"Where We Belong" is not literary in nature - I'd still consider it a light and fast read. But it still feels just a little different, and a little reminiscent of author Melissa Bank. I'm happy to say that I didn't visualize the book as a typical romantic comedy, starring Katherine Heigl and Vanessa Hudgens as mother and daughter, respectively. Rather, I saw a real story with real characters and good acting, maybe say, by Charlize Theron and Ellen Page. If you've ever been turned off by Giffin before, now's the time to give her another chance.
"Let me tell you something, son. When you’re young, and you head out to wonderful, everything is fresh and bright as a brand-new penny, but before you get to wonderful you’re going to have to pass through all right. And when you get to all right, stop and take a good, long look, because that may be as far as you’re ever going to go.” This is the advice given to 5-year-old Sam Haislett, the speaker of which should have heeded his own advice.
Charlie Beale was a handsome, charismatic 39-year-old war veteran in 1948 when he wandered into sleepy Brownsville, Virginia. He carried with him two suitcases, one full of money, the other full of knives. Charlie liked what he saw in Brownsville and decided to stay. He talked the local butcher into giving him a job (hence the suitcase full of knives), and soon he became well-liked by the townspeople, and adored by young Sam, the butcher's son. The day that beautiful, young Sylvan Glass walked into his life, Charlie Beale was never the same. "She went off in his head and his heart like a firecracker on the 4th of July."
Sylvan Glass was the teenage wife of Boatie Glass, the richest, greediest, and most mean-spirited man around. Sylvan was raised in a backwoods berg to dirt-poor parents who were sadly desperate enough to sell her to Glass. Although she had no education, Sylvan was wily enough to reinvent herself into a Hollywood starlet wannabe, fashioning her new persona from movie magazines and afternoon matinees. So when Charlie, along with young Sam always in tow, entered her life, she saw him as a means of playing out her fantasy life. Unfortunately, Sam was always there as an innocent witness, reading comic books at Sylvan's kitchen table, while she and Charlie were upstairs. It's obvious from the start that this flirtation can come to no good. And the reader gets a personal accounting from adult Sam Haislett who narrates tragic events of the story.
Heading Out to Wonderful reminded me of a runaway train. It started out nice and calm, even passing some beautiful scenery along the way. But soon enough you realize that the train is out of control as it picks up speed. You're hoping that the crash won't be that bad because you have become invested in the book's very well-developed and interesting characters. Then comes the crash, and, wow, you never saw that one coming!
A Booklist reviewer says that Goolrick, in Heading Out to Wonderful, "creates a mesmerizing gothic tale of a good man gone wrong." It is mesmerizing indeed, a book you won't want to put down. It is implied at the beginning of the book that Charlie Beale had somewhat of a checkered past, and I sure would like to have found out where he got all that money in his suitcase. The author unfortunately bypasses those key bits of information. But other than that, I give this book two thumbs up.
Ever wonder what library staff members read, watch, and listen to when they're not working? Well, here's your answer! We asked staff to go into our catalog and tag their favorite books, movies, music and more. You'll find suggestions like Firefly, the space western television series created by Joss Whedon after Buffy the Vampire Slayer and before the Avengers.
So, have a look at our favorites and let us know what you would add to the list in the comments below.
Twilight and Stephenie Meyer fans may recognize this story- a much older vampire heads to high school and falls in love with a fellow classmate. Drama and romance ensues. But this isn’t just another spin on Meyer’s story. In fact, the Vampire Diaries book series that is the basis for the show was written by author L. J. Smith almost fifteen years before the publication of the first book in the Twilight series!
Why you may love this: The series is developed by two of television’s most interesting minds, Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec (Dawson's Creek, Kyle XY, the Scream movies, etc.). It also stars some of television’s best young actors, including Nina Dobrev and Ian Somerhalder. Ultimately, the best thing about The Vampire Diaries is its foundation as a story of loyalty and tenacity even in extreme circumstances.
4.5 / 5 stars!
Mary Weber shares her gardening expertise and stories of the grandmother who sparked her love of making beautiful things grow. Mary recommends The Gardener's Color Palette by Thomas Fischer as an excellent resource for planning the overall look of your space.