“The Silent Sister”

May 24, 2018 by

“The Silent Sister” somehow came across my path recently and I listened to the audio edition. Told in the alternating voices of Riley and Lisa/Jade, we learn that Riley’s father recently passed away and she is in the process of returning home to get ready to sell her childhood home. As long as Riley can remember, it’s been her and her older brother, Danny. When she was 2, her older sister, Lisa, died and she doesn’t remember her.  Riley has always been told that she was a violin prodigy that drowned in an accident.  As Riley begins digging through her father’s belongings and talking to neighbors, she discovers that the story she grew up with may only be a story.  As Riley searches for the truth, we are introduced to Lisa at age 17- the year she “died.” She was accused of murdering her violin teacher and was about to stand trial when she drowned. The story builds tension and the characters are engaging, though flawed. Recommended.

Title: The Silent Sister: A Novel, Author: Diane Chamberlain

Other People’s Houses

May 23, 2018 by

111 bookFrances Bloom is a carpool mom for her neighborhood, since she is the only one who doesn’t work outside the home. This novel is heavy on characterization, since the carpool involves four families and seven children. In fact, the story opens with a “cast of characters” so readers can keep kids and parents straight. One morning Frances promises her six year old neighbor Kate that she will retrieve the toilet paper tubes she forgot to bring to school, but doesn’t realize when she pops in the house that the mom is canoodling with a guy who isn’t her husband. This starts “the big secret” that sets up a chain reaction somehow managing to involve all the families. Each has their own issues, but struggle to resolve them, and Waxman sprinkles in lots of humor, as parents attempt to understand their kids of all ages. It’s a light read, perfect for the beach.

The Takedown

May 21, 2018 by

The Takedown by Corrie Wang is the perfect contemporary fiction book for Teens in the digital age. The book takes place in a not-so-distant future where facial recognition software results in your every move being tracked online for everyone to see.

Kyla Cheng is one of the most popular girls in school – which is a feat considering that they live

indexin a world where there is essentially no privacy and there is no such thing as keeping secrets.  A week before college applications are due, a video of Kyla “doing it” with her crush-worthy English teacher is uploaded to her school’s website. It instantly goes viral, but here’s the thing: it’s not Kyla in the video. With time running out, Kyla delves into a world of hackers, haters and creepy stalkers in an attempt to do the impossible—take something off the internet—all while dealing with the fallout from her own karmic footprint.

Another unreliable narrator- love it!

May 17, 2018 by

Trending in fiction