This year at the beach, I finished three books, two of which were written for the YA crowd. The adult book I finished was Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver. I enjoyed the novel, but it was not my favorite Kingsolver, although she is one of my favorite authors. I completely identified with Dellarobia’s plight in her marriage and family, feeling trapped and hopeless and trapped by that hopelessness. So much of what she felt and thought were my own feelings and thoughts when my children were small. Strange how much I miss those little kids now. I didn’t feel like Kingsolver fully developed the plot line, though. The plot either seemed to jump around a bit or seemed like pieces were left out. Being a nature freak (as opposed to a freak of nature, which may also be true, but is a post for a different blog), I loved the butterfly lessons scattered throughout the novel.
The second book I read was Wonder by RJ Palacio. I’ve been putting off reading this story of a genetically differently formed child for a while, because I was afraid it would disturb or depress me, but it did neither. It ended up being quite uplifting and even caused me to shed a tear, which, in reality, isn’t all that difficult to elicit. I loved the quote/theme of “When given the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind” (Wayne Dyer). How much easier life would be if we could all just do that.
And finally, my third beach read was Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool. I’m a sucker for quests / journeys of self-discovery, but this one left me a bit cold. I felt like the Pi story embedded in the main plot line was redundant. It was like reading the same story twice, just with different characters. I think I would have liked the book a lot more without the unnecessary repetition. I did love the themes of how people see and think and feel and reason so very differently and how important it is for us to embrace all these different paths on the same journey. I absolutely loved the way Vanderpool tied the story lines up in a neat little box in the epilogue. I am a lover of neat little boxes.
And now, back to reality and less reading time. Much sadness.