Part of the fun of reading is to see the world through other people's eyes. It's part of the fun of writing too. Books let us travel to times and places we might never see, and show the thoughts behind attitudes and beliefs we might never share. They keep us from passing judgement till we've walked in someone else's shoes. And if they succeed, we might just keep ourselves from passing judgement in our daily lives too. No one can really see through someone else's eyes. And other people's shoes will rarely fit. But books... we might learn facts from non-fiction books, but from fiction we learn other people's feelings too. I love to read!
The Leaf Queen by Janet Roberts takes readers to Catholic Ireland and the tortuous consequences of wounded family ties. Blending Maeve Binchey's Ireland with modern-day America, it invites readers to see through the eyes of a mother filled with heartbreak, a sister wounded by unintended condemnation, and a woman who gives her heart to freely to those who might not deserve it. It's a haunting, hopeful tale. Enjoy with some complex four-star coffee.
Me Before You by JoJo Moyes tackles misunderstandings too, as a young woman in England learns to care for an abrasive, wounded man -- and to agree with the sort of decision that causes serious religious and political arguments. I love how the author introduces such seriously big questions, viewed so consistently through the eyes of real people that the reader's own interpretations have to wait. Definitely a book to make you think... and care more. This is another one to read with some complex four-star coffee.
Forgotten Reflections: A War Story by Young-Im Lee, while set in the past of the Korean War, has much to tell of the present. Truths aren't always what they seem. Life's necessities aren't predictable. And life's secrets aren't all as they're assumed. Forgotten Reflections allows readers to visit Korea, to learn the value of rice, and to enjoy the mysteries of relationship, all with a pleasingly complex four-star coffee.
Moving to the US, Neespaugot: Legend of the Indian’s Coin by John Mugglebee tells a story that begins with Massachusetts tribes and broken covenants, then progresses through tales of runaway slaves, Chinese immigrants, betrayals, promises and more to the present day, typing people to land and hope. It's a haunting tale, filled with fascinating substories, and tied together in family and mixed heritage. Enjoy its complexities with some more complex four-star coffee.
And finally, in a world where Christian and Muslim are almost assumed to be bosom enemies, it's good to read a novel like The Merchant’s Pearl by Amie O’Brien. Beautifully researched and convincingly told, it's the story of a Christian missionary girl, abducted into a prince's harem in the time of Napoleon and Suez (not so long ago!), and learning to stay true to her faith while falling in love with someone just as true to his own. Yes, more four-star coffee.
I loved all these books, and loved visiting all these different people with different backgrounds to my own. Reading is FUN!