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"Envoy" by Shannah Jay
Genre: Science Fiction
My Thoughts: "It was a wonderful blend of psychology and
sci fi, with a little romance as well. Shannah Jay has a talent
for creating realistic characters who change in believable ways.
An enforced peace mediation between two cultures that have been
at war for centuries is a situation which would test anyone.
Channa Harknell is the soldier who must change if her country
is to maintain its freedom. A great story!"
"To Kill a Mocking Bird" by Harper Lee
My Thoughts: "It's a wonderful book. While the main theme
deals with the treatment of Negroes by Americans in the South,
the narrator is a child. This could have been done in a way that
makes the reader go through a turmoil of emotions so strong that
getting through the book is difficult. Harper Lee softens it
without taking away any of the facts. The book tells of the world
through a child unaffected by adult prejudices yet having to
face them, and of a man, her father, who dares to live the way
he believes is right: to be the same on the street as he would
be in his own house. With nothing to hide, always straight, always
true. The book makes you think, and learn and realize. I think
that's what a good book does."
"Painted House" by John Grisham
My Thoughts: "I read this book for a book club, rather than
strictly of my own volition. I felt that it started rather slowly,
but it grew on me as I went on. Some critics have commented on
the rather minimal action in the plot; I agree that nothing terribly
dramatic happens, especially compared to John Grisham's legal
thrillers. However, it presents a vivid 'slice of life' in its
portrayal of a season on an Arkansas farm in the 1950s. How realistic
is the portrayal? Not having been there, I can't say, but it
seems fairly plausible. I'm not a native Southerner but have
lived in several Southern states over the last 15 years, and
I can still see remnants of the lifestyle and attitudes he describes.
My strongest criticism is that the story is told through the
eyes of a 7-year-old, and some of his behavior doesn't seem appropriate
for that age. If he had been described as 10 or 12, it might
have been more plausible. After reading this book, you'll certainly
understand why so many young people fled from farms and small
towns to take jobs in the city. Farm life is certainly not portrayed
as idyllic, although it had its rewards (not necessarily material)
for many people. In all, it's an interesting book, but probably
not deserving of all the hype its gotten."