Showing posts with label Blue Ridge Parkway. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Blue Ridge Parkway. Show all posts

Monday, February 4, 2019

Book Review: True Places: a Novel by Sonja Yoerg

True Places: A Novel by Sonja Yoerg
I chose True Places as my Amazon First Reads pick a month or so ago. I had not previously heard of the author, Sonja Yoerg. I chose the novel because of the setting: the area on and around the Blue Ridge Parkway. I could relate with many parts of this story and with several of the characters. The story kept my attention and I wanted to find out what would become of the woman, her family, and the wild child she found along the road.


True Places by Sonja Yoerg


This is a tale of country life, suburban life, and what may happen when the two are combined. 

The country story begins with a child living alone in a remote cabin in the forest with her mother. Tragedy strikes. 

The suburban story begins with Suzanne Blakemore, an over-extended mom, wife, and fundraising organizer extraordinaire. Feeling the pressures of too many commitments and too little time, forty-two year old Suzanne impulsively drives her Navigator (full of the over-powering scent of the hyacinths she is transporting for the Boosters auction) away from it all.

While driving at a break-neck speed on the Blue Ridge Parkway, she finds a sick and emaciated child. After hospitalization, that child - who turns out to be a very small 16 year old - joins the Blakemore family. We hold our breath at times as we watch Mr. Blakemore and his son, Reid, butt heads. And we watch as the Blakemore's daughter, Brynn, is guided by adolescent emotions, peer pressures, and social media. Social media - where mocking and bullying occurs by the minute and no one is immune - especially not the "wild child". 

Will this family be able to blend or will tragedy strike again? 

My prediction was that the author would portray one setting and it's inhabitants as better than the other. One group of people right. And the other group wrong. I would have put money on the story being about the civilized suburban folk saving the poor country bumpkins.  I was pleasantly surprised that the author showed the good, the bad, and the ugly of both worlds. 

The moral of the story is about the difference between doing things because they are the expected things to do and doing the things that make us feel right. It was about finding our True Places and our true selves. 




Amazon First Reads


Amazon First Reads is a program through Amazon in which each month a book from a selection of approximately 6 books are offered for free (for Prime members) or a reduced cost for First Reads subscribers. On the 1st of each month, I choose a book from those books are offered. 

I have found some new-to-me authors that I probably would not have read otherwise. I can't say that I've liked all of my First Reads picks, but I can say that I look forward to the 1st of each month and have found some authors that I will watch for in the future.

First Reads is one of many reasons I continue to renew my Amazon Prime membership. 





Image credit: photo courtesy of Fotojet


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Monday, October 6, 2014

Mid-Atlantic Fall Foliage

I love the mid-Atlantic region during every season of each year. As summer comes to a close, I am a bit sad that the window of opportunity for hiking, camping, swimming, and fishing is coming to a close.  I feel a rush to cram in as much outdoor activity as possible, before the snow flies.  And yet, the gorgeous color palette of autumn in this area more than makes up for having to put shoes back on my feet.

I am a little far-reaching in what I consider the mid-Atlantic. Therefore, from as far north as the Adirondacks in New York, as far west Central West Virginia, as far south as the end of the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina, and everywhere in between the fall foliage viewing reigns supreme.  

Let me try to show you why I believe this.

Blue Heron photograph by Nancy Rotenberg

Adirondack Park, New York --  The Adirondack Park was established in 1892 in New York and is the largest park in the lower 48 states.  I have spent some time in the Adirondacks during one summer (July) and it was a wonderful experience.  I dream of returning during the autumn. I would love to sit lakeside, in the peaceful setting, and watch the autumn colors of the Adirondack Mountains dancing on the smooth lake water.

Gauley River Photograph by Raymond Gehman
Fayette, West Virginia -- West Virginia is a magical state in regards to flora and fauna.  I have made many Sunday drives through portions of the state but I haven't seen half as much as I have wanted to.  I want to spend a length of time in Central West Virginia.  It turns out that my oldest son beat me to it.  Through work, he went to the Fayette area and rafted the white water of the Gauley River.  The rafting adventure was amazing and he encourages me to go.  I will at some point. Can you imagine seeing the fall foliage from rafts in the river? Breath-taking.  If you look closely, you can see the shapes of the rafts in the photograph.  



Linn Cove Viaduct, Blue Ridge Parkway, NC photograph by Panoramic Images
Blue Ridge Parkway (Virginia and North Carolina) -- I've driven down a good portion of the Blue Ridge Parkway.  We went at a leisurely pace and stopped at many of the over overlooks just to look and breathe.  Again, I went during the summer or late summer months.  I intend on making the drive again, with some overnight stops, during the autumn.  I can't even imagine the blues of the mountains (for which they were named) in combination with the firey colors of falling leaves.  I want to drive every mile of the 469 mile mountain top miracle. 

The beauty of the mid-Atlantic is that I don't have to drive that far to find beauty.  I can find it within minutes of my own home.  


Written by Dawn Rae
Disclosure: In affiliation with AllPosters.com, Dawn Rae is a blogger and content writer who may earn compensation from the sale of AllPosters products.




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