Sunday, September 18, 2016

The Patron Saint of Ugly

Mitzi invited me to go to her book club at the Gallaher Library many months ago.  Every month I was either not available at the time that they met or I had not read the book and found myself not enticed to go to a meeting to discuss the book being discussed.  This month I was determined that I would read the book and attend!

The book's subject is actually of great interest to me.  My husband grew up in the coal fields of WV in the time period that is pictured in the book.  This book takes place in Sweetwater, WV.  It is my best guess that this is a fictional place.  Here is what the blurb on Amazon says:

Born in Sweetwater, West Virginia, with a mop of flaming red hair and a map of the world rendered in port-wine stains on every surface of her body, Garnet Ferrari is used to being an outcast. With her sharp tongue, she has always known how to defend herself against bullies and aggressors, but she finds she is less adept at fending off the pilgrims who have set up a veritable tent city outside her hilltop home, convinced that she is Saint Garnet, healer of skin ailments and maker of miracles.

Her grandmother, the indelible Nonna Diamante, believes that Garnet’s mystical gift can be traced back to the family’s origins in the Nebrodi Mountains of Sicily, and now the Vatican has sent an emissary to Sweetwater to investigate. Garnet, wanting nothing more than to debunk this “gift” and send these desperate souls packing, reaches back into her family’s tangled past and unspools for the Church a tale of love triangles on the shores of the Messina Strait; a sad, beautiful maiden’s gilded-cage childhood in blueblood Virginia; and the angelic, doomed boy Garnet could not protect. 
Saint or not, Garnet learns that the line between reality and myth is always blurred, and that the aspects of ourselves we are most ashamed of can prove to be the source of our greatest strength, and even our salvation.

The added attraction of this book club event this Thursday is that the author plans to attend.  Looking at her e-mail address, she is now affiliated with Marshall University.  I am greatly looking forward to meeting this very imaginative writer!  

The Land of the Painted Caves

This was not my favorite book in the series.  The author felt the need to remind the reader of every detail that had happened in the lives of Ayla and Jondalar.  Even with that said, I found myself sad to leave their story after having read through  the entire series this summer.

From the wikipedia I found the following that I found of interest:

....a series of novels set in prehistoric Europe that explores human activities during this time, and touches on the interactions of Cro-Magnon people with Neanderthals. As of 2010 her books have sold more than 45 million copies worldwide.

She has developed a close friendship with Dr. Jean Clottes of France who was responsible for, among many other things, the exploration of the Cosquer Cave discovered in 1985 and the Chauvet Cave discovered in 1994.  

It was also of interest that Jean Auel used the money made on her first book sales to do MORE research and meet in person the people who had helped her via long distance correspondence on the details of the book.  

But if you have not read my other blog posts I encourage you to see the reasons that I began reading the books in the first place.  I am convinced that my own ancestors were descended from these people of the Painted Caves found in France during the last ice age.  Scroll down to read my other posts.