Happy Fri-YAY, SEers! Mae here with a Friday Book Share. These posts are all about sharing books that reached out and gobsmacked us. At least, that’s how I think of it. And maybe, by sharing a few of these reads, you might be enticed to add a title or two to your (gargantuan) TBR.
I’ve read a LOT of good books—that can’t be emphasized enough—but for this, I wanted a recent read that left me with my jawing hanging open (okay, that’s not the best picture, but you get the idea). After some thought, I whittled my choice down to two books–one I read in January, and one I read in April. They’ve both been hanging around in my head since I finished them—the hallmark of a good book. Since I couldn’t decide between the two, I decided to cheat and share both.
DESERT FLOWERS by Paul Pen
Rose and Elmer have created an idyllic sanctuary for themselves and their five daughters in Mexico’s Baja California desert. Out there in the middle of nowhere, blissfully cut off from the burdens of modern society, they’re free to raise their beautiful family…and preserve its secret.
And they’re never giving it up.
Then a young hiker named Rick comes looking for a place to stay. It’s just for the night, he says—but long enough for Rose and Elmer to fear they’ve made a horrible mistake. As the stranger grows more intrusive and more suspicious, the couple know they must do what they can to protect themselves. What they don’t know is that Rick has a secret, too. Soon, home and family will prove to be as cold and dark as the desert nights. And even with so many places to run, there’s still no escape from the past that binds them.
A haunting story. I read this in January and the characters and plot still swirl around in my head. The desert descriptions are vivid and beautiful, yet the book reads as a page-turner. The story is strange, creepy, idyllic, and wrong—all the complexities that leave me in awe of an author’s ability to weave a tale that is engrossing, lyrical, and repulsive. Yes, you read that correctly. One of my favorite reads of 2018, and probably for a long time to come.
And in a totally different genre:
THE FLEECING OF FORT GRIFFIN by Preston Lewis
When the young Englishman Baron Jerome Manchester Paget arrives in 1878 Fort Griffin with a satchel full of money to start a buffalo ranch and find a bride, a horde of colorful swindlers from throughout Texas arrive to help him. With a passel of oddball characters and more twists and turns than a stagecoach trail, “The Fleecing of Fort Griffin” pits the baron against crooked gamblers, a one-eyed gunfighter, a savvy marshal, conniving females and a worldly stump preacher. To stay rich, the baron must stay alive! Written by Spur Award-winning author Preston Lewis, a master of western plot twists and humor, “The Fleecing of Fort Griffin” takes readers on an unconventional and uproarious journey through the Old West.
From the moment I saw this book cover and read the blurb I knew I was destined to fall in love. Give me an assortment of quirky characters and a fish out of water, and I’m pretty much a goner.
The plot is hilarious and multi-layered with so many clever twists and turns you could use a score card. I haven’t enjoyed a book this much in a long time, and I fully see this novel being one I will return to read again and again. It’s that good! A rip-roaring romp with a jaw-dropping ending not to be missed. Break out the popcorn. This one is sheer, applause-worthy fun!
I hope you enjoyed my book choices today. I know these reads might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I highly recommend both. Thanks for checking out my selections. I’d love to hear your comments about them, or what your “book share” selection would be!