I read & absolutely loved Hotel on the Corner of Bitter & Sweet so was quite excited when I saw that Jamie Ford had a new book coming out. At Christmas I added it onto my wishlist & hoped that it would be one of the books my OH would choose to buy for me. He did & I was so excited when I opened it on Christmas day & knew that of the 7 books that I had received, this would be the first that I would read.
Songs of Willow Frost is the story of William Eng, a Chinese-American orphan living in a Seattle orphanage in the 1930’s, during the depression. The sisters in charge of the orphanage take all of the boys to the cinema for their collective birthday celebrations, where William believes that the advertisements for an upcoming show features his mother, whom he had always assumed is dead.
William becomes obsessed with the idea that his ah ma is still alive, that she is Willow Frost. He decides that he must see her, to find out why, if she is still alive has she not come to the orphanage to claim him? William sets out to find the answers from Willow who is currently in Seattle on tour, with is best friend, Charlotte. If William does find his mother, is he ready to hear what her answers to his questions are?
Songs of Willow Frost, I am sad to say did not captivate my like Hotel on the Corner of Bitter & Sweet. I couldn’t put down Hotel, and I struggled to make myself continue to read Songs. It just didn’t grab me didn’t make me fall in love with the characters & basically didn’t make me care. I wanted so much to love this story, but instead I found myself bored and skipping ahead, skimming the book to see if it was going to get better. It didn’t. At least not for me. I found a lot of the story unbelievable, but they were things that I can’t really get into without giving away too much of the story. Basically, I guess it just boils down to Songs of Willow Frost just not working for me.
OH & I are having a frugal Christmas this year. We’re saving up to buy a new laptop, as our current one is on it’s last tippy-toe of it’s last leg. So, we made a pact that we would only buy each other 4 books each for Christmas this year. Unfortunately, OH’s 4th book hasn’t arrived yet, so I made him keep one of mine back, so as of yet, I only know what 3 of my books are & he knows what 3 of his books are.
My selection of books from my darling OH were:
And for OH, I bought:
odd eclectic combination of books!
Merry Christmas Everyone!
I read The Christmas Sweater while home in Canada for my parnets’ 40th Anniversary. I was in need of something to read & my sister suggested that I might like this. It was an easy read, but laced throughout with religious undercurrents. I grew up in a fairly religious family – church every sunday, sunday school, Church youth groups, church youth choir (briefly), CGIT (http://www.cgit.ca/ – sorry, by hyperlink thingie isn’t working), but have since moved away from the church & religion. Never-the-less, I did enjoy this story.
The Christmas Sweater is about a young boy named Eddie whose father passed away 3 years previously. Since his Dad died the family (Eddie & his Mom) have fallen on very hard times financially, with Eddie’s Mom working all the shifts she can get her hands on just to make ends meet. Christmas is coming and all that Eddie wants in a new bicycle. Not just any bicycle, though, he wants a brand new, shiny red Huffy bicycle, which even he knows is well outside his mother’s financial capabilities. So, Eddie beings a regiment of prayers to God, promising everything within his power if God will just send him that new Huffy bike for Christmas.
Christmas morning dawns & of course the bike isn’t anywhere to be seen & the only thing that Eddie does get is his Christmas Sweater which his Mom knit for him, in-between the work shifts, cooking, cleaning & caring for Eddie. The rest of the story is based around Eddie learning valuable “life” lessons about himself, the value of family & God – especially the lesson that God does not give us more that we can handle & that God is always there for us, even when it doesn’t seem like it…….which is where the preachy bit comes in.
Take away the religious aspects of this book & it’s a brilliant little story. I just think that it was unnecessary to make this so “God” oriented, as it is full of valuable non-secular lessons, so there’s no need for God. (My sister is going to kill me!) I just think it would appeal to a much broader audience without the religion-in-a-book aspect.