It has been a slower week here on the books through the mail front, which I desperately needed since I am feeling a tad overwhelmed. Not only am I behind on book reviews and have more than enough sitting here for me to read before it joins the overdue review pile, but I'm also trying to recover from my in-laws' visit, prepare for a friend's overnight visit, get my grandmother ready to fly out and prepare us to leave on the first of our short and interrupted vacations this summer. Color me just a tad bit busy. Fewer books coming in, therefore, helps to lessen the stress slightly! Of course, since I feel a quiver of excitement when the packages arrive, I do still appreciate whatever has arrived during the past crazy week. Last week's goodies include:
Stand the Storm by Breena Clarke
From Amazon: Like her first work of historical fiction, Stand the Storm weaves together the tale of an African American family struggling to cope in a white world. Although this novel takes place a few generations before River, Cross My Heart, it packs an equally powerful punch. Despite its horrors and violence, Stand the Storm is a surprisingly uplifting love story about men and women attempting to free themselves from bondage. Critics praised the emotional depth of Clarke’s characterizations and her compelling portrayal of life in a city that discriminates against its African American inhabitants. They diverged slightly on the quality of the writing, but the memorable cast of characters—primary and secondary—as well as the humane story more than made up for any flaws.
Last Light Over Carolina by Mary Alice Monroe
From Amazon: Every woman in the lowcountry knows the unspoken fear that clutches the heart every time her man sets out to sea. Now, that fear has become a terrible reality for Carolina Morrison. Her husband, shrimp boat captain Bud Morrison, the only man she's ever loved, is lost and alone somewhere in the vast Atlantic fi shing grounds, with a storm gathering and last light falling.
As the action unfolds on this one terrifying, illuminating day, Carolina and Bud Morrison look back across thirty years of love and loss, joy and sorrow. Carolina walked away from a well-to-do upbringing to marry Captain Bud Morrison. She embraced his extraordinary lifestyle by the sea and the customs of a historic shrimping village. Yet lately, hard times and the loneliness of long separations have driven them apart -- and driven her to make a mistake that threatens to shatter their once-unbreakable bond forever.
When Bud Morrison is overdue at the docks, the close-knit community rallies together to search for one of its own. But Carolina knows that it is their love that must somehow call him home, across miles of rough water and unspeakable memories. And she swears that if she is given one more chance -- for love and for forgiveness -- nothing will ever take her from this man's side again.
In Last Light over Carolina, Mary Alice Monroe once again explores a vanishing feature of the southern coastline, the mysterious yet time-honored shrimping culture, in a convincing and compelling tale of an enduring marriage.
Passegiata by G.G. Husak
From Amazon: Ms. Husak’s memoir of travels to Italy with her husband will appeal to those who love travel in general and Italy in particular. Their journeys are both personal and universal. From their first shared trip to Italy in 1993, which marked the first of their empty nest years, their annual passeggiata reflects the shift in their lives through the next decade. On their spring pilgrimages to major tourist centers, Rome, Florence, Venice, Milan, Naples, they develop appreciation for Italy’s art, music and architecture. Wandering together along out of the way paths in tiny hill towns and seacoast villages, they explore breathtaking scenery. By traveling light and learning the vagaries of Italian life, they have become Italian in spirit. The book provides many practical hints on how to travel like the locals, reminding us that even novice travelers can learn valuable lessons from immersion in another way of life, and that one’s companion can be an essential part of the pleasure of a journey.
As always, if you'd like to check out the goodies that other people found in their mailboxes, check out The Printed Page where Marcia kindly hosts this meme every week.