Things I Liked:
I re-read this one for my book group and found I liked it even more the second time. All of the book group folks adored it too! Definitely a book we enjoyed reading and discussing. I love the way Lily grows and changes and is finally able to grieve for her mother. Kidd manages to weave ideas into the progression of the story so well that we don't notice them until they emerge in full bloom. August was such a wonderful character - the kind of person everyone wants in their life. I was also drawn to May for the way she experienced life in extremes - both the sorrow and the joy. There is just something about a story like this - not a happy ending so much as a hopeful one - where a young girl manages to rise above the tragedies in her life, even if she is the author of some of those tragedies. Thoughtful, interesting, a book to be savored. I kept marking passages that I found beautiful or poignant and ended up with way too many to share here. However:
"I looked down at the bee jar still clutched in my hand and saw a teaspoon of teardrops floating in the bottom. I unfastened the window screen and poured it out. The wind lifted it on her skirt tails and shook it over the blistered grass." p 40
"I wish you could've seen the Daughters of Mary the first time they laid eyes on this label. You know why? Because when they looked at her, it occurred to them for the first time in their lives that what's divine can come in dark skin You see, everybody needs a God who looks like them, Lily." p140-141
"You know, some things don't matter that much, Lily Like the color of a house. How big is that in the overall scheme of life? But lifting a person's heart - now, that matters. The who problem with people is -"
"They don't know what matters and what doesn't," I said, filling in her sentence and feeling proud of myself for doing so.
"I was gonna say, The problem is they know what matters, but they don't choose it...The hardest thing on earth is choosing what matters." p147
"Every human being on the face of the earth has a steel plate in his head, but if you lie down now and then and get still as you can, it will slide open like elevator doors, letting in all the secret thoughts that have been standing around so patiently, pushing the button for a ride to the top. Tee real troubles in life happen when those hidden doors stay closed for too long." p170Things I Didn't Like:
I didn't much like Rosaleen. She seemed more like a necessary element to lead the story along than an essential character in the story. I was also disappointed we didn't see more of a father figure. I understand this is a woman power, mothering story, but I think it's important to recognize that children need both a mother and father of some kind. Too bad her father was such a jerk.
I kept thinking about The Help by Katherine Stockett
BOOK CONTENT RATINGS:
female bodies are mentioned, but not in explicit ways
a few elements that are frightening
Overall rating: ****
What is a favorite book from your book group?
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