first is something we all know and we all have to be reminded about -- again. save. save. save. i wrote a really good blog two days ago (as a commiserating friend said, 'it's always the good ones you lose.') i did not hit save. it is true, i'm sure, that as rumored, the f.b.i. and c.i.a. can find anything you've deleted on your computer. i can not. if it weren't for n. k. of chicago who wrote asking something about the whodunit? blog, i never would have looked back and never would have found that there is no 'back' there!
second, that same n.k. of the windy city, writes that she recommends Third and Long by Bob Katz, which is now available from Amazon.com. i haven't read the book. am simply passing on the information. the novel is published by Trolley Car Press in minneapolis (dw is the publisher.)
third, i want to thank joel rosenbloom, who wants me to use his full name. he is an e-mail pal from some place in florida who wrote an encouraging and congratulatory note after my last blog (the last one to actually be published!)
i have been wondering why so many books start better than they end. is it something the author does or does the difference lie in the ever-optimistic expectation of the reader? two days ago i had written about the beginning of susan wittig albert's wormwood and the beginning of jodi picoult's house rules. these two novels have out of the ordinary beginnings that immediately pique this reader's attention. Wormwood (China Bayles Mystery) is another in the series of herbalist-detective chna bayles mysteries. this one is different. for a needed rest, china goes to mount zion, ky. she stays at a reconstructed shaker village. the novel intertwines two plots, one from the village's past, one from the present.this is a good balancing act,though many writers can handle the double plot. what is unusual is wittig albert's incorporating 19th c. newspaper clippings, diaries, and other historical documents that relate to the original shaker utopian colony. i hope she continues to maintain my interest with this device.
when i wrote and lost my critique of two days ago, i had just started jodi picoult's House Rules: A Novel. now i've finished it. and no, the ending is not as good as the beginning. it's pretty much a cop-out with everyone getting away with something. however, the last line does give the reader something to walk away with and think about. up to the end of the novel, however, it is an excellent book. i highly recommend it. how many books have you read from the point of view of an 18-year old with aspergers? faulkner's The Sound and the Fury (Norton Critical Editions) is not the same. house rules is the story of jacob hunt, his younger brother, theo, and emma, the single mother who is trying to raise the boys and main-stream jacob. the victim is jess, jacob's sympathetic social skills tutor. the two hunt boys are suspects, as is jess's stereotypical football player boy-friend. the reader learns a great deal about aspergers without ever being lectured at, even when it comes to the role of baby shots as cause. i feel i have not done justice to the interest the novel holds and sustains from the very beginning. (all of that was in the lost blog!!) the novel is 532 pages. it was published by atria books. it is definitely worth purchasing or borrowing from your local library.