Vacation reading – Lucky Boy and Full Dark No Stars

Four nights at Sea Ranch at a lovely ocean view vacation rental. Plenty of walks taken, many stars to count at night, watched the sunsets from the sweet window seat, saw harbor seal pups, deer, wild turkeys, a fox even. We had two clear sunny days then a cold foggy one and then an even colder blustery windy one. But we still went out there and walked and admired the view every day. 

Meanwhile, this house we stayed in had the best stocked library of books I’ve seen in a vacation rental. There were actually books I wanted to read, which is usually not the case as many vacation homes tend towards the usual suspects. 

And so, abandoning the ebooks I had borrowed, I settled to read LUCKY BOY by Shanthi Sekaran and FULL DARK NO STARS by Stephen King. 

LUCKY BOY is an immigration story. On one side is the story of Soli, who lives in the Popocalco, Mexico, and makes the dangerous trek to the US.

The other side of the story is that of Kavya and Rishi Reddy, who live in Berkeley and have been trying to get pregnant for years. 

The character that brings these two sides of the story together is Ignacio, Soli’s son. She gets pregnant on her journey and gives birth to him in America. But he is taken from her when she gets detained one day. The Reddys have decided to become foster parents and they take Ignacio in. 

Sekaran doesn’t shy away from difficult topics. The abuse Soli faces in the detention center, the difficulties that Kavya faces not just from her parents’ expectations when her life takes a different path but also her own expectations when she realized that parenting can be so very difficult and isolating. 

I appreciate the way Sekaran handles the two women. There is no real antagonist here. They are both wanting the very best for this boy, but the answers aren’t handed to them and they have to do what they think is right. 

This was a very well-researched, absorbing read. Despite the view right next to me, I found myself just reading and reading this book and the 472 pages just flew by. It’s probably not what some people might consider vacation reading but I really enjoyed Lucky Boy. 

FULL DARK NO STARS was a very different read. I picked it because it’s a collection of four stories. And I figured that, in case I couldn’t finish a full book, I could at least read 2 or 3 stories. 

It’s been a while since I’ve read Stephen King’s work. It makes me think of when I was maybe 12 and reading Pet Semetary. Why was that my first King book? I’m not sure now. 

I was reminded how unsettling King’s books can be. Taking the ordinary and adding a twist that causes their whole world to collapse. Like learning something disturbing about the person you’ve loved and lived with for years. This happens to Darcy in A Good Marriage. Revenge and retribution are major themes in these novellas. They are dark and they’re disturbing. And strangely appropriate for that foggy gloomy day at Sea Ranch, with the waves crashing on the rocks but barely discernible thanks to the heavy fog. 


One Comment

Comments are closed.