- The title – such an interesting one!
- Gods in Alabama by Joshilyn Jackson
Summary from GoodReads:
A captivating debut, introducing a spirited young heroine coming of age in coastal Maine during the early 1960s.
When her mother disappears during a weekend trip, Florine Gilham’s idyllic childhood is turned upside down. Until then she’d been blissfully insulated by the rhythms of family life in small town Maine; watching from the granite cliffs above the sea for her father’s lobster boat to come into port, making bread with her grandmother, and infiltrating the summer tourist camps with her friends. But with her mother gone, the heart falls out of Florine’s life and she and her father are isolated as they struggle to manage their loss. Both sustained and challenged by the advice and expectations of her family and neighbors, Florine grows up with her spirit intact. And when her father’s past comes to call, she must accept that life won’t ever be the same while keeping her mother vivid in her memories. With Fannie Flagg’s humor and Elizabeth Stroud’s sense of place, this debut is an extraordinary snapshot of a bygone America through the eyes of an inspiring girl blazing her own path to womanhood.
This book charmed the heck outta me. Right away, while reading a description of a time long past, a coast I’d never seen, and a girl and her mother making a spontaneous trip, I fell in love. Red Ruby Heart in a Cold Blue Sea is the perfect coming-of-age story for an older generation of women, and for the younger generation as well so they can get a glimpse of what life was like.
Here’s what I love the most about this captivating little story. There are no neat endings, no tidy wrap-ups, and no cliches. Instead there is heartfelt emotion, and it’s raw.. and it hurts, and I wanted to rage right along with Florine at the unfairness of life – but bravo to Rogers for making life unfair, because that’s what made this book real. It was so real I could smell the salty air, and I could see the hot tears on Florine’s face, and feel her rage as she acts out against the adults in her life, you know – the adults who actually stuck around for her.
When I first finished this book, I sat it down and I looked at it and I thought.. that was okay, but .. do I want more? And now that I’ve had time to sit back and think, to let the story settle, I am really, really appreciating this story for being the gem it is.
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