Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day

Today is a National Holiday in 1st Grade! Little hearts pitter patter when they see any heart, making Valentine's bags and delivering one to each student just about sends some little ones over the edge with excitement. What a fun day for pink, red, and white in first grade!!

To celebrate Valentine's Day in full fashion I recently read The Wednesday Letters by Jason F. Wright. Sad to say though I was disappointed. The book had a great premise; Laurel and Jack run a Bed and Breakfast in rural Virginia, are happily married and have three grown children. One night they die in each other's arms, but not before Jack pens one last "Wednesday letter" to his wife. When their three grown children return home for the funeral they find boxes filled with saved letters, written by Jack during the marriage.
But a long held family secret nearly tears the family apart when one of the letters is read. Of course all winds up well and the letters teach life lessons to each of the children as a new insight is gained into their parents and their lives.

I can't say I wasn't intrigued or that the book was awful. It just fell so flat. I did shed a tear when the couple died - I guess I just think of the age of my parents and I begin to worry a little about all of that. But beyond that I really didn't like the characters much or care about their situations. They seemed little developed with the exception of one, and his story seemed more unbelievable and contrived. I feel like I was supposed to like this book, many of my friends have, but it was too drippy and you knew that all was going to end well. There were no twists or turns. It just felt vanilla and plain. I was hoping for dark, rich, truffle, or filled chocolate!! I am neither eloquent or richly blessed with talent in writing reviews but a blogger friend says it so well on her blog when she reviews the author's other book, The Christmas Jars. ( Read her take on that book and apply the same comments. When you consider that her blog about a whole different book applies to this one one kind of "gets" the idea of formula writing. That's it! That's what this book really felt like.An applied formula.

I am reading a terrific non-fiction book entitled, Well Behaved Women Seldom Make History, and it reads more like a novel. It's my nightstand book and I wish I could keep my eyes open longer each night. The Book Group book this month is called Code Orange by Caroline B. Cooney. It was a quick read but quite well done. A Young Adult novel, it deals with a post 9/11 New York and a medical scare that involves smallpox and a private school student named Mitty Blake. Based on a real incident, I enjoyed the development of a slacker teenager to a young man who developed not only a conscious but a deeper sense of self and community. It should make for some interesting conversation at Book Group.

This year I have not really set many reading goals but have decided to read from the stuffed shelves in my bedroom. I have committed to reading at least 8 of the book group selections for the year, the rest will just be whatever wind or whimsy brings! Hmmm. I think I feel a Shannon Hale wind blowing by ....

After hearing of a friend's tragic death yesterday I was touched with the thought that I need to hug more, kiss more often, and make sure that my family and friends know I love and appreciate them. Consider yourself hugged!

1 comment:

Jason Wright said...

Well hey there. I must admit I'm disappointed you thought the book was just an applied formula. I thought including so many letters made it rather unique. And I've not read many books that deal with the Laurel's tragedy (don't want to spoil it!) in such a way. (particularly the decision she makes)

We do however agree on a much important point. Today is definitely a national holiday for little ones :) I have three in school and they were almost as excited this morning as they were on Christmas. Sure does make me feel old though...

Happy V-Day to you!