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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Patty Pick for 2/16/17 is "small great things" by Jodi Picoult

Jodi Picoult has written some of the most powerful and memorable books that I have read. "My Sister's Keeper" and "The Pact" to name a few, but I have not missed many. Her new book, "small great things" falls in as another one of my favorites. It leaves you with a good feeling which I like in my endings, but along the way you will wonder what is going to happen to these characters. 

This is definitely an American story with White Supremacists, racism and our American history present in every word. This is also a universal story in the way it handles the delicate effects of race on our society. This is not a knock-you-on-the-head type of story, it will sneak up on you before you know it. You will be invested and reading away to find out what happens to Ruth Jefferson. Don't you like the play on names with this character? She is a labor and delivery nurse with a 20-year history of experience under her belt. She intersects with a couple who gave birth to their baby boy the night before. What she doesn't know if that the baby is sick and that the couple are White supremacists. 

This story take off after this introduction at a breakneck speed toward a collision between them all. We can walk in Ruth's shoes but we will also walk in the father's shoes. We will see how he grew up and how he got to become the person he is today. Turk and Brit are the parents of this sick infant who passed away on Ruth's shift. The way Jodi Picoult brings these characters powerfully to life will put you in their shoes in a way that you don't get to do very often. We also meet the public defender who takes Ruth's case on and realizes she doesn't look at the world the same way Ruth does.

Kennedy McQuarrie is drawn into the desperate situation facing Ruth and her son, Edison. She realizes that this case will have a long range effect of her life and her career. But she doesn't realize that it will be in ways she did not foresee. Jodi Picoult has a unique and special way of presenting a story without preaching, just presenting one character's perspective and the other. You get to live in each character's mind as the book advances and it is eye-opening. This book receives 5 stars in my book.  

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Patty Pick for Groundhog Day is "The Opposite of Everyone" by Joshilyn Jackson

"The Opposite of Everyone" by Joshilyn Jackson has it all. Smart female main character, dangerous but good-hearted love interest, crazy mother, and siblings coming out of the woodwork. This book by Joshilyn Jackson has her signature dysfunctional family storyline, but with the twist of smart girl making it in the law field. Because one thing that Paula Vauss is, is very smart. 

Paula Vauss seems to have it all. She is a successful divorce attorney practicing in Atlanta with two of her long-time partners. Even though, she was born into and grew up in strange circumstances, she seems in control of her life. That is, until an unknown sibling shows up in the lobby of her building and her whole facade starts to crumble. 

Paula was born in Alabama and spent most of her younger years traveling from state to state and boyfriend to boyfriend with her mother, Kai. Kai goes with the flow and re-invents herself for each flame until she gets tired of them, and moves on, taking then Kali Jai with her. During one such stop, Paula made a decision that will change both of their lives forever. Paula spends the rest of this part of her life, trying to get back to her mother as close as they used to be with each other. But as you know, you can never go back. 

Paula thinks she has made her decision, changed her life, and moved on. She is about to find out that she is not done with her mother. She never really was. Now she is in a race to find her mother before she can't, and Paula has to come to terms with her own life and what she wants for herself. All of this is going on as she breaks up with her boyfriend, meets her unknown brother, and is in the middle of a nasty divorce case. 

Somehow Joshilyn Jackson manages to pull all these strings together and weave us a very good tale from beginning to end. You will remember Paula's strength and read along during the journey she takes to find her mother. Another fabulous Joshilyn Jackson story that will test your heartstrings. A solid read.