Will in Scarlet is a piece of Historical Fiction, set during the time of Richard I the Lionheart. It is also a reimagining of Robin Hood, which I gleaned from the cover art, but it did not unfold the way I thought it would, which was a pleasant surprise. The titular character is really Will Shackley, forced into hiding after his families keep is stolen by a minion of Prince John. While Richard is off fighting a crusade with Will’s father, Will is forced into Sherwood forest, and falls in with a band of bandits. While the story is interesting, Will is underdeveloped as a character. There is, fortunately, another narrator in play as well, and Much is truly interesting. She is a girl disguised as a boy, and her struggles to stay hidden in plain sight nicely parallel Wills.
My husband gave me this book for my birthday – at the end of a fun scavenger hunt. I tore through this one, and loved every second. It features not one, but three unreliable narrators, although Rachel, the Girl on the Train, is at the core. Rachel’s life is a mess, but the character is so well crafted, that you really pull for her. It is clear she wants to do better, but is struggling with the aftermath of a tremendous betrayal. That betrayal, and many others, come together for a riveting novel. I highly recommend this one!
If you had told me a book about baseball would make me cry, I would have been hard pressed to believe you. That is, until I read One Shot at Forever, by Chris Ballard. It is a nonfiction book, and it tells the story of the Macon Ironman baseball team, and their run all the way to the Illinois State Championship. For anyone that likes a true underdog story, or an inspirational coach/teacher story, this is a great book for you. Also, as someone who teaching in a rural district, this really captures some of the beats of small town life. It is well – written, and engaging from the very start. It also discusses the long range influence of being on a team, not in a sad glory seeking way, but in the creation of true friendships that can see a person through. At its heart, it focuses on a way to treat people, best illustrated by the following quotation, “Treat people well, believe in them, entrust them with responsibility. Lift them up.”
Upcoming: this week I also read the majority of All The Light We Cannot See, so that will be on next week’s post, one I finish that.