Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A Map of the World by Jane Hamilton

This is a new author to me, and I really like her writing style.  In the last book I reviewed, I stated "I don't know enough about writing to be able to put into words what I like and what I don't like, but some writing just seems to sing . . ."  That was true of this book.  I have ordered 3 of her other books from PaperBack Swap because I liked this one so much.

It is the story Alice and Howard Goodwin and their 2 daughters, Emma and Claire.  Howard's dream was to be a dairy farmer, and so they purchased a dairy farm in Wisconsin a few years before the beginning of the book.  Alice is a nurse at the elementary school.  They don't fit in with their neighbors.  In fact, only one other family is friends with them:  Theresa and Dan Collins and their daughters Lizzy and Audrey.  Theresa and Alice take turns caring for all 4 girls one day a week in the summers.  On one of those days, when Alice is in charge of the girls, she gets distracted for a few minutes and Lizzy drowns in the Goodwin's pond.  Alice feels responsible and becomes more and more depressed.  Then Alice is charged with sexual abuse of one of the students at the elementary school where she works.  The story is told first by Alice, then by Howard, and then again by Alice.  It is my 18th book for the New Author Challenge 2010 and I rate it 5 out of 5.

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