I am so happy to be a part of the 30 Authors in 30 Days event and as they say, we have saved the best for last!
Don’t know about 30 Authors? Well here’s what’s been happening:
30 Authors in 30 Days is a first of its kind event aimed at connecting readers, bloggers, and authors. Hosted by The Book Wheel, this month-long event takes place during September and features 30 authors discussing their favorite recent reads on 30 different blogs. There are also some great prizes provided by GoneReading.com and BookJigs. For the full schedule of participating authors and bloggers, visit The Book Wheel’s 30 Authors page or join the 30 Authors Facebook group to catch up on all the great authors and recommended reading. You can also follow along on Twitter with the #30Authors hashtag!
I am honored to welcome Patry Francis to my blog and share a book she highly recommends.
Author Patry Francis on We Are Called to Rise by Laura McBride
I’ve read that Mr. Rogers carried around a simple note in his pocket that read, “You can love anyone if you know their story.” It’s a truth shared by the mothers, who are often the last person standing behind their son or daughter after they have committed a crime that society finds unforgivable, and by the best of novelists.
Though most authors don’t carry a physical reminder in our pockets, Mr. Rogers’ note represents our greatest challenge: to construct a human being from words alone who will feel so real that we will see through our own prejudices and their flaws to the beating heart inside them; we will know them in a way that we do not and cannot know many of the people we encounter on the street every day; and that in doing so, our own capacity for compassion will be stretched.
In WE ARE CALLED TO RISE, a story told in four seemingly unconnected voices, Laura McBride succeeds brilliantly in this charge, and for that reason, I choose it as one of the finest books of the year. I was captivated by Avis, the aging woman whose family has been decimated by heartbreak of various kinds, by Luis, the traumatized war veteran, and by Roberta, the child advocate who is facing her greatest challenge, but it the eight-year-old narrator who owns this novel. The son of Albanian immigrants seeking an increasingly elusive American dream by operating an ice-cream truck in the desert outside Las Vegas, Bashkim etches his story on our hearts in a pitch-perfect voice that is at once vulnerable, innocent, and sharply observant, giving us a fresh view of the city of sparkling visions and tarnished hopes in the process.
Of course, the danger of creating such a luminous character in a narrative seen from four perspectives is that the reader will lose interest when the story pivots away from him. But Avis, Luis and Roberta are compelling enough to more than hold their own. Together, they drive an intricately constructed plot forward to the moment of intersection that will challenge them all–and ultimately, the reader, to rise.
About We Are Called to Rise and Laura McBride
About Patry Francis
Patry Francis is a three time nominee for the Pushcart Prize, and has twice been the recipient of a fellowship from Massachusetts Cultural Council. Her first novel, The Liar’s Diary, has been translated into seven languages and was recently optioned for film. She lives with her family in Massachusetts.
Patry’s newest book, Orphans of Race Point, is on my Top Ten Books to Read for Fall. A dramatic novel about two orphans who are brought together by a traumatic event, their quest for truth and the friendship that evolves. The Book Wheel called “so stunning it will leave you staggering with emotion.”
Thanks Alison at the Book Wheel for inviting me to be a part of this fantastic event bringing authors and their favorite books to us.