At Mailbox Monday we encourage participants to not only share the books they received, but to check out the books others have received. Each week will share a few books that caught our eye from that weeks’ Mailbox Monday.
We encourage you to share the books that caught your eye in the comments.
You Belong Here Now by Dianna Rostad found at Silver’s Reviews.
In this brilliant debut reminiscent of Christina Baker Kline’s The Orphan Train and Kristina McMorris’s Sold on a Monday, three orphans journey westward from New York City to the Big Sky Country of Montana, hoping for a better life where beautiful wild horses roam free.
Montana: 1925. Three brave orphans from New York take the Orphan Train west, hoping for a place to belong. An Irish boy orphaned by Spanish flu, a tiny girl who won’t speak, and the oldest, a volatile young man who lies about his age to escape Hell’s Kitchen, are paraded on train platforms across the Midwest to work-worn folks. They journey countless miles, racing the sun westward.
Before they reach the last rejection and stop, the oldest, Charles, talks Patrick and Opal into jumping off the train. They journey through the Yellowstone River and grassy mountains where the wild horses roam. Fate guides all three toward the ranch of a family rended by loss. Nara, the only child left of a successful cattleman, has grown into a brusque spinster who refuses the kids on sight. She’s worked hard to gain her father’s respect and hopes to run their operation, but if they stay, she’ll be stuck in the kitchen. Nara works them without mercy, hoping they’ll run off, but begins to appreciate their grit, seeing something of herself in them.
The boys are made to cruelly round up wild horses for slaughter. When the horses are cut loose, Charles, who has been in trouble for fighting, is accused and jailed. Nara discovers he’s of age to hang and wanted in New York. Nara fears she cannot reform him, but to save him, she does something that cuts against her every fiber.
“This combines historical western, orphan train children, and some intrigue that sounds good.”
Orphaned young, Ming Tsu, the son of Chinese immigrants, is raised by the notorious leader of a California crime syndicate, who trains him to be his deadly enforcer. But when Ming falls in love with Ada, the daughter of a powerful railroad magnate, and the two elope, he seizes the opportunity to escape to a different life. Soon after, in a violent raid, the tycoon’s henchmen kidnap Ada and conscript Ming into service for the Central Pacific Railroad.
Battered, heartbroken, and yet defiant, Ming partners with a blind clairvoyant known only as the prophet. Together the two set out to rescue his wife and to exact revenge on the men who destroyed Ming, aided by a troupe of magic-show performers, some with supernatural powers, whom they meet on the journey. Ming blazes his way across the West, settling old scores with a single-minded devotion that culminates in an explosive and unexpected finale.
Written with the violent ardor of Cormac McCarthy and the otherworldly inventiveness of Ted Chiang, The Thousand Crimes of Ming Tsu is at once a thriller, a romance, and a story of one man’s quest for redemption in the face of a distinctly American brutality.
“This week the westerns caught my eye. This one sounds like it will have some good action with some supernatural elements.”
They Called Him Marvin by Roger Stark at Rose City Reader.
“They were the fathers we never knew, the uncles we never met, the friends who never returned, the heroes we can never repay. They gave us our world. And those simple sounds of freedom we hear today are their voices speaking to us across the years.” Bill Clinton Such a man was 1st Lt Dean Harold Sherman, B-29 Airplane Commander. “They Called Him Marvin” is a history. A history of war and of family. A history of the collision of the raging politics of a global war, young love, patriotism, sacred family commitments, duty and the horrors and tragedies, the catastrophe that war is. A reviewer explains: “I am a fan of historical fiction and this story did not disappoint. It was sweet, tragic, personal, and moving. Gradually and almost imperceptibly, the story of two wartime sweethearts begins circling the drain of a tragedy you know is coming. The book begins with the ending, but by the time you get there you have convinced yourself that it can’t possibly be the case. I enjoyed every moment, even the ones that left me in tears. The letters between Connie and Dean provided a fascinating glimpse into wartime life.
“This sounds fascinating.”
The Language of Light by Meg Waite Clayton at Book Reviews by Linda Moore.
Nelly Grace is starting over. With her two young sons, Nelly has fled to the simple stone house built by her great-grandfather in the moneyed horse country of Maryland in order to escape the grief of her husband’s death—and perhaps find a way back to her first love: photography. Easing her transition into this strange, mannered world is Emma Crofton, the grand matriarch of the foxhunting community, and Emma’s son, Dac, a handsome yet distant horse trainer. As Nelly slowly makes her way back to the camera, she must come to terms with her troubled relationship with her father, a photojournalist who chose fame over family. But when she finally sees him again, Nelly’s fragile new beginning is threatened by revelations of a secret past, and the fears that kept it hidden.
“I’ve read Clayton before, and I really enjoyed her prose. This sounds like another good read.”
What books caught your eyes this week?