A Life of Bright Ideas
By Sandra Kring
(Bantam, Paperback, 9780553386820, 448pp.)
Publication Date: February 7, 2012
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A secret tore best friends Evelyn “Button” Peters and Winnalee Malone apart. Now, nearly a decade later, a secret brings them back together.
Nine years ago Button and Winnalee began recording observations in their Book of Bright Ideas, a tome they believed would solve the mystery of how to live a mistake-free life. Now it’s 1970, a time of peace, love, war, and personal heartbreak. Button’s mother is dead and her grieving father has all but abandoned his children. Quiet, thoughtful Button has traded college for a sewing job in her mother’s bridal shop to help her Aunt Verdella raise her whirlwind six-year-old brother. In Button’s free time, she writes letters to the boy she loved from afar through high school, hoping he will come to love her as more than a friend.
Then, like that magical Wisconsin summer of ’61, Button is greeted with the wild, gusty arrival of Winnalee. Now a beautiful flower child, Winnalee is everything Button is not. She’s been to Woodstock and enjoys “free love,” but their steadfast bond of friendship is tested as Button begins to notice the cracks in Winnalee’s carefree façade. And then Winnalee’s mother arrives with a surprise that Button never sees coming, and the fiery determination to put things right in both families once and for all.
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Sandra Kring lives in Wisconsin. Her debut novel, Carry Me Home, was a BookSense Notable Pick and a 2005 Midwest Booksellers’ Choice Award nominee. The Book of Bright Ideas was named to the New York Public Library’s Books for the Teen Age list in 2007. Visit her on the Web at www.sandrakring.com.
Praise for A Life of Bright Ideas
"[A] novel about friendship and sisterhood [for] readers who like Fannie Flagg and Adriana Trigiani."--Booklist
"[N]ew readers will find it easy to empathize with—and even grow to love—Evelyn and Winnalee."--Publishers Weekly
Praise for Sandra Kring:
“Kring is an intelligent, compassionate writer who deeply understands the depth of human experience. . . . A smart, hopeful story.”—The Capital Times, on The Book of Bright Ideas
“Kring’s brilliance lies in her powerful reversals and revelations, taking readers and characters on a dramatic, emotional roller coaster.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Sandra Kring’s delightful and nuanced take on Midwestern America . . . feels real and moving.”—Salon