02 August 2010

An Innocent, A Broad by Ann Leary

Travel during pregnancy is generally thought to be okay. But what happens if you dare to leave the US
 for a quick trip to England and then go into really early labor? That's just what happened to Ann and
Denis Leary. A trip that was meant to last for a weekend ended up lasting five and a half months.
(Denis Leary is a comedian and you may be familiar with his voice as Diego in the Ice Age films.)

Baby Jack is ultimately born in England, three months early and weighing 2# 6oz.

I loved this book. I could really relate to it because of the fact that during our first pregnancy I traveled
to London with my husband on one of his business trips. Our trip was in 1995. I read this book in 2006.
We later moved our family to Surrey, England from Aug 2007 - December 2009.

I have great compassion for Ann and Denis. We chose to move to England. They chose to visit but ended
up having to stay, while facing an emergency situation. Ann relates their story with candor and much humor.

The Children's Blizzard by David Laskin

It was a milder than usual morning on the 12th of January 1888. North and South Dakota, Minnesota and Nebraska...the people are happy for a break from the winter weather. They begin to go about their day with little care.

Unfortunately, hindsight is 20/20. The weather to come later that day brought utter disaster. The storm that is the subject of this book is the same storm written about by Laura Ingalls Wilder, in her books.

This book gets a bit heavy with weather terminology in a couple of chapters. But the author also weaves MANY stories of various immigrants lives throughout the book...don't try to keep them straight, just keep reading. Actually, the second time I read this book I read it aloud to two of our children, ages 11 and 10 at the time. Skip the weather terminology if you must, don't let it stop you from hearing the events of the blizzard and how it affected the people it struck. This is a piece of unpredictable, fascinating, American history.
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