You know how sometimes life chases what is really good and close to perfect with something that is terrible and close to the worst? That’s what it has sent my way the past couple of weeks. I had a beautiful trip up North. It was exactly everything I’d been looking forward to. Sadly, it was this little guy pictured above who brought me smashing back to reality with an awful scare. Serious sickness, major surgery, and a lotta bad news later and we are looking at a big fight up ahead.
I don’t know about you, but he sure looks like a fighter to me, yes? (That’s the tail caught mid-wag in the background).
So, deep breath, we are aiming for bravery around here, and with that spirit in mind, I thought I’d try sharing two little mini reviews of some of the books read so far this summer.
Absolutely stunning, and a worthy companion to Graceling. This is the story of a young Queen who is faced with the seemingly impossible task of rebuilding the kingdom that was shattered by her father’s evil reign. Not sure who she can trust and what is true, she tries to look ahead and make right what she can. You will love Cashore’s rich language and powerful imagery, but most of all, it’s the characters who will get into your head. I think that this book has more thematic complexity than Graceling, as it makes readers think about the cost of truth, the different faces of bravery, and whether or not it is possible to heal after devastating cruelty. Wonderful.
If you like circus stories, and you like writing that makes you picture the characters and places in your mind the whole way through, then this book is going to be a treat for you. It’s the tale of Portia, who runs away from the Home for Wayward Girls and the awful Mister who runs it. Where better to run than a traveling sideshow? Portia is also looking for her father, who she thinks may have a connection to the circus. As with most coming of age stories, Portia finds something more and something different than what she expected. This book is very finely crafted, with a world that will sweep you in, and impressive creativity. It made me want to read everything else Hannah Barnaby writes.
Here’s hoping the end of the summer means some good healing for the hound, and some more stories worth remembering.