So, I apologize for getting my November reading list out late, but truly, someone must have wiped a week out of my calendar. I'm sure everyone is feeling the same at this time of year. So much to do; so little time to do it all. And to top it all off, half of the books I read this month were duds. Here's my review:
The Mapmaker's Children by Sarah McCoy
Bed and Breakfast by Lois BattleI chose this book because of the title. I just love bed and breakfast places. Bob and I have a favorite B&B that we patronize whenever we visit Cape May. It's called Inn at the Park, and it is owned and operated by two very lovely people, Jay and MaryAnn. Unfortunately, they just announced their retirement and will no longer be hosting their B&B after January. Just wanted to give them a shout out and to let the blogworld know what truly welcoming and sweet people they are. Here are just a couple of shots of them and their beautiful Victorian home:
Back to the book... the setting for Bed and Breakfast is Hilton Head, South Carolina. The main character is Josie, a close-to-seventy-year-old woman who tenaciously runs a B&B that she insisted she and her husband buy after years of nomadic wandering as her husband "Bear" pursued his military career. Josie has been widowed for many years when the story opens and the reader can see how much the B&B gives meaning to her life. The plot is complicated by the sibling rivalries of her three grown daughters. Life is never dull when you have nosy guests, and even nosier friends, not to mention a sister who lives next door. A fun read.
Ruth's Journey: the Authorized Novel of Mammy from Gone With the Wind by Donald McCaig
This sounded like a fascinating story, but was such a disappointment. I couldn't get past the first two chapters. The setting begins in the Caribbean Islands of the slave trade days where the French are unsuccessfully trying to quell a slave uprising. The graphic violence and history book reporting was too much. I wanted to get into the mind of Mammy and hear her thoughts of Tara and the O'Hara's but that never happened...I peaked at the ending (Oh Horrors, yes I did)
and still didn't see any glimpses of the Mammy of Gone With the Wind.
Lesson Plans by Suzanne Greenberg
This one also made the loser list. I thought I would be so interested in a book whose characters decided to homeschool their children, but the two families who were the focus of the story were so messed up and dysfunctional, I just couldn't stand reading any more about them! The main character was a father who mourned the loss of his liberal, activist lifestyle of his youth after being forced to do the adult thing, like go to work and support his family. So, since wifey made big bucks, he decides to quit the workforce and homeschool his three girls in a completely free environment. Just imagine what that looks like...Montessori in hyper-drive! Kids with no limits, no schedules, no plans!!! Hmmm...no comment. Then there was the other homeschool novice, a mother (recently separated from hubby) who has become so overprotective of her highly allergic and asthmatic daughter that she might as well have put the girl in one of those John Travolta Bubble Boy glass domes. This woman seriously needed help, and hubby just walks out because he can't cope with his wife's phobias. Hello?? there is a child here in need of an education and guidance...Step up man and take charge! I had to leave these guys to muddle to the end of the book alone. I just don't have patience for irresponsible adults. I was especially disappointed because I really think homeschooling can work for many kids and was hoping this book would paint that picture for me...alas not to be.
That's it for November...gotta get shoppin'...Let me know what you have been reading. Take a stab at reading my two duds, maybe you can change my mind. Any disagreements about my reviews are welcome too.