TUESDAY SPARKS: EXCERPTING “TERRIBLE VIRTUE”

hummel bookish-LOGO

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by Books & a Beat.

Today’s feature is a book I am just starting to read:  Terrible Virtue, by Ellen Feldman, a provocative and compelling story of one of the most fascinating and influential figures of the twentieth century: Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood—an indomitable woman who, more than any other, and at great personal cost, shaped the sexual landscape we inhabit today.

 

 

 

27826736

 

Intro:  (Chapter One)

Once, on a train going God knows where, to give still another speech, I awakened in the middle of the night nauseated.  Oh, no, I thought, pregnant again.  It didn’t seem fair.  I’d been so careful.  Then I calculated the timing.  I couldn’t be pregnant.  To calm myself, I raised the shade of the window above my berth and looked out.  I was just in time to see the sign marking the station fly by.  CORNING.  Even after all those years, merely passing through the town could make me sick to my stomach.

I can’t remember a time that I didn’t dream of escape.  When the neighborhood brats made fun of me, I told myself I’d show them someday.  When Miss Graves drove me out of school, I swore I’d never return.  How old was I then?  Fifteen?  Sixteen?

***

Teaser:  As the lights began to go on in the windows across the way and shadows struggled toward another day, I made up my mind.  I’d had enough of treating the symptoms of the disease.  I was determined to find the cure. (p. 62).

***

Synopsis: The daughter of a hard-drinking, smooth-tongued free thinker and a mother worn down by thirteen children, Margaret Sanger vowed her life would be different. Trained as a nurse, she fought for social justice beside labor organizers, anarchists, socialists, and other progressives, eventually channeling her energy to one singular cause: legalizing contraception. It was a battle that would pit her against puritanical, patriarchal lawmakers, send her to prison again and again, force her to flee to England, and ultimately change the lives of women across the country and around the world.

This complex enigmatic revolutionary was at once vain and charismatic, generous and ruthless, sexually impulsive and coolly calculating—a competitive, self-centered woman who championed all women, a conflicted mother who suffered the worst tragedy a parent can experience. From opening the first illegal birth control clinic in America in 1916 through the founding of Planned Parenthood to the arrival of the Pill in the 1960s, Margaret Sanger sacrificed two husbands, three children, and scores of lovers in her fight for sexual equality and freedom.

With cameos by such legendary figures as Emma Goldman, John Reed, Big Bill Haywood, H. G. Wells, and the love of Margaret’s life, Havelock Ellis, this richly imagined portrait of a larger-than-life woman is at once sympathetic to her suffering and unsparing of her faults. Deeply insightful, Terrible Virtue is Margaret Sanger’s story as she herself might have told it.

***

What do you think?  Do the excerpts draw you in?  Would you keep reading?  I know that I’m enjoying it thoroughly.

***

Advertisements

TUESDAY SPARKS: “AFTER I DO”

y8ekqo13031746531

teacups for teaser tuesdays

 

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by A Daily Rhythm.

Today’s spotlight is shining on a book that has been waiting patiently on Pippa, my Kindle, since September 2014!  It is long overdue for a peek.  After I Do, by Taylor Jenkins Reid, is from a new-to-me author that I’ve already enjoyed.

 

 

22663501

 

Intro:  We are in the parking lot of Dodger Stadium, and once again, Ryan has forgotten where we left the car.  I keep telling him that it’s in Lot C, but he doesn’t believe me.

“No,” he says, for the tenth time.  “I specifically remember turning right when we got here, not left.”

It’s incredibly dark, the path in front of us lit only by lampposts featuring oversized baseballs.  I looked at the sign when we parked.

“You remember wrong,” I say, my tone clipped and pissed-off.  We’ve already been here too long, and I hate the chaos of Dodger Stadium.  It’s a warm summer night, so I have that to be thankful for, but it’s ten P.M., and the rest of the fans are pouring out of the stands, the two of us fighting through a sea of blue and white jerseys.  We’ve been at this for about twenty minutes.

***

Teaser:  Ryan has made it clear that he no longer thinks of me the way he thinks about other women.  It hurts.  And yet when I try to break down why it hurts, I don’t have an answer. (p. 67).

