Sunday, August 20, 2006

An American Summer by Frank Deford

Friday I finished reading An American Summer by Frank Deford, the next book up for discussion with the Tuesday night book group at my local library.
What a joy it was to read a book that took place over a specific period of time (the summer of 1954) and captured the mood, the flavor and the gestalt of the time period so perfectly, the reader felt that he or she had lived through it.
The story is about a 14 year old boy, Christopher "Christy" Bannister, who moves with his family from Terra Haute, IN, to Baltimore, MD, and meets up with a local woman whose life has become circumscribed by polio. Ms. Slade teaches Christy to swim from the portable iron lung she's forced to live in, and Christy learns to be a better person after falling in love with her.
Beautifully wrought scenes and dialog, staunch prose that reads like a Hemingway without all the macho B.S., and a plot that moves along at a purposeful pace...all things that make this a classic work of literature, a slice of life that is intense and not to be missed.
Because "An American Summer" was so deep, I decided to follow it with a bit of fluff called "Buttercup Baby" by Karen Fox. BB is the story of a cute flower fairy who wants to have a baby, so of course she chooses a confirmed bachelor to father her child, and proceeds to fall tinker-over-teacup in love with him. Lots of hot sex ensues, and situations that are bizarre but funny. Alls well that ends well, of course, and our hero's large family is setting up the perfect wedding for the mortal and the fae at the end of the book. It took me all of 3 hours to read this book, so I'd recommend it for a beach read or a fun little distraction that you can put in your purse and read while you're waiting in line or sitting in the dentists office.
Now that the local library's book sale is over, I only have 23 more books to read! Joy!

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