In the beginning...

...there were The Flyaways, a family who traveled in their miraculous flying machine having daring adventures with Goldilocks and Cinderella. The first in the 3-book series by Alice Dale Hardy was published by Grosset and Dunlap in 1925 and copies are almost extinct. Few people remember Ma and Pa, Tommy and Susie Flyaway now.

I became acquainted with them on my grandfather's lap, my dear Grandpa Baker who read and read and read to me every evening for as many years as I can remember. I would hold my breath as each chapter ending neared, hoping he would not stop. I would keep begging for "just one more" chapter until his voice got so hoarse I would have to run to his room to get his throat lozenges.

Over the years we covered all of Uncle Wiggly and Honey Bunch, the Bobbsey Twins, the Five Little Peppers, the Wind in the Willow series, some of them more than once. He read to me until long after I could read everything for myself, until I was into Beverly Gray, Trixie Belden, Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys. I was safe and happy snuggled up on the couch with him and that feeling has never left me. I still read and read and read, and it still makes me feel safe and happy.

Friday, July 29, 2011

The Tattoo Artist

What a unique and poignant novel by Jill Ciment. A Jewish shopgirl falls in love with a tall, blonde, handsome avant-garde artist and becomes his protegee in the Bohemian art world of 1920's New York. When Philip loses his fortune in the crash, they embark on a South Seas adventure which leaves them stranded on a remote island. It will be 30 years before Sara is "rescued" and returns alone to a new world in which she has no place. The book details the art of primitive tattooing, its origins and meanings. It is a journey through the art world, a world war, and an intense love story. I loved it.

Michael Koryta has written a story which wanders a bit through some hard to digest plot lines that include bargaining with the devil in an isolated area called The Ridge (Blade Ridge, Kentucky). I didn't much like the devil connection but did like the big cat sanctuary and the characters. It was okay.

Scared to Death by Wendy Corsi Staub had a blurb by Jeffrey Deaver which led me to read it. The plot was a bit of a stretch, involving the biological and adoptive mothers of a boy who was kidnapped. Fifteen years have gone by and another adoption is threatened by a number of murders. This was also okay, but not great.

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