Friday Finds -- Mar 19, 2010

Friday, March 19, 2010

Friday Finds

This meme is hosted by MizB at Should be reading. What great books did you hear about/discover this past week?

My finds

Enrique's Journey by Sonia Nazario

Helen @ Helen's Book Blog reviewed this book this past week. The book's synopsis reminded me of the movie, Sin Nombre, which I watched and loved, last year. I was happy to see a book delving on similar themes of illegal immigration into the US.

When Enrique is five years old, his mother, Lourdes, too poor to feed her children, leaves Honduras to work in the United States. The move allows her to send money back home to Enrique so he can eat better and go to school past the third grade.

Lourdes promises Enrique she will return quickly. But she struggles in America. Years pass. He begs for his mother to come back. Without her, he becomes lonely and troubled. When she calls, Lourdes tells him to be patient. Enrique despairs of ever seeing her again. After eleven years apart, he decides he will go find her.


Enrique sets off alone from Tegucigalpa, with little more than a slip of paper bearing his mother’s North Carolina telephone number. Without money, he will make the dangerous and illegal trek up the length of Mexico the only way he can–clinging to the sides and tops of freight trains.


With gritty determination and a deep longing to be by his mother’s side, Enrique travels through hostile, unknown worlds. Each step of the way through Mexico, he and other migrants, many of them children, are hunted like animals. Gangsters control the tops of the trains. Bandits rob and kill migrants up and down the tracks. Corrupt cops all along the route are out to fleece and deport them. To evade Mexican police and immigration authorities, they must jump onto and off the moving boxcars they call El Tren de la Muerte–The Train of Death. Enrique pushes forward using his wit, courage, and hope–and the kindness of strangers. It is an epic journey, one thousands of immigrant children make each year to find their mothers in the United States.

 

I saw this one at Shelf Awareness, and thought its synopsis to be highly mysterious and inviting.

It is the middle of the twentieth century, and in a home economics program at a prominent university, real babies are being used to teach mothering skills to young women. For a young man raised in these unlikely circumstances, finding real love and learning to trust will prove to be the work of a lifetime. In this captivating novel, bestselling author Lisa Grunwald gives us the sweeping tale of an irresistible hero and the many women who love him.
 
From his earliest days as a “practice baby” through his adult adventures in 1960s New York City, Disney’s Burbank studios, and the delirious world of the Beatles’ London, Henry remains handsome, charming, universally adored—and never entirely accessible to the many women he conquers but can never entirely trust.

 
Filled with unforgettable characters, settings, and action, The Irresistible Henry House portrays the cultural tumult of the mid-twentieth century even as it explores the inner tumult of a young man trying to transcend a damaged childhood. For it is not until Henry House comes face-to-face with the real truths of his past that he finds a chance for real love.


Paint It Black by Janet Fitch

Having finished White Oleander, I was immediately on the lookout for other books by Janet Fitch. I read mixed reviews about this one, but I am still curious to know how this is, having loved White Oleander.

Josie Tyrell, art model, runaway, and denizen of LA's rock scene finds a chance at real love with Michael Faraday, a Harvard dropout and son of a renowned pianist. But when she receives a call from the coroner, asking her to identify her lover's body, her bright dreams all turn to black.

As Josie struggles to understand Michael's death and to hold onto the world they shared, she is both attracted to and repelled by his pianist mother, Meredith, who blames Josie for her son's torment. Soon the two women are drawn into a twisted relationship that reflects equal parts distrust and blind need.

With the luxurious prose and fever pitch intensity that are her hallmarks, Janet Fitch weaves a spellbinding tale of love, betrayal, and the possibility of transcendence.

12 comments:

bermudaonion said...

Great finds! The Irresistible Henry House caught my eye too. I hope you have a great weekend!

Kaye said...

Wow, Paint it Black sounds intense!
Good find. Have a great week and happy reading!

hcmurdoch said...

Thank you for mentioning my post. It made me realize I'd forgotten to include the plot summary (duh me!).

tarynwanderer said...

I can definitely see echoes of White Oleander in Paint it Black--twisted female relationships ahoy! But I was really struck by Enrique's Journey. Have you seen the movie "Which Way Home?" It's a documentary about child migrants from Mexica and Honduras and is really powerful.

My Friday Find is here!

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

I love the 50s style cover of number 2

Alayne said...

Paint it Black looks good. I still haven't read my copy of White Oleander though.

My Friday Find is at The Crowded Leaf. I'm also seeing if anyone would be intersted in an Alice Hoffman challenge!

StephTheBookworm said...

I've got Henry House on my TBR list too. It looks so interesting and strange! I love the sound of it.

Diane said...

This first 2 look and sound amazing. Thanks Aths.

I did read Paint it Black, and liked it but not as much as White Oleander.

thanks for these picks.

Alyce said...

Enrique's Journey sounds heartbreaking. I think the Henry House book looks good too!

tinylittlelibrarian said...

Henry House sounds great, thanks for including it. I have a feeling it'll be on my FF next week....

Feathered Quill Book Reviews said...

great finds, thanks for posting!

Have a great weekend. :)

Dana said...

I love all of your finds. After reading your White Oleander review, I'd definitely like to try something else by Fitch.