Tuesday, February 23, 2016
Kind of Kin by Rilla Askew
The Eastern Oklahoma District Library System is hosting an annual event called "Read On Eastern Oklahoma" to encourage and celebrate reading for fun and education. The book chosen for this year's read is Kind of Kin by Rilla Askew, an Oklahoma author writing about people in Oklahoma. You know this is one of my favorite kinds of books!
There will be a photo contest themed What I Love About My Community and patrons are invited to submit recipes for a cookbook titled Kin Cookin'. Each library has posted a map for patrons to mark where their own kin lives or originates from. The deadline for the photo contest and recipes is April 1 so if you live in Eastern Oklahoma, I suggest you hurry down to your local library and get involved today!
Whew! Now that I got all that awesome information out there for you, let's talk about the book! Our adult book club got some of the first copies so that we could read it and get our friends excited about it, too. So, friends, I must tell you that I really enjoyed reading this book! I wasn't sure at first, but then I'm always a little skeptical of book club books for some reason. Maybe because I didn't enjoy our very first book? I'm not sure, I've liked everything since then, I should stop being so skeptical.
Inspired by new laws in Oklahoma and Alabama, Kind of Kin is about an Oklahoma family that is impacted very strongly and unexpectedly by immigration and the changing laws that surround it. Bob Brown is a God-fearing Christian man who is raising his late daughter's son Dustin. One night he gets a call from a preacher friend asking if a trailer load of illegal Mexican immigrants can stay in his barn just long enough to get the broke-down trailer back on the road. Since Jesus instructs His people to take care of each other and help those in need, Bob agrees. When Bob Brown is busted and goes to jail, his other daughter, Sweet, ends up with Dustin and the real trouble starts!
As this story unfolds, Askew reveals the point of view of self-serving lawmakers, a community of people who think they are doing the right thing, and families that are torn apart by this very real issue. The story is both heart-breaking and hopeful while showing how big political issues effect everyday people in earth-shaking ways.
My final thoughts: Read it! It may open your eyes to something new. It may impact your opinions on major issues in our country. It may just entertain you for a while. No matter, I say read it!