Since having children rare is the time I actually have to read during the day or even evenings. So, I've taken to staying up, past when I really should, in order to actually finish a book. In the past month or two I have read three books that were worth the lack of sleep.
1. For One More Day by Mitch Albom; The story explores the question: What would you do if you could spend one more day with a lost loved one? Charley Benetto loses everything and plans to commit suicide. He begins a drive to his small hometown and ends up in a terrible car accident. He ends up somehow in his childhood home, talking to the mother he had lost years earlier. Charley ends up learning things about his mother and their family that he had never known before. He realizes how much she sacrificed for him. This book is touching and encapsulates all that mothers are willing to do or sacrifice in order to give their children the lives they think their children deserve.
2. The Secret Life Of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd: I wasn't sure what to expect with this book, but it turned out to be fantastic. It is set in South Carolina in the early 1960's. A young girl flees her father's home (her mother died when she was young) with her black housekeeper after the housekeeper insults one of the biggest racists in town and seeks refuge with a group of black beekeeping sisters. They once knew her mother and Lily, the main character, learns much about her mother's past.....some of it very painful. It was a terrific book about the bond between women, specifically the bond between mothers and daughters, even if those mothers are "stand ins" and not biological. One of my favorite lines from the book that really encapsulates the overall feelings of Lily was, "The first week at August's was a consolation, a pure relief. The world will give you that once in a while, a brief timeout; the boxing bell rings and you go to your corner, where somebody dabs mercy on your beat up life." Isn't that the truth?
3. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini: For whatever reason I passed this book over at least a dozen times. It never really seemed that interesting to me based on the jacket description. However, I was at the library a week ago and I decided to grab it. I stayed up until 2:30 am last night just to finish it. It was that powerful. Hauntingly so. It is set in Afghanistan and tells the story of two young boys, Amir and Hassan. What ultimately ensues sets both on a path that will alter their lives forever. Amir will have to learn how to let his overwhelming guilt go and seek redemption in one of the most selfless of ways, by returning to his war-torn home in Kabul to rescue a young boy. There was page after page of insighful observations, but this stuck with me: "Perspective was a luxury when your head was constantly buzzing with a swarm of demons."
Have you read any of these? If so, what did you think?