I sat down last night to read Flora Segunda by Ysabeau Wilce. It came recommended by a homeschool graduate for inclusion in my book-in-progress 100 Books for Kids Who Love to Read. I got to page 23, closed it, and put it aside. I don't think I'll be including it.
The story was compelling thus far -- a girl with an inattentive military leader mom and a fruitcake alcoholic father who lives in a magical house with 11,000 rooms. Not exactly the ideal family but that's not what bothered me. Lots of great books have dysfunctional families. What makes those books great is how the hero deals with challenges along with a redemptive ending.
I don't know if Flora Segunda gets the ending right or if it contains the True and the Beautiful because I just couldn't get past the heroine's line, "Goddess knew what hungry uglies were lurking down there." Goddess? That bothered me.
Maybe I'm overreacting but I've got a hundred books to read in researching 100 Books and I don't want to waste my time with a book that is probably inappropriate to recommend to Catholic families.
So, if you've read Flora Segunda and loved it, please tell me why in the comments. Let me know how it can be baptized and what redeeming features it contains.
Meanwhile, I decided to take a break from fantasy and try a piece of historical fiction. The Sword of Clontarf by Charles Brady (Hillside Education) happened to be closest to me when I closed Flora Segunda so that's what I'm reading now. I'm four chapters into it already and I'm really enjoying it.