Saturday, May 14, 2011

Hanna Street

I took my last final Thursday evening. More on that later. Maybe. Since then I have exactly accomplished grocery shopping, bought some flowers and the organic accouterments to fill the currently empty flower pots on my porch, played with my dog, and watched TV with my kids. Just as soon as the weather clears and the earth dries a bit, I will head to the garden to plant the dozen or so tomato plants that have been growing steadily leggier over the last two weeks. From the light coming in through my window, I'd say it won't be long now.

While waiting for a break in the weather, I've also been reading for fun. It is wonderful to pick up a book that is not related to a class and not feel guilty about it. Since March, I've kept myself going by reading Mark Twain--first "Innocents Abroad" and then "Roughing It".  I chose Mark Twain because I knew it would be easier to put down a book without a cohesive plot line. That did work. However I must say that I didn't expect to like the old boy quite as much as I did, nor did I think I'd laugh as much or gain as much insight into how he thought and why he thought that way.  And, oh holy cow, the man could write . . . Was that really a surprise? No. But I didn't expect him to take my breath away either.

Immediately after my last final I started reading Hanna Street by D.K Raymer . D.K., who I know as Deb, is a long time friend, dating back to when the boys were very little and I was a church secretary and administrative assistant to worship pastor. I remember when Deb was writing this story and I remember when she finished the first draft (I moved before she was ready to share it). It was only published in Europe and though it was popular over there, it never quite found its way over here. Recently Deb took matters into her own hands and placed it on Amazon as an e-book (good move). So it is a true pleasure to finally get to see the results of her hard work.

I told Deb I intended to read her book shortly after classes were out and she asked me to post a review to it on my blog (Or was it Amazon . . . Regardless, she gets her wish). You guys know I like to write book reviews, but you also know that I only mention books that I love and those that I hate. There are very few of either. I confess I was worried about this. What if I didn't love it? What if I just liked it? Worse--what if I hated it? So when I picked this up I was trying to forget that it was written by a friend, tried to shut off my inner editor (dang thing sure gets in the way of simple enjoyment sometimes).

To my sheer delight, it was very easy to submerge myself in this charming story. I don't know if Deb was going for a conversational style or not, but that very much describes the tone of this book--like someone telling the reader about all the people in their head (or in their past) and doing it so well you kind of hate it that the coffee is gone and they have to go home. In it we see the family unit at its gory best: all the personalities and drama and heart break and shared joys and tribulations and love, and subterfuge, and--yes--even murder--but in an everyday (?) fashion--the way it happens to real people. If you like stories about women at their strongest and weakest and how we can carry one another--this story is for you. And--guys--if you want to know what we women do when you're not around and what makes us so darned interesting--you might want to check this one out too.

Meanwhile, the sun is coming out here and I have some flowers to tend to . . .


Anonymous said...

Thank you, Mary, for your fantastic review! I am floored, humbled, and immensely pleased. I gotta tell ya, I was worried when I discovered I had to follow Mark Twain himself!?! No pressure there! Wow, what a great way to start the week :)

Mary O. Paddock said...

You are very welcome, Deb. I'm looking forward to your next book.