn’t realize how little information there is on domestic violence. No one had really compiled the data of red flags that can highly predict a future homicide in domestic situations until recently. The other thing that blew me away was the lack of communication between different public health and safety organizations (ie: police departments, emergency departments, abuse shelters, etc). There are many people who have worked to change these faults of the system and they have seen significant improvements in the communities where these changes have been implemented. It gives me hope that programs have been developed to begin to stop the cycle of abuse and that we can hopefully see decreases in domestic violence in more communities around the United States.
*** How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House by Cherie Jones
There’s so much to like about this one…a story that’s becoming all-too-familiar: a tropical getaway that attracts white tourists, but does not offer the same beauty and relaxation to its locals. Life is tough for them as they experience extreme poverty, violence, and abuse.
The book opens with Lala giving birth to her daughter. Her husband, Adan, is nowhere to be found, and the next day the community is swirling with rumors of the murder of a rich, white tourist. As the story unfolds from there, Jones brings in each of the characters with incredible attention to detail, and proves once again, that there are layers of complexity to each of us as human beings. Those layers develop us into the people we become – good and bad – and help explain some of our motivating factors.
Jones’ writing was beautiful – detailed and complex and full of emotion. She wrote so intricately that I felt the pain within myself. I rooted for every single one of these characters, fully knowing this wasn’t going to end the way I hoped it would. But even with those high praises, I was also left with a deep yearning for more. I wanted the story to be more connected instead of an assortment of loosely connected stories. The plot soared when Jones explored the main characters and it faltered when she examined the minor characters. And as much as I hated the ending, I also absolutely loved it (no spoilers!)
In the end, I’m certainly glad I read it, but I did have higher expectations. Having said that, I can totally see this being one of those books I can’t get out of my head, and therefore, revising my original opinion as I have time to sit with it.
Content warnings abound – please procede with caution if you’re a sensitive reader!