***

Blurb:  When Lauren and Ryan’s marriage reaches the breaking point, they come up with an unconventional plan. They decide to take a year off in the hopes of finding a way to fall in love again. One year apart, and only one rule: they cannot contact each other. Aside from that, anything goes.

Lauren embarks on a journey of self-discovery, quickly finding that her friends and family have their own ideas about the meaning of marriage. These influences, as well as her own healing process and the challenges of living apart from Ryan, begin to change Lauren’s ideas about monogamy and marriage. She starts to question: When you can have romance without loyalty and commitment without marriage, when love and lust are no longer tied together, what do you value? What are you willing to fight for?

This is a love story about what happens when the love fades. It’s about staying in love, seizing love, forsaking love, and committing to love with everything you’ve got. And above all, After I Do is the story of a couple caught up in an old game—and searching for a new road to happily ever after.

***

What do you think?  Do the excerpts draw you in?  Do you want to keep reading?  I know that I am eager to do so.

***

 

TUESDAY SPARKS: INTROS/TEASERS – “MY SALINGER YEAR”

y8ekqo13031746531

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by A Daily Rhythm.

Today’s sparkling feature is from a book on this week’s reading list:  My Salinger Year, by Joanna Rakoff.

 

 

19782753

 

 

Intros:  (All of Us Girls)

There were hundreds of us, thousands of us, carefully dressing in the gray morning light of Brooklyn, Queens, the Lower East Side, leaving our apartments weighed down by tote bags heavy with manuscripts, which we read as we stood in line at the Polish bakery, the Greek deli, the corner diner, waiting to order our coffee, light and sweet, and our Danish, to take on the train, where we would hope for a seat so that we might read more before we arrived at our offices in midtown, Soho, Union Square.  We were girls, of course, all of us girls, emerging from the 6 train at Fifty-First Street and walking past the Waldorf-Astoria, the Seagram Building on Park, all of us clad in variations on a theme—the neat skirt and sweater, redolent of Sylvia Plath at Smith—each element purchased by parents in some comfortable suburb, for our salaries were so low we could barely afford our rent, much less lunch in the vicinities of our offices or dinners out, even in the cheap neighborhoods we’d populated, sharing floor-throughs with other girls like us, assistants at other agencies or houses or the occasional literary nonprofit.  All day we sat, our legs crossed at the knee, on our swivel chairs, answering the call of our bosses, ushering in writers with the correct mixture of enthusiasm and remove, never belying the fact that we got into this business not because we wanted to fetch glasses of water for visiting writers but because we wanted to be writers ourselves, and this seemed the most socially acceptable way to go about doing so, though it was already becoming clear that this was not at all the way to go about doing so….

***

Teaser:  As the train raced me up to midtown to the Agency, I suddenly thought of Mark David Chapman.  Had he written a fan letter—fan letters?—to Salinger?  Had the 1980 or 1979 version of me methodically opened a plain white envelope and found a crazed rant? (p. 74).

***

Poignant, keenly observed, and irresistibly funny: a memoir about literary New York in the late nineties, a pre-digital world on the cusp of vanishing, where a young woman finds herself entangled with one of the last great figures of the century.

At twenty-three, after leaving graduate school to pursue her dreams of becoming a poet, Joanna Rakoff moves to New York City and takes a job as assistant to the storied literary agent for J. D. Salinger. She spends her days in a plush, wood-paneled office, where Dictaphones and typewriters still reign and old-time agents doze at their desks after martini lunches. At night she goes home to the tiny, threadbare Williamsburg apartment she shares with her socialist boyfriend. Precariously balanced between glamour and poverty, surrounded by titanic personalities, and struggling to trust her own artistic instinct, Rakoff is tasked with answering Salinger’s voluminous fan mail. But as she reads the candid, heart-wrenching letters from his readers around the world, she finds herself unable to type out the agency’s decades-old form response. Instead, drawn inexorably into the emotional world of Salinger’s devotees, she abandons the template and begins writing back. Over the course of the year, she finds her own voice by acting as Salinger’s, on her own dangerous and liberating terms.

Rakoff paints a vibrant portrait of a bright, hungry young woman navigating a heady and longed-for world, trying to square romantic aspirations with burgeoning self-awareness, the idea of a life with life itself. Charming and deeply moving, filled with electrifying glimpses of an American literary icon, My Salinger Year is the coming-of-age story of a talented writer. Above all, it is a testament to the universal power of books to shape our lives and awaken our true selves.

