FAYE DASEN: Coming-of-Age Story Brings Back Memories
By Mark Childress
Little, Brown and Company, 2006, $24.99
What a coming-of-age story this is! And for those of us who were teenagers in the early '70s, the descriptions will bring back memories of our high school days.
Daniel Musgrove and his family move to the small town of Minor, Miss., after his dad is forced to take a new position with his company. Having come from the Midwest, Daniel is considered a Yankee, and he has difficulty understanding the problems that are going on in his new school. After all, he thinks, what difference does a person's skin color make?
Daniel does make one new close friend -- Tim Cousins. The two share the same opinions and both are crazy about Sonny and Cher. (Sonny and Cher make a dramatic appearance in the book.)
When prom time rolls around, Daniel and Tim arrange to take their twin classmates. (All of the talk about powder blue tuxedos really takes me back.) After taking their dates home, the boys head home themselves, with Tim driving. They are involved in an accident in which their classmate, Arnita Beecham, is badly injured, but instead of stopping, they flee.
The events that follow are sometimes dark, sometimes funny, but will definitely make the reader think.
Childress is the author of "Crazy in Alabama."
Sleeping With Fear
By Kay Hooper
Bantam, 2006, $25
Hooper continues with her series about FBI agents who share paranormal gifts.
Agent Riley Craven is visiting Opal Island, S.C., at the request of Gordon Skinner, a former Army buddy.
Gordon is concerned because of possible occult activity on the island, and since Riley knows a lot about the subject, he figures she can help.
Riley, however, is having issues. She wakes up covered in blood and can't remember what's happened over the past three weeks -- and her psychic senses seem kaput.
She is having trouble telling the good guys from the bad, but her gut feeling tells her she can trust Ash Prescott, the local district attorney. Although she doesn't quite recall it, they've become lovers during that three-week period.
As with all of Hooper's novels, this one has a nice surprise at the end.
The Owl and Moon Cafe
By Jo-Ann Mapson
Simon and Schuster, 2006, $14
This novel spans four generations of Moon women.
Mariah Moon has just lost her job as a college professor. She heads home to the Owl and Moon Cafe owned by her mother, Allegra, and grandmother, Bess, knowing she can waitress there while she figures out what to do. She is determined that her daughter, Lindsay, will not have to give up the private school she's been attending.
Several problems befall the characters in this delightful novel, and we often wonder if they'll come through. I loved this book.
Faye Dasen may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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