Friday, December 30, 2011

#299- So Very Close

With just two days to go until 2012, I am on a reading frenzy. I look over the challenges I entered and realize that I don't have much hope of successfully finishing most of them. I am determined that I will read my twelfth kindle book yet today, allowing me to reach my goal with the e-reader challenge. I am also determined that I will read my 300th book before 2011 ends. After adding up my reading totals a few days ago I realized I was very close to a personal best - reading 300 books in one year. Like most bloggers, picture books are NOT included in this list. If I were to include those, I would read more than a thousand books a year, so this list is a combination of all the fiction, non-fiction, memoir, middle grade and YA novels I read in a year. I finished off #299 this morning. Red Ruby Heart in a Cold Blue Sea by Morgan Callan Rogers will be out on January 19, 2012, but thanks to netgalley, I was able to read this one on my kindle.

Set in the 1960s, Florine's story is a coming of age tale, as she grows up in a small coastal Maine town. Her childhood seems idyllic, until her mother disappears just as Florine enters her teen years. The small town feel, Florine's friends, her grandmother who helps to raise her all are a perfect combination in this story that shares both grief and joy.

Amazon's product description likens Rogers' writing to a cross between Fannie Flagg and Elizabeth Strout - neither of which I see at all in this story. However, Rogers' writing rivals that of some of my very favorite women's fiction authors and was so easy to get caught up in.

Florine and her mother are more like best friends than mother and daughter. When Florine is twelve, her mother, Carlie, is just thirty years old. The two are close and Florine is in awe of her beautiful, lively mother. Her father is a bit older, swept of his feet he claims, by Carlie. Their marriage is not without its ups and downs, squabbles over different ideas and dreams, but no one could imagine that one day Carlie would leave for a trip with a girlfriend never to return. Although the police search for her, Carlie is nowhere to be found and Florine and her father must go on with their lives. The two weather the mood shifts of Florine's teen years, as Lee looks to date again and Florine tries to find closure to her mom's disappearance.

I enjoyed this book so much. I loved the Maine setting. I loved the time in which this story is set. I loved the writing, and I will be sharing this book with others as soon as it is published.

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