Ann's Blog
Ann McCauley is a Pennsylvania women's literature author, who wrote the books Runaway Grandma and Mother Love, both available for sale at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

May 2023
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May Blog
Filed under: General
Posted by: Ann @ 2:59 pm
It feels like summer is already here in northwest Pennsylvania. I’m still potting plants, I hope you’re enjoying this early burst of warm weather, even though we still had a few serious frosts last week. I’ve also been hustling trying to clean windows, move furniture and doing some heavy duty cleaning. The days continue to slip by, evaporating like spilled water under the hot sun. But we are healthy and our glass is mostly at least half full, what more can we an expect?
We had two granddaughters graduating from college on the same day this month, one from Mansfield University in north central Pennsylvania - an elementary teaching degree. (She actually graduated last December and started teaching the next week but wanted to participate in the BIG walk. She’s also coaching pole vaulting, being a former champ when in high school, and a pole vaulting scholarship for college…) We had time for a nice lunch and she had to hurry off to coach a track meet. The other granddaughter is married with children and graduated from Penn State 13 years ago. She just finished her Nursing A.D. and will take her RN state boards next week. I didn’t make it to hers, she gave me a pass since it was a pinning ceremony. I do remember the importance of the pinning ceremony when I finished nursing; I felt sad I wasn’t able to get there on time. It was in Dubois, about five hours away from Mansfield.

I haven’t reviewed any books for awhile, but I did order two books to review from Story Circle today. It’s not that I haven’t been reading though…

Night Came With Many Stars by Simon Van Booy. Fiction. 2021. This was our book club choice for May and it generated a very good discussion. I copied this from the book’s back cover, because I couldn’t possibly have said it any better myself: “In rural Kentucky in 1933, Carol’s daddy lost his 13-year-old daughter in a game of cards. The author’s spellbinding novel spans decades as he tells the story of Carol and the people in her life across three generations. Incidents intersect and lives unexpectedly change course in this masterfully interwoven story of chance and choice that leads home again to a night blessed with light.” It’s a great book, much food for thought.

The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towels. Fiction. 2021. This novel has been on my stack of to-read books for several months. It’s a fascinating story that starts out with a bang and maintains the pace throughout the entire book. It’s set in middle America in June 1954, the entire story takes place in a span of ten days. Quirky characters are well-developed with wit and varying degrees of intellect. Back-stories weave skillfully through the book as these boys from vastly different backgrounds end up trusting and relying on each other through their many misadventures….until the fateful ending. I highly recommend this novel.

Libbie by Judy Alter. Historical Fiction. 1994. A novel of the life of Elizabeth Bacon Custer. The author won the prestigious Golden Spur and Western Heritage Awards for this novel. Judy Alter is a long-time member of Story Circle, I’ve met her ‘online’ only. I admire her work and found this paper back novel at a used book store in Maryland. It’s well written, with great character development,  page-turning pacing and is obviously incredibly well-researched. It shows the devotion of  George Custer’s wife and many sides to the flamboyant Custer’s self-involved personality. Definitely worth reading!  From the back cover: “Set against the vivid back drop of the American frontier, Libbie is a rich and unforgettable story filled with passion and suspense, danger and heartbreak…a story that breaths life into an extraordinary woman–a rare and remarkable love.”
The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys. Historical Fiction. 2019. The story begins in Madrid, Spain in 1957 under the oppressive dictatorship of Francisco Franco. It was the first book I’ve read by this author but it certainly won’t be my last. Inspired by the true post-war struggles of Spain, the author sheds light on a dark secret of recent Spanish history. The heart-wrenching story about the repercussions of war, unforgettable love, self-identity and the hidden violence of silence as she describes the anguish of the ‘lost babies’ between 1939 through the 1980’s. I also highly recommend this novel.

Too Late by Colleen Hoover. Fiction. 2016. A couple of my granddaughters have been raving about this writer for the last year or two. Finally one shared a copy of this book with me. I’ve noticed that Hoover’s books are consistently near the top of the best selling lists. And I was curious. I was shocked at first, then realized that some of the characters were well-developed and the plot had a few good twists. It reminded me of ‘50 Shades of Grey’.  Now my granddaughter is telling me I read the worst one first and is telling me to read another one. Hoover has written many. Guess it proves sex sells!

We still haven’t been to a movie for awhile. We wanted to see a couple that came and went before we had time to go. Now we await them on Netflix or Prime.

Till next time, keep reading my friends.
Later, Ann

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