Thursday, September 10, 2009

Two to Read Now

These books are top of most reader's lists, but just in case you have not read them yet:Pick up Katherine Stockett's The Help and return to Jackson, MS circa 1960's when the  so called  "colored help"   had the task of childcare in homes of many white families. For many Southerners who as children experienced this special relationship (and others as well)  it is a book of truth and memories that will cause some discomfort in retrospect-  especially when viewed through adult eyes. This heart touching tome will give readers pause as it looks at life from the inside world of maids who were "family" but never equal to blood members of the household. A book you will not easily forget. Also a conversation starter for book clubs.

Sarah's Key has been called haunting but could just as easily be called horrifying. When a child's world becomes a nightmare during war's  inhumanity and her innocence is lost as formerly friendly faces become masks of indifference and cruelty; the reader feels the helplessness of the French Jewish family at the heart of this book, especially Sarah with her tragic keepsake. Tatiana De Rosnay's book takes place both during the WWII and also more than half a century later as an American journalist investigates what is called the "Vel' D'Hiver  roundup," of French Jews that took place in Paris in July 1942. What happened is the heart of this story and it will haunt your soul even as you find some passages  difficult to even comprehend. A book to share with friends and also great for book clubs.