This slice-of-life story by Chris Tusa, published by the University of West Alabama in 2009, tells the tale of Hailey, and her dysfunctional family. Set in the American south, populated by poor whites, blacks and a smattering of Hispanics, the plot revolves around Hailey’s coming of age and culminates in a murder and encroaching mental illness.
The characters of Hailey, Cyrus, Mama, Daddy, Meridian, Chase, and Moses are fully drawn, through dialogue as well as action. Each of them is flawed; some with redeeming qualities, others with none. Verma is the wise but ailing crone, trying to assist the family to function in a community beset by unemployment, alcoholism, depression, infidelity, and poverty. Uncle Errol is the villain who wants to evict Hailey’s family. Mr Guidry represents the suffering of a Christ like figure, someone who has accepted his impending death with grace and humour. Continue reading
Melissa Moore works behind the scenes as a producer for WSGA, Macon, Georgia’s very own television station. The young and beautiful Alyssa Andrews and the womanising Tim Donaldson are a team in front of the cameras and a couple behind them, presenting local news each day. When their affair goes south, both Alyssa and Tim go AWOL and Melissa goes on screen to save the situation. But her on-screen persona can’t reflect her rather dowdy and dated daily self, so Melissa’s daughter Kelly and best friend Candace help her to revamp her wardrobe and make over her hairstyle. An even bigger problem is that her marriage to husband Chris, a portfolio manager for Macon’s largest financial firm, has gone stale. Melissa fears that the empty nest created by Kelly going off to college will be empty of her husband too if she can’t revitalise their relationship. With Candace’s Dr Phil inspired wisdom and her faith in God, Melissa tackles her career challenges along with her relationship problems. Continue reading
Dirty Little Angels by Chris Tusa
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Reviewed by request
The story of Hailey Trosclair and her brother Cyrus takes place in abject poverty in New Orleans, where their father has lost his job, so drinks and plays pool all day. Their mother just had a miscarriage, and she is overwhelmed by grief and depression. Hailey spends her days at school with a girlfriend Meridian, who is not such a good friend after all. At night and on the weekends, Hailey drifts with Cyrus as her companion, and they spend a lot of time with Moses, a failed preacher and ex con, who is a very bad influence on them, and everyone around them. When Moses’ ideas and twisted religious beliefs draw them into his violent world, the horror and fear create more problems than they ever had before.
Dirty Little Angels is not my sort of book, and I struggled to finish it, although I did manage to. The story just ‘ended’, leaving me frustrated, and I’m still not sure what the meaning of the story was. It seemed like the book was filled with a lot of violent criminals who never seemed to get caught, all living in a dirty, drug riddled, downtrodden world.
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When I got the list of books that I could choose from, I was immediately drawn to the title. Why? To be honest I really don’t know, but I do know that I am very happy I chose that book. It was a very easy read which I enjoyed over the Easter Weekend.
The book is about a 16 yr old girl, Hailey Trosclair, her family, close friends and the pressures she has to deal with growing up in New Orleans. Her Mother, who comes from a wealthy family, had just lost her baby. Her Father lost his job and had turned into an alcoholic who never comes home and worst of all cheats. Her Brother, Cyrus, is a hypochondriac but he is a very sweet boy – underneath all the trouble he finds himself in. Continue reading
Christian fiction is not a genre I am familiar with, but I had preconceived notions of what kind of stories it would contain. Assumptions are usually flawed and mine were no exception.
The Baker’s Wife is the tale of a missing woman, presumed dead, and her family and neighbours. The twists and turns of the intriguing plot include teenage pregnancy, clinical depression, job loss, alcoholism, religious zealots, and more. As a reader of many hundreds of novels, I usually can foresee how a plot will be resolved, but this book kept me enthralled and wondering. Continue reading
Title: The Lovely Bones
Author: Alice Sebold
Where I got it: From my sister
Susie Salmon was raped and murdered at the young age of fourteen. She finds herself in her own personal heaven where she looks down on her family and how they deal with her death. How they try to unravel the mystery behind her killing and how life goes on without her. The story is told from her point of view and how she has to face the interaction between her family and the man who killed her.
The story is feel-good and heartbreaking in the same sentence. Sometimes slightly nerve wrecking, but luckily, Sebold spared us most of the gory detail. What I really liked about it was how the author described Susie’s heaven and how she made the interaction between heaven and earth so real and possible. It makes one think twice about the shivers you get when no wind is blowing, the kiss you feel on your forehead at night when you lay in bed and you know no-one else is awake. It makes one think about life and death in general which is really kind of great from someone else’s perspective for a change.