By Kathleen Pohlig
The Good Girl and Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica
Having recently read two novels by author Mary Kubica, I want to tell you a bit about each of the books in hopes that you will give this young author a try. Kubica’s first book, The Good Girl, came out in the summer of 2014 with Pretty Baby following a year later. Written in a similar style with chapters in the voices of various characters and going backward and forward in time, it takes just a short time to fall into the flow of the narrative. Kubica is a genius at tying the story together while advancing new information just when the reader needs it. I enjoyed it when she inserted little bits of information that turned the story in new directions. Each book has a big surprise at or near the end; I hope you won’t peek ahead and ruin the tension before you get there!
The Good Girl revolves around the kidnapping of a young woman who is the daughter of a prominent Chicago judge. The actual kidnapper never follows through on the planned series of events, so everything from then on (most of the book) feels tense and uncertain, as even he doesn’t know how to resolve the situation that has resulted from his actions. He holds the girl captive in a remote northern Minnesota cabin so it is easy to picture the setting and the difficulties they face with winter coming.
Pretty Baby is set in Chicago. Heidi, married and mother of a 12-year-old girl, has always longed for another baby but due to health issues has not had a larger family. She has a soft spot in her heart for every living thing. Much to the surprise and extreme displeasure of her husband and daughter, she brings a homeless teen and baby home with her one day … and from there on, as they say, “the plot thickens”!” What begins as an act of kindness and generosity quickly spirals into a story far more twisted than anyone could have anticipated.
A third novel by Kubica is due in May. Don’t You Cry is sure to be another suspenseful, hard-to-put-down psychological thriller that I look forward to reading! These fast-paced novels will keep you guessing and may keep you up late into the night because you just have to find out what happens next!
Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow
By Sarah Wethern
This is a biography about Alexander Hamilton, the man on the $10 bill and one of the founding fathers of the United States.
I liked this book very much! I’m going to see Hamilton on Broadway in New York City in April and I wanted to understand more of the references that are found in the musical. Alexander Hamilton is a fascinating man.
If you like biographies of historical figures, this is one not to miss!
Sarah Wethern of Alexandria is the youth librarian for the Douglas County Library, proud pet owner and Broadway musical aficionado!
The Red River of the North series by Lauraine Snelling
By Wanda Cooley
This series of historical fiction books is about two families who immigrated to North Dakota from Norway. The husbands lost their lives to sickness and a snowstorm in the first winter. Their widows decided to stay in the Dakotas.
Eventually, both remarried and were instrumental in developing a town named Blessing.
The book series tells of the hardships the women endured.
They are an easy read and hold your interest. I was particularly interested because my great-grandparents were from Norway and settled in the same area. The story helps you realize what our ancestors endured. I highly recommend the entire series!
Wanda Cooley of Alexandria is a retiree who enjoys reading, quilting, knitting, counted cross stitch and baking. She has four children, 16 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren that also keep her busy.