I’ve been fortunate the last several weeks to have some lengthy flights, which means extra reading time. Putting my tome of Shakespeare’s 1599 on hold, I opted for some lighter, end-of-summer reading. First up, Janet Evanovich’s ‘The Heist.’ Billed as this summer’s hottest read, there’s not much I can say about the book other than it’s a typical beach-read. It was fun and passed the time with outlandish plots and interesting characters, including a rogue con artist and prudish, but kick ass, FBI agent, who I couldn’t help but envision Sandra Bullock playing the part. If you’re looking for something light, but fun (that won’t bog you down for days afterward still thinking about it), this is it.
Next up, Anton DiSclafani’s ‘The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls.’ While slow at first, this book definitely got better as DiSclafani peeled back the many layers of a life-changing family secret that eventually brought the novel into clear focus. Set in the South at an exclusive riding school for girls during the Depression, the book lent an interesting perspective on gender equality and expectations of the privileged–and not so privileged–during the early 1930s. I would imagine equine-lovers would enjoy this read, as a handful of horses were just as important to the story–and as equally engaging, if not more so–than I found the main characters. Although I have to exclude the headmaster of the school, who although not the most moral person, had a likability to him that surpassed the other characters.
Lastly, Jessica Brockmole’s ‘Letters from Skye,’ is completely written as a series of letters going back and forth between WWI and WWII between a pair of star-crossed lovers and the family members their affair derailed. I liked this book a lot. It was original, concise, had memorable characters, gave a good feel for how people were suffering during these wars (whether on the front lines or as far away as Skye) and had a gratifying (even if somewhat predictable) ending. Yet, I have to admit, it still didn’t stop me from tearing up a bit as I turned the last page.