04/19/2016 04:09 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Pack-Your-Suitcase Reads


Four beautiful, pack-your-suitcase worthy reads for summer vacation.

My Sweet Vidalia, by Deborah Mantella is a most memorable debut set in rural Georgia in the '50s, the novel is interestingly narrated by a mother's still-born child, Cieli Mae. The author has weaved an unforgettable cast in this haunting tale of the bond between mother and child. A rare, and complex look at hope, strength, the unparalleled power of unconditional love, and a young mother's refusal to give up.

LaRose, (Harper, May, 10, 2016) by Louise Erdrich captures the lengths we go to recompense heartbreak. In the summer of 1999, on a small reservation in North Dakota, loving father and Ojibwe Indian, Landreaux Iron, accidently kills a neighbor's five-year-old son while hunting deer. A beautiful snapshot of tragedy, beauty, and honor in families.

Four Nails, by G. J. Berger, is a satisfying historical which sweeps you into perilous lands caught up in wars during the time when Hannibal's army charged over the Alps and down the back of Rome. You'll visit ancient India where tragedy strikes a young elephant trainer, Ashoka. who is forced into a slave caravan where he befriends a special elephant, Four Nails. To survive this remarkable journey, the elephant trainer calls upon his unique ways with the great greys and a strength known only to those with nothing left to lose. Four Nails is a big book packed with history and adventure.

Diane Chamberlain's Pretending to Dance, is another great read. The process of an adoption reveals secrets and tragedy when Molly Arnette, a married woman, lies about her past. Twenty years ago Molly was forced to run away from home after a horrifying event. A lot of tough topics such as adoption, illness, and fragile family bonds are explored. Chamberlain expertly weaves another glorious and gripping tale of families, betrayal, and self-discovery.