Sunday, May 16, 2010

Lillian's Diaries: Whispers from Galena's Past
By Sheryl Trudgian Jones

A good friend of mine has edited the diaries of her ancestor, Lillian Trudgian. At age sixteen, Lillian started these diaries which are full of detailed description about the lives of her and her family and rural life in general.

Lillian not only recorded the chores and hardships of everyday life, but she also recorded births, deaths, marriage and all the important events in a family's history. I loved reading about the social events they attended, the visiting of friends and neighbors, the trips to do shopping in Galena.

My great-grandmother was born and raised in Cambridge, Illinois, and I am sure that if she had kept any type of journals the events would have been similar. Lillian's Diaries take us to another time and another in Illinois where life was simpler in so many ways, yet much more difficult in other ways. Killing of animals for food doesn't sound too appealing to me, but it was what Lillian and her family had to do to survive, like most people who lived in rural America in that era.

One thing that stood out to me about Lillian's diaries is that she did little, if any, complaining about all that she had to do, and she rejoiced in the little things.
by Stephen King

My husband I listened to this via audio CD in the car while on vacation last week. While it's not up to the same standards of Salem's Lot and It, Cell was the same gruesome King writing.

As usual, the story is an apocalyptic one that starts out in Boston and heads on up to Maine and other areas of northern New England. The chaos all starts when someone somewhere triggers "The Pulse," which was a signal sent out over the global cell phone network. Instantly, anyone who was using a cell phone at that moment turns into a mindless killer. Civilization predictably crumbles as the "phone crazies" attack each other and any unaltered people in view.

The hero, Clay is thrown together with middle-aged Tom McCourt and teenager Alice Maxwell and they attempt to make their way north, following the "flocks" of zombie-like humans while plotting along the way how they will try to stop them. Clay's other motives for moving north is to try to find his son who he hopes had not used his cell phone when "the Pulse" occurred.

In the end Clay does find his son, but I do not like how this story concludes and leaves the reader hanging. I have been disappointed in the ending of King's last few books. I don't know if I will bother reading any more of them since they haven't been bringing anything new.