Good morning! Hope you all had a great weekend! Yes, I realize it’s Tuesday already, but just as I’ve embraced slow decorating these days, I’ve also embraced slow weekending… it involves just easing back into the week. You should really try it. I needed it this past weekend…. Sunday night I made a healthy meal of lime cilantro halibut with roasted brussels sprouts and salad, and by my kids reactions you would have thought I had killed their dogs. Screams of “You hate me!” rang through the house… aaaah, the joys of motherhood, am I right? Why am I telling you this? For one, I like to keep it real. Secondly, it actually relates to the second book I am going to review today, Glitter and Glue. Let’s get to the book reports, shall we? (Affiliate links are used throughout.)
I began reading Night Road by Kristin Hannah when we returned from Seattle, and it takes place just outside that area. It was the last of a few library books I had taken out so I was determined to finish it so that I didn’t have to renew. This novel tells the story of Jude, helicopter mom extraordinaire to twins Mia and Zach. As they head into high school, the twins could be no more different from one another, but are also, as many twins are, as close as possible to each other. Zach is the outgoing athlete, surrounded by friends and keeping a busy social calendar. Mia is awkward, introverted, and a bookworm, with dreams of being more outgoing and becoming an actress. Jude does everything in her power to protect her children from all she can.
Lexi has been in foster care most of her life, the child of a drug addict mother who would show up inconveniently, ripping Lexi away from the one foster home she truly loved being in. Her mother dies, and Lexi discovers she has a great aunt Eva who never new about her, but is thrilled to take her in, even though she doesn’t have much. Her aunt and social worker are able to get her into a better public school, where Zach and Mia are students. On Lexi’s first day, she approaches Mia and they immediately bond over books. She also notices Zach, but when she discovers that he’s Mia’s brother, she stifles any interest.
Through the high school years, Mia and Lexi become the best of friends, and Jude and her husband accept Lexi as almost one of their family. Senior year, Zach, who has silently been in love with Lexi, finally comes forward and the two begin a relationship, keeping it a secret at first. Once it comes out, Jude is worried that Mia will lose the only friend she’s ever had, but Mia seems OK with it, so the relationship is accepted. As happens in many senior high school classes, the kids start partying a bit more.
One evening, Zach has been designated the driver, but in a fury pounds several drinks back. Mia is also very drunk, and Lexi, who didn’t have much to drink, takes the keys from Zach, and suggests they call Jude. The twins don’t want to call their mother, afraid to face her wrath, so Lexi gets behind the wheel. An accident happens that night that will forever change all of their lives.
This book has great reviews on Amazon, but I have to be honest that I didn’t love it. I liked it and was able to finish it, but the writing didn’t feel as natural as Hannah’s other books. Jude’s character didn’t seem to be fully developed, and I felt that Hannah had a hard time writing from a teen perspective. The characters all just seemed a little flatter than they should have been. The story itself is a decent one filled with lessons, but the book itself just felt a little disappointing to me. I still love Hannah as an author and am looking forward to reading The Nightingale, which I’ve heard so much about.
After reading several pieces of fictional literature lately, I felt I needed a good dose of non-fiction. When I went to return my books to the library, I perused the new non-fiction books, and found Glitter and Glue sitting on the shelf. This book is a memoir by Kelly Corrigan, reflecting on her time as a nanny as well as her own childhood and her relationship with her mother. Glitter and Glue begins with a 20 something Kelly, who decides to take a trip around the world with her best friend, and see it all! In Australia, they realize they are short on funds, but being American, they find getting jobs a challenge. Finally, they are able to get nanny jobs, and Kelly finds herself as a live in nanny to the Tanners, whose mother has recently passed away from cancer. Milly as a stubborn little girl who challenges Kelly and treats her rather coldly at first. Her little brother Martin takes to Kelly immediately, happy to have a maternal figure in his life again. Of course, at this point, Kelly has never been a mother, but looks back on her own childhood and recalls her own mother’s tactics and behavior. Through her introspection, she comes to realize that there was always so much more to her mother than rule maker and enforcer. As an adult, she is finally able to see all that her mother did for her out of love and great care. And years down the road, when Kelly is faced with cancer, there is only one person in the world she wants to talk to… her mother.
I loved this book and read it in two nights- it was a quick and easy read, perfect for busy moms. As a mother, there are certain things I do that royally piss off my children. Some days, I feel like I’m just a recording on repeat. Clean your room! Brush your teeth! Did you make your bed? I keep at it though, knowing that one day my kids will look back and realize that I only truly wanted to create happy, responsible human beings, and that everything I did for them was out of love. Kelly discovered the truth of her mother, just as I have about my own in having children of my own. If you’re looking for something to give your mom for Mother’s Day that will let her know that you noticed and appreciated all she did for you, Glitter and Glue is perfect.
Sunday night after that dinner debacle with my kids, I opened up another nonfictional book by one of my favorite humorous bloggers… Can’t wait to share that with you next! What are your favorite nonfiction books?