The world is at war, and the army is stealing away the men, and those that are left are being hauled off to work in the factories in order to assist the war effort. In rural Kentucky Gertie is lucky enough to still have her husband around, he drives the coal truck, but knows that this situation cannot last. He has his date with the army already lined up. But she is preparing as best she can. She has been saving her money and almost has enough to offer on a nearby farm. Without having to pay half what they earn on rent Gertie and her family will be able to plan for the future. But on the eve of her plans coming to fruition all is ruined and she must uproot her family and follow her husband to the city of Detroit.
I’ll admit I picked this book up because I liked the tagline, She borrowed a child. He stole her. Lucy Hull who is a children’s librarian runs away with Ian Drake when she finds him hiding out in the library one morning. She’s always enjoyed him when he visited the library, even if she did worry over his mother and the insistance that Ian only be allowed borrow books with the “breath of God” in them. And definitely not those ones with magic and satanism in them!
And then Lucy finds a note making her believe that Ian is being sent to anti-gay classes. She isn’t really kidnapping him, she is rescuing him.
This is the sort of book I don’t usually read. You know the ones, from the “sad story” section of the bookshop. The misery-books as I call them. But a few years ago I’d heard of Melvin Burgess as an author to look out for. I’ve read his Lady : My life as a Bitch and to be honest I wasn’t all that impressed, but I’ll always give an author a second go. So I tried this one.
In the 1980’s Nick Dane is growing up as an average, if bright kid. He comes from a single parent family, and his mother has a secret. She never got off the drugs, not completely. And in the course of having a “taste” she accidentally overdoses and Nick is left all alone in the world. Soon he finds himself carted off to a “home” for boys, and soon learns that the violence and random beatings are not the worse this place has to offer.
by Raymond Radiguet translated by Christopher Moncrieff
Although the 1930’s mini challenge has come to an end, when I spotted this book at work I thought it might fit, and wanted to read more books of that time. Of course then I read the details and discovered that it was actually written earlier than that… Oh well :)
The devil in the flesh created quite a bit of a scandal when it was published, semi-autobiographical, the author wrote it from the age of sixteen to eighteen, after his own affair with a married woman. And that, my dears, is the central theme to this book. In fact, it is the end all and the be all of everything in this book. Our 15/16 year old narrator’s affair with a married woman. And I found that incredibly off-putting.