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Nancy's Notes - April 28, 2016

“Where the Light Gets In” by Kimberly Williams-Paisley, “At The Edge of the Orchard” by Tracy Chevalier, “The Obsession” by Nora Roberts.

        Deb recently read, “Where the Light Gets In”, and gave it high marks.  The book is written by Kimberly Williams-Paisley, actress and the wife of country music artist, Brad Paisley. Behind the scenes, Kim was dealing with a secret: her mother, Linda, was suffering from a rare form of dementia that slowly crippled her ability to talk, write and eventually recognize people in her own family. The story is of Linda’s illness, progressive aphasia, from her early-onset diagnosis at the age of 62 through the present day. Kim draws a picture of the ways her family reacted, and how she, her father and two siblings educated themselves, tried to let go of shame and secrecy, made mistakes, and found unexpected humor and grace in the midst of suffering.

        Tracy Chevalier author of “The Girl With a Pearl Earring”, is now back with “At The Edge of the Orchard”.  In 1838 James and Sadie Goodenough settled where their wagon got stuck, in the muddy, swamps of northwest Ohio. They and their five children work relentlessly to tame their land, buying saplings from a local tree man known as John Appleseed so they can cultivate the fifty apple trees required to stake their claim on the property. James loves the apples, reminders of an easier life back in Connecticut; while Sadie prefers the applejack they make, a  refuge from brutal frontier life.  The book then jumps ahead to 1853 when their youngest child Robert is wandering through Gold Rush California. Haunted by the broken family he left behind, he has made his way alone across the country. In the redwood and giant sequoia groves he finds some peace, collecting seeds for a naturalist who sells plants from the new world to the gardeners of England.
       
Few writers are more prolific than Nora Roberts. Her latest is entitled, “The Obsession”.  Naomi Bowes lost her innocence the night she followed her father into the woods. In freeing the girl trapped in the root cellar, Naomi revealed the horrible extent of her father’s crimes. No matter how close she gets to happiness, she can’t outrun the sins of Thomas David Bowes. Now a successful photographer living under the name Naomi Carson, she has found a place that calls to her, a rambling old house in need of repair, thousands of miles away from everything she’s ever known. She wants to embrace the solitude, but the kindly residents of Sunrise Cove keep forcing her to open up. Naomi can feel her defenses failing, and knows that the connection her new life offers is something she’s always secretly craved. But the sins of her father can become an obsession, and, as she’s learned time and again, her past is never more than a nightmare away.
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