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Nancy's Notes - July 11, 2013

“Benediction” by Kent Haruf, “Diet to Die For: A Skinny Mystery” by Sarah Steding, “Last Original Wife” by Dorthea Benton Frank.

Summer is flying by. Our third Summer activity is probably in progress as you take this out of your mailbox. We had craft day this week. The kids enjoyed making things pertaining to our theme, “Dig into Reading”.

Kent Haruf’s, “Benediction”, is the tale of several families who form a strong bond that carries them through difficult times. When Dad Lewis is diagnosed with terminal cancer, he and his wife, Mary, must work together to make his final days as comfortable as possible. Their daughter, Lorraine, hurries back from Denver to help look after him; her devotion softens the bitter absence of their estranged son, Frank. Next door, a young girl named Alice moves in with her grandmother and contends with the painful memories that Dad's condition stirs up of her own mother's death. Meanwhile, the town’s newly arrived preacher attempts to mend his strained relationships with his wife and teenaged son, a job that proves challenging when he faces the disdain of his congregation And throughout, an elderly widow and her middle-aged daughter do everything they can to ease the pain of their friends and neighbors.

If you like a light-hearted mystery you might try, “Diet to Die For: A Skinny Mystery”. Jen Stevens, is a New York City event planner who’s 31 years old and 30 pounds overweight. She is flirting with disaster when it comes to sticking to her diet. Working for the food-centric Yummy Channel, it’s hard to resist temptation. Baker extraordinaire Bess Brantwood is one of the Yummy Channel’s brightest stars and biggest divas. Despite the off-camera drama, Jen has to admit that Bess’s chocolate buttercream cupcakes drizzled with caramel are simply to die for or so it seems when Bess’s body, is discovered . . . in a Dumpster.

Dorthea Benton Frank is back with, “Last Original Wife”. Leslie Anne Greene Carter is The Last Original Wife among her husband Wesley’s successful Atlanta social set. His cronies have all traded in the mothers of their children for tanned and toned young brides. If losing the social life and close friends she adored wasn’t painful enough she’s had enough of playing the good wife to a husband who thinks he’s doing her a favor by keeping her around. She’s not going to waste another minute on people she doesn’t care to know. Now, she’s going to take some time for herself in the familiar comforts of Charleston, her beloved hometown. Listening to her inner voice, she will realizes what she wants and finds the life of which she’s always dreamed.

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