Last night as I was staying up way too late reading, I was startled by my dog barking at some unknown noise outside. When I looked up from my book it was like I had been in a different world. It took me a few minutes to get back to Cherokee, Iowa. That's the great thing about books. They take you places. And here's where I've been the past couple of weeks.
Northern Minnesota. 'Safe from the Sea' by Peter Geye puts the reader on the shores of Lake Superior. It is the story of a father who survived a disastrous shipwreck on the inland sea and his estranged son who is finally hearing the entire story of the tragedy. Great Lakes shipping is not for the faint of heart and as the narrative unfolds, it is possible to feel the icy wind and the cold lake water.
Vietnam. The Lotus Eaters by Tatjana Soli begins with of the fall of Saigon. Helen Ames, an ambitious American photographer struggles with her feelings about the country and about two colleagues who lives have intertwined with hers. Her decision not to board the last helicopter out sets off an intense book about the narcotic of violence and dangerous love.
Vermont. 'The Long Road Home' by Mary Alice Monroe takes place in the rural area of the state. A mountainside farm is the only asset Nora MacKenzie has left after the suicide death of her husband leaves her penniless. The locals think she's a city girl on a nature kick but she's serious about learning the farming business and with the patient help of her new friend C.W. she begins to believe she will survive and possibly love again.
California. Crown of Dust by Mary Volmer takes place in the Wild West during the great quest for gold. Emaline is the proprietor of an inn that according to the jacket blurb provides "food, drink and other bodily comforts" for the men who pass through the town of Motherlode. When a shy, slight miner named Alex makes the first gold strike questions about buried secrets are stirred up. One reviewer said she could almost feel the dust on her skirt hem as she read the book.
Arizona. 'A Creed in Stone Creek' by Linda Lael Miller is a fluffy paperback romance from a very popular author. It's a lightweight formulistic book, but the story of a beautiful woman, a good looking cowboy and a small boy searching for a family keep the pages turning. Great escape reading for a dreary winter day.
All of these can be found at the Cherokee Public Library as well as many others that can take you a myriad of places. At the price of gas, it's a cheap way to travel!
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