Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Myra Sims by Janis Owens

It has been raining since Sunday; the ground is sodden and tree limbs are falling here in our verdant corner of Florida. It's a good time to take cover and settle in with a book if you can. Janis Owens' trilogy about the Catts family (My Brother Michael, Myra Sims, and The Schooling of Claybird Catts) is an engaging saga about a tenacious West Florida family. Owens brilliantly captures the hot and piney landscape of this part of the Sunshine State as well as the cracker mannerisms of its inhabitants. The title character, Myra Sims, is a survivor; she has endured much in her life--a rough childhood, mental illness, loss of a husband--and has emerged even stronger. Each book in this trilogy, though covering the same events, is narrated by a different character, and Myra Sims' voice is the best of the three. Her narration is so authentic in tone, I felt I knew this woman, and in fact, I've met many like her in real life--unpretentious, organized, resilient. But, in this case, as a reader, I also get to know the dark secrets of her past, the juicy details. Don't you just love reading?

I've slowed down a bit on the blog recently because I just finished writing a novel. Hallelujah! Who knows what happens from here. (Well, lots of editing, for sure.) I'm just glad to finish something I started. More on this later.

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