Sunday, May 17, 2009


The Wet Nurse's Tale
by Erica Eisdorfer
Adult Historical Fiction
Due August 6, 2009

Susan Rose's mother is a wet nurse, whose profession is to feed and care for other women's babies until they can be weaned and returned home. Susan's father is a drunk who is always looking for ways to earn an extra shilling. When Susan gives birth to a baby and a desperate mother calls for a wet nurse, Susan finds herself sold to the highest bidder. This is the story of a smart, plucky, adventurous lower-class woman in Victorian England, and it is everything a reader wants in a historical novel. Susan is overweight and not particularly attractive--and she frequently makes poor decisions regarding men--but you will love her immediately. Her narration is pitch-perfect, blending humor and heartbreak while giving a fascinating glimpse into a mostly unknown profession. I loved it.

Beautiful Creatures
by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Young Adult Fantasy
Due January 2010

Did you finish The Summoning and The Awakening (by Kelley Armstrong) and wonder what you should read next? Or are you perhaps a parent who is looking for the longest possible book to buy for an avid reader? Then this is the book for you. Not only is it dark, creepy, mysterious, and awesome, it's also long enough to take a good week to read. Quality and quantity together in one volume. The narrator is Ethan Wate, a Southern boy whose secret reading habits have set him apart from his small-minded neighbors. As a result, he is the only one in Gatlin who is willing to give the new girl a chance. Lena is dark and beautiful, but the town can't see past the fact that she is Macon Ravenwood's niece--and that strange things started happening as soon as she arrived. Ethan must get past Lena's defenses and figure out the truth behind the occurences before it's too late. The fantasy aspect is great, but what I really loved was the picture that Garcia and Stohl painted of Gatlin: the Daughters of the American Revolution, three old Confederate sisters, the Civil War. Watch for this in January.

The Slippery Year
by Melanie Gideon
Due August 4, 2009

I'm not real big on memoirs. My reading tastes tend more toward escapism, which you may have already noted. This memoir, however, I could not put down. Melanie Gideon did not get lost on a mountain climbing expedition (she DID fall off her bike though) or get breast cancer (she scratched her cornea) or leave her marriage and move to Europe (she camped in the driveway, almost). This book is about being a mom and a wife and yourself all at the same time, and keeping your sense of humor, and laughing at yourself, and loving the little things. It doesn't feel indulgent the way some memoirs do, and Melanie is a master at making fun of her own fears and neuroses. You don't have to be a mother or a wife to identify with Melanie--her experiences are ones that everyone will recognize, or wish they did. Bravo. : )

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