Sandra Kring — a new favorite

Yes, I’m back.  It’s been a crazy couple of weeks over here with working, birthdays, visiting grandparents, conferences, and Daisy meetings.  I applaud you full-time working parents out there.  I don’t know how you hold it together.  I only work part-time and I am way overwhelmed.

Anyway, back to books.  Our book club chose a Sandra Kring book this month, Thank You for All Things.  I was thrilled with this selection because I had read The Book of Bright Ideas and loved it!  And, I wasn’t disappointed with this new book.  After these two novels, I’m putting Sandra Kring on my must-read author list.  I don’t have a long list of these, either!

This story is told from an 11-year-old’s perspective.  Lucy is a very bright girl with a genius twin brother.  They live with their single mother in Chicago and are home-schooled.  They move to Timber Falls to help their Oma take care of their dying grandfatther (whom they’ve never met).  While there,  Lucy decides she wants to know all about her family, something her mother has not shared with her.  She sets out to do her own investigating and must deal with her new knowledge.

Sandra Kring did a fabulous job telling the story from an 11-year-old’s perspective.  You can tell the girl is very bright (IQ-144) and you can also tell that she doesn’t get out much.  Lucy is funny and insightful.  I love her and would love to know her in real life.  Of course, she has her annoying preteen moments and it just adds to the believability of the story.

As for the other characters, they are all well done.  Oma is my other favorite character.  She’s a riot and has come a long way since the years of being married to Lucy’s grandfather.  It was a little odd that she wanted to help him as he was dying as I learned the past from reading, but her personality did make it all possible. 

I found the mother a complex character.  This woman did suffer and is, understandably, “scarred.”  What I liked about the book was that, by the end, only small change was occurring.  It didn’t end with everything perfect, but it’s a good ending.  I remember that as something good about The Book of Bright Ideas. 

One thing that was a little “weird” was the timing of the novel.  There are definite hints throughout the novel that the book takes place in the present (2006?).  But, as I was reading, I found that the setting and some the descriptions of the kids gave me the impression that it was happening in the 50s-60s.  Maybe it was the innoncence of the kids.

Anyway, for a good, touching read, check out Sandra Kring.  I’m out to find her other book, Carry Me Home.  Has anyone else read this one?

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Don’t forget to return on Thursday for my review of The Memorist, my interview with MJ Rose, and a giveaway for both The Reincarnationist and The Memorist.

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5 responses to “Sandra Kring — a new favorite

  1. I totally agree with you. I read both of these books too and loved them! I actually saw CARRY ME HOME at Costco a few weeks ago and almost picked it up. I heard that one just might be better than the two we love!

  2. I’m heading right out to pick it up at the library. Sounds like this is a great way to start my newfound freedom to read. I love characters that jump right off the page and it sounds like the ending is a well balanced mix of “conclusion” and potential change. Great review!

  3. I might have to try this myself!

  4. I haven’t read anything by Kring but I’ve heard good things about her books. This one sounds interesting, and I enjoyed your review.

    I have a full-time job and an 8 year old and I get up at 4 am every morning and don’t come home til 5:30. Some days I don’t know how I do it either, but I just plug along. I hope things are slowing down for you and you’ll feel less overwhelmed soon. Wait…what am I saying? The holidays are fast approaching. 😉

  5. I’ve not read anything by this author and am definitely putting this one on my list. It sounds really charming.

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