I like books that explore relationships between people. I also enjoy following a character as he or she goes through their life dealing with daily problems and conflicts. And I love a setting that allows me to learn something new. Here are some recent titles from the collection of the Cherokee Public Library that meet my personal criteria.
'South of Superior' by Ellen Airgood takes place in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Madeline is running away from her life in Chicago as she agrees to take care of an elderly lady, a friend of her estranged grandfather. She finds herself pulled into the life of a hardscrabble town and along the way discovers a sense of family and a feeling of belonging as well as a lifetime love.
'The Year We Left Home' by Jean Thompson has a setting in Iowa. It begins in 1973 at a wedding and follows the paths of family members from Iowa farmlands to suburban Chicago to Italy over the span of three decades. Although I have not had a chance to read it yet, it is definitely on my list as reviews have been very favorable.
'I Gave My Heart to Know This' is Ellen Baker's second book. It goes from the shipyards on the shores of Lake Superior during the WWII years to postwar California. A mysterious trunk filled with love letters, an old photograph and an empty ring box discovered in later years by a family member lead to a story of secrecy, betrayal and forgiveness.
'Folly Beach' by Dorothea Benton Frank takes place in South Carolina's low country. Sultry, romantic and lush, it is the story of Cate who is homeless and broke following her husband's death. Tied in are connections to the musical 'Porgy and Bess' and its composer, George Gershwin. An interesting read for anyone who enjoys southern fiction.
'Next to Love' by Ellen Feldman (lots of Ellens!) begins in a telegraph office in a small Massachusetts town during WW II. Babe spends each day waiting for telegrams that tell families a loved one has been wounded or killed knowing that at any time one could be addressed to her. Bonded by war three women remain close friends as their lives unfold.
'Coming Up for Air' by Patti Callahan Henry is set on the coast of Alabama. Ellie's marriage is unraveling and her daughter has left for college leaving a gap in her life. After her mother suddenly passes away, she returns to her childhood home and discovers a hidden diary telling a story buried years ago. When an ex-boyfriend enters the picture, choices must be made.
If one on these piques your interest, give the library a call at 225-3498. Open hours are Monday, Wednesday, Thursday 10 a.m. -- 8 p.m., Tuesday and Friday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. -- 2 p.m.