The Disappearing Earth is a mystery set in the Kamchatka peninsula, an area with active volcanoes The story centers around the disappearance of two local girls, Alyona and Sophia Golosovskaya. Other characters react to the girls' disappearance while also telling their own stories. The bird's eye point-of- view gives readers a 360 degree perspective of the region … Continue reading Book Review: The Disappearing Earth by Julia Phillips.
Violet Hurst's family is a vortex of toxicity. Nearly everyone is a narcissist, liar, or addict, an abuser an enabler, or some combination. After a drug-fueled night that Violet has trouble remembering, she is sent to a mental health clinic. Her mother, Josephine, insists that she has tried to hurt her brother, Will. Though she … Continue reading Book Review: Mother, Mother by Koren Zailckas
All Chip Linton wants when he moves to Bethel, New Hampshire is a little peace and quiet for his family. He has already survived the unthinkable, a plane crash. Since he was the pilot, he blames himself for not being able to pull off a "Miracle on the Hudson" type maneuver. Tragically, Linton is not able … Continue reading Book Review: The Night Strangers by Chris Bohjalian
Each of stories in Night at the Fiestas are about family members embroiled in complicated, ambivalent relationships. Maria both admires and despises her cousin, Nemecia, in the story called "Nemecia." After leaving her first husband who was rich yet abusive, Monica of "Mojave Rats," marries an impoverished geology graduate student. Monica gives an expensive dress away to … Continue reading Book Review: Night at the Fiestas by Kirstin Valdez Quade.
For a coming-of-age story that transcends genre, read Emily Fridlund's History of Wolves.One of the central questions in this tale is culpability. "What's the difference between what you want to believe and what you do?...And what's the difference between what you think and what you end up doing," Madeleine wonders. She's a kid surrounded by adults--her … Continue reading Book Review: History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund.
Fates and Furies is a portrait of a marriage--as viewed in turn by both participants. The novel is a tragic love story and yet its also more than that. Lawrence Satterwaite, an unlikely artist, is the creative force in the marriage. His father is a rich, but unsophisticated Florida businessman who made a fortune bottling spring … Continue reading Book Review: Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff
"You have to take a chance don't you? Its like crossing the road with your eyes shut...you don't know what's going to happen next." --Kitty Finch.Nina decides that standing near Kitty "was like being near a cork that had just popped out of a bottle." Nina thinks Kitty is a wild, adventurous spirit.Jurgen wants to … Continue reading Book Review: Swimming Home by Deborah Levy
The Bigtrees have grown up in the Southwest tip of Florida--in the Ten Thousand Islands--where they have run a unique theme park, Swamplandia. With the exception of Ossie, all of the family members are alligator wrestlers. The star attraction is Ava's mother who dives in a pool of seths, their pet name for alligators. Their … Continue reading Book Review: Swamplandia by Karen Russell
The River Wife is a panoramic story--from the 1812 New Madrid quake to the 1930s. Central to the story is the enigmatic, Jacques DuCharme, a one-armed river pirate whose wealth and wild ways become legendary. Lonely and pregnant, Hedie Ducharmes Rails finds a journal that belongs to Annie Lark, who is married to Jacques Ducharme, a descendant of … Continue reading Book Review: The River Wife by Joni Agee.
The Lantern by Deborah Lawrenson When she and her boyfriend, Dom, move into a crumbling Provencal house, Eve never expects to be drawn into the hamlet's mystery. Charmed by Dom in Switzerland, Eve quickly moves in with him.Eve never questions her boyfriend's past or why he left his ex-wife Rachel. A mystery woman, Sabine, seems to have … Continue reading Book Review: The Lantern by Deborah Lawrenson