#BookReview: The Stars Don’t Lie by Boo Walker

All Too Real. This book is all about a guy who hasn’t been back to his hometown in 20 yrs due to some massive trauma while he was in school who finally goes back home… and has his world and entire life and history rocked by shocking revelations about what *actually* happened back then. As someone who read this book, then went back to visit my parents near my hometown (they now live in the next County up, rather than the house I spent grades 7+ and college in), and had his dad just casually mention a previously forgotten if not outright unknown fact about his own high school history… yeah, this book is truly all too real. Add in the fact that I have my own version of “Mrs. Cartright”, a teacher who stepped in and stepped up at exactly the right moment in my life – in my case, Tommy Harris of Kingston, GA, who absolutely always deserves every accolade I can possibly give him… and yeah, like I said in the title… this book is all *too* real. And yet, that is exactly what made it so relevant and cathartic, even years after I like to think I’ve “fully” dealt with all my own real-world crap from that era. (Though in defining both who Carter, in the book, and myself, in my “real” life, became… perhaps one never *truly* moves on from that era and that pain… which is actually something Walker actively looks into even into the closing words of the text here.)

For anyone who has ever had one of those teachers worthy of a “Mr. Holland’s Opus Finale”, you’re gonna want to read this book. If you haven’t seen that movie, seriously, go back and watch it. Then come back and read this book. 😀

Overall truly a particularly well written and well told story, one that some will clearly relate to more than others – but which has enough universal truth to be truly transcendent, no matter the particulars of your own life. Very much recommended.

This review of The Stars Don’t Lie by Boo Walker was originally written on August 21, 2023.

#BookReview: The Manger House by Elizabeth Bromke

Short Tale Packs A Lot In Its Pages. This is a long novella / short novel (seriously, it is right at that 160 page point that some consider the cutoff between the two) featuring three sisters and their efforts to reclaim their lives and make their marks on their hometown. As the middle book of a trilogy, arguably Book 1 (The Boardwalk House) should be read first, but honestly this book reads perfectly fine if you want to start here and go back as well. Great atypical Christmas story featuring three vastly different sisters in three vastly different situations, yet who all show what Christmas is all about. Another great read for those family get togethers where maybe you just need a break from your actual family. Very much recommended.

This review of The Manger House by Elizabeth Bromke was originally written on November 18, 2021.