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Wake Up Your Brain Cells With These New Fiction Titles From JCPL!


The late, great, Dr. Seuss is quoted as saying, “Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living. It’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope and that enables you to laugh at life’s realities.” In reading my most recent fiction selection, I began to wonder about the difference between truth and fiction.

Set in 1960’s North Carolina, the book features two sisters, Ivy and Mary Ella Hart. Ivy is fifteen years old and Mary Ella seventeen. Living as tenants on a rural tobacco farm, the girls were basically orphaned when their father died in a farming accident and their mother, too overwhelmed to cope with the tragedy, suffered a mental breakdown and was taken to an institution, which became her permanent home. Cared for by their grandmother, Ivy and Mary Ella work the tobacco farm but learn about life and love the hard way, depending on the welfare system for their most basic needs.

Enter their new social worker, Jane Forrester; new at the job and idealistic in ways that only seem to be more of hindrance than a help to all involved. Jane discovers early on that the state of North Carolina practices the “Eugenics” program, mandating sterilizations for those they determine to be “not perfect” mentally in the eyes of the state. “Necessary Lies” by Diane Chamberlain is a riveting read, depicting the racial tension of the era, and capturing perfectly the essence of small town life in the rural south, and the dark secrets that haunt some of the victims of that state mandated sterilization, even to this day.

Read on for more riveting reads, found on the shelves of your local branch of the Jasper County Public Library!

A high school massacre has shaken a San Fernando community to its very core. Two students, believed to be the shooters, have also tragically perished in the disaster; thought to have committed mutual suicide. Further investigation, however, uncovers facts that lead Detective Bailey Keller and LA Special Trials prosecutor, Rachel Knight, to dig deeper, and as they do, they discover that the two students believed to be the perpetrators may have actually been victims themselves. If that is the case, could the real murderer of all of those innocent victims still be on the loose? The clues continue to mount, and as they do the threat of another tragic massacre looms, making both investigators scramble to get some answers before it’s too late in “The Competition,” book number 4 in the Rachel Knight series by Marcia Clark.

Secrets and lies are exposed and a young mother and her intentions toward her 14 year old daughter are under close scrutiny when the young girl disappears without a trace, and the only clue to her disappearance is a note left on the kitchen white board stating ‘Don’t try to find me.’ Marley’s mother, Rachel, knows that her daughter would never run away. When it becomes clear that the authorities believe that Marley is a runaway and they claim to have “limited resources” to discover her whereabouts, Marley’s parents, Rachel and  Paul, launch their own investigation, depending on resources such as Twitter and Facebook to help bring their daughter home. When a television interview goes terribly awry for Rachel, suspicion builds and all eyes turn toward her for answers in “Don’t Try to Find Me” by Holly Brown.

The details of a long-ago crime come back to haunt Chief of Police, Kate Burkholder when she is called to the scene of what appears to be a suicide. Discovering that the dead man was actually the victim of a murder leads Kate in a trail of evidence that takes her back to the horrifying crime committed some years before on the Hochstetler farm; a residence known by the townsfolk of Painter’s Mill to be haunted in “The Dead Will Tell,” book number 6 in the Kate Burkholder series by Linda Castillo.

Because remembering Dr. Seuss and all of his witticisms always makes me smile, I’ll leave you with this very impressive quote, made by the master of words himself; “I like nonsense-it wakes up the brain cells!” Wake up your brain cells by checking out some new fiction from your local branch of JCPL; you won’t be sorry!