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ABC I Like Me by Nancy Carlson
The Blight Family Singers by Kit Reed
The Blue Food Revolution by Tim Roux
Bone: The Great Cow Race by Jeff Smith
Bone: Eyes of the Storm by Jeff Smith
The Channel: Stories from L. A. by Susan Alcott Jardine
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett
The Clue of the Broken Locket by Carolyn Keene
Building Manhattan by Laura Vila
The Dreamer: The Consequence of Nathan Hale by Lora Innes
Earthquake in the Early Morning (Magic Tree House #24) by Mary Pope Osborne
"The Economy of Vacuum" by Sarah Thomas
The Frog Prince Continued by Jon Scieszka
A Gift of Magic by Lois Duncan
Go Away Big Green Monster by Ed Emberley
Here Lies the Librarian by Richard Peck
I Needs Must Part, The Policeman Said by Richard Bowes
It Looked Like Spilt Milk by Charles G. Shaw
Jenny's Birthday Book by Esther Averill
The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett
The Little Band by James Sage
The Maze Runner by James Dashner
Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
Oscar and the Cricket by Geoff Waring
Ottoline and the Yellow Cat by Chris Riddell
A Pale View of Hills by Kazuo Ishiguro
Stage Fright on a Summer Night (Magic Tree House #25) by Mary Pope Osborne
The Staircase by Ann Rinaldi
"Star-Crossed" by Tim Sullivan
Swine Not? by Jimmy Buffett
Take Me Out to the Ballgame by Gary Morgenstein
Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos by R.L. LaFevers
The Titan's Curse Rick Riordan
Under the Lemon Trees by Bhira Backhaus
Yellowbelly and Plum Go to School by Nathan Hale

Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

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My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8



Comments for Under the Lemon Trees

Under the Lemon Trees: 07/26/10

 cover art (Link goes to Powells)As a native Californian, I love reading books that let me experience my home state in new ways. Under the Lemon Trees by Bhira Backhaus draws inspiration from her experience as Indian American child growing up in California's central valley.

The novel is set in fictional Oak Grove which is within driving range of both Berkeley and Sacramento. It's described as having as many Sikh temples as Christian churches. It's an agriculturally dependant town.

The main character, Jeeto, is on the verge of going to college. She's struggling to find a balance between family traditions and her own desire for freedom and self determined fate.

While I really wanted the best for her, I never felt like I knew her. That human connection though was missing for me, hidden behind a dull, homogenous tone. Good things and bad things, some of them absolutely tragic, are treated with the same even tone. Without that rhythm to mimic the highs and lows of the narrative I felt like an observer instead of a participant. That degree of separation prevented me from any emotional attachment.

Handled differently, I think Under the Lemon Trees could have been a wonderful and memorable book. As it is, the book fell flat for me.

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Comment #1: Tuesday, July, 27, 2010 at 10:26:12

Freda

Too bad this book fell flat for you, it sounds so promising!



Comment #2: Wednesday, July 28, 2010 at 18:00:02

Pussreboots

The book does provide a good snapshot of Sikh life in rural California but it could have been so much more.



Comment #3: Tuesday, July, 27, 2010 at 20:56:00

Donna

Sorry to hear you didn't like this book. I love the cover - if I'd seen it in a store that would've drawn me to it. This is the first I've heard of it though - now I'll check it out at my library instead of the bookstore.



Comment #4: Wednesday, July 28, 2010 at 18:03:05

Pussreboots

The library is the way to go. It's still worth reading at least to learn about the Sikh community in California but the book should have been so much more.