Day After Night By Anita Diamant Following WWII thousands of Jews made their way to Palestine. They were most often weak, sick and near starvation. They were the lucky ones, the survivors. The British, who were slowly losing control put a quota in place which allowed only a small number of displaced Jews entrance into the state. Those who had no family and no papers, as most didn't, found themselves in internment camp, which sadly felt like another concentration camp. This is the story of an escape from Atlit, a camp near Haifa. It is told through the eyes of four brave women that have lost everything and everyone in their lives They use every ounce of their will to look forward, to hope, to live. Anita Diamant is a thoughtful easy to read author, although no other book may ever match The Red Tent, Day After Night is definitely worth the read.
The Handbook for Lightning Strike Survivors By Michele Young-Stone Becca Burke is struck by lightning three times in her life. First, her parents think she is making it up, later her blackened feet prove otherwise. Becca's parents are in a miserable painful marriage in Chapel Hill NC, she finds solace in painting and her best friend Carrie. Buckley grows up in a small town in Arkansas. He is raised by his mean grandmother named Winter and his loving but unhappy mother, Abigail. Lightning brings these two very likable characters together. Watching Becca and Buckley grow up, nourishing friendships, love for their mothers and intense curiosity of lightning, the reader learns some very basic lessons about the possibilities of finding happiness. This debut novel is surprisingly unique. The characters are genuine and the writing is easy and enjoyable, don't let the title throw you, it's worth the read.
Ape House By Sara Gruen Isabel Duncan is a scientist at the Great Ape Language Lab. The bonobo's she works with have become her family. They are incredibly human like and communicate through ASL (sign language). She is engaged to the director of the program, Peter Benton and her assistant Celia is a pink haired, off the wall punky intern that speaks her mind and follows her instincts. The lab is bombed. The explosion severely hurts Isabel and the intruders steal the bobobo's to ultimately put them on a bizarre reality tv show. What begins as an intellectual look inside the world of the ape/man understanding quickly turns into a two bit who dunnit mystery. Page after page the reader waits for the depth, descriptiveness and magnificence of the characters that we met in Water for Elephants. Sadly, this moment never arrives. The reader barely cares about each quirky character. The story is all over the place and on the road to nowhere. It is as if another author wrote this book and put Ms. Gruens name on it. :(