Straying from the Mystery Stack

March 22, 2010

As a reader, I usually read fiction—predominantly mysteries. Indeed, my stack of “to be read” mysteries is high—and growing! After Left Coast Crime, it’s become a tower—so many great authors, so many great mysteries—so little time…

Fortunately, I belong to a book club reading group, and it’s wonderful! I’m “forced” to  read biographies, autobiographies, fantasy, history, and mainstream fiction and non-fiction. Thank goodness for diversity of literary tastes.

And from the author perspective, I like writing about murderers and mayhem (gore off stage please,) and all the peripheral damage on my characters. But my perspective occasionally needs a lift. A reaffirmation that in the real world—life is good, people are good.

A fellow author with my publisher, Aberdeen Bay, has written such a life affirming non-fiction book. Jill Cline’s “The Little Town That Did: Springport Builds The Arches” is one of those stories that reminds you what life should be about, how people should be—and sometimes are.

In straightforward and clear prose based on phenomenal research, she tells the story of a two-year process to build a new community building in the small town of Springport, Michigan. It is a story of challenges, dedication to purpose, community, and dare I say—hard work!

It’s a short book, but with so many stories. After reading it, I wished I’d known the people Jill talks about, sat down and talked with them, shared a cup of coffee. Even participated in their unbelievable project. It’s also one of those books that at the end you want to stand up and cheer.

There’s no tricky plot, no specific endearing hero or heroine—just a story as Jill describes, “…of neighborliness, sacrifice, and believing in the common good.“ At the end Jill lists the real names of the folks involved. Those names, combined with the great period pictures took me back to the Springport of the late 1940’s.

The “Arches” is still being used. Bravo Springport! And bravo, Jill, for bringing their story forward.

More about Jill Cline can be found at Aberdeen Publishing website.

and on her BLOG


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