Two Very Different Stories of Strength over Adversity
I didn’t get much writing done last week- okay, no writing done last week- but I did read two wonderful books while watering my plants. I call that a win 🙂
Whether or not You Grew Up in the 1950s and 60s, you’ll find DOG BONE SOUP (Historical Fiction) to be soup for the soul. In this coming-of-age novel, Shawn Daniels’s father is the town drunk. Shawn and his brother Willie are in charge of handling everything that needs to be done around the ramshackle place they call home—lugging in water for cooking and cleaning, splitting and stacking firewood…But when chores are done, these resourceful kids strike out on boundless adventures that don’t cost a dime. DOG BONE SOUP is the poignant tale of a dysfunctional family struggling to survive in America in the 50s and 60s, when others were living The American Dream.
Inspired by nature and human nature, author Bette A. Stevens is a retired elementary and middle school teacher, a wife, mother of two and grandmother of eight. Stevens lives in central Maine with her husband on their 37-acre farmstead where she enjoys reading, writing, gardening, walking and reveling in the beauty of nature. She advocates for children and families, for childhood literacy and for the conservation of monarch butterflies (milkweed is the only plant that monarch caterpillars will eat). The author is currently (2019) working on two poetry collections. MY MAINE: Haiku through the Seasons (Poetry & Photography Collection (2019).
Shawn Daniels is the oldest of a dirt poor family and his days are full of cutting wood, hauling water, caring for his younger siblings and trying to keep up his grades at school.
Compounded by a drunkard for a father who makes the family a laughing stock, Shawn dreams of escaping the doldrums of his day-to-day existence.
It’s not all bad though. Shawn and his brother, Willie, go on many adventures together; biking, fishing, sneaking apples from the neighbors field, and learning to milk cows so his family doesn’t go without. He picks up odd jobs and soon knows how to do a wide variety of life skills.
Shawn’s strength of will and ingenuity shine throughout this heartwarming tale. Set in the 50’s the vernacular takes us back to ‘simpler’ times when work was long and hard for little payment and indoor plumbing was for the rich.
This is a wonderfully told story that will leave you laughing in places, and gasping in others!
From Wall Street Journal, USA Today Bestselling and RITA® Award-winning Author Kennedy Ryan, comes a captivating second chance romance like only she can deliver…
The boy who always felt like mine is now the man I can’t have…
Dig a little and you’ll find photos of me in the bathtub with Ezra Stern.
Get your mind out of the gutter. We were six months old.
Pry and one of us might confess we saved our first kiss for each other. The most clumsy, wet, sloppy . . . spectacular thirty seconds of my adolescence.
Get into our business and you’ll see two families, closer than blood, torn apart in an instant.
Twenty years later, my “awkward duckling” best friend from childhood, the boy no one noticed, is a man no one can ignore.
Finer. Fiercer. Smarter.
Tell me it’s wrong.
Tell me the boy who always felt like mine is now the man I can’t have.
When we find each other again, everything stands in our way–secrets, lies, promises.
But we didn’t come this far to give up now.
And I know just the move to make if I want to make him mine.
A RITA® Award Winner and USA Today Bestseller, Kennedy Ryan writes for women from all walks of life, empowering them and placing them firmly at the center of each story and in charge of their own destinies. Her heroes respect, cherish and lose their minds for the women who capture their hearts.
Kennedy and her writings have been featured in Chicken Soup for the Soul, USA Today, Entertainment Weekly, Glamour and many others. She has always leveraged her journalism background to write for charity and non-profit organizations, but has a special passion for raising Autism awareness.The co-founder of LIFT 4 Autism, an annual charitable book auction, she has appeared on Headline News, Montel Williams, NPR and other media outlets as an advocate for ASD families. She is a wife to her lifetime lover and mother to an extraordinary son.
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The first time Ezra and Kimba met was in a bathtub- as babies. Even then they clicked.
Growing up as neighbors, the kids formed an alliance. They played together, their families often ate together, and they attended school together. But with Ezra’s mixed heritage background, he was often bullied.
Kimba hated that her friend was tormented and it fostered a need to change the rights of minorities.
For Ezra’s part, he kept his head down and worked hard on his grades while learning about his Jewish faith.
At thirteen, the best friends develop new attractions for each other and a wonderfully portrayed first kiss is later ruined by a horrible fight between Ezra and Kimba’s parents. One that will separate the two of them for three decades.
When they meet up again, Kimba has just lost her father and Ezra’s relationship with his son’s mother is on its last legs.
While I loved the first half of the book, I found the second part to be sex, sex, sex. It ruined the storyline for me. These are supposed to be two almost forty-year-olds and they make out like teenagers in a car in her mother’s driveway- in broad daylight! I’m not buying it. Maybe I’m jaded, but I’d sooner read about their very real issues, than how they can’t keep their hands off each other.
It’s too bad, because this had the makings of a truly great story.