Katie Arrington, our VP Chapter Wellness, shares her favorite reads at the moment!
1. The Shack by William Paul Young
Summary: Willie, the story’s narrator, introduces his friend Mackenzie Allen Phillips. Mack had a difficult childhood; his father, a violent alcoholic, terrorized Mack and his family. As an adult, Mack is still haunted by those memories, but he has found happiness with his wife Nan and their five children. The main story opens on a snowy day. Mack watches the snow from his home office, though the beauty of nature can't lift his depression, which he thinks of as The Great Sadness. Mack goes to the mailbox to find a note inviting him up to the shack next weekend, signed “Papa.” It sends Mack a chill of anger and fear. Nan calls to say that she’s worried about Kate, the couple’s oldest daughter, who has been distant. Nan says she is praying to Papa—her nickname for God—for answers. My Opinion: The Shack is a wonderful book based on a true story! In recent years they came out with a movie, and it is incredible. I loved the book because it allows you to see that even through the most unimaginable tragedy God is still with you and cares for you. He wants to have a relationship with you!
2. Where the Crawdads Sing Summary: Kya is known in her town as the “Marsh Girl.” She grows up in a shack out in the marshes bordering a small village on the coast of North Carolina. Her mother and her four older siblings all leave to get away from their abusive father, leaving her behind to fend for herself. Eventually, her father disappears as well. Where the Crawdads Sing is part bildungsroman and part crime drama, centered around Kya, a wild and unkempt girl. The book follows the ups and downs of her life. She lives a lonely life, but her story is a hopeful one as well. With a little help, she’s able to survive and even learn to read. Despite her status as an outcast, her natural beauty catches the eye of two men in town. However, when the body of Chase Andrews, the local hotshot, is discovered in the marshes, she quickly becomes a prime suspect. The fragile life she has struggled and fought so hard to build is at risk. My Opinion: This is hands down one of my top five favorite books! From the second you start reading, it grabs your attention and creates an environment where you cannot put the book down. Every chapter has a twist or turn and really makes you feel like you know the characters one-on-one. If you have not read in awhile, this is a great one to start out with!
3. Big Little Lies Summary: It Follows three friendly women who are at different crossroads in their lives. Madeline Mackenzie is a sassy single mother who is resentful of her daughter; Celeste Wright is a world-class beauty hiding a turbulent relationship with her husband; Jane Chapman is a young single mother who just moved to town carrying a dark secret from her past. When a mysterious death occurs, forcing each woman to confront her traumatic history, a harrowing chain of events takes place that allows each woman to find strength and to forge a healing path. My Opinion: Big Little Lies, I'm not going to lie, it is really hard to get into at first. It does start off slow, but WOW does this book have a lot of plot twists. Once I reached the chapter towards the middle where things really started to take off, I was hooked. I am glad I didn't skip all the beginning chapters because all of that background information is so important for the plot of the book. They recently make it an HBO show, I have not watched it yet though!
4. Desperation Road Summary: For eleven years the clock has been ticking for Russell Gaines as he sits in Parchman Penitentiary in the Mississippi Delta. His sentence is now up, and he believes his debt has been paid. But when he returns home, he soon discovers that revenge lives and breathes all around him. On the same day that Russell is released from prison, a woman named Maben and her young daughter trudge along the side of the interstate under the punishing summer sun. My Opinion: This book is written by Michael Smith from Columbus, Mississippi! Even though it is not a true story, you can still tell that the author really incorporated a lot of unique details from his childhood and about the state itself. The book is very heartfelt and makes you feel for the characters a lot. It was an easy read and I finished it in in 3 days, another good one if you have not read in a while!
Hope you enjoy these reads!