Joy

( 3 )

Overview

Mirai St. Julian is a young woman with a rich and fascinating life. She restores historic carousels, working from a studio in a former roller skating rink. She has never had trouble attracting men. Though black, she spent her first years in the Basque community of Nevada, the adopted child of a single mother. And in later childhood, she was raised by her Aunt Joy in a Catholic Worker house in California.

Yet the richness of that life now seems to be turning against her. She ...

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Overview

Mirai St. Julian is a young woman with a rich and fascinating life. She restores historic carousels, working from a studio in a former roller skating rink. She has never had trouble attracting men. Though black, she spent her first years in the Basque community of Nevada, the adopted child of a single mother. And in later childhood, she was raised by her Aunt Joy in a Catholic Worker house in California.

Yet the richness of that life now seems to be turning against her. She finds herself overwhelmed by a carousel project that's out of control. She learns that the man who dumped her only months before is already married and -- from Mirai's point of view -- to the worst possible person. She discovers that her mother's death long ago may not have been an accident. And she suspects that Joy, the only person she trusts completely, may know more about that death than she's willing to reveal.

Shaken by these tremors, all Mirai needs is a real-life earthquake to either send her sprawling or force her to find a more solid footing. And in the Oakland of 1989, she won't have long to wait.

/////////////////////////////////////////////////

Anne L. Watson is a retired historic preservation architecture consultant, and no stranger to the effects of earthquakes. She is the author of books on subjects as diverse as soapmaking and baking with cookie molds, and also of the literary novel "Pacific Avenue." Anne currently lives in Friday Harbor, Washington, in the San Juan Islands.

/////////////////////////////////////////////////

Next morning, I picked out Will's car parked on the street in front of the coffee shop. No room for doubt -- Will had a real screamer of a car, an old red Mustang convertible.

Not that he described it that way. His version started off with "1964-1/2" for the model year and "poppy red" for the color, then veered into details about the color of certain key engine parts -- at which point I had always zoned out so far, I didn't hear the rest of the speech.

There it sat, parked at the curb in Peregrine Falls, Idaho, already collecting a few admirers. Not even counting the vanity plate -- ORGAN4U -- the car had so much of Will's personality attached to it, I felt mildly nauseated. As an alternative to kicking a fender, I slammed into the coffee shop.

"Whoa, Mirai! Remember us?"

The crew had gathered at the only big table in the Clearwater Cafe. I'd been so wrapped up in my own problems, I hadn't even seen them. They were all there -- Evangeline, Harvey, Mr. Papadakis. And Will.

Neither fight nor flight was practical. I sat down at the table. The waitress hurried to me with a coffeepot and mug. I ordered the special and sipped my coffee. "Clearwater" was certainly the word for that coffee -- they must have named the restaurant after it. I glanced around the table, skipping over Will.

Mr. Papadakis caught my eye. "What's the agenda?" he asked.

"We'll go to the park as soon as we're done here. Check out the carousel, then have lunch with the committee. We have to give the owners a preliminary report tomorrow morning."

Evangeline smiled. "How long are you staying?" she asked me.

"All week. You?"

"I'll stay awhile. I may want to work on things in place." In Evangeline's case, "awhile" could mean several months. She had an answering service, but no permanent address. At the moment, I envied her.

Harvey shook his head. "I'm leaving tomorrow night. I'll come back later, when the work on the building starts. For now, a couple of days will do it."

It was Will's turn, so I had to look toward him then. He sat quietly, holding a coffee cup. Will had never worn jewelry, but now a ring glinted on his finger. A plain gold ring on the fourth finger of his left hand. A wedding ring.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780938497530
  • Publisher: Shepard Publications
  • Publication date: 4/1/2011
  • Pages: 346
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.77 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2013

    This was an easy read that taught me several interesting things

    This was an easy read that taught me several interesting things about carousels and their restoration. The Basque culture in the book was new to me as well. The writing style was quick and seldom dull. I can give no fault with it but I have no need to own it in print.  

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  • Posted July 30, 2011

    Joy was a Joy to Read

    Joy is a captivating story of Mirai San Julian, an adopted child of a single mother and later raised by her aunt. Mirai wants to learn about her past, but doing so may hurt her relationships with those she loves.

    Joy was a joy to read! It is a beautifully written rich descriptive story of love and life. It was interesting to read the history of the carousels and their restoration. Aunt Joy's lifelong ministry to help those who need guidance and supervision was touching. Although Mirai is a bit of a free spirit, as the story advances you begin to see the impression Joy's life-work had on Mirai.

    All of the characters are well developed and people that I could cared about. The story flows well and every time I had to put it down, I couldn't wait to get back to the story. I highly recommend this book.

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  • Posted June 21, 2011

    highly recommended

    This is such a great read. I started reading it yesterday and couldn't put it down. Good thing I had nothing else to do because I just ended up reading this all afternoon long and completely lost track of time. Definitely one I recommend to you all.

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