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Nancy's Notes - February 13, 2014

"Mermaid: a Memoir of Resilience" by Eileen Cronin, " Deepest Secret" by Clara Buckley, "Still Life With Bread Crumbs" by Anna Quindlen.


Nancy's Notes

  We will be closed on Monday, February 17 for President's Day. Remember to come in Friday or Saturday to stock up!
  We've been busy lately taking inventory. Hopefully some of those items that have been missing will turn up as we search in all the corners. Each book is handled at least twice so it seems I've put many other projects aside. It will give us a great sense of accomplishment and a nice clean look when we are done.
    I enjoy memoirs by the "non-famous" and I think "Mermaid: a Memoir of Resilience" may fill the bill. In the 1960's, at the age of three, Eileen Cronin first realized that only she did not have legs. Her Catholic family accepted her situation as “God’s will,” treating her no differently than her ten siblings. But starting school, even wearing prosthetics, Cronin had to brave bullying and embarrassing questions. As a teen, thrilled when boys asked her out, she was confused about what sexuality meant for her. She felt most comfortable and happiest relaxing and skinny dipping with her girlfriends, imagining herself “an elusive mermaid.” In later years, as her mother battled mental illness and denied having taken the drug thalidomide,known to cause birth defects,Cronin felt apart from her family. After the death of a close brother, she turned to alcohol. Eventually, however, she found the strength to set out on her own, volunteering at hospitals and earning a PhD in clinical psychology.
    Jodi Picoult fans may enjoy Clara Buckley's, " Deepest Secret". Eve Lattimore’s family is like every other on their suburban street, with one exception. Her son Tyler has a rare medical condition that makes him fatally sensitive to light, which means heavy curtains and deadlocked doors protect him during the day and he can never leave the house except at night. For Eve, only constant vigilance stands between an increasingly restless teenage son and the dangers of the outside world. Then, one night, the unthinkable happens. When tragedy strikes, it becomes clear that this family is not the only one on the quiet cul-de-sac that is more complicated than it appears and Eve is forced to shield her family from harm.
    Anna Quindlen's "Still Life With Bread Crumbs" has received five stars. Rebecca Winter is a photographer who moves to a cabin in the country so that she can rent out her Manhattan apartment to save money. She was married to a self-centered professor when she snapped a photo of the mess left from a party that he refused to help clean up. The photo she called Still Life With Bread Crumbs included  dirty wineglasses, stacked plates, the torn ends of two baguettes and a dishtowel singed at one corner by the gas stove. It made Rebecca an instant feminist icon for what was interpreted as a commentary on "women's work." That photo catapulted Rebecca to wealth and acclaim. She divorced her  husband, but at 60, her Still Life money is running out as she juggles the care of her elderly parents. Stressed about paying the bills, Rebecca takes her camera along on a hike in the woods and finds a series of crosses planted in the ground with personal objects placed nearby. Intrigued she photographs the crosses, hopeful they could reignite her career. When her
cottage has raccoon issues she calls on Jim Bates, the town's roofer, for help. Jim is a classic good guy who cares for his  sister and anyone else who needs a hand. He enlists Rebecca's help in his side job of tracking bald eagles for the state and a spark is lit between them. But after a night of passion, Jim disappears.
    Come in and see us: Monday through Wednesday between noon and 8:00 p.m., Thursday and Friday between 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. or Saturday between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.

This resource is supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act as administered by State Library of Iowa.