Friday, September 4, 2009

Mare’s Book Report #2


Well, it's about time for another book report. Lord knows, I read constantly~well, when I'm not making jewelry, working full time, playing with The Husband and The Kitties, sleeping, etc, etc, not necessarily in that order... So, here it is:

Love Mercy by Earlene Fowler

I've been reading Earlene's Benni Harper series for as long as she's been writing it (the 90's?). She has a light style but usually deals with serious issues. Her characters are people you want to meet and know. Last year, outside of Benni's series, she gave us The Saddlemaker's Wife, which I loved. Again, characters you wish would welcome you into their circle.

So, this year we've got Love Mercy, which is a proper name, not some commandment derivative. The action centers around three women and the men they've loved and lost. Sounds like a romance? Well, in the sense that these women loved these men, yes. But, while there is sentiment to this story, it ain't no romance.

13 months after the death of her beloved Cy, Love Mercy's 18 year old granddaughter, whom she hasn't seen since she was 4, shows up on her doorstep with a broken heart and a stolen banjo. Mel, a recent transplant to Morro Bay from Las Vegas, has a secret she's hiding from her friends that will either make or break their friendship. And Love Mercy's father-in-law, August, is falling victim to dementia. Still sounding romantic to ya?

The book is written from three perspectives, Love Mercy's, Mel's and Rett, the granddaughter's. She captures all three personalities and tells a damn good yarn in the process. The story is fraught with dangers and sadness but it's not melodramatic. The characters are so down to earth that their problems are always relatable.

I enjoyed the hell out of this book. Why? I don't usually read "women's books" like this, that don't center around some cozy mystery. But, since I'll follow Earlene anywhere, I went into this book with a positive attitude. I really liked the relationships between all the main characters and there's so much potential for revisiting them. And Benni and her clan make appearances in this book, too, even though her current storylines are set in the 90's and this book is set in 2008, so that was a treat.

If you like a good story centered around strong women, you'll like both this book and last year's Saddlemaker's Wife. And when you're finished with these, run don't walk to find Benni Harpers' quilting mysteries.

Mare’s Scale of Literary Wickedness

Wicked Boring Yawn-don’t bother
Wicked Good Don’t run any red lights getting to the library but worth reading
Wicked Cool Good enough to spend 50 cents for a library hold so you can be the next to read it
Wicked Awesome So damn good, if your library doesn’t have it, get it from Amazon

C’est la vie!

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