Mini-Reunions from Senegal

I’ve been seriously slacking on keeping up with my blog, which I blame on staying in a house full of entertaining and affectionately demanding children.  I now understand all moms who have ever bemoaned their lack of productivity, and I am beginning plans on a future “Mommy’s Blogging; This is Your Jail” room.

As of Monday, I have crossed into the past!  I’m in Tennessee, my college years home, and the number of people to see per city has increased greatly.  I will save the Hughes and Smith families for a later post, because today is about the Fatick friends I’ve had the pleasure of seeing!

On Monday, I drove up to Nashville and met Melanie at 5:00.  Melanie and I were in Senegal at different times, but we heard a lot about each other and hung out at a reunion a couple years ago.  We explored some Nashville hot spots, only the first wasn’t so hot.  Construction was all over the place, so we walked for several blocks in confused circles looking for anything that looked remotely fun.  In the end we drove somewhere else, and wound up eating at 12 South Taproom.  It was delicious, and I had a lot of fun catching up with Melanie.  It’s always nice to find a wandering soul kindred spirit.   Continue reading

Unbecoming by Rebecca Scherm

By the time books arrive at my library after months of sitting in my request queue, I usually forget how I heard of it in the first place.  Such was the case with Unbecoming, and the cover didn’t grab my attention.  I very nearly decided to return it unread, but I decided to give the first page a cursory look.  The very first sentence grabbed my attention, and by the end of the first chapter, I knew I was going to read the whole thing.

The first lie Grace had told Hanna was her name.

Unbecoming is an excellent example of one of my favorite tropes:  the unreliable narrator.  Grace shares what she wants to share, and as the reader, I had no idea how much of the information presented was truth, fibs, omissions, or outright lies.  I loved it!  The suspense was heightened even more by alternating sections that described her present life in Paris or her past in Tennessee.  Halfway through the book, I was dying to know what had happened in the past as well as what would happen to her in the future.  The double mystery made the book twice as interesting.

I don’t want to say too much, because I want people to experience the book as I did:  totally unprepared.  The characters are rich, the themes fascinating, and the plot fantastic.  What more do you need?  Read it now!  (Or click through to read the book jacket, which does do a great job of setting up the story.) Continue reading

Remembering the 2008 Tornado

On February 5, 2008, an EF-4 tornado blew straight through Union University.  I was on campus that night, and the experience remains the one time in my life that I legitimately feared I was about to die.  Thirteen students were trapped in the rubble, and fifty-one were taken to the hospital.  The scope of the devastation was enormous, but God, for whatever reason, kept us safe.  Every February 5th I try to take time to acknowledge what happened so that I remember both the brevity of life and the protection of God.  The words that follow (with a few grammatical corrections) are what I wrote in a blog post a couple days after the tornado hit.

Around 6:30 the tornado sirens started going off, but we didn’t pay any attention. That happens often, living in Tennessee, and I was planning on starting my homework while the roomies watched American Idol. Brittany Cox ran over to our room through the rain and sirens, and we were just sitting around chilling. Then Whitney’s phone rang, and she all of a sudden said, “We’re leaving, come on!”  Continue reading