The All Iowa Reads book for this year is The Rope Walk - so, seeing that it has that honor AND that we are reading it for an adult book discussion next week, I thought I better read it! I had heard such mixed reviews that I was honestly scared to start it, but after I waded through the first few chapters - I was glad I kept reading. It does have quite a slow start - it is very descriptive and I felt, sometimes the story got lost behind all of the description, but once I made my way into the story, I was pleasantly surprised.
It is a sad story - it is the story of Alice, a ten year old girl, with five older brothers. She has lost her mom and has a dad that, most often, seems hands-off. Well - the summer she turns 10 a whole new boy enters the picture - Theo - a mixed-race boy from New York - the same age as Alice - that turns her world upside down. He is truly one of the few bright spots in her life. They become fast friends and even befriend a dying man, Kenneth - who teaches them both even more about the world.
It is a book with lots of relational interaction. I liked that - so many different kinds of people. Near the end of the book, the real climax happens - and that was hard for me - I didn't see it coming and it really broadsided me. It was sad - but again, a growing point for Alice. I think that's what the whole book is - a time to watch Alice leave childhood and enter into all the changes that the teen years will bring. I enjoyed the book, and am glad I read it.