***

That intro is a very long series of meandering sentences, so I didn’t quite manage a whole paragraph.  Aside from that issue, what do you think?  Would you keep reading?

***

TUESDAY SPARKS: EXCERPTING “ONE MOMENT, ONE MORNING”

y8ekqo13031746531

 

teacups for teaser tuesdays

 

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by A Daily Rhythm.

Today’s featured book has been resting on Pippa, my Kindle, for a while.  It is from an author I have enjoyed, so I am eager to now begin.  One Moment, One Morning, is from Sarah Rayner.

 

 

61R-Avx7qeL._SL1000_

 

 

Intro:  (Monday) (07:58)

Lou is pretending to be asleep, but out of the corner of her eye she is watching the woman opposite put on her make-up.  She always finds it fascinating, watching other women do this, constructing themselves, on the train.  Lou never wears make-up, really, other than for very special occasions, and although she can understand it saves time, she finds it odd—choosing to make the transformation from private to public persona whilst commuting.  It takes away the mystery, covering the blemishes, thickening the lashes, widening the eyes, plumping the cheeks, surrounded by people.  And on the seven forty-four to Victoria, Lou is surrounded by people:  most of them silent; many of them asleep, or at least dozing; some of them reading, and a few, a minority, chatting.

***

Teaser:  The kettle has come to a boil.  Absently Lou fishes for a tea bag, puts it in a mug, pours the water.  As she does so, she considers:  how do these events cast light on the way she herself lives?  Does she know who she is?  Do others? (p. 65).

***

Blurb:  The Brighton to London line. The 7:44 am train. Cars packed with commuters. One woman occupies her time observing the people around her. Opposite, a girl puts on her make-up. Across the aisle, a husband strokes his wife’s hand. Further along, another woman flicks through a glossy magazine. Then, abruptly, everything changes: a man collapses, the train is stopped, and an ambulance is called.
For at least three passengers on the 7:44 on that particular morning, life will never be the same again. There’s Lou, in an adjacent seat, who witnesses events first hand. Anna, who’s sitting further up the train, impatient to get to work. And Karen, the man’s wife.
Telling the story of the week following that fateful train journey, One Moment, One Morning is a stunning novel about love and loss, about family and – above all- friendship. A stark reminder that, sometimes, one moment is all it takes to shatter everything. Yet it also reminds us that somehow, despite it all, life can and does go on.

***

What do you think?  Would you keep reading?  I know that I am intrigued.

***

 

 

SPARKING CONVERSATION: THOUGHTS ON A TUESDAY

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I don’t often post on this site, unless it’s for a meme like Saturday Snapshots, or Book Beginnings.

But since the theme of this site is about sparking or igniting connections, I do think about those issues in terms of this blog…and want to spark a conversation, if you will.

Lately I’ve been bored with my photos, so I’ve “highlighted” a few of them, like the one above, or the one in the sidebar, hoping to spark my own interest in making changes.

It is never to late to change things up, is it?  Even if we don’t decide to add extensions or highlights to our hair, maybe we can make some interior changes.

Sometimes it’s enough for me to read a book that does something for me…makes me think, gives me pause, or even generates conversation.

The Girl in the Train (click for my review) recently did that for some bloggers, and it was fun to see how others reacted to a book with unreliable narrators and a suspenseful storyline.

 

 

91lsrmuankl-_sl1500_

Sheila, at Book Journey, had the opposite reactions from mine.  Sheila’s review takes us to another kind of place, and that’s what I love about book blogs.  We can generate conversation even more when we disagree about something.

Another book that sparked something within me, and also within some other bloggers, was The Wednesday Group, by Sylvia True. (Click for my review).  A great one for book clubs, I think.

 

 

22895704

 

Patty, at Books, Thoughts, and a Few Adventures, posted her review on Goodreads.  And earlier today, I read Mary’s thoughts at Book Fan.

***

Do you get excited, does something ignite within you, when you read a book or a blog post that sparks something within?  Does it make you want to speak up?  Shout, even?

That’s what I call igniting your connections!  What does it for you?

***

 

sparks-button

***

TUESDAY SPARKS: INTROS/TEASERS – “THE BOOKSELLER”

y8ekqo13031746531

 

1940s-raine-framed-memes-teaser-tuesday

 

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by Should Be Reading.

