If you ask me the single best thing about retirement, I would likely respond that I now have time to read as much as I want. I love books. I cannot remember a time when I did not own and cherish books. My taste in books tends to change with the seasons. During winter I read novels with more complex plots and rather heavy non-fiction. Somehow I enjoy them more in front of a fire with a cup of tea or coffee.
But when the winter turns to spring, my reading habits lighten up along with the daylight hours. During the transition I try to find books by authors whom I have not read. I prefer books by southern writers and particularly favor those in North Carolina. An added bonus is when the setting of the book is North Carolina, especially the mountains.
I found the perfect "transition" book in the form of A Land More Kind Than Home by Wiley Cash. This is Cash's first novel and it is clear that he knows the people of western NC.
Told in the first person by three different characters, the book gives us a taste of mountain folk and their ways. Jess is a young boy who sees things happen at home and at church...things he was never meant to see. Adelaide who in her seventies has seen and heard the preacher and members of the church over many years. Clem, the middle-aged sheriff sets about finding the truth about a young boy's death and also about his own feelings and past griefs.
Cash develops the characters and the plot lines very well. Each of them becomes important and the story flows nicely. Although unsettling at times, this book is a good read. I will look forward to more books by Wiley Cash. You can read more about Cash and the book here.
TOTALLY CHANGING HORSES MID-STREAM:
And I'm writing this because I truly don't understand it. I must be the only person in the country that just doesn't get it. A video goes viral and an adult school bus monitor is seen on the video being verbally abused by teen-aged boys. Within days she has appeared on every "news" show. Contributions poured in (currently more than half a million dollars) along with free airline tickets, etc.
Now, I do understand that the teens were horrible. They said horrible things and no doubt made the woman feel terrible. But does being on the receiving end of this taunting qualify her as a hero? Or deserving of large sums of money? Believe me I truly do have empathy for this woman...but...wasn't she supposed to be the bus monitor? Perhaps I totally misunderstand the concept of school bus monitor. But I kinda thought it was an adult to monitor behavior on the bus and to stop this sort of thing before it escalates. Would she have remained so passive were the boys yelling like that at another student? Perhaps an adolescent girl? If so, why bother having her as a monitor on the bus? I'm serious here...I don't get it and if you can enlighten me (preferably without calling me a heartless stupid bitch) I honestly would like to understand. Really.