Reading at the Beach is hosting this fun meme: Each week she invites you to spotlight a book whose title begins with the featured letter. This week we have the letter B.
My B book is Bleeding Kansas by Sara Paretsky. The novel takes place in modern times in a small town in Kansas and primarily focuses two families. The Schapens and the Grelliers have been farming the Kaw River Valley since the mid-1800s and cannot escape their shared history of violence from the Civil War era up through the turbulent 1970s. The novel explores how the community copes with contemporary issues of the Iraq war, changing sexual mores, political conflicts, and clashing religious beliefs. I read the book in spring 2008, and my notes are sketchy, but I remember that the characters were well developed and that the book provided the basis for some good dinnertime conversation. I rated this one a solid B.
I listened to the unabridged audio edition (Brilliance Audio) read by Susan Ericksen. My notes indicated that the reading was well done.
Sara Paretsky has a website that highlights Bleeding Kansas.
Have you read this book? A quick look around Library Thing and the commercial sites tells me that there are mixed feelings about the novel and the portrayal of the various religious groups discussed in the book. I remember liking the plot and thinking that the characters were fairly believable, but others say the characters were flat and stereotypical. Any opinions?