Thursday, August 16, 2018

Review: Our Homesick Songs

Big Running used to be a thriving town. But the fish disappeared and one by one, families left the place that was their home. The Connor family is still there, but they have to make some major changes. Aidan and Martha work at an energy company inland for alternating months, while the other parent stays with their children Finn and Cora. The separation is hard on the entire family. Finn becomes obsessed with figuring out why the fish left and how to bring them back. Cora decorates abandoned homes like different countries until the day that she too leaves Big Running and forces the family to choose if they should leave the only home they've ever loved.

Our Homesick Songs is indeed a book about homesickness and what it means to be home. It can often be a certain place, and it is definitely certain people. The author gives us a glimpse into one such town and one such family both in 1993, when the town is slowly abandoned, and the 1970s, when Aidan and Martha meet and fall in love. It's also a story about the importance of story and music and magic in remembering our history and dreaming about our futures.

Our Homesick Songs is the perfect story to read on a hard day. It is a simple read at certain points, almost like a child's fairy tale. But in other chapters, the very adult problems of paying the bills and staying faithful to a spouse you never see take center stage. The characters go through tough times and the story does not ignore the difficulties of loving people well in an ever-changing environment, but it does leave the characters and the readers with hope. We can hope in the goodness of people and the possibility that our love for our families, our friends, and our home will be enough to pull us through the darkest of days.

Our Homesick Songs
By Emma Hooper
Simon and Schuster August 2018
336 pages
Read via Netgalley


Also by Emma Hooper: Etta and Otto and Russell and James 

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Wednesdays with David: The Great Shelby Holmes

The Story: Shelby Holmes is not your average sixth grader. She’s nine years old, barely four feet tall, and the best detective her Harlem neighborhood has ever seen—always using logic and a bit of pluck (which yes, some might call “bossiness”) to solve the toughest crimes. 

When eleven-year-old John Watson moves downstairs, Shelby finds something that’s eluded her up till now: a friend. Easy-going John isn’t sure of what to make of Shelby, but he soon finds himself her most-trusted (read: only) partner in a dog-napping case that'll take both their talents to crack. (Synopsis from Goodreads) 


Thoughts from David: The Great Shelby Holmes is a very good mystery novel. Shelby is plain incredible with the fact she can deduct almost anything. She deducted that the main character, John Watson's (Yeah, both Shelby and John's last names are spin-offs on Sherlock Holmes and John Watson) mom had served in  Afghanistan just from boxes, a medical license, and that John's mom had a limp. John may not be a genius detective like Shelby, but sometimes John sees things that Shelby might not, like things about stuff that Shelby doesn't notice, like basketball.   

All in all, The Great Shelby Holmes is an amazing book. I definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes mystery books. You'll be laughing and trying to solve the mystery with Shelby and John the whole way through!