I read surprisingly little in the last month of 2005. Of the three books I got through, only one was notable. The Last Days of Dogtown, by Anita Diamant, was a fascinating look into simple (and not so simple) human dynamics among the residents of a dying Massachusetts town. Diamant first came to fame with The Red Tent, which was a favorite of book groups. Her second book, Good Harbor, was about friendship and breast cancer. With her third novel, she demonstrates that she can't be categorized by type. Dogtown is just plain good writing, engaging characters, and a loose plot line that serves mainly to demonstrate the life cycle with all its ups and downs.
Brother and Sister, by Joanna Trollope had an interesting premise...an adopted brother and sister set out on a quest to find their respective birthmothers. However, it was a bit histrionic, and often repetitive, and mainly just plain dull.
Inheritance, by Lan Samantha Chang, was an interesting look into the intermingling of family dynamics and history in the China of the 1930s and beyond.
AWARDS OF 2005
My favorites, in no particular order.
- The Illuminator by Brenda Rickman VanTrease
- Lambs of God, by Marele Day
- The Breakdown Lane by Jacqueline Mitchard
- The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Fowler
- The Mystery of Breathing by Perri Klass