One-sentence summary: A family takes off after a brother/son on the run from the law and learns much about themselves and others on their journey.
B.A.D. Girls Book Rating: 7
Our favorite thing about it: The writing was beautiful and such a pleasure to read or listen to.
Our least favorite thing about it: Some parts of the ending. (The one death we wish hadn’t happened.)
Main Topics of Discussion: Imagery, writing style, brothers/siblings, ethics, 1960’s, asthma, prophets, miracles/disbelief
Our favorite quote: “Is there a single person on whom I can press belief? No sir. All I can do is say, Here’s how it went. Here’s what I saw. I’ve been there and am going back. Make of it what you will.”
Notes: We really enjoyed reading this book with it’s lyrical prose and engaging story. When we peeked beyond the surface story to the images and the ethics and the revelations about people, we loved it even more. Here are some of the things we discussed:
- Again, we loved the writing style. We thought it was very heavy on imagery, but somehow remained approachable and light. We did not feel bogged down in any of it, but rather enamored with how the words elicited very specific thoughts, feelings, and images in our minds…just as great writing does. I describe it as lyrical because it was very near poetic at almost every turn.
- We all thought the 1960’s time period was not overtly stated (except maybe once), but felt through the details and prevailing attitudes of the characters. We loved that. We haven’t often read a book set in this time period and it was interesting.
- We discussed miracles for a long time because it is a major part of the book. We liked suspending disbelief when we read and following along with all the miracles that happened and the special powers their father possessed. Magical realism is fun to read if you buy in wholeheartedly, which we did.
- The way asthma was described, we felt that we had all experienced it by the end of the book. This speaks to the brilliant writing again, but we were amazed at how we felt asthmatic when we were reading those parts.
- Ethics played a part time and time again as characters were learning the motives of others and deciding what the right thing to do would be in each (far from black and white) situation.
- We loved reading the book from the kids’ perspective. It was a fun and interesting way to view the world and the story. We learned about individuals and humans as a whole as the kids did. Great narrator for the story.
- There were so many other things we loved: how Roxanne became beautiful when they came to know her so well, how their dad sacrificed his life for his son, how breathing was a strong image in the book from beginning to end, and how complex people are.
Memorable Meeting Moments: It was Stephanie’s birthday month, so she received birthday cards and books. We talked (some more) about the election this year. Boy do we have some thoughts!
What We Ate: Cheese dips with crackers, White Bean and Ham Tortellini Soup, cheese and garlic bread, Arugula salad with cranberries and feta, and homemade cheesecake with various toppings.