Friday, May 30, 2014

Reread #22 Greetings From Nowhere

Greetings from Nowhere. Barbara O'Connor. 2008. FSG. 208 pages. [Source: Library]

Greetings From Nowhere is a charming book that I just love! It centers around Sleepy Time Motel in the Great Smoky Mountains. Aggie, the owner, is a widow. She is finding it difficult--really difficult--to keep the motel going. Sometimes months go by between guests. And the last time a guest came, it was by chance they stayed even one night. Financially, it makes sense for Aggie to consider selling. It is what she "needs" to do practically. But is her heart ready to let go of her dream? But this isn't Aggie's story. She is not the protagonist. This book has multiple young narrators. All end up at the Sleepy Time Motel. There is Kirby, the "troubled" boy, who is on his way to reform school; Loretta who is traveling in the Smoky Mountains with her parents; and Willow who has come with her Dad to inspect the motel before buying it. None of the guests are particularly happy-happy-cheerful. Not everyone is equally gloomy either. Every single person in the novel has recently undergone change or is about to undergo change.

Loretta, for example, perhaps the most "happy" of the bunch, has learned that her birth mother has died. She received a charm bracelet in the mail. She still knows so very little about her birth mother. Just the mystery of a bracelet, she's trying to puzzle together who her mother was, what she was like, what she liked, what she did, based on these charms. That is what has fueled this family vacation. They are following the trail of her birth mother.

Willow is perhaps the saddest. Her mother left her and her Dad. Nothing has been the same since she left. Her mother's name isn't allowed to be mentioned. There is something broken about her family. The Dad decides the family needs a HUGE change. Willow doesn't want a huge change; she doesn't even want a tiny change.

Kirby is perhaps the angriest or most hurt depending on your perspective. Does Kirby do bad things for attention? Yes. His mother. His father. His stepfather all seem to reject him, to want to be rid of him, to think that he's a big hopeless mess instead of a growing boy.

I liked this community-focused novel. I definitely recommend it!

I first reviewed Greetings From Nowhere in May 2008.

© 2014 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Suko 7:02 PM  

Becky, this does sound like charming book! Wonderful review. :)

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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
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  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

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