In 2009, Kat Martin introduced readers to the small town of Dreyerville, Michigan in her book, The Christmas Clock. Dreyerville is based on Ionia, Michigan, a town Martin describes as a charming nineteenth century village that "Represents old-fashioned values, the days when honesty, courage, loyalty and integrity were more valuable than they seem to be today." In her latest book, A Song for My Mother, she takes readers back to that town. You don't have to have read the previous book. The story and the characters all stand alone. But, their lives and feelings are rooted in small-town values.
Marly Hanson hasn't been home in twelve years, since the day she fled the life she knew, marrying to escape. Now, the divorced mother reluctantly returns. Her ten-year-old daughter, Katie, wants to meet the grandmother she never met. And, it's hard for Marly to deny that to the daughter who just went through radiation and chemotherapy for brain cancer. But, just because she's giving Katie the chance to know her grandmother, Winnie Maddox, that doesn't mean Marly has to enjoy her visit or spend time with her mother. Marly never forgave her mother for staying with her abusive father, and doesn't understand why her mother chose him over her only daughter.
It's too bad Marly doesn't want to stay in Dreyerville. Katie instantly loves her grandmother, and even finds a neighbor boy, Ham Bennett, who accepts her in her hairless state, and wants to be friends. And, Ham's father, Reed, the local sheriff, accepts Katie, and finds Marly attractive. But, Marly's anger and pain may prove too much of an obstacle to overcome.
A Song for My Mother is a short book, just 165 pages. But, Martin manages to pack the book with emotion. It's a story of relationships, and a story of strong women who have to make choices in their lives. Martin has mastered the art of creating well-drawn characters, people the reader cares for. This book is no exception. It's a story of a small community that pulls together when people are in need, a story of people who recognize the tug of home, and honesty, and love. Some of Martin's characters, including Marly and her mother, have tough times in life, and everyone chooses different ways to make it through. People try to do their best to make it through the tough times. But, sometimes, others really don't understand people's actions, and why they make their choices. Martin doesn't hit her readers over the head with her message, but A Song for My Mother makes it clear.
I have been a library manager/administrator for over 30 years, in Ohio, Florida, Arizona, and, now, Indiana. Winner of the 2011 Arizona Library Association Outstanding Library Service Award. I am a contributing Book Reviewer for Library Journal, Mystery Readers Journal, ReadertoReader.com and VibrantNation.com. Winner of the 2009 and 2010 Spinetingler Awards for Best Reviewer. First Fan Guest of Honor for Desert Sleuths Chapter of Sisters in Crime, Write Now! Conference.
It's an honor to be asked to review books, and I'm grateful to all the publishers, publicists, and authors who send me books. Thank you. Reviews will appear on my blog if I've had a chance to read, and finish, the book. If I do not finish a book, I won't review it, and I will not respond to emails asking when, or if, I'll be reviewing a book.
My reviews are only my opinion, and do not reflect the views of the Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library.
I will not review self-published books, and, at the present time, do not accept books in e-book format.
1, 2, 3 ... By the Sea: A Counting Book
Book: 1, 2, 3 ... By the Sea: A Counting Book Author: Dianne Moritz Illustrator: Hazel Mitchell Pages: 36 Age Range: 3-6 1, 2, 3 ... By the Sea is a nice lit...
My Oct. 19, 2009 blog provides full disclosure that I only receive review copies of books, with no other compensation. All review copies are marked as such. If there any any questions, please feel free to contact me.