Reviews by Georgia

Elevation

By: Stephen King

Reviewed by: Georgia Rindler

Scott Carey is 42 years old, six-foot-four with a bit of a belly. He feels great, is full of energy, and has a good appetite. Scott makes a visit to the home of his tennis friend, retired Doc Ellis, with an unusual request. He wants the good doctor to check his weight, trusting that the medical scale Bob kept from his office is still accurate. Bob Ellis is 74 years old and practiced medicine for 42 years. He thinks Scott looks healthy, albeit a bit overweight, but humors him and grants the request.

Scott keeps on his boots and dons his heavy parka before stepping on the scale. The bar balances at 212. After removing most of his clothing, which includes the fourteen pounds of coins in the coat pockets, he steps on the scale again. The bar stays at 212. Puzzled, Scott tells Bob this has been going on for a couple of weeks.

This is the opening scene of Stephen King’s novella Elevation. The story takes place in the small town of Castle Rock, Maine, the setting of many of King’s books.

Elevation has two stories that King intertwines in his masterful way. Scott Carey and his neighbors are in a bit of a feud. He suspects Missy Donaldson and Deidre McComb are allowing their dogs to do their business on his lawn, but neither woman seems to care. When Scott shows proof with a photograph, the situation only gets worse. He wants to be a good neighbor, but they at least need to meet him halfway.

Tension builds as Scott tries to support their business venture. The couple has a Mexican restaurant in town which is struggling. Townsfolk do not approve of their lifestyle. If things don’t improve at Holy Frijole, Deidre and Missy will have to close the establishment and go back to Boston. One would think this would please Scott, but he is not that kind of guy. Deep down he instinctively knows he has a limited amount of time to make a difference or do something great.

When Scott decides to participate in the annual 12K Turkey Trot, a fundraiser for the recreational center, his relationship with the women goes from bitter to hostile.

Deidre is a competitive runner and has won the race before.

Scott does not look like a threat to anyone, yet she is concerned he has something up his sleeve. Before the start of the race, Scott makes a bet with Deidre. After the shocking finish, both parties’ attitudes change.

The book comes full circle and the ending is not quite what the reader would expect.

King is an expert at weaving stories and even though Elevation is a novella of less than 150 pages, he manages to do so again.

Elevation can be found in the fiction section of the library; FIC KIN.       July 2019

 

50 States 5000 Ideas

By: National Geographic

Reviewed by: Georgia Rindler

The summer travel season is here and most of us can use some new ideas for trips. Whether looking to make memories or the opportunity to explore our beautiful country, this National Geographic publication can help.

50 States 5000 Ideas has a multitude of suggestions including where to go, when to go, what to see, and what to do. There is also a bonus section covering Canadian provinces and territories.

The book’s chapters are divided alphabetically by state, making it easy to decide if the trip will be far or near. Each starts highlighting the cities then moving on to the landscape, ranging from shoreline to mountainous.

Various sections give the traveler options of personal interest. “Road Trips” is suggestions for great drives throughout the state and “Local Flavor” highlights foods of the region.  

“Hidden Treasures” is filled with places and sites that may not be the most popular, but are worth a visit. “State of the Art” gives the reader movies, books, art, plays, songs, and TV shows with connections to the state, while “Capitalism” has tidbits of history. “Festivals” lists events that are popular to locals and tourists and the “Little-Known Facts” insets are filled with conversation starters or information useful on Jeopardy.  

Tourism information is included for each state with websites and phone numbers to get more particulars. Photos entice the reader to search further and explore the area. Some of the pictures take my breath away.

This is not a comprehensive travel guide, but one to browse as an aid in the decision making process of how will I spend my summer vacation? But travel season is no longer limited to June, July, and August. With a senior population able to travel twelve months of the year, this book can come in handy at any time. If the spirit of wanderlust hits, browse through and get some ideas. Hitting the road can include extensive planning or spur of the moment pack your bags and go.

50 States 5000 Ideas can be found in the library with the nonfiction books; 917.304 NAT.

June 2019

 

We Were Mothers

By: Katie Sise

Reviewed by: Georgia Rindler

Cora O’Connell, Laurel Madsen, Jade Moore, Sarah Ramsey; these four women are at the center of Katie Sise’s We Were Mothers.

With so many characters introduced at the very beginning, I was tempted to give up, fearing the story would be too hard to follow. But each chapter focuses on a different character, separating the book into manageable sections.

It begins with the birthday party of Cora & Sam’s two-year-old twins, George and Lucy. Over the course of the weekend, the charming town of Ravendale, New York is the location of an assault, a missing person’s report, and a shattering discovery.

Cora finds a journal entry revealing Sam had an involvement with their 21-year-old babysitter. Mira is the daughter of Laurel & Dash Madsen, neighborhood friends to the O’Connells. Cora confides in her mother Sarah with what she found. The two haven’t been close but Sarah can empathize as Cora’s father had an affair and left her for another woman.

Mira disappeared the day after the party and her younger sister Anna was the last to see her. Both girls have a romantic interest in their teenage neighbor, Asher Finch. Laurel and Dash have problems that go far beyond couples drifting apart after years of marriage.

Jade & Jeremy are also in the midst of some marital challenges. Jeremy desperately wants to start a family with biological children. Jade, on the other hand, wants to adopt. The two reach an impasse and their relationship begins to unravel.

Integral to the story is Maggie Ramsey. She was Cora’s sister, Sarah’s daughter, and best friend to Jade; killed in a tragic automobile accident six years earlier.

The pressure builds with each chapter as things get messier and more revealing. The story unfolds with an abusive relationship, an explosive confrontation, and a scandalous confession.

The novel reads like a Knots Landing soap opera. But as with the popular daytime dramas, the reader gets involved with the characters, staying with the story to find out what happens. There were twists and surprises I did not see coming.

The central theme is in the title. Motherhood is what drives the women to do what they do. And it is the bond that pulls them and the story all together.

We Were Mothers can be found with the fiction books in the library; FIC SIS.

May 2019