Friday, July 31, 2009

My Favourite Reads

I found out about At Home With Books while bloghopping and she has a weekly My Favourite Reads post. The point is to go all nostalgic and showcase a book from your past; and busting out the book nostalgia is what I'm all about (seriously, I can have a fit of nostalgia a week after reading a truly good book). So here is my pick for this week:

A Handful of Time by Kit Pearson

When Patricia's mother sends her to her cousins' cottage for the summer, Patricia doesn't want to go. She doesn't know her cousins at all, and she's never been good at camping or canoeing, let alone making new friends.
When she arrives at the cottage, her worst fears come true: her cousin Kelly teases her; Aunt Ginnie and Uncle Doug feel sorry for her. She doesn't fit in. Then Patricia discovers an old watch hidden under a floorboard. When she winds it, she finds herself taken back in time to the summer when her own mother was twelve ...

Why I chose this book:

I read it when I was 12 or so and just loved it, mostly for its scifi-seeming plot. When Patricia winds up this old watch she finds she is transported to the summers at her cottage when her mother was young. The time-travelling watch is more of a literary device than say a Tardis, but there IS time-travel; Patricia doesn't just find her mother's old journal or hear stories from her grampy. And I also loved this book because it is set at a cottage during summer vacation; I still have a true love for cottage/beach/small town stories set in the summer months because I went to these places each summer and they shine in my memories. Recently, when I read Sarah Dessen's Along for the Ride, I re-visited this beach/small-town love.

But I also loved Patricia because she was so lonely and sad. Her mother didn't have time for her and shuttled her off to live with distant relatives for the summer, cousins who made fun of her for being pale and introverted. She does finally come out of her shell, but it doesn't betray her nature, it just fulfills a small broken part in her. The whole re-kindling with her mother after the empathy garnered by time-travel happens for the most part off-screen. A Handful of Time is less about the mother and more about the small changes in Patricia during a lonely summer vacation away from home.

I recently re-read this book and it was just as emotional for me. This is absolutely one of my favourites.



Alyce said...

I love time travel books! This sounds like a book that I would have loved as a young adult. I'll have to add it to my list. Thanks for participating in My Favorite Reads!

I'm having problems commenting on your posts (jumped through many technical hoops to get this comment on here). Please see my post here:

Mandy said...

Alyce. Thank you for the link and for your feedback about posting. A few other people mentioned the same problem, thank you for helping me to fix it.

Cecelia said...

Love your review! I know just what you mean about emotional reads from the past - they meant something to you at the time that you can get back to and identify with. Good choice!

Mandy said...

Celi.a, and even years later they have this pull on you, when you find them in a used bookstore or remember the exact cover art. Thanks!

Marge Moen in Chehalis, WA said...

Hi Mandy! Really enjoyed this review. Reminded me of the first novel I ever read. It was "A Wrinkle in Time" by Madeleine L'Engle. LOVED it! A couple years ago my friends and I were discussing our FIRST reads...we ended up reading them all and then discussing what we loved about them now and way back then. Great times!

Mandy said...

Marge: Now have you read the rest in her series? How do you rate them?

Marge in WA USA said...

Hi Mandy! I haven't read any of her other books, but will put that on my "to do" list, which is quite long right now thanks to your fun reviews. ;-) I wonder if I could find a job as a professional reader and quit my day job? LOL


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