Wednesday, February 25, 2009

"Sing Them Home" Stephanie Kallos

I'll admit that this one started off a little slow for me. I started it when I was sick and was having trouble focusing on anything too heavy, so the beginning of the book slowed me down some. It was vague, but as I later found out, deliberately so. Thankfully the pace picked up for me right after that (it must have been the large quantities of Advil I was consuming that was slowing me down!) and I went on to greatly enjoy "Sing Them Home".

Aneira Hope Jones vanished when a tornado hit in Emlyn Springs, Nebraska in 1978. Although many of her belongings had been found, her body is yet to be discovered, leaving her three children, Larken, Gaelen and Bonnie, in various stages of unease. There's something about never quite knowing what happened to your mother that has left these children (now adults) with a vague sense of incompletion. Larken eats her confusion away, packing the pounds onto her tiny frame. Gaelan spends hours working out in the gym and seduces as many women as he can, and Bonnie spends time collecting roadside rubbish and pasting it into scrapbooks. Their father, Llewellyn Jones, remains distant from all but his longtime lover, and wife's best friend, Viney Closs. When Llewellyn passes away suddenly after being struck by lightning, the three children must come together and make peace with their past and begin looking forward to the future.

Written from several points of view (including the deceased!), and including pages from Hope Jones' long-lost diaries this novel is a hodgepodge of both the past and the present. Somehow it manages to come together and I found myself reading with increasing desperation to find out the secrets of Emlyn Springs. Stephanie Kallos writes with an incredible attention to detail and I enjoyed watching Larken, Gaelen and Bonnie emerge from the shells of their past into their futures. I was sad to finish this one and to leave Emlyn Springs, and of all its interesting residents, behind.

Up Next: I've just started the absolutely adorable "Marley & Me" and am loving it so far (although it would be nice if I actually had time to read....)

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