So today marks 10 years since we first began our library blog. I chose to re-read one of my favorite authors, Claire Mackintosh over the Christmas break. It’s been long enough that I had forgotten what happens. Pip and Max Adams’ 3 year old son Dylan has terminal brain cancer and is paralyzed from the neck down, on pain medication, with a very poor quality of life. His mother, Pip, wants to let him die, not wanting to prolong a life of suffering. His father, Max, has heard of proton beam therapy in Texas that could prolong Dylan’s life and possibly offer him more options. The hospital recommends palliative care until Dylan dies. So a court case ensues, and both sides of the argument are presented. It’s a good read — really makes you think about what you would do…
Mukesh Patel has lost his wife to cancer, and is understandably depressed. But when he decides to return a book his wife was reading to the local library, his life begins to change. With the help of a librarian, Aleisha, who finds a reading list someone has left behind, Mukesh slowly learns how to connect with his young granddaughter, and regain his joy at life. This novel was a wonderful read: it reinforces the power that libraries have to bring communities together, and also the immense power of the written word to change lives. It’s a keeper; every library should own a copy. Kudos to Sara Nisha Adams for a marvelous debut novel.
Feisty British detective, Agatha Raisin, finds herself in the middle of another murder mystery in Down the Hatch, the 32nd in the popular series set in the British Cotswolds. Agatha’s latest victim seems to have mistaken weed killer for rum, but she doesn’t think it was an accident. All of the usual cast of characters appear, such as her ex-husband, James, her on-again off-again paramour, Sir Charles, Police detective Bill Wong and the employees at her detective agency. As Agatha sniffs around for clues, we are entertained by her bristling, brusk ways that rub people the wrong way. Close calls with death, romance, and facing her brave fight against the aging process, our beloved Agatha is a charmer and solves the mystery, again.
Gabrielle is 10 years old and living happily in Haiti when her parents make the decision to send her to America to live with relatives. She now has to learn how to live in a new country with a different language and customs, and still figure out how to fit in. Gabrielle makes an unfortunate decision to bargain with a witch, without realizing how much she will have to give up. Give this middle grade novel to any child who feels like “the other”; it will help them to realize that they don’t have to change their identity in order to make friends.