Fall into a Book

Fall is one of my favorite times of year. It’s not because of the beautiful colors the leaves change to, or the fun times my family has at the pumpkin patch, or the fact that it’s apple season and that means I can get yummy apple cider donuts and turnovers at our local orchard. All of those things are awesome, don’t get me wrong, but they aren’t my favorite thing about fall. My favorite thing is that when the weather starts to cool off it is totally acceptable for me to curl up in my favorite over-sized sweatshirt (you know the one that should have been retired a few years ago because it may have a hole or two, but it fits just the right way) in my favorite chair–that gets just the right amount of sunlight–with a book.

I love to read. I always have, and since becoming a Mom, it is definitely something that I have sacrificed for soccer practice and playdates and doing things around the house. When I get an excuse to curl up and read, I take it, even if it means I’m going to be staying up way too late to finish “just one more chapter.” I recently came across a great new book written by a hard working Mom who also happens to live in the Iowa City area. The book is called Bearskin, and it was written by Jamie Robyn Wood.

Fall into a Good BookBearskin is based off of a lesser known fairy tale by the Grimm Brothers (also called Bearskin). I had never heard the original story so I didn’t have anything to base the story off of going into it, but I loved the story. The characters were all so different and very well developed so, as the reader, you feel you can understand them. The journey that each character goes on is intertwined with one another, and that makes the book more interesting.

To start, there was an Evil Queen who wasn’t always so evil. She was power hungry, and had magicked her way into a position where people feared her and served her without question. The Evil Queen was married to the once powerful King, whom she had turned into a weak coward, and they had three children, a daughter, Moiria, from the Queen’s first marriage, a son Conrad, from the King’s first marriage, and a son Heppson, who was the youngest and the only product of the King and Queen’s marriage. The Evil Queen wants to remain in power, so she sets Heppson on a quest to secure her position, but what she doesn’t account for is the love her children have for each other.

This is the start of a journey for each of the Princess and Princes. On this journey they meet Lark and Heart, two sisters who live in the woods far away from the castle. The sisters go on their own journey in the book while their love for each other is tested, and new love forms for each of them. You will meet the Guardians of the Forest who can shift between human and animal form. Each has a special gift to help guide our friends on their journeys.

With all of these characters and journeys it is hard to imagine that all of their lives are intertwined, but Jamie does an amazing job creating a story that shows all of these relationships. I was very impressed with the book. It is a young adult novel, and it was so nice to read a young adult novel that I wouldn’t mind my daughter reading. There was no strong language or sexual scenes, a rarity in most literature these days. Even though this is a young adult novel, it is not juvenile, and I feel like most adults would enjoy it.

I especially loved that the book was written by another Iowa City mom. I think it is so great to have other women in our community who have such neat careers.

Do you get to read often? What book have you read lately?
Ashley is an Iowa transplant from Arizona and a busy mom of 4. She spends most of her day chasing around her little herd and hoping to catch a glimpse of her main squeeze when he gets a break from the hospital. She has a bachelor's degree in Communication from Arizona State University and is currently the Vice President of Iowa Medical Partners where she helps plan events and service projects and runs the blog. In her free time, Ashley enjoys running, reading, cooking, and decorating (and redecorating) the house. She loves everything about Iowa! She and her family like to explore everything that Iowa has to offer in every season. Life may be crazy but she loves every minute of it!

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