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Thought Provoking Adult Novels

Recently I shared that I read 200 books in 2013, what I didn’t share is, I’m a speed reader which helps when reading a large volume.  Towards the end of 2013 I considered quality over quantity more. The following books, read in the last weeks of 2013, were chosen on the recommendations of my blogging friends, so keep those book recs coming.    

The Kite Runner is the story of a friendship between a wealthy Afghan boy and the son of his father’s servant.  The novel opens in Afghanistan in the final days of the monarchy and continues with the tyranny of the Taliban.  This is a story of betrayal and ultimately redemption.  Raw in parts, characters are exposed in all their strengths and weaknesses, an unexpected twist is revealed towards the conclusion of the novel.  If you are in the mood for gritty and real, highly recommended. 4 Star

The Dry Grass of August
Jubie Watts, her three siblings, mother and the family’s black maid, Mary head to Florida for a holiday. Jubie loves Mary who has worked for her family for years.  With her father’s rages and her mother neglect, Mary is the one to bring love and stability to her life.  Set in 1954 in the deep South during racial segregation, we note that the deeper south the family travels the racial tension builds, until their trip ends in a shocking tragedy.  Afterwards Jubie has to confront her parents’ failings.  The author depicts the era well and weaves a strong cast of characters. A story of heartbreak, love and courage, very thought provoking. Highly recommended, 4 Star.

Dr David Henry delivers his wife’s twins on a night that haunts the lives of all involved forever.  The Henry’s son is a healthy boy but their daughter has Down syndrome.  In a split second Dr Davids decides to tell his wife their baby daughter died and entrusts the baby to the care of his nurse, asking her to take the child to an institution.  After visiting the institution the nurse makes the decision to keep the infant girl, moving to another city and raising her as her own. The secret has far reaching consequences as the family’s grief tears them apart. Whilst it wasn’t the best written novel the author weaved her tale of family, grief and betrayal so well I was riveted.  I couldn’t shake the plot from my mind, as I know of family members who discovered years later they had a ‘hidden’ family member in institutions, not an unknown practice in the 1960s.  Highly recommended. 4 Star

Linking up at Housewifespice for What We’re Reading Wednesday

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  • Anna Ilona Mussmann

    I've been wanting to read The Kite Runner for a long time, but keep hesitating because it might be too gritty for me (especially in my hormonal postpartum phase!). Maybe I should bite the bullet and read it.

  • Sharyn

    I recommend 'Island of the World' by Michael D O'Brien. Though like Anna says, maybe postpartum isn't the time to read it. I found it a challenging read in terms of the topics it addresses, and it's long at 800 pages but it keeps you reading. It's a novel that I reflect on from time to time. It does not have a nice happy ending that you might like it to have, but I think that's part of its point.

    'Fr. Elijah' by the same author is another of his I have liked, a good read.

  • Housewifespice

    I saw your post last night, and new I had to get my act together today. Kite Runner. So good, so raw. I just can't handle violence on children though. I haven't looked into the other two, though Fr. Elijah is a favorite. Have you read The Time Traveler's Wife? A guilty pleasure of mine.

  • Micaela Darr

    I have to ask: do you think being a speed reader affects your comprehension? I'm, by nature, a quick reader, and I've thought of taking speed reading classes, but for some reason I've always held back.

    Kite Runner. I really have to get around to that one.

  • Laura Pearl

    Erin, have you ever read a Catholic novel called "A Distant Prospect" by Annette Young? I just found out about it, and I am intrigued. I am thinking about ordering it from Amazon. The author is from Australia, and she's the mother of four sons. Her heroine is an Irish girl who moves to Australia with her Dad during the potato famine. It's her first novel–aimed at teens but also for adults. It sounds so wonderful, I can hardly wait to read it.

  • Erin

    I guess part of the grittiness is it is all too true still

    Hadn't heard of that one but have read Fr Elijah, awesome book. going to give to my 16yr old to read this year, sure he'll love it too

    I haven't, will check it out:)

    Blush it does affect my comprehension, and actually not sure that I'm officially a speed reader, maybe I'm just in the very fast bracket though my daughter (20) is much faster and her comprehension much better.

    Now you mention it I do remember hearing Annette was writing a book, must find out how to get a copy. (yes I meet Annette once she came to one of our hs camps:)

    • Erin

      Hi Annette 🙂
      Long time no chat 🙂 How lovely you are doing signed copies, on my wishlist, after a huge slew of must read books.

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