Saturday, August 4, 2012

Guest Post: Meagan's "Must-Read" Book Recommendations

When I got married last year and moved to SoCal, I knew no one related to the Marine Corps.  However, throughout the summer and past year, I have met so many wonderful folks who are exemplary significant others to their military partners.  Meagan is one of those amazing young women.  She and I managed the homefront, miles away from each other, as our husbies were deployed to Afghanistan.  As we were both wrapping up our college degrees, we would share text messages, Facebook chats and vent about balancing school, work and having the men of our dreams so far away.
The lovely Miss Meagan

We love to craft, creep on E-news, spend hours on Pinterest and are both avid readers. 
Here are some of her must-read book recommendations:

The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

The Poisonwood Bible is my grandmother's favorite book. My mom, grandma and all of my aunts have this unspoken rule that if you read a good book, you give it to the next person and so on. So one of those books was The Poisonwood Bible. It's a book about a family of six that go on a Baptist mission to the Congo to help share the word of God to the Congolese. They pack their Americanized treasures, but as they live through their experience, they find out the true meaning of survival. The story is set up as journal entries in which each of the four daughters, as well as the mother, write thoughts, feelings, stories, and such for the audience. My favorite character was one of the twins (I can't remember her name), who had a verbal and physical disability. Her sister was the bigger twin and basically took over the room in the womb so that she was born with a few shortcomings. Her writing was initially difficult for me to read and understand, but after reading slowly, I started to learn from her and the way she views the world and it's people. I laughed, cried, was sick to my stomach, enraged, joyous, everything. The way it's written is so personal that you can't help but share in every journey and every emotion.

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

A Thousand Splendid Suns was one that really hit home for me the last time I read it. It's the story of a young girl born to a maid who had an affair with her master. They were shunned but when she grew older, she ran away to visit him. He ended up selling her hand in marriage to this awful fat man who treated her terribly. Later, in the second part of the story, her husband marries again to a younger girl and it's the story of how interwoven the two girls' lives become. It's based in Afghanistan, post-9/11 and shows how restricted and abusive the women's lives were and still are. Leila, the young wife was my favorite because she was the epitome of Americanism. She fought back against her husband, ran away with her old love, and truly made women's rights known. This is a MUST READ. Especially for those who have had husbands deploy.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Scene from the film adaptation

To Kill A Mockingbird is such a classic that I won't go into a summary of it, but I first read it in school. I didn't really understand it (nor did I care- I mean it was a school book...) but I re-read it in high school and fell in love with the story. Although it moves slowly, I loved the intense detail that Harper Lee uses to create the mind of this child. The adventures she goes on are absolutely normal, and are completely significant to the story, even when it doesn't seem so. Many people think it's boring, or at times cruel, but I love the inner workings of this novel.

The Deep End of the Ocean by Jacquelyn Mitchard

As for The Deep End of the Ocean, this story is about a young mother who has it all. She has wonderful kids, a great husband, and a job. She decided to go to her high school reunion where she rekindles relationships with some old friends. Halfway through the reunion, she realizes that her son has gone missing. The story is about her struggle to accept his "death," the internal demons that basically ruin every relationship she has, and the surprise ending. I was deeply intrigued by this book, as it didn't come off as a mysterious novel. You really get inside this woman's emotions, first feeling for her in the loss of her son, then becoming angry, and at times happy, and other times extremely frustrated with her antics. Not many people have heard of it, but it's a great book.

 Many thanks to Meagan for offering this awesome reads! She's an absolute doll =]


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