I saw it on Priscilla's blog, and I was hooked. It's a Ravelry group: 52 books in 52 weeks. I've always been a reader, and a challenge/structure like this is right up my alley. Now that I'm out of grad school, I actually can read for pleasure, but I'm a little bit out of the habit.
I started with Ellen Foster by Kaye Gibbons. My friend (the diaper recipient) introduced me to Kaye Gibbons probably 15 years ago and I read everything I could get my hands on at the time (which was, I think, four novels). I even went to see Ms. Gibbons speak at A Woman's Place Bookstore twice, once when I was overdue pregnant, and a year later with a baby in arms.
Ellen Foster tells the story of an adolescent girl who's in dire need of a good strong family. Ellen is repeatedly the victim of really harsh and unfortunate circumstances. I'd forgotten just how dire her life got, since reading it so many years ago. But Ellen is the kind of strong girl we like to find in fiction, a person who refuses to let harsh circumstances tear her down, and instead takes control of making her life more to her suiting. There are undercurrents of race relations, as well, with the kind of outcome that is so satisfying that it almost reads like a morality tale. But an enjoyable morality tale. I was very happy to revisit Ellen Foster.
Years ago, my favourite of Gibbon's novels was Charms for the Easy Life. I'm planning to revisit many of this author's books in the near future to see which ones I prefer now. I already enjoyed Divining Women last month, before this challenge began.