Friday, April 25, 2008
Friday Book Recommendations
My friend and fellow writer Travis Erwin tagged me to recommend a book in an effort to entice me to blog more. (Thanks for the nudge, Travis!) His friend Patti tagged him -- the Friday book recs are her idea. I hope to make this a regular Friday feature on my blog. To explain how it works, here is Patti in her own words:
"This is the first of what I optimistically hope will become Friday recommendations of books we love but might have forgotten over the years. I have asked several people to help me by also remembering a favorite book. Their blog sites are listed below. I also asked each of them to tag someone to recommend a book for next Friday. I'm worried great books of the recent past are sliding out of print and out of our consciousness. Not the first-tier classics we all can name, but the books that come next."
Okay, Travis and Patti and anyone else out there reading this, I am tagging my friend Candace Havens a fantastic writer herself, to recommend a book on her site. As for me, my recommendation for today is TENDING ROSES by Lisa Wingate. I read this book about six years ago and I've never forgotten it. I had never met or even heard of author Lisa Wingate at the time. I found the book while browsing the fiction aisles at Barnes and Noble. I loved the title, the beautiful cover and the back blurb sounded interesting. I have never contacted an author I've never met after reading a novel, but TENDING ROSES touched a chord in me, and I looked up Lisa Wingate's website, and through it, sent her a note telling her how much the story had meant to me. Ironically, a couple of years later, I was at a writing conference having lunch with a group of ladies--some I knew and others I had not met before. Lisa Wingate sat across from me at the table. She is as lovely as her first mainstream novel.
Here's what Amazon.com had to say about TENDING ROSES:
"First-time author Lisa Wingate drew upon her relationship with her grandmother for inspiration in writing Tending Roses. Her sensitive and able crafting of language, character, and situation pierces through the turmoil and stress of everyday life, illuminating its message with almost painful intensity: "Maybe you should start wanting less." Wingate's words resonate as readers are introduced to Kate Bowman, her architect husband Ben, and their infant son. Kate, on maternity leave from her high-profile Chicago job, has been given the unenviable task of convincing her increasingly frail and forgetful grandmother that she can no longer live alone on the Missouri farm that has been her home for almost half a century. Kate and Ben are struggling to deal with mounting debts and medical bills as they strive to build a lifestyle, rather than a life. Frustrated by dealing with her stubborn, if well-meaning, grandmother, Kate finds solace and clarity in Grandma Rose's handwritten journal. The simple stories of earlier, less complicated times renew Kate's understanding of the truly important things in life. Through the journal, Kate discovers the essence of the remarkable Grandma Rose and is forced to reevaluate her priorities and those of her family. Simply put, Wingate's aim is to exhort readers to "stop and smell the roses." The daily race to achieve and have more, more, more is clearly and all-too-accurately portrayed in these pages. I guarantee readers will stop to think of their own lives and where they are spending their energies. Let's hope Lisa Wingate has other relatives as inspiring as Grandma Rose for future novels." --Alison Trinkle
Hope you'll give it a read!