Sunday, March 14, 2010

Spring Break Reading Challenge: What I'm Reading Right Now


Today's Spring Break Reading Challenge assignment asks that participants give the following information about a book they are currently reading:


1. Title and author of the book you are reading.
2. Include the cover of the book.
3. Synopsis
4. What do you think about the book so far?
5. Does the author have a website or blog? If so, insert a link in your post.

I am reading a few books right now, but I'm going to focus on one that's taking me longer than usual to finish. It's not that this is a bad or boring book. It's that the subject matter is hard to read and the characters are so realistic that I want to rush into their lives and save them. The book I'm reading is called Asta in the Wings and it was written by Jan Elizabeth Watson. I purchased this book because Watson is living in Maine and is therefore considered a Maine author. (We take whatever credit we can get when it comes to claiming an author! Other examples of non-Maine authors that we call Maine authors: E.B. White and Harriet Beecher Stowe.) And, the story takes place in Maine. Doubly Maine lit.

Since I purchased this novel several months ago, one of my book clubs selected it as an April read. So I am reading it despite the fact that it is so painfully good. Asta and her brother Orion are imaginative, sweet children. Their mother is mentally unstable, abusive, and neglectful. Every day that she goes to work, she locks the children in their rural home. There is no school for these children. In fact, no one knows that these children exist. They are hungry little ghosts locked inside their small house.

One day, the mother does not come home. (This is where I left off reading last night.) The children are going to have to find a way to break out of their house and leave the sickeningly safe little world that their mother has created for them. I want to know that they're going to be okay but am afraid to keep reading and find out that they're not!

The author does not have a website, but there are numerous online interviews and reviews of Asta in the Wings, which is Watson's first novel. I do recommend this book, but caution readers who may have a hard time reading about child abuse. It's a super realistic read and it is extremely well-written.

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