My daughter likes to make this decadent gooey chocolate dessert she found in a cookbook for teens. I don’t know its official name; she calls it “Chocolatey Goodness.” It’s a sinfully delicious, guilty pleasure she likes to enjoy with her friends. Since I’m of an age where Chocolatey Goodness can be too much of a good thing, I should look elsewhere for my decadent pleasures. How about a month focused on reading fiction by award-winning women authors? And doing that along with others who share the same passion? Let’s call it Orangey Goodness.
Back in early June, I posted a preview of my Orange July reading plans. Things are progressing nicely; I’ve read 3 of my 5 planned books (links will take you to my reviews):
Mmmmm … Orangey Goodness is really tasty! The Outcast was the surprise hit so far. The back cover description read as follows:
In 1957 Lewis Aldridge, newly released from prison, returns home to Waterford, a suburban town outside London. He is nineteen years old. A decade earlier his father’s homecoming at war’s end was greeted with far less apprehension by the staid, tightly knit community—thanks to Gilbert Aldridge’s easy acceptance of suburban ritual and routine. Nobody is surprised that Gilbert’s wife counters convention, but the entire community is shocked when, after one of their jaunts, Lewis comes back without her.
No one in Waterford wants Lewis back—except Kit, a young woman who sympathizes with his grief and burgeoning rage. But in her attempts to set them both free, Kit fails to foresee the painful and horrifying secrets that must first be forced into the open. The consequences for Lewis, his family, and the tightly knit community are devastating.
Despite all of that foreshadowing, I still wasn’t expecting such an intense and riveting story. The whole “acceptance of suburban ritual and routine” thing really didn’t get that much emphasis. This story was all about Lewis and, in particular, the impact on him when he is denied the opportunity to grieve. After finishing this book, I was in desperate need of something light and enjoyable, so I inserted Barbara Pym’s Less than Angels into my reading plans. That was a nice break, but three books later I’m still thinking about poor Lewis! That, to me, is a sign of a really good book.
My next bites of Orangey Goodness will be two works from the 2009 shortlist (links take you to LibraryThing book descriptions):
Based on the descriptions, I may soon find myself in need of lighter fare again. Perhaps I should serve Mimosas with my Orangey Goodness? Aaahh … that’s better!
I hope you are enjoying Orange July. Leave a comment and let me know what you’re reading!