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Nancy's Notes - April 23, 2009

"The Women" by T.C. Boyle, "Handle With Care" by Jodi Picoult, "Promises of Change" by Joan Medlicott.

Nancy's notes

Last year Nancy Horan's "Loving Frank", a fictional account of the life of Frank LLoyd Wright, was on the best sellers list for several months. This year T.C. Boyle is trying his hand on the same subject in "The Women".  Boyle tells the account of Wright's life through the experiences of the four women who were married to him.  Throughout Wright's life he struggled against conventional ideals.  He never did what was expected and despite the scandals surrounding his divorces and financial disasters, he never let anything get in the way of his visions.  His triumphs and defeats were tied to the four women in his life:  Olgivanna Mianoff, known as the "Dragon Lady", Maude Miriam Noel, a Southern belle with a bad temper and fondness for morphine; Mamah Borthwick Cheney, who was murdered at Wright's Wisconsin estate; and his first wife, Kitty Tobin with whom he had six children.

I am currently reading "Handle With Care" by Jodi Picoult.  I always enjoy her books even though they always involve a tragedy that doesn't resolve in a happy manner.  The book
centers around a small-town New Hampshire couple and their two children.  The younger child, Willow, was born with Osteogenesis imperfecta, a rare bone disease.  By the time she was born she had seven broken bones and by the age of five the breaks were in the double digits.  Her older sister, Amelia, feels left out since the family's world must center around Willow's disease.  Willow is smart, with a great sense of humor, which carries her through her many injuries.  She is perfect in her parents eyes.  However, that all changes when a lawyer offers them a way a to pay their bills with a law suit.  In order to collect, the parents must be willing to testify that her birth was a mistake.

Joan Medlicott and her Covington series has been very popular.  Now, she is back with "Promises of Change".  Happily married, Hannah and Max together nurture the parkland they saved from developers.  But their peaceful life is shattered when Max's estranged son, Zachary, returns from India with his pregnant wife, Sarina.  Hannah and Sarina bond while they prepare for the baby.  But Hannah worries about the rift that still exists between Zachary and his father.  Despite her affection for Sarina and the baby, Hannah worries that Zachary's return may cause more heartache than joy.

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