Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Another Blog, Another Book

How in the world are we to juggle all this online information? We have been challenged here at the library to create a blog to discuss technology and challenge us to use the web to our advantage. While it's true that I already have this one, I'm not sure I'm ready to share it with the world so, yup, I made another one. So, if you find that I'm missing in action over here talking about what I'm reading then you'll find me at the other blog talking about the joys and pains of technology! www.Iwork2travel.blogspot.com

Meanwhile, just a note to say that I finished an audio book called Forgive Me by Amanda Eyre Ward. I had never read anything by her but had seen a blurb in AudioFile Magazine and the story line appealed to me. It's not drop dead great fiction but hey, they don't all have to be, do they? Sometimes I'm just listening to something to keep my type A personality from rearing its ugly head on US 41! Forgive Me is a very satisfying story about forgiveness on many levels, from the global to the personal.

Nadine is a small town girl, born and raised on Cape Cod, who's always had a yearning for something more. I can empathize with that as I couldn't wait to get out of Dodge (Great Barrington, Massachusetts). Even at 17 I wanted to see new and different places and now, at 58, the desire is stronger than ever. Nadine, with her degree in journalism, runs toward trouble wherever she can find it, sending hard-hitting stories back to the American news media. In South Africa she falls in love with a man and with a country but the lure of the next story, the potential Pulitzer, always finds her leaving commitment or entanglements behind.

When Nadine is attacked and injured while scouting a story outside Mexico City she is sent home to the Cape to recuperate under the suffocating care of her estranged father and step-mother. Here she is pressured unmercifully by her family and oldest friend, a contentedly married mother of three, to "settle down like a nice girl" and bake cookies. She tries. Nadine has an affair with the physician who's been treating her injuries and seems to understand her need to roam, that is until she leaves him, drawn back to Cape Town for the Truth and Reconciliation hearings, the historic post-apartheid process of forgiveness on a grand scale.

I don't want to give away too much more of the story but suffice it to say that here, in Cape Town, Nadine confronts those she has hurt in the past, precipitates a reconciliation that one would assume could never happen and makes some unexpected decisions about her own future. I love the way the author runs two or three parallel storylines that eventually veer off course to intersect. I highly recommend the audio version of the story as the narrator, Ann Marie Lee, is adept with the lilting Afrikaans and pulls off a passable Boston accent as well.

Today is my book discussion of The Time of Our Singing which I only finished this morning but wrote about in a previous blog. This is such a devastating book, it has taken the wind out of my sails. I talked with my friend Don on the phone this morning as he journeys through the old South in search for his ancestors, hoping he could give me some insight that I could take to my ladies this afternoon. His advice, which he knows will be tough for me, is to try to rein in my passion a little bit and see what unfolds. I'll keep you posted.

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