By LEAH COOPER
This week I thought I would share a couple of audio books from Jefferson Carnegie Library I really enjoyed. Both are by Leila Meacham, who was born in Minden, LA but has spent most of her life in Texas. After she retired from teaching English, she took up writing novels. “Roses” and “Tumbleweeds” are two of her best. Both are set in Texas and can really help make that long drive throughout our big state speed along. The library also has a print copy of “Roses” as well as the CD.
“Roses” is a multigenerational family saga, set in East Texas circa 1914–1985. It is the story of Texas tycoons, plantations, birthrights, love, and secrets. Cotton tycoon Mary Toliver and timber magnate Percy Warwick love each other, but circumstances led each to marry another. That decision affects their children and grandchildren. As she nears the end of her life, Mary fears her family’s obsession with the land and their cotton plantation Somerset has placed a curse on their family. Through flashbacks, the reader learns her story and why she is changing her mind about leaving Somerset to her great niece Rachel.
At its heart, “Roses” is a story was about deciding what is most important in your life and living with the consequences of those choices. The title comes from the fact that each family brought rose stock with them when they moved to Texas. Disagreements were settled by the offering of a red rose in apology and a white rose to acknowledge forgiveness.
“Tumbleweeds” takes place in the Texas Panhandle, but involves a topic that is near and dear to many in East Texas – football. Eleven-year-old Cathy Benson has a hard time adjusting to life in the small town of Kersey, Texas, after moving there from California. But she soon becomes friends with up-and-coming gridiron stars and classmates John Caldwell and Trey Don Hall. All three are orphans, Cathy is refined, cultured, and smart. John is kind, conscientious, and honest. Trey is devious, unfaithful, and charming. Their lives are interwoven through high school graduation, but then they go their separate ways until they return to Kersey when they are 40 years old. This saga even includes a mystery. The temperature is hot outside, so come into the cool of the library and check out our selection of books on CD.
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