Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Color of Water by James McBride


This national bestseller tells the story of James McBride and his mother—a rabbi's daughter, born in Poland and raised in the South, who fled to Harlem, married a black man, founded a church, and put 12 children through college.

Salon - James Marcus

At a time when the relationship between African-Americans and Jews is deeply fissured, The Color of Water reminds us that the two groups have a long history of coexistence -- sometimes within a single person. The author's mother, Ruth Shilsky, was born in Poland in 1920, the daughter of an Orthodox Jewish rabbi. She grew up in rural Virginia, hemmed in by anti-Semitism and small-town claustrophobia, and at the age of 18 she fled to the cultural antipodes of Harlem. There, four years later, she married a black man named Dennis McBride, and since her family promptly disowned her, she launched a second existence as (to quote her son) "a flying compilation of competing interests and conflicts, a black woman in white skin." The lone Caucasian in her Brooklyn housing project, she somehow raised 12 children without ever quite admitting she was white. In retrospect, of course, her son is able to recognize that his parents "brought a curious blend of Jewish-European and African-American distrust and paranoia into our house." However, as children, James McBride and his 11 siblings didn't dwell on questions of their mother's color. Only later, after he became a professional journalist, did McBride feel compelled to tackle the riddle of his heritage. Bit by bit, he coaxed out his mother's story, and her voice -- stoic, funny, and with a matter-of-fact flintiness -- alternates perfectly with his own tale of biracial confusion and self-discovery.

Review: This book was on my nephew’s summer reading list. My sister was discussing it and I thought it sounded like a great book. I enjoyed the book. It really makes you think about how much has changed (depending on where you live) and how strong people can be. His mother was such a smart lady and to have raised 12 children and put them through college….unbelievable. This is on truly amazing story. Thanks for my sister (and nephew) for recommending the book.

I am going to ask my nephew and sister if they would be willing to write a review too!  I hope they say yes.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Stuff That Never Happened


What if you were married to a wonderful husband for twenty-eight years but in love with another man? What if you were in love with them both?

Annabelle McKay knows she shouldn’t have any complaints. She’s been in a stable marriage that’s lasted almost three decades and has provided her with two wonderful children, thousands of family dinners around a sturdy oak table, and a husband so devoted that he schedules lovemaking into his calendar every Wednesday morning. Other wives envy the fact that Grant is not the type of man who would ever cheat on her or leave her for a younger woman. The trouble is Annabelle isn’t sure she wants to be married to Grant anymore. The trouble is she’s still in love with someone else.

In the early tumultuous years of her marriage, Annabelle carried on a clandestine affair with the one person whose betrayal would hurt her husband the most. When it ended, she and Grant found their way back together and made a pact that they would never speak of that time again. But now years later, with her children grown and gone, and an ominous distance opening between them, she can’t help but remember those glorious, passionate days and wonder if she chose the right man.

Then, when called to New York City to help care for her pregnant daughter, Annabelle bumps into her old lover. Offered a second chance at an unforgettable love, she must decide between the man who possesses her heart and the husband who has stood squarely by her side. A journey into the what-ifs that haunt us all, The Stuff That Never Happened is an intricate, heartfelt examination of modern marriage that brims with truths about the nature of romantic love.

Review: I really enjoyed this book. I did not guess the end, but I can’t tell you what I thought was going to happen, without giving away a big part of the book. The entire book kept taking different turns throughout the book. I loved how Annabelle stood up for herself and what she wanted. I liked the different extremes of her two children and how as a mother, she was able to relate to both of them. Unlike Grant, she was able to accept them for who they were and the choices they made. The book jumps back and forth between later seventies/early eighties and 2005. As the present is unfolding, the choices Annabelle makes are explained by reading about her past. I really liked this format and thought the author did an excellent job going back and forth and interweaving the story. I recommend you read this book. You can read an expert of the book by going to www.maddiedawson.com

Thanks to Anna at The Crown Publishing Group for sending me this wonderful book.

Friday, September 10, 2010

And the Winner is....(So sorry)

The winner is Kimberly P.  Please send me your mailing address to seasidebooknook@yahoo.com.

I hope you enjoy the book as much I did. 

I am so sorry, I have no idea what happen to the rest of the post last night.  I just realized this morning, it was incomplete.  Another great book give away will be coming next week.  Look for the post (complete posting!!)  Have a great weekend (reading)!!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

What Are You Reading?

I just finished The Stuff That Never Happened by Maddie Dawson.  Thanks to Crown Publishing Company for sending me a copy to review.  This was a great book and I will post my review tomorrow.

Off to my bookshelf to pick my next book!