Set in 1830, the tale follows Jamie, the son of a plantation owner and his slave Belle, characters from the Kitchen House, the author’s first book.
Henry, an escaped slave in hiding, helps homeless Jamie when he arrives in Philadelphia.
Confusion, truth and lies are at the heart of Jamie’s existence as he passes for white. The road he takes brings him to wealth and prestige but he is uncomfortable with the role he plays in society.
Jamie is compelled to assist Henry in finding his son Pan who has disappeared. They fear Pan is kidnapped and sold into slavery. At the same time Jamie is torn because if he goes south someone may recognize him as an escaped slave. His fears are warranted. Thus begins an escape from North Carolina through the Great Dismal Swamp. The bravery of the Underground Railroad conductors, both black and white are brought to life in the escape.
Especially compelling is Sukey, another slave from the Kitchen House, who tells her story about being sold over and again with resignation, sadness and strength. In the end, she takes control over the helplessness of the life she leads.
It is interesting to think about what attitudes have changed or have not changed in our country during the last 200 years.
If you enjoyed the Kitchen House you are bound to enjoy this story as well.
The Charm Bracelet written by Viola Shipman will jangle your interest right away! If you are a fan of authors Debbie Macomber, Susan Mallery or local author Lori Nelson Spielman you may enjoy this work by a Michigan-based author.
Charming and sweet, the book is not only a story of 3 women but it is a message that no matter how old, your dreams should not be neglected.
The story begins in Chicago with mother Arden and daughter Lauren who for various reasons are not living their lives the way they wish. Both of them have put their dreams on hold.
Grandmother Lolly, who is very independent in her 70’s and lives in an adorable old cabin on an inland lake in a small town near Lake Michigan, hints to them that she would like them to visit. They go, intrigued and somewhat concerned because it is unlike her to ask.
There she enlightens her daughter and granddaughter on the meaning of the charms in her bracelet by passing down stories from her own time growing up on the lake. These lessons are sweet and lead to the women reflecting on their own lives.
After a long winter, the setting of early summer Michigan is pleasant to read. The tale flows smoothly and gently like soft tears. Don’t be surprised if you find a few of your own while reading this story.
In the end, this book is about challenging your fears, discovering your passions and finding the strength to follow your dreams. I think you may enjoy it.
What happens to a family when the major breadwinner has a melt down? In A Window Opens by Elisabeth Egan, Alice Pearse’s husband becomes so angry when he learns he will not make partner at his law firm that he throws a laptop across the room. When he decides to open his own law practice, Alice needs to go to work full time. Her new job is at a company that hopes to revolutionize bookstores across the country. Although she is reasonably competent, she has not fully embraced advancing technology. Scroll is a company that will only stock ebooks which mildly dismays Alice. She struggles to keep up with younger colleagues, trying to understand why they wouldn’t love the solid feel of a physical book. She is exhausted by trying to combine a parent’s duties with working in an environment that is so challenging. When an even greater change is planned at Scroll, Alice needs to decide what her future will be. This novel is exhausting to read as it follows how difficult life is for Alice. In ways it may be a mother’s worst nightmare.
Join us Tuesday, March 31st for Book and Brew! This brand new book club will meet at Reno’s North every other month, on the last Tuesday evening of the month, to celebrate and discuss the finer things…books and brews! The first month will be a meet and greet to discuss format, reading interests, and to choose the first four book selections.
Reno’s North (located at 16460 Old US 27 Lansing, MI) is a family friendly restaurant and sports bar with an impressive 40+ brews on tap. Their full menu includes some of Michigan’s finest beers and a selection of entrees crafted with Michigan made ingredients! While many may purchase a brew or two, it is certainly not required!
Registration is not required, but recommended for this first meet-up so we can be sure to have enough seats at the table.