Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A Life of Bright Ideas-Sandra Kring

A Life of Bright Ideas

Sandra Kring

Bantam, Feb 7 2012, $15.00

ISBN: 9780553386820

In 1961 in Dauber, Wisconsin BFFs Evelyn “Button” Peters and Winnalee Malone wrote their observations on life in their Book of Bright Ideas in order to avoid the mistakes they noticed others constantly do. The drifted apart with different lifestyles through the tumultuous sixties.

In 1970 Winnalee the flowerchild returns home to find Button seemingly trapped in a nowhere family scenario. Button’s Ma died and her dad quit being a father. She along with her Aunt Verdella raises her younger brother Boohoo while working in the family dress shop. Finally she also misses Jesse who is in the army. Winnalee is taken aback when she learns Button’s Ma died as the woman was her reason for coming home. Soon after her arrival, Winnalee’s mom Freeda arrives with her infant granddaughter, whom the hippie hoped she could leave with Button’s Ma. The two BFFs travel to see Winnalee’s Aunt Harriet who raised her as the flowerchild must come to grips with her child.

The sequel to the Book of Bright Ideas is wonderful female buddy tale that follows up on the lives of the now adultery protagonists. Ironically, Winnalee seems care free and liberated while Button seems imprisoned by family responsibility with no freedom; yet the engaging convoluted relationship character driven storyline will challenge readers to never judge a book solely by its cover.

Harriet Klausner

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