As the only girl in an uppercrust Texas family of seven children, Calpurnia, 11, is expected to enter young womanhood with all its trappings of tight corsets, cookery, and handiwork. Unlike other girls her age, Callie is most content when observing and collecting scientific specimens with her grandfather. Bemoaning her lack of formal knowledge, he surreptitiously gives her a copy of "The Origin of Species" and Callie begins her exploration of the scientific method and evolution, eventually happening upon the possible discovery of a new plant species. Callie's mother, believing that a diet of Darwin, Dickens, and her grandfather's influence will make Callie dissatisfied with life, sets her on a path of cooking lessons, handiwork improvement, and an eventual debut into society.
Callie is a sweet, lively character - sort of a Texas Laura Ingalls with more spunk. She feels restricted by the role expected of her at that time and longs for something more.
Book #86 of 2010 was ... "City of Night"(Frankenstein #2)" by Dean Koontz.
They are stronger, heal better, and think faster than any humans ever created–and they must be destroyed. Not even Victor Helios–once Frankenstein–can stop the engineered killers he’s set loose on a reign of terror through modern-day New Orleans. Only the one-time “monster” Deucalion and his all-too-human partners, Detectives Carson O’Connor and Michael Maddison, stand in their way. But as the three race to uncover the true dimensions of an age-old conspiracy, they will discover that Victor’s new, improved models have infiltrated every level of the city’s society . . . and far beyond.
I am still deciding if I like this series of books. Its not particularly well written and the characters are one dimensional. Helios is an egomaniac of such great proportions as to be almost absurd. I think if you like Koontz, you will probably like this series. If not, there are better monster books out there. Of course, I will still continue to read them because I have to know how it ends.
Book #87 of 2010 was ... "The Secret Lives of Baba Segi's Wives" by Lola Shoneyin.
When Baba Segi awoke with a bellyache for the sixth day in a row, he knew it was time to do something drastic about his fourth wife's childlessness. Meet Baba Segi ... A plump, vain, and prosperous middle-aged man of robust appetites, Baba Segi is the patriarch of a large household that includes a quartet of wives and seven children. But his desire to possess more just might be his undoing. And his wives ... Iya Segi — the bride of Baba Segi's youth, a powerful, vindictive woman who will stop at nothing to protect her favored position as ruler of her husband's home. Iya Tope — Baba Segi's second wife, a shy, timid woman whose decency and lust for life are overshadowed by fear. Iya Femi — the third wife, a scheming woman with crimson lips and expensive tastes who is determined to attain all that she desires, no matter what the cost. Bolanle—Babi Segi's fourth and youngest wife, an educated woman wise to life's misfortunes who inspires jealousy in her fellow wives ... and who harbors a secret that will expose shocking truths about them all.
There's no doubt Shoneyin is a gifted writer. However, the coarse language and situations in this book can be a real distraction at times. I think the book is still worth reading but be warned that it can be a little "risque" at times in its harshness.
Up next is "Faithful Place" by Tara French.