What's Going On Here?

There are SO MANY wonderful book review blogs out there and I can't compete with them, that is for sure. So this is not a book review blog. This is just a way for me to organize what I have read so that I can be better at matching the right book to the right person. The blog title comes from the brilliant mind of the most talented woman who ever lived, Ms. Judy Garland. The full quote is, "Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of someone else." That is what I hope to do here and in ever aspect of my life.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Family Ties

Blood Wounds is one of the best books I've read so far this year.  I guess that's no suprise coming from the amazing author who most recently gave us Life as We Knew It, The Dead and the Gone and The Way We Live Now.  If Susan Beth Pfeffer is even half as cool and humble as she sounds on her blog, then she has got to be one of the coolest writers out there.
Pfeffer is on my standing order authors list so I didn't know this book was coming out and it was a great surprise to find Blood processed and ready for me to read, in one sitting.
Willa is a good girl, with a good life.  She lives with her mother Terri, her step-father, Jack and her step-sisters, Brooke and Alyssa.  They all get along really well, life is lovely and orderly and well, if Willa has to deal with her stress in a non-traditonal way, every now and then, that's not so bad, is it?  I mean...she only does it once a week.  Once a week, that's all.  She has it completely under control.  So yes, all is wonderful and perfect and happy in blended family land.
And then...
And the police are at the house.  And they are talking about a man named Budge, from Texas.  So far away from where Willa and her family live in Pennsylvania.  And this man, Budge?  He is missing.  And he's apparently killed his wife and his two daughters.  And now he has his remaining little daughter with him and well, Willa and her mother and in danger.  Because Budge was Willa's mother's first husband.  Budge is Willa's bio dad.
This is a dark book.  The killings are grisly.  The decisions Willa makes after the murders are tough decisions with difficult outcomes.
Recently in my little hometown a man killed his wife, his baby and his step-daughter.   No one really believed it could happen here.  But it did.  It happens everyday, tragically, in this broken world in which we live.
Pfeffer has written an honest and non-sensational book about the kind of tragedy we see far, far too often. We should NEVER see this kind of tragedy.  But we do.  She gives us a look into the broken lives left behind after such a horrific event.
Of course I was angered by and talked back to the pastor in the book, with his horrible theology, but I know that there are pastors out there who preach like he did and I have to say, what he said gave an "answer" to such a tragedy, but not a very good one.  Still, that's not a flaw of the book.  That is realistic writing.
Fantastic book.  Great from start to finish.

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