Reported by Kristin
Nevermore began this week with tales of life on the road, with The Long Haul by Finn Murphy. While in college more than thirty years ago, Murphy decided to drop out and become a truck driver, moving thousands of households and driving over a million miles. Our reader found this to be a fun book, although she founds some parts a bit boring. She was especially impressed that Murphy made a bundle of money doing something he enjoys. Another reader with truck driving experience said that she found every single experience Murphy had to be believable. She also agreed with the author when he said to use your maps to know exactly where you’re going and don’t just rely on the GPS.
Another reader enjoyed My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrik Backman. Seven-year-old Elsa loves her grandmother, although she’s something of an odd bird. Her grandmother tells stories which resonate through Elsa’s head at night, giving her comfort. When her grandmother dies, she sends Elsa on a quest to deliver apology letters to people she has wronged, and Elsa learns much along the way.
When We Believed in Mermaids by Barbara O’Neal begins with a dramatic moment—Kit sees her long-dead sister Josie on the television news, then begins a journey to explore the disasters which tore their family apart fifteen years ago. From California to New Zealand, secrets long buried have a way of making themselves known at last. Our reader found this novel extremely good, but noted that it dealt with very heavy subjects.
Continuing in fiction, this time with a historical bent, our next reader reported on The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter by Hazel Gaynor. Based on a true story, this novel begins in 1838 in Northumberland, England where Grace Darling helps her father tending the lighthouse. When they rescue shipwreck survivors, Grace becomes known and celebrated throughout the region. A century later, pregnant nineteen-year-old Matilda Emmerson is sent from Ireland to Rhode Island to stay with a distant relative, Harriet the Newport lighthouse keeper. The two stories are interwoven, making connections from the past to the future.
A current memoir has been making the rounds at Nevermore, Tara Westover’s Educated. A story of a young woman who was raised in a mountain-top compound in Idaho by isolationist parents, the book has stayed in the bestseller charts for well over a year. Westover was homeschooled haphazardly and expected to perform dangerous tasks in her father’s junkyard, but developed a desire for the outside world and learning. From the scrap heaps to Brigham Young to Cambridge and beyond, Westover shows a determination and thirst for knowledge which impressed our readers.
Finally, another book club member discussed The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson. Cussy Mary Carter is one of the blue people of Kentucky, one with a genetic defect which makes her skin appear to be shades of indigo. Set in the New Deal era of the 1930s, Cussy has managed to become one of the pack horse librarians who brings books and other reading materials to those living up in the hills and hollows. Though she faces much discrimination and family pressures, Cussy is determined to do her job. Our reader claimed that this novel was a real page turner.