Been quite some time since I've posted about a book I've read. Please don't take this to mean that I have not been reading...that's not the case. I guess I've not found anything that great to write about...until now!
I had thinned out my book collection last year and gotten rid of books that I've read that I was not going to read again and books that I had for a long time but really had no intention of reading. For some reason, I kept this ONE book out of a stack of unread books. I have no idea why. I knew nothing about the book but I just kept it. The other night, I decided I needed a break from new-house-ownership stuff and wanted to spend some quality time in the tub with a book before bed. However, I didn't have any library books...so I opened a box marked Books and had intended to grab a Potter to reread or something...but right on top, I found this: Blackbird by Jennifer Lauck.
Again, I had no idea what it was about, I thought it was just a novel about a childhood.
Jennifer Lauck is a really great author. The book is well-written, it's one of those that you just don't want to put down.
I'm not giving out any spoilers by saying that this book is about Jennifer's childhood, as it actually says right on the cover "New York Times Bestselling Memoir." However, the first thing I do when reading a hardback book is to take off the book cover. I don't know why, I just don't like the feel of the cover when I read. Maybe because it moves/slides a little? Regardless, first thing I did was take off the book cover and then settled into my new jacuzzi bathtub for a peaceful hour of relaxation..and I missed the part where it was a true story.
So when I got about halfway through the book, late that night, I was a bit surprised when someone referred to the dad in the story as Mr. Lauck. I am pretty sure I haven't read a novel where the author uses his/her last name within the story for a character. Strange. And then I got towards the end of the book (the next night) and someone called the main character, who had been called "Juniper" or Jenny, "Jennifer Lauck" - and then the entire book changed!! It's a true story??!!
Anyway, the book is so heart-wrenching, but even more so when you factor in the reality of it. It's a sad tale of Jennifer's childhood, up to age 11. She went through some REALLY crazy stuff. To say she had a bad childhood is putting it mildly.
It's such an endearing book and started making me think that I should be looking into helping foster children. Jennifer was not in foster care, but it is a reminder of how many children there are out there who do not have a stable home. We are so fortunate to have what we have, we should be giving back when we can.
Jennifer is a great author and I highly recommend reading Blackbird. I am picking up the next book she has written, titled "Still Waters" from the library tomorrow (I put a hold on it the day I finished Blackbird). "Still Waters" picks up where Blackbird left off, and I hope that she had some good things in the next decade of her life to make up for the tragedies she endured in the first decade.
Have you read Blackbird? Did you love it? How could you not??