A friend of mine was asking me for some book recommendations. She's in that lull that often comes when you've finished a good book and don't have something else waiting for you right away. And she wanted a couple because she's due to have her baby any day now and you always need a good stack that you can readily go to when you know you're going to be to busy to get out and find things at the library.
Besides, I don't look for books for myself at the library anymore. I get "looks" from the librarians about having 2 young children on the adult floor. Library hold is the only way to go anymore, but that means you have to know what you want.
Back to the subject at hand -- after getting a feel for what she likes, I ransacked my boxes that have been tucked away and pulled out a few. Of course it took me more time than it should have -- I kept reminiscing over wonderful books and put aside a pile (promptly knocked over by the crawler and then delightfully spread around by the 3-year old) to re-read.
And in doing all this: I realized I need a better system for recommendations. It will still be highly personal and subjective (because there's no way for it NOT to be) but it will be more clear. And it's coming soon -- after the 4th of July holiday probably.
In the meantime, one of the books I gave her was David Baldacci's Wish You Well.
Baldacci apparently mostly writes law thrillers (or is it science thrillers -- I've never read any others of his) and has A LOT of books published under that genre. This one has a law element (so I'm pretty sure it's law thrillers), but is a touching, wonderful, growing-up story of sorts.
The main characters (see above) lose their father and partially lose their mother in a car crash. Their only living relative left is a great-Aunt but they must move from populated city to rural mountain Virginia to live with her. The story is about adjusting to a new life, growing up, coming to terms with yourself, and finding healing. It's not action and adventure but it keeps you reading. There is suspense, love, anger, forgiveness . . . am I sounded so vague I'm on the verge of cliche?
It also made me want to see the places where this novel is set -- his description is clear and beautiful.
And it's worth a re-read because it's wonderful.