Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Irises by Francisco X. Stork

As Mary and Kate's mother lays in a vegetative state once again the girls are faced with tragedy. Their minister father has now passed away and they are left with decisions too difficult for them to face.

Mary is an artist, but once her mother's accident happened the light has gone out of her paintings. Mary has devoted her life to taking care of her mother. Now she must give up her extra art class after school in order to be more available to care for her mother.

Kate has always dreamed of going to college at Stanford and becoming a doctor. It was her mother's dream for her, and her constant secret for the past several years. Now that dream is about to be realized but with the death of her father Kate is confused about her responsibilities.

Irises was an engaging story. Mary and Kate's struggles with what to do once their father dies kept me turning the pages because I wanted to find out how things turned out. There were so many other issues in the book though that I couldn't give it a better rating. I didn't care for the new minister(Andy) and his goal of some day being the head of a more affluent church. His willingness to allow Kate in his apartment with the idea that things may lead to a sexual encounter was just wrong. His preaching of love and faith without actual guidance of how to gain those things showed that he had no business being a preacher. The girls' father even though he had been a minister for years had led his family with rules and antiquated ideas rather than teaching them about faith. So I guess that the author's portrayal of the religious figures left a dis-satisfied taste in my mouth. Even with that I found empathy for both Mary and Kate's characters. Both struggling with what has happened in their lives, having to face giving up dreams, relationships that have turned disappointing, and the ultimate decision of what to do about their mother all were written to be very believable. Definitely not a waste of time to read this book!

I received my ARC copy in January at ALA.


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