It’s Monday! What are you Reading? – realistic fiction

20170580Nest by Esther Ehrilch is a powerful read. (release date September 9, 2014) Naomi Orenstein and her family have a comfortable life on Cape Cod until they don’t. Mom’s a dancer, Dad a psychiatrist, an older sister and Naomi, better known as Chrip, have everything before them when Mom suddenly finds walking hard.  Dancing, the love of her life, isn’t going to happen anymore. The family must change.

Chrip, named for her love of birds, takes us on a journey of growing friendship, fear, misunderstanding and grieving great loss. We follow Chrip as she struggles with her mothers disability and depression.

Ehrilch uses the setting of the 1970’s to show us the hearts of Chrip, her family and her new found friend Joey.  She brings us a richly written novel. It takes us deep into despair but brings us back to healing. It will be a tough emotional book for some and might be wise as a teacher to pre read it before you recommended it but recommend it you should.  I personally like that she has a satisfying ending but a realistic ending. You leave knowing life will be hard but family and friends will be there to help. Nice!

As a learning writer and teacher this book is a great example of show don’t tell. We clearly understand her characters by their actions. She uses the environment of Cape Cod and the birds around to help us understand her characters. She drops in facts about the birds that are not the main point of the story but intriguing in how she tucks them into the narrative. This would be a great book to read once for the wonder of reading and then return to it to study the authors craft.

On the Reading pile for this week:

Yes this is last weeks to read list – I got side tracked by Nest and research for my own writing. I am reading a book titled the Wild Garden written in the late 1800’s – fascinating for a garden nerd like me but I won’t bore you with the details of plants in the wild. 🙂

  • The Witch’s Boy- new from Kelly Barnhill
  • Hope Springs – new from Eric Walters
  • Bad Magic – new from pseudonymous bosch





About Joanne Toft

I am a retired Minneapolis Public School teacher. I walk, garden, help in schools and write. Life is good!
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One Response to It’s Monday! What are you Reading? – realistic fiction

  1. Myra GB says:

    Depression has been receiving a lot of attention these days, and this book sounds like an important one for young readers. Thanks for sharing such a thoughtful and in-depth review of the novel. 🙂

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