Saturday, October 29, 2011

Crossing the Tracks by Barbara Stuber

It's 1926 in Achinson, Missouri and fifteen-year-old Iris feels like a shadow in her own home. Her mother died of tuberculosis when she was five and since then, her father has remained distant from her and has poured himself into his shoe store. Iris doesn't seem to fit anywhere in his life. Her father decides to send her away for the summer to be the companion of Dr. Nesbitt's elderly mother in rural Wellsford while he goes to Kansas City to open up a new shoe store in that booming town with his new fiance, Celeste. Iris and Mrs. Nesbitt soon learn they have much in common; they are both mourning lost loved ones in their lives, Iris her mother and Mrs. Nesbitt her other son Morris. Together they learn to " dust off the memories" and a deep friendship forms between them. Dr. Nesbitt is kind, calm, understanding and teaches Iris to drive his Model-T so that she may take Mr. Nesbitt on errands. Iris feels welcomed in their home but misses the companionship of her best friend from back home, Leroy. Cecil, the Nesbitt's tenant farmer, and his daughter Dot, who does their laundry every week, are disturbing elements in Iris' life. Cecil is menacing and makes Iris feel very uncomfortable when he is around. Dot is prickly and antagonistic to Iris. Dot says her mother, Pansy, has "passed on". Mrs. Nesbitt says Pansy has merely left Cecil and run away unable to stand living with Cecil any longer. When tragedy happens, Iris must look inside herself and find the courage, cunning and will it will take to stop this evil man from destroying his daughter's life. Warm and humorous, this story tells how one girl discovers her inner strength and beauty and ultimately finds new hope, a new home and love.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Growing Up Amish

This story, by Ira Wagler, is a page turner from start to finish. Not only is it insightful into the Amish lifestyle, but it is a worthy and true account of a young man on a pursuit to finding himself and finding God. The story begins with 17 year old Ira Wagler, stealing out of the house at 2 a.m., leaving behind his family, and the Amish way of life. Ira eventually returns, but again leaves only to return again, and again and again. His experiences with the English and his turmoil and guilt with the Amish reveal a restless spirit and inner tug-of-war.

An honest account of a life reaching for that peace that puts a heart at rest. You'll grow to love Ira Wagler and want to know more about him!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Don't go into the woods!

Those Across the River


Christopher Buehlman

When Frank Nichols inherits his family's old estate in Whitbrow, a rural Southern town in Georgia, he packs up his mistress Dora and moves to the country. His plans are to write a book about his family history and to make an attempt at moving past the haunted memories of his involvement in the Great War.

Frank and Dora soon discover that the townsfolk of Whitbrow have some particularly odd traditions, such as sending sacrificial pigs across the river and into a nearby woods. When the couple sit in on a town meeting and influence the vote regarding the sacrifice, the horror begins to slowly descend on the town and it's inhabitants.

Monday, October 03, 2011

A Stolen Life by Jaycee Dugard

A Stolen Life is a memoir by Jaycee Dugard who was normal kid until the summer of 1991 when she was abducted. For eighteen years she was a prisoner. She was an object for someone to use and abuse. For eighteen years she was not allowed to speak her own name.
Her life was stolen one ordinary Monday morning as she was walking up the hill to catch the school bus in June 1991. She was coming to the part of the hill at which she had been taught to cross to the other side by Carl (her step-father) and her mom who had decided this was the best place to stand and wait for the school bus. As Jaycee is walking she heards a car behind her, she looks back expecting the car to pass but to her surprise the car pulls up beside her. The driver (Phillip Garrido) rolls down his window and leans slightly out of his car and starts to ask her for directions. His hand shoots out of the window so fast she barely registers that he has something black in his hand. Jaycee hears a crackling sound and she feels paralyzed. She tries to get away but can only scoot away to the bushes at the side of the road. Jaycee's life will suddenly change not for the better. For eighteen years she was a prisoner. She was an object for someone to use and abuse.
Jaycee's story is refresing in that it's written by her, and not from a co-author. Much of the book are pages and pages taken from the actual journal entries she wrote while in her backyard prison.
On August 26, 2009, Jaycee took back her name. She doesn't think of herself as a victim. She survived to tell her story.