Ana Turns is loosely based on the Mrs. Dalloway concept. A day in the life of a woman reckoning with her past and present in order to live a richer future. Although the most notable tribute was Michael Cunningham’s, Pulitzer prize winning THE HOURS, written in 1998, in many ways, this story is a fresh take on the Virginia Woolf story. With grace, perception of what makes us tick and originality, this book was a wonderful read. It's Ana’s sixtieth birthday. And what are birthdays for (especially the milestones) but to think about the rest of our lives. Her life has been complicated and she understands that if she is to find happiness in her future, she must make peace with her past. Unlike Clarissa, she did not plan her party, which may be part of her overall problem.
Sometimes a very good book comes to you by surprise. I was scrolling through Libby, the library's digital book app, looking for an audiobook for my daily walks. Not finding anything I'd heard of readily available, I spotted Winterland by Rae Meadow. The blurb compared it to Disappearing Earth by Julia Phillips, a riveting Russian … Continue reading WINTERLAND
A World War II Drama Drawn from the real Elephant Angel of Belfast
Some novels are unevenly written. While the story may be compelling, the background reads like a text book. Or the setting and background are riveting and the characters are not well developed. The Elephant of Belfast is one such book. The history is informative and well done, the flow of the story not so much. You may have surmised by now, that I love to read historical fiction. As debate rages about what is appropriate historical material to teach in the classroom, this genre can provide a wide open window to slices of history that may be new to you. To badly paraphrase a quote from author Pam Jenoff (The Orphan Tale, The Lost Girls of Paris, Code Name: Sapphire): history is not a list of facts and dates, it is the choices people make when their lives are at risk. How true that is.
TWO NOVELS EXPLORE HISTORY THROUGH THE LENS OF FICTION: Are they at risk?
In reading the two books I will discuss, the threat of censorship was with me on every page. As I read, I was thinking of historical fiction as a source of understanding and new knowledge.What we might learn from the adage...walk a mile in my shoes. Personal stories that shed light on who we were, what we've done, and perhaps, why we are in the state we're in now.
The Evolving Dynamics of Family: The Other Mother
This is a multigenerational tale of a mixed-race family that has many complications. Mixed race is only the beginning. Add into the mix a gay couple who has a baby via sperm donor in the time when AIDS was at its peak. The child, now college age, has many questions about his father and it is with this quest that the book unfolds. THE OTHER MOTHER by Rachel M. Harper, is a novel about l who can be a mother, the different configurations of family, and how the actions of family members may be well-intentioned but destructive..
AMERICAN DIRT: A STORY OF TERROR, DISPLACEMENT AND LOVE
A book like this is why fiction can have an impact on how we view and think about subjects we may know about, but never personally encounter. And it is a great discussion starter.
A Tale of Family Trauma Elegantly Rendered
Lately, if I've read a book that has garnered a long list of prizes (2021 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, best book of year by NPR and Publisher's weekly and over the top reviews, I read it with great anticipation and am usually surprised by the acclaim, disappointed with the story or lack thereof, … Continue reading A Tale of Family Trauma Elegantly Rendered
More Than a Mystery
A gripping literary thriller about a classical violinist's search to find his stolen Stradivarius as he prepares for the biggest opportunity of his life.
My 2020 Good Reads List
One of the few upsides of quarantine living was the time for more reading. I’m sure many of you surpassed your reading goals quite by accident, others because as with everything else, reading has also become a competitive sport as has cooking, design, fashion, and other arts. I'm just hoping I never see a reality … Continue reading My 2020 Good Reads List
Holding Our Breath…The Grief of Others by Leah Hager Cohen
2020. It will be known for many things. But mainly it will be the year of BREATH. The loss of it. And how and if we will regain it.When breath just happens, when you don't have to think about it, it is miraculous. That is...when it happens naturally... when you don't need the help of a ventilator or oxygen or when you don't have someone choking off that delicious air you need to breathe by standing on your neck.But it's 2020. Death. Grief. It’s all around us in all its forms. Although we mainly associate the word with loss through death, it’s definition is more all encompassing. The dictionary definition: keen mental suffering or distress over affliction or loss; sharp sorrow; painful regret. Loss seems to be the 4 letter word of the day so this week's blog will deal with a beautifully written novel on the subject.