Shirley Wells's Reading Page
Shirley is a retired high school English teacher who has been working as a Watermark bookseller since 2010. She is the Book Club Coordinator, leads the Watermark Classic Book Club, and gives book talks to various clubs and organizations all over town. Shirley is an eclectic reader who enjoys literary fiction, historical fiction, memoirs, mysteries, creative non-fiction, history, psychological thrillers, YA--pretty much anything and everything is on her radar!
To see an archived list of the books Shirley has read, click HERE.
Send for Me is the achingly wonderful but terrible story of four generations of a German-Jewish family permanently affected by Hitler’s reign of terror. Although the Nazi’s impose more and more restrictions--and in spite of the mounting danger--the family desperately wants to believe that these dark days won’t last...but they do. And for those who manage to emigrate to America, the guilt of leaving others behind continues to influence successive generations.
One example of the gradually building isolation and indignities imposed on German Jews can clearly be felt in the mounting panic a grandmother feels as she carries her infant daughter four blocks down the street of a small city where she has lived her entire life. Instead of taking a pleasant stroll on a quiet Sunday afternoon, the grandmother is terrified she will encounter those who no longer believe she has the right to exist, much less walk down the street unmolested.
The evocative and lovely writing in Send for Me belies the troubling subject matter, but this brilliant novel, based on the author’s family’s experiences, provides us with warning signs for our current troubled times.
From its opening inscription--a quote from All the King's Men about the complicated duality of human beings--The Fortunate Ones explores how individuals can be both good and bad, rejecting the oversimplified good guys vs bad guys mythology. Growing up adjacent to privilege and wealth, Charlie Boykin is both attracted to and repelled by Archer Creigh and his troubled family’s entitled world of secrets, hypocrisy, and ulterior motives. This compulsively readable novel details the protagonist’s on-again, off-again moral growth as he journeys from East Nashville to an elite prep school and college to an artist’s life in Mexico then back to the world of politics, pretense, and, ultimately, redemption. Tarkington’s ability to deliver complex characters and examine contemporary issues while telling such a great story has secured his place among today’s Southern writers.