Sunday, April 29, 2012

Mother's Day Special - 2012

For the Month of May, you can purchase the Kindle version of Motherless Child - stories from a life for 99 cents.

Imagine you gave a baby up for adoption forty years ago, and after years of trying to find her, she finds you. Now come the hard questions. She's healthy, beautiful, and successful, but she wants to know why you gave her away and why you didn't marry her father. And there is also the unspoken question of "What kind of black woman gives her baby away?" How do you explain to her that giving her away was the best gift you could offer?

This is my first published work, a coming-of-age-in-the-sixties-single-black-pregnant-and-on-the-way-to Germany, memoir.

Click here to purchase.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Taste of SaltThe Taste of Salt by Martha Southgate

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Josie Henderson is a black marine biologist in a profession dominated by white men.  She's a free spirit held back by the bonds of a dysfunctional family, and a loving (white) husband who wants children.  She married him because he understood her passion for marine life.  Yet she is afraid to trust him with her family conflicts  because she thinks he doesn't "get" being black. 

Then along comes a black male marine biologist whom Josie thinks understands it all, the black thing, the sea and diving thing.  In trying to get everything she wants, Josie loses what she once thought was important. In the end she must return to family to restore meaning to her life.

Martha Southgate carries us through the lives of Josie, her brother, and parents, a loving family torn apart by alcoholism.  I found that I cared about all of the main characters even as I could see the worst was coming.  It's the kind of story that stays with you for a long time.

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Saturday, April 14, 2012

Cutting for Stone

Cutting for StoneCutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I should have paid attention to how long this book was before I started reading on my Kindle, I might have paced myself better.

It's a wonderful epic that spans lifetimes across continents. The story is told by one of twin brothers born to a nun who dies in childbirth and to a surgeon who runs away. The title "Cutting for Stone" comes from the Hippocratic Oath which says in part, "I will not cut for stone," meaning a physician will not practice surgery. (The practice of medicine was different in ancient times.) The title also refers to the runaway surgeon, Thomas Stone.

Two physicians become foster parents to the twins and raise them at Missing (Mission) Hospital in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Ghosh, the foster father told the boys their birth was a mystery to Thomas Stone, "like Joseph, clueless about Mary and the baby."

The author is a physician who fills the story with medical details. Just when I thought I had read more about obstetrics and gynecological surgery than I every wanted to know, the story moves on to volvulus and fistulas, and transplants, Oh My! Throw in a failed coup against Emperor Haile Selassie, and you have a really fast-paced page-turner of a story. Did I mention a plane hijack and an escape to the USA.

There is so much in this book about family devotion, betrayal, and forgiveness, it took my breath away.

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