Friday, June 1, 2012

column 19

            One day you are volunteering at your child’s school as the cafeteria mom. It is the end of lunch and almost all of the children are outside on the playground except for three little girls who have been teasing your daughter and your daughter who has run into the bathroom. There is a sudden explosion from the kitchen. When you come to, you find the three children crying, covered in soot and ash. You know that you have to get the children out of the building, but your daughter is still in the bathroom across the cafeteria. What do you do?
            This is the beginning of the book “Save Me” by Lisa Scottoline. The decision this mother makes and how she executes her decision affect her life dramatically over the next few months and beyond.
            I know, it sounds intense. It is really intense, but so good! But the book doesn’t stop there. There is also a mystery involved, as there is with all of Scottoline’s books. We find out what caused the fire and why all of this affects the main character, Rose, so deeply.
            This book is an accurate portrait of just how far a mother will go to save the ones she loves. It is emotional, heartbreaking, and a thrill to read. Let me be honest, it is not some great intellectual piece of literature. But it was a quick, fun read.
            I have read all of Scottoline’s books. Most of them are law mysteries. They are about a lawyer who lives in Philadelphia who is constantly getting into trouble by being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I love these books. They are easy, fast, no-brainers. I started reading them because they all take place in Philadelphia, where I spent my elementary and junior high years. I love to read about the places that I am familiar with.
            I never expect more out of these books than to be entertained. They are entertaining. They grab me from the first chapter and make me want to read until I have finished the last page.
            But this book surprised me. It actually made me think a little. I was confronted with the “what would I do?” scenario. And I was curious, as well, as to how I would react if I had been the parent of one of the other children. How would I feel if there was a disaster at the school of my child? How would I react if my child had been seriously injured at school? Would I blame the school? There are also the legal ramifications. Would I want to sue someone?
            While this book might not be an American classic, it is a great way to escape your daily duties. It is a fun read—a wonderful “beach read.” (Does Rigby Lake count as “the beach?”)

1 comment:

  1. I love love love Scottoline. I can't wait to read this one! There have only been two or three of her books that I could not get in to. Every other one captures my interest right away, just like you were saying.