Currently reading

Eleven
Paul Hanley
A Month in the Country
Michael Holroyd, J.L. Carr
A Tale of the Dispossessed: A Novel
Laura Restrepo, Dolores M. Koch
Mesabi Pioneers
Jeffrey Smith, Russell Hill
The Crusades Through Arab Eyes
Jon Rothschild, Amin Maalouf
Island of a Thousand Mirrors
Nayomi Munaweera
The Sound of Glass - Karen White

This is a sit-back-and-sip-your-sweet-tea-and-meander-through-the-story kind of book.  There's a lot of folksy wisdom in it, italicized and recorded by a Lauralee, who's making a book of advice for her young son.  The language conjures South Carolina in the summer, and the alternating viewpoints, an Alabama native and a northerner from Maine, allow us to see it from both sides of the Mason Dixon line.  The characters in the active present in the story are sweet people I enjoyed spending time with.  I really enjoyed reading this book, and it just made me feel cuddly and cozy all over.

That being said, there were a few things that keep it from being a 5-star.  Mostly that the author lacks, um, subtlety.  Like there are flashing neon signs in the text:  "Symbolism!! That was Symbolism!" or "Foreshadowing!  Pay Attention!".  The foreshadowing was so heavy that the entire plot is revealed by about 20% of the way through, so this is not a novel of suspense. Even though the plot is beyond your average, every-day believable.  But honestly, that made me enjoy it all the more.  It's not a mystery.  But it's a good read.  I was able to go slow and enjoy the language since I was pretty sure of what lay around the next bend in the road.