What it’s about: After a horrendously neglectful and abusive childhood with their movie star mother, the three Sunshine Sisters are brought back together to deal with her impending death.
What made me pick it up: Jane Green is just the right level of fiction for me. Not terribly literary but not too fluffy either. I had previously read Summer Secrets and seen her speak and enjoyed both so I definitely keep an eye on her upcoming to her books now.
My favorite parts: Yes, there are love stories and mostly happy endings but there is real drama in this book as well. The damage of their childhood affects each sister differently, but definitely has negative consequences in their adult lives both in how they deal with their trauma but also in how they support or fail each other. I always appreciate personal transformations through adversity and all three of the sisters go through this in one way or another.
Who it’s great for: Readers looking for chick lit or romance with a little more substance. Fans of domestic fiction and family stories.
What it’s about: Poems and biographical notes tell the story of the first school for African American girls in Connecticut and the challenges it faced.
What made me pick it up: It was reviewed by a friend on Goodreads and I had never heard of either the book or the story of Prudence Crandall and her school. Thankfully the library had a copy so I ordered it in.
My favorite things: This book is written in poems and they give powerful snippets of both Crandall’s and the students’ experiences and the backlash they faced trying to get an education. They are difficult experiences which can be hard to read about but the authors work to not only tell the story but also impress upon readers why the students thought getting an education was important enough to risk it. The poems are accompanied by lovely illustrations.
Who it’s great for: Those looking for stories of African American history outside the usual characters.
Find this book on Amazon (affiliate link) or in your local library.