Bus Reads for May

– Posted by Kara

The commute from hell? Hardly. Here are some titles that have turned my long bus commute into reading heaven.

The Unraveling of Mercy Louis by Keija Parssinen; when you are the star of a basketball team in a small town all eyes are on you, that’s the case for Mercy Louis. However successful she may be on the court things lie ahead that are less than perfect and the road out of town gets more and more difficult. Between her over-controlling religious grandmother, a mother’s abandonment, and a town’s secret, the whole world turns upside down for Mercy and the girls in the town of Port Sabine. There were a few emotional hard spots to get through, but I enjoyed how different this novel was, even though the small town theme has been played before this seemed like a very real possibility and that kind of made the creep factor more real.

Image of a Reader courtesy Chris Blakeley, via Flickr

Image courtesy of Chris Blakeley, via Flickr

Ruby by Cynthia Bond was a darker tale then Mercy Louis. In the small Texas town of Liberty, Ephram Jennings boyhood crush has returned home. Between her dark past and his overbearing sister, the world itself seems against these two, but strength, love, and perseverance prevail and through the darkness there is hope in this novel. I have a really hard time with the wounds of the south so the terrible history was deeply troubling, but it’s our history so even though it was hard to get through it, it was needed for the power of the tale. Might need a glass of wine when you read this one, but read it nonetheless.

Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave was more of a romance then I was expecting, but not too bad. I was almost hoping for a similar read to Timothy Egan’s A Winemaker’s Daughter, which I loved! That was not the case, it was still a good family story centered on the daughter trying to decide who she is and what she wants after a bump in her wedding plans and in context to the path her parents have taken. I think that no matter how much time has passed, the distance between or relationship with our parents they have a way of playing with the gravity of our lives. So add a vineyard and some unexpected life things and there you go. A fun read to pass the time, might be good to add it to your list if you need a little break and I certainly did after the two I read before it!

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