Sometimes the most unusual stories are the ones that you most enjoy. And that was the case for me with this one. It’s odd, but in an intriguing way. Part commentary on the state of guns in America, but also a reflection of social divisions, it’s one young girl’s tale of living life on the fringe of mainstream society.
Pearl and her mother are homeless. Have been for as long as Pearl can remember. Well, technically they’re homeless. They do have a very large car to live in. Parked outside a trailer park in Florida, it holds everything they own in the world.
During Pearl’s young life she’s witnessed far too much. All around her she sees poverty and deceit and crime. Oh and the guns. They’re everywhere. Her relationships, and some friendships, with the residents of the trailer part are very much entwined with the presence of guns. There’s no way this kind of a story can have a happy ending.
This is a very different kind of story. It’s lyrical with beautiful language throughout. Farfetched and improbable? Maybe. But most stories are.
Sarasota Dreams is the compilation of three novellas. Each novella focuses on a Mennonite man and woman and their search for romance.
I like Amish/Mennonite fiction, and Debby Mayne writes it well. I appreciated that we could see what the men AND women were thinking. Abe had to figure out how to make Mary trust him. Jeremiah had to prove his faithfulness to God before Shelley would let herself fall in love, and Charles had to commit to becoming Mennonite so Ruthie’s reputation wouldn’t suffer.
Besides the romances being very well written, Mayne illustrated her knowledge of the Mennonite lifestyle without making the novellas feel like documentaries. The reader gets more than a glimpse of small business management (diner and souvenir shop), farming, and church life.
These were three lovely, realistic, fun, clean romances. The loyalty to family and community was comforting, and the food sounded delicious. Bring on some coconut cream pie!
Home to Seaview Key, second in a series, will be released January 28. It’s a charming tale of a small island with grassroots businesses, opinionated grandmothers, and a strong sense of community. Abby returns there to find herself. Seth moves there to mentally recuperate after fighting in Afghanistan. They share their broken hearts and decide to give friendship – or maybe more – a chance.
I enjoyed the characters and the plot, loved the whimsy of the oldest Seaview Key generation, and appreciated the realism of the ups and downs in a new relationship. However, the story was a little flat. There wasn’t enough intensity, and lots of things were glossed over with an explanation instead of showing what happened. It was a nice, enjoyable story but not one I was particularly excited reading. You’ll enjoy it if you’re looking for a low-key, easy read to relax with.