Saturday, May 11, 2013

Look Again

Look Again
Lisa Scottoline
After publishing my last post I realized I had not posted a blog entry about the book I finished prior to starting Play Dead by Julia Heaberlin! I don't know how I could have forgotten to share this wonderful book by one of my favorite authors. Well, actually I do know what happened. I posted it on my other blog! I wanted to share information about this book on my other blog, "From the Library Shelves". This is the book I was fortunate enough to give away during the World Book Night event at the end of April. I will take credit for this title being included on the list of 20 books given away this year during the 2nd annual WBN. I sent the title in last year after hearing Lisa Scottoline speak at the LIFTA Luncheon at the Texas Library Association Conference. She was fabulous and has become one of the authors I frantically search for whenever I hear they are coming out with a new book.

How to describe this book? Since Mother's Day is tomorrow, let's start with a mother's love for her child. Does the amount of love for a child have to do with the blood running through the child's veins? I mean, is a mother's love any less if the child was not carried for nine months in her own body? My response NO! I know from personal experience ~ from both sides of this discussion. I know my mother loves me unconditionally. She has always put up with all of my issues, arguments, and terrible teenage years. She supports me in anything I have ever attempted to do and is one of my loudest cheerleaders when I am honored for an accomplishment. I KNOW she loves me.

I also know a wonderful woman who was a huge part of my life growing up loved me as one of her own. Margaret was our neighbor, but she was also like a mother to me. She would never take the place of my mother, but she provided experiences for me (an only child) that my parents could not. I was part of their family of six, becoming number seven. At their house I had an older sister, and three older brothers. Sadly Margaret passed away many years ago, but I still think about her whenever I drive to my parents house. Her family still owns the house across the street and her daughter, my sister, lives in the house next door to my parents. We are still very close and I will always treasure our relationship. 

As I have grown older another woman came into my life. At first she was just my Sunday School Teacher. I will never confess to being a Biblical scholar, or even a hugely religious person. I believe in God and I know Jesus died for my sins. I don't have to go to church to have faith. I have it in my heart. However, when I was in Dana Lee's class I felt that I really and truly belonged. I felt that God had put us together so she could teach me more about Jesus's love for me. I enjoyed going to her class and listening to the lessons she would work long hours during the week to prepare. She was a very dedicated teacher and I was devastated when she had to quit teaching our class because of her health. She continued to sing in the choir with us and we became even closer. I call her my Church Mom. She never had any children of her own, but I love her as a mother and I truly believe she loves me as much as my own mother.

A mother's love is indescribable. I love my son with all of my heart. I can't even begin to write how much joy he has brought into my life. His accomplishments over the past 17 years have been more vast than I could ever had envisioned for him. During this school year alone, we have been to the School Board Meeting in our district no less than four times for various honors, including, but not limited to Academic Decathlon (1st in the district, region, and 3rd in the state) and National Merit Scholar.  In a little less than a month he will be giving a Salutatorian address during his graduation ceremony. I don't love him just because he is so successful. I am just very lucky to have such a talented son. Would I love him any less if he were not academically talented? No. 

I never truly understood my mother's love for me until I became a mother. I feel like I have been over protective of my son his entire life. I worried about him when he left the house to go spend the night with a friend, which didn't happen very often as he grew up. I would much rather have his friend over to our house. I was in control. As the time for him to go off to college is quickly approaching I see that I have done a great job of allowing him to grow his own wings. I am not thrilled with the prospect of him going off to college, but I know this is his time. He has earned this opportunity to fly off on his own, even if it is only 30 miles away. I will no longer be in control. He will be, but I believe he is very capable of making the right choice for him in any situation. We have raised our son well. He is loved and I truly believe he knows he is loved, just not how much. He will learn that someday when he is a father.

Well, all of that to get to the point of my review for Look Again. Sorry, I guess I was rambling, but it does come full circle. Ellen Gleeson is a reporter and a single mother to her adoptive son, three year old, Will. She adopted Will after developing a relationship with him while doing a story in a local hospital. He had been abandoned by his mother when a heart condition was diagnosed. On her arrival home one day Ellen finds in the mail one of these long white postcards we have all received. Instead of quickly looking at the picture, reading the description, and saying a swift prayer for the parents like the majority of us do each time one of these cards arrives in our mailbox, she studies the photo.  She she realizes she is looking at her son! 

The book goes through all of the emotions you would think would come from that kind of realization. She wants to investigate and find out if this child, who she has loved for over a year and a half, could be the child of the parents who have mourned him for the same time period. She is torn. If she finds out the truth what could happen to her legal adoption of her son? Ms. Scottoline does a wonderful job of showing the emotion of the characters and revealing a truly astonishing story of love, betrayal, and acceptance.

Playing Dead

I just finished reading one of the best books! It is the debut novel by Texas writer Julia Heaberlin, Playing Dead. It was the 2013 conference book for the Texas Library Association's One Book, One Conference program which was held in Fort Worth on Wednesday, April 24th. Unfortunately I was not able to attend the session because I was presiding over another session at the same time. I guess the best part for me is the story was not ruined for me through the discussion since I had not finished the book!

I loved this book so much I want to share everything about Tommie, Sadie, Maddie, and Hudson, but I won't because I want others to enjoy the book too. All I can say is that I loved everything about it, especially the setting! The book is set in and around Fort Worth, Texas, for the most part. I was surprised with the twists and turns in the book. As we grow up we all believe we know who we are and all about our parents. It can be shocking to find out, after the death of a parent that you really know nothing about yourself.

I highly recommend this book to lovers of Texas, mystery, and suspense. I can't wait for Ms. Heaberlin's next book, Lie Still, which is expected out July 9th.

Happy Reading!