“What I did On My Summer Vacation;” that’s the title for this article. Like the little group of misfits in the Wizard of Oz, parts of this trip were a wild ride.
Reaching our destination of sunny Florida, we rented a car to cruise in as we saw the sights of Florida. First stop was the hotel we had reserved for the first leg of our trip, which turned out to be similar to the Bates Motel in the movie “Psycho.” With a shower that leaked lukewarm water, lights that buzzed and clicked as if they weren’t sure if they wanted to explode or catch fire, and floors that ran a steep grade uphill (you could only wonder what was really underneath them), the trip started out with a bang.
On to sunny Orlando, where the traffic was so heavy and the roads so hard to follow that the movie “Groundhog Day” could have been the theme. We passed the same buildings over and over again in an attempt to reach our newly reserved motel room, only to pass the necessary exits time and again. It then became clear; Dorothy, we’re not in Kansas anymore. The story of Oz is a good one, and author, Gregory Maguire captures the essence of Oz and all of its characters in an extraordinary way in his bestselling series, “The Wicked Years.” This bewitching series concludes with the final installment, Out of Oz: the Final Volume in the Wicked Years, which takes us to the spectacular Land of Oz, where the fate of the Emerald City is plagued by social unrest as the Munchkins invade the peaceful hamlet, Glinda the good witch is under house arrest, and the Cowardly Lion is on the run from the law. Unlike our Florida excursion, this journey is magical, and just the first of a variety of new fiction that you’ll find lining the new shelves of the Jasper County Public Library. Read on!
After just fifty seven hours of life, the third child born to John and Ricky Ryrie has died. There are no words that can express the grief the couple and their two older children are experiencing. As they struggle to find a semblance of normalcy in their lives once again, suppressing their grief leads both John and Ricky to uncertainties about their own relationship, threatening the future of this once happy family in “The Grief of Others” by Leah Hager Cohen.
Climbing the ladder of the PR firm that she works at in Southern California, Maggie Silver is struggling, along with everyone else, to find her place and reach the top when among other famous clients, she is assigned to take on Senator Henry Paxton, a distinguished statesman whose young female aide has been found murdered. As Maggie runs damage control to prevent the scandal from gaining momentum, Maggie finds herself more and more embroiled in the lives of the Paxtons in “Damage Control” by Denise Hamilton.
Mayhem and chaos follow pet store owner, Philip Horkman and Jeffrey Peckerman as the lives of the two men converge in unexpected ways, resulting in a series of events that escalate out of control, sending them both running for their lives in “Lunatics” by Dave Barry and Alan Zweibel.
Ellie Calvin is facing a mid-life crisis of gigantic proportions; her longstanding marriage is in real trouble and her beloved daughter has left for college. When her mother passes away, Ellie is confronted with her long buried feelings for Hutch, an old boyfriend who shows up at the funeral seeking answers from her about her mother’s life for a documentary that he is in charge of. Taking a chance that the pair of them can work together to uncover the clues needed to complete the project, Hutch and Ellie begin to piece together a decades old story that reveals age old secrets in “Coming Up for Air” by Patti Callahan Henry.
Just like Dorothy, the Tin Man, the Scarecrow, and the Cowardly Lion, we got a change of scenery with our trip to sunny Florida; and just like these four fast friends from Oz, we had our relaxing moments and our not so relaxing moments, and by the end of the journey, clicking together a pair of ruby red slippers and the words “There’s no place like home” seemed like the way to go!