Today’s featured book is an ARC from Amazon Vine from an author new to me:  The Bookseller, by Cynthia Swanson.

 

 

22635858

 

 

Intro:  This is not my bedroom.

Where am I?  Gasping and pulling unfamiliar bedcovers up to my chin, I strain to collect my senses.  But no explanation for my whereabouts comes to mind.

The last thing I remember, it was Wednesday evening and I was painting my bedroom a bright, saturated yellow.  Frieda, who had offered to help, was appraising my color choice.  “Too much sunniness for a bedroom,” she pronounced, in that Miss Know-It-All tone of hers.  “How will you ever sleep in on gloomy days with a room like this?”

I dipped my brush into the paint can, carefully wiped off the excess, and climbed the stepladder.  “That’s entirely the point,” I told Frieda.  Leaning over, I began cutting along a tall, narrow window frame.

***

Teaser:  I am almost eager to go to bed that night, curious what might happen and what I might dream.  Laughing at myself, I pour a generous shot of whiskey just before bedtime, thinking it might put me to sleep sooner.  (p. 52).

***

Blurb:   A provocative and hauntingly powerful debut novel reminiscent of Sliding Doors, The Bookseller follows a woman in the 1960s who must reconcile her reality with the tantalizing alternate world of her dreams.

Nothing is as permanent as it appears . . .

Denver, 1962: Kitty Miller has come to terms with her unconventional single life. She loves the bookshop she runs with her best friend, Frieda, and enjoys complete control over her day-to-day existence. She can come and go as she pleases, answering to no one. There was a man once, a doctor named Kevin, but it didn’t quite work out the way Kitty had hoped.

Then the dreams begin.

Denver, 1963: Katharyn Andersson is married to Lars, the love of her life. They have beautiful children, an elegant home, and good friends. It’s everything Kitty Miller once believed she wanted—but it only exists when she sleeps.

Convinced that these dreams are simply due to her overactive imagination, Kitty enjoys her nighttime forays into this alternate world. But with each visit, the more irresistibly real Katharyn’s life becomes. Can she choose which life she wants? If so, what is the cost of staying Kitty, or becoming Katharyn?

As the lines between her worlds begin to blur, Kitty must figure out what is real and what is imagined. And how do we know where that boundary lies in our own lives?

***

What do you think?  Are you as intrigued by the blurb and excerpts as I am?  I hope you’ll stop in and share your thoughts.

***

TUESDAY SPARKS: INTROS/TEASERS – “THEN AND ALWAYS”

y8ekqo13031746531

 

1940s-raine-framed-memes-teaser-tuesday

 

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by Should Be Reading.

Today’s featured book is an ARC called Then and Always, by Dani Atkins.

 

 

71rPDx5UbXL._SL1500_

 

Intro:  (September 2008)

Long after the screaming had stopped, when the only sound to be heard was the soft crying of my friends as they waited for the ambulance to arrive, I realized that I was still clutching the lucky penny tightly within my palm.  My fingers refused to unfurl from around the tiny copper talisman, as though by sheer will alone I would somehow be able to wind back time and erase the tragedy around me.

Was it really only half an hour earlier that Jimmy had picked up the glinting coin from the restaurant’s tarmacked car park?

“For luck,” he had said with a grin, tossing the coin up in the air and deftly catching it with one hand.

I smiled back and then saw the flicker of irritation flash through his pale blue eyes as Matt quipped, “Jimmy, mate, you should’ve said if you’re a little short of cash, no need to go groveling about on the ground for money!”

***

Teaser:  I could only imagine the anguish he must have gone through back then, as he’d sat for days on end beside a hospital bed just like this one.  It wasn’t until months later that he revealed to me the true terror he had lived through while I lay unconscious and unresponsive. (p. 80).

***

Blurb:  For fans of One Day, What Alice Forgot, and the hit film Sliding Doors, comes an absorbing and surprising debut novel about a young woman who, after an accident, gets a second chance at life . . . just not in one she remembers.
 
Rachel Wiltshire has everything she’s ever wanted: a close group of friends, a handsome boyfriend, and acceptance to the journalism program at her top-choice college. But one fateful evening, tragedy tears her world apart.

Five years later, Rachel returns home for the first time to celebrate her best friend’s wedding. Still coping with her grief, she can’t stop thinking about the bright future she almost had, if only that one night had gone differently. But when a sudden fall lands her in the hospital, Rachel wakes to find that her life has completely changed. Now the people she loves most are not the way she remembers them. Unable to trust her own recollections, Rachel tries to piece together what really happened, and not even she can predict the astonishing truth.

***

I am intrigued by the premise of this story, and can’t wait to dive in.  Would you keep reading?

***

TUESDAY SPARKS: INTROS/TEASERS – “FALLING INTO PLACE”

y8ekqo13031746531

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by Should Be Reading.

Today I am featuring an ARC from Amazon Vine.  A new author (to me), Amy Zhang’s Falling Into Place is a haunting and universal story that will appeal to fans of Lauren Oliver, Gayle Forman, and Jay Asher.

 

 

20306804

 

 

Intro:  On the day Liz Emerson tries to die, they had reviewed Newton’s Laws of Motion in physics class.  Then, after school, she put them into practice by running her Mercedes off the road.

As she lies on the grass with the shattered window tangled in her hair, her blood all around her, she looks up and sees the sky again.  She begins to cry, because it’s so blue, the sky.  So, so blue.  It fills her with an odd sadness, because she had forgotten.  She had forgotten how very blue it was, and now it is too late.

Inhaling is becoming an exceedingly difficult task.  The rush of cars grows farther and farther away, the world blurs at the edges, and Liz is gripped by an inexplicable urge to get to her feet and chase the cars, redefine the world.  In this moment, she realizes what death really means.  It means that she will never catch them.

***

Teaser:  (Five Months Before Liz Emerson Crashed Her Car)

On the first Friday after the start of Liz’s junior year, only three topics were discussed at lunch:  Ms. Harrison’s plus-size miniskirt and fishnet stockings, the sheer number of freshman skanks, and the enormous beach party Tyler Rainier was going to throw that night. (p. 14)

***

Blurb:  One cold fall day, high school junior Liz Emerson steers her car into a tree. This haunting and heartbreaking story is told by a surprising and unexpected narrator and unfolds in nonlinear flashbacks even as Liz’s friends, foes, and family gather at the hospital and Liz clings to life. This riveting debut will appeal to fans of Before I Fall, by Lauren Oliver, and 13 Reasons Why, by Jay Asher.

“On the day Liz Emerson tries to die, they had reviewed Newton’s laws of motion in physics class. Then, after school, she put them into practice by running her Mercedes off the road.” Why did Liz Emerson decide that the world would be better off without her? Why did she give up? The nonlinear novel pieces together the short and devastating life of Meridian High’s most popular junior girl. Mass, acceleration, momentum, force—Liz didn’t understand it in physics, and even as her Mercedes hurtles toward the tree, she doesn’t understand it now. How do we impact one another? How do our actions reverberate? What does it mean to be a friend? To love someone? To be a daughter? Or a mother? Is life truly more than cause and effect?

***

What do you think?  I am intrigued, and this is not my usual genre.  I’m going to have to stop saying that, however, because of the sheer number of YA books that have found their way onto my stacks lately.  Come on by and let’s chat.

***

TUESDAY SPARKS: INTROS/TEASERS – “THURSDAY’S CHILDREN”

y8ekqo13031746531

 

1940s-raine-framed-memes-teaser-tuesday

 

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by Should Be Reading.

Today I am very excited about my featured book:  Thursday’s Children, by Nicci French.  I have read each of the books in this series so far and love the character of Frieda Klein.

 

20812083

 

Intro:  It started with a reunion and it ended with a reunion and Frieda Klein hated reunions.  She was sitting in front of her fire, listening to its slow crackle.  Beside her was Sasha, who was staring into the glow.  Beside Sasha was a buggy.  In the buggy was Sasha’s ten-month-old son, Ethan, a blur of dark hair and soft snoring.  A cat lay at Frieda’s feet, faintly purring.  They could hear the wind blowing outside.  It had been a day of fog and swirling leaves and gusts of wind.  Now it was dark and they were inside, hiding from the approaching winter.

‘I’ve got to admit,’ said Sasha, ‘that I’m intrigued by the idea of meeting an old school friend of yours.’

‘She wasn’t a friend.  She was in my class.’

‘What does she want?’

‘I don’t know.  She rang me up and said she needed to see me.  She said it was important and that she’d be here at seven.’

***

Teaser:  Frieda pulled a chair up, close to the fire, and Maddie sat down.  She had long brown hair, artfully styled into shagginess and streaked with blonde.  Her face was carefully made up, but this only emphasized the tightness of the skin over the cheekbones, the little lines around the eyes and at the corners of the mouth. (p. 3).

***

Blurb from Goodreads:  When psychotherapist Frieda Klein left the sleepy Suffolk coastal town she grew up in she never intended to return. Left behind were friends, family, life and loves but, alongside them, painful memories; a past she couldn’t allow to destroy her.

So when an old classmate appears in London asking Frieda to help her teenage daughter, long buried memories resurface. But when tragedy strikes, Frieda has no choice but to return home and confront her past. And monsters no one else believes are real . . .

Through a fog of alibis, conflicting accounts, hidden agendas and questionable alibis, Frieda can trust no one in trying to piece together the shocking truth, past and present.

When it comes to psychological suspense there’s none better than Nicci French. And Thursday’s Children is Nicci French at her very best.

***

I love this series and this character.  I am hoping to start reading it tomorrow.  What do you think of the excerpts?  Would you keep reading?

***

Tuesday Sparks: Intros/Teasers – “Little Mercies”

y8ekqo13031746531

 

1940s-raine-framed-memes-teaser-tuesday

 

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by Should Be Reading.

Today I am featuring a book that will go down as another favorite.  I just finished it today, and my review is HERE.

 

Little Mercies, by Heather Gudenkauf, is a ripped-from-the-headlines tour de force that reveals how one small mistake can have life-altering consequences…

 

 

 

71HLh-QjLjL._SL1206_

 

 

Intro:  When people find out what I do for a living their first question is always about the most horrendous case of child abuse I’ve encountered.  I can be at a backyard barbecue or at a New Year’s Eve party or in the waiting room at the dentist’s office, or my husband’s baseball game.  You must see so much, they say, shaking their heads, lips pursed in something like empathy, like I was the one who might have endured the beatings, the burns, the torrents of hateful words.  Of course I don’t share any details about my clients or their families.  So much has been stripped from the children that stagger in and out of my orbit; the very least I can do is honor their privacy.  Come on, people urge, tell me.  It’s bad, isn’t it?  Like I’m dangling some salacious gossip in front of them.  Like I’m keeping mum because I don’t want to offend their tender ears, upset their perfectly ordered worlds where all children are touched with gentle hands, spoken to with loving words and tucked warmly into beds with full stomachs.

***

Teaser:  Tears well in my mother’s eyes and she grasps both of my hands in her, “I guess what I’m trying to say is that we all have our moments.  We all have those times when we turn our backs, close our eyes, become unguarded.” (53%).

***

Amazon Description:  Veteran social worker Ellen Moore has seen the worst side of humanity—the vilest acts one person can commit against another. She is a fiercely dedicated children’s advocate and a devoted mother and wife. But one blistering summer day, a simple moment of distraction will have repercussions that Ellen could never have imagined, threatening to shatter everything she holds dear, and trapping her between the gears of the system she works for.

Meanwhile, ten-year-old Jenny Briard has been living with her well-meaning but irresponsible father since her mother left them, sleeping on friends’ couches and moving in and out of cheap motels. When Jenny suddenly finds herself on her own, she is forced to survive with nothing but a few dollars and her street smarts. The last thing she wants is a social worker, but when Ellen’s and Jenny’s lives collide, little do they know just how much they can help one another.

A powerful and emotionally charged tale about motherhood and justice, Little Mercies is a searing portrait of the tenuous grasp we have on the things we love the most, and of the ties that unexpectedly bring us together.

***

I could relate to this story on so many levels:  but mostly as a parent and as a retired social worker.  Nothing ignites passion in me more quickly than stories of child abuse and neglect.  But this story reminds me that none of us are exempt from mistakes…or the “unguarded moments” that can define our lives.  And all of us can occasionally use those “little mercies” handed out in unexpected places.

Would you keep reading?  I know some turn away from the horrific stories, but for those who don’t, you might find yourself fully engaged.

***