The Trees by Ali Shaw

9781632862839

Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

This is the first book that I would EVER want to read over and over again.  First, we need to pause and admire this amazing cover.  It has so much meaning to me now that I’ve finished the book, but prior, it was what incited me to indulge in the story it held behind it.  The book is quite hefty being close to 500 pages, but I promise you that you won’t even notice.  Reading this was a journey; at times light, and at others so heavy I felt myself shrinking into the couch. I loved every minute of it.

In the dead of night, without any warning, they came.  The trees.  They came without remorse for what damage was to come or who would be in the way of their rapid eruption from the earth.  The aftershock of creaks and groans were heard then, the sound of rubbled cement. Leaves calmed and trunks stood serene. Where, not a minute before, there had been a suburb, there was now only woodland standing amid ruins… Why had they come.  What did they want?

The story seemed to revolved around Adrien Thomas, a man who in the beginning you think will not ever be able to make it in this abruptly “new” world but he has no choice once he realizes that help isn’t coming.  His wife Michelle is thousands of miles away in Ireland, across the sea and Adrien has no way of knowing whether she is alive or if the trees had come for her too.

On his way out of his destroyed town he meets Hannah and her son Seb.  Although Adrien would prefer to travel alone, Hannah will not have it.  Her and Seb are setting out as well to reunite with her brother who lives in the forest.  Then they plan to help Adrien reunite with his wife.  Although nothing could have prepared them for what was to come. This has become a fascinating, frightening and grim world to traverse into filled with new strange creatures and animals alike.

THIS is a book you MUST read dear followers.  Dig into it and smell the freshly turned soil, experience the authors poetic way of writing.  Let the story take you into the dark heart of nature where you will find it’s beauty and this book may just change the way you look at the world we live in.

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

Book-Club

18774964

Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

~Book Club Selection~ A Novel Idea’s book for March!

Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon, the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him the bitter neighbor from hell, but must Ove be bitter just because he doesn’t walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time?

A Man called Ove was a laugh and a tear jerker for me.  Ove is a grumpy old man. A man of principle. And not very nice. He was never a talker and not very social either. It’s the way he is, and there is a reason too. His wife Sonja died recently and he just can’t take life anymore. In flashbacks we learn how he meets Sonja, how they build a life together in which he absolutely adores her. He misses her dearly and when we meet Ove he actually makes several attempts to end his life as he sees no use living on without her. However, the neighborhood prevents him to do so…. He meets a new family who comes to live in his neighborhood. A pregnant woman, a clumsy husband, and two little daughters. The first encounters with the various family members are hilarious. And Ove meets a cat, who comes to live with him. And other colorful neighbors follow…. he does not want to connect with them at all, but it can’t be helped. And then… the story really starts. And Ove, without wanting it, bonds… with the cat and with the family. And the other neighbors.

This book was fantastic!  I had previously read Fredrik Backman’s  “My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry” and this book was just as enjoyable!  This book is about the transformations we go through in life and how different events within our life affect, shape us, and make us who we are today.  This book is a journey. For Ove, for Ove’s surroundings and for the reader. It is a magnificent tale about true love, Saab and the fact that what you see isn’t always what you get.  Ove is melodramatic but he will make you laugh and cry and you’ll be glad that you met him in the end.  A highly recommend read!

Mennonite in a Little Black Dress: A Memoir of Going Home (Mennonite #1) by Rhoda Janzen

Book-Club

6365221

Rating: ♥ ♥

This is the first book in my new post series “Book Club Selections”, as they are books that we have read for our book club ~ A Novel Idea!

Not long after Rhoda Janzen turned forty, her world turned upside down. It was bad enough that her brilliant husband of fifteen years left her for Bob, a guy he met on Gay.com, but that same week a car accident left her with serious injuries. What was a gal to do? Rhoda packed her bags and went home. This wasn’t just any home, though. This was a Mennonite home. While Rhoda had long ventured out on her own spiritual path, the conservative community welcomed her back with open arms and offbeat advice. (Rhoda’s good-natured mother suggested she date her first cousin—he owned a tractor, see.) It is in this safe place that Rhoda can come to terms with her failed marriage; her desire, as a young woman, to leave her sheltered world behind; and the choices that both freed and entrapped her.

Written with wry humor and huge personality—and tackling faith, love, family, and aging—Mennonite in a Little Black Dress is an immensely moving memoir of healing, certain to touch anyone who has ever had to look homeward in order to move ahead.

I will be completely honest with you, this book was difficult for me to get through.  I stepped out of my box, which is why I wanted to join a book club, and this one to me was just not a winner. All things considered I did find humor in a few places!  Sad to say, she pretty much used up her good material within the first few chapters, after that I felt as though she was rambling on, going no where.  Here’s another thing, the author makes a point of mentioning that she is an English professor and a grammarian who is often asked to edit her colleagues’ research papers and has in fact taken on a paying editing gig in the wake of her divorce. Apparently, these editorial skills don’t extend to fact-checking (in which her copy editor also failed her), since the text is sprinkled with such things as “Bonnie Bell Lip Smackers” (the actual name is spelled Bonne Bell).

Although I think the part that kept me reading the book was that it was interesting to me all the skills that Mennonites have.  Now a days you won’t find kids in the kitchen learning how to make bread or learning to sew.  Still, this was a bizarre read. I had no idea what to expect of this book but I’m glad that I stepped out of my ‘norm’ to take a shot at it!