Throwback Thursday 1/7

Happy New Year!

I discovered Throwback Thursday on my friend Carla Loves To Read page.

Throwback Thursday meme is hosted by Renee@It’s Book Talk and is a way to share some of your old favorites as well as sharing books that you’re FINALLY getting around to reading that were published over a year ago. You know, the ones waiting patiently on your TBR list while you continue to pile more titles on top of them! These older books are usually much easier than new releases to get a hold of at libraries and elsewhere. If you have your own Throwback Thursday recommendation feel free to jump on board and connect back to Renee’s blog.

Synopsis

Running. That’s all that Ghost (real name Castle Cranshaw) has ever known. But never for a track team. Nope, his game has always been ball. But when Ghost impulsively challenges an elite sprinter to a race — and wins — the Olympic medalist track coach sees he has something: crazy natural talent. Thing is, Ghost has something else: a lot of anger, and a past that he is trying to outrun. Can Ghost harness his raw talent for speed and meld with the team, or will his past finally catch up to him?

My Thoughts

This book was read as part of my 2020 Pop Sugar Challenge. It qualified for the prompt of “A book with the same name as a movie that it’s not related to.” It was also one of the books I acquired during BookCon 2019 so I also had the pleasure of meeting Jason Reynolds which made me more excited to read this book. I have to say that I enjoyed it enough that I went on to listen to the rest of the series narrated by Guy Lockard and Heather Alicia Simms.

Each of the books in the Track series is named after one of the track members and is told from their perspective. Reynolds uses their life experiences to show how they have overcome. We get to see what the sport means to them and how people like Coach and have positively impacted their lives and helped these kids grow and flourish. The whole concept of “community” is exemplified here and it’s wonderful to see the kids lean on each other as members of their village.

I would whole heartedly recommend this series to middle grade children but found myself entertained as an adult. Other books by Jason Reynolds that are worth reading are Long Way Down*, Stamped: Racism, Antiracism and You and For Every One.

*1/4/21 – Long Way Down is currently free through Kindle Unlimited.


Throwback Pic

Young boy attending Martin Luther King Jr’s “I Have a Dream” speech, 28th Aug 1963. I have not been able to find the name of the photographer to credit.

Throwback Thursday 12/17

I discovered Throwback Thursday on my friend Carla Loves To Read page.

Throwback Thursday meme is hosted by Renee@It’s Book Talk and is a way to share some of your old favorites as well as sharing books that you’re FINALLY getting around to reading that were published over a year ago. You know, the ones waiting patiently on your TBR list while you continue to pile more titles on top of them! These older books are usually much easier than new releases to get a hold of at libraries and elsewhere. If you have your own Throwback Thursday recommendation feel free to jump on board and connect back to Renee’s blog.

This week I looked toward my December Get It Done goals and decided to read a book that has been on my TBR for over a year. The Girl Made of Clay has been on my GoodReads shelf since August 29th 2018. I won it in a GoodReads giveaway and don’t even remember why I never got around to reading it. But here I am cleaning up my messes and making good on my promises if albeit I am a day late and a dollar short.

Synopsis

An emotional exploration of the frayed bond between a father and daughter…and what it takes to mend it.

After Sara’s father, famous sculptor Thomas “TR” Harlow, is badly injured in a fire, she’s suddenly forced to care for a man who is more of a stranger than a parent. Once known as his muse, Sara long ago lost her father to his desire to live the celebrity life.

Now TR’s abrasive and unpredictable presence in her home is reopening old wounds—and causing the rift in her already-strained marriage to deepen. As her young son begins bonding with the grandfather he never knew, Sara must decide if she can find it within herself to forgive the man who broke her heart all those years ago. Will she walk away from a chance to rebuild what was lost, or will she find, by bringing her father back to health, that healing can come in many forms?

My Thoughts

I won Girl Made of Clay in a GoodReads giveaway. I’m reading it as part of my December “Get It Done 2020” challenge where I am working towards completing reading tasks and tidying up my TBR.

This story opens up with a terrible fire in which TR Harlow, famous sculptor and artist, is burned over a significant part of his body. But he has burnt all of his bridges and he’s lost most of his money. Instead of living this celebrity life that he’s led in his heyday he’s now pretty much by himself. We also get the sense that he is not telling the authorities the truth about how the fire got started. It’s obvious that he is hiding something. When he’s asked who will come to the hospital to retrieve him and act as his caretaker, in a medicated stupor, he gives the name of his estranged daughter. These opening moments are tense as Sara is unsure of what to do. She hasn’t seen her father in years. When he left the family when she was young and vulnerable. She was his muse. And yet he left her with a mother who suffered from mental illness. Most of her formative years were in distress. If her mother didn’t abuse her, in the very least she neglected her. Knowing this, how could TR simple walk away? For her there are deep wounds. And each time she saw him celebrating his successes it felt like he was purposefully rubbing salt into these wounds.

Sara is not sure if she can forgive TR for her lost childhood. She had to grow up really fast and usually her mother’s needs came first. Now in her present life as a wife and a mother she still puts herself last. She still is finding herself in a position where other people aren’t putting her first either.

Does she leave the past to rest and reconcile with her father? How does she express the pain and abandonment issues she has to this stranger who shares her blood? Can she trust him enough to be vulnerable and open up her heart to a second chance?

Meier takes her time showing us this emotional journey. We get to see how these past transgressions affect both father and daughter and the long lasting ripple effects these wounds have on their current relationships. Personally, I feel like there should have been more said by TR. I don’t feel as if his explanation was enough or that his character was held accountable for his actions in the past or the present. I also feel as if Sara’s husband was lacking as well. I truly think that Meier took the easy way out with these men, oversimplifying their behaviors and not holding them to task.


Throwback Pic

Audrey Hepburn Photographed by Richard Avedon 1953

Signing off. Hope we get to talk books soon!