Save Us From Ourselves

The Midnight Cool, by Lydia Peelle was one of the novels I read last July. My impressions of the book can be found in my August 8, 2017 blog post, Late July Reading.

I wrote down the following quote from the book in my writer’s notebook. The words were written in the context of temperance in an earlier time in US history; however, in light of the events of the last year and a half, I believe it is apropos to the state we Americans find ourselves in politically in 2018.

“Says right here — he pointed to the paper — ‘I’ve learned that the inalienable truth of America is that its people sometimes must be saved from themselves.'” ~ The Midnight Cool, by Lydia Peelle

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The Midnight Cool, by Lydia Peelle

You may disagree with me, but I am very concerned about the way things are going in my country. I never intended this blog to be a political platform but if I don’t speak out, I’m part of the problem.

I see facts being ignored, lies being normalized, science denigrated to the sidelines, journalists being shut out of events, children of refugees being separated from their parents with no forethought given for their reunification, our allies being insulted while enemies are being embraced, our justice system under constant attack, and now we’ve been told by the United States president not to believe what we see with our own eyes or hear with our own ears.

Freedom of the press and freedom of speech are bedrock principles upon which our country was founded. They are under attack from within our country and from outside sources. Freedom of speech allows me to write this blog and express my views.

I have faith in the goodness and the sense of fairness possessed by the majority of Americans. I believe good will ultimately overcome evil, but it won’t be easy.

Since my last blog post

I saw some relatives I hadn’t seen in a long time. Thanks to the wonders of the internet, a second cousin I’ve never met has located me and we look forward to getting acquainted.

With summer half over, I finally got around to doing some “spring cleaning.”

I wonder where May, June, and July went. The warm months are flying by!

Until my next blog post

I hope to visit a bookstore that is under new management since I first called on the owner after the publication of my vintage postcard book, The Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Support your local independent bookstore!

I hope you have a good book to read. I’m reading The Death of Mrs. Westaway, by Ruth Ware. After reading her novel, The Woman in Cabin 10 two years ago, I wanted to read her next book.

If you’re a writer, I hope you have quality writing time.

Thank you for reading my blog. You could have spent the last few minutes doing something else, but you chose to read my blog. I appreciate it! I welcome your comments.

Janet

What I read in September

My first blog post each month is about the books I read during the previous month. Maybe my comments about those books will prompt you to read (or not read) one of my choices.

The Woman in Cabin 10

The first book I finished reading in September was the psychological crime thriller, The Woman in Cabin 10, by Ruth Ware. This novel took me out of my reading comfort zone. Early on lots of characters were introduced and it was a little daunting to keep them straight; however, each one’s personality soon came through and prevented confusion. The author is British, so occasionally there was a word that prompted me to use the definition feature on my e-reader. Reading The Woman in Cabin 10 makes me want to read Ruth Ware’s first novel, In a Dark, Dark Wood, even though its review are all over the place.

Prayers the Devil Answers

The second book I read in September was Prayers the Devil Answers, by Sharyn McCrumb. Inspired by on event that took place in Kentucky in 1936, this novel is the story of a woman who became a county sheriff in Tennessee after her husband’s death. Albert, her husband, had only been the county sheriff for a short time when it became ill and died in a few days. His widow, Ellie, quickly figured out that she needed to find a way to support herself and their two children.

As only Sharyn McCrumb can do, she spins a story about a strong female protagonist and backs up the tale with numerous threads that made up the fiber of the fearlessly independent residents of the southern Appalachian Mountains in the days of the Great Depression. The story includes murder and betrayal and, all the while, Ellie faces a task that will test her mettle. To tell you more would spoil the book for you.

Child 44

The other book I read in September was Child 44, by Tom Rob Smith. It is a murder mystery/historical thriller set in the former Soviet Union in the 1950s. I discovered Child 44 in a roundabout way. I started reading The Secret Speech, by Tom Rob Smith only to find out I had started reading the second book of the Child 44 Trilogy. I stopped reading The Secret Speech and checked out Child 44. Mr. Smith paints a picture of what Stalin’s Russia must have been like. No one trusted anyone and members of the secret police were everywhere.

The main plot is the story of Leo Demidov taking it upon himself to track down a serial killer. The State denied that any of the murders could be connected and, in fact, denied that most of them had occurred. Although some details were unpleasant to read, I found this novel to be a page-turner.

Child 44 was Tom Rob Smith’s debut novel. All quotes are in italics, which sometimes pulled me out of the story; however, from a writer’s point of view, I recognize that eliminated the necessity for quotation marks. That format distracted me. It also made it difficult at times to remember who was speaking.

Until my next blog post in a few days, I hope you have a good book to read and, if you are a writer, I hope you have quality writing time.

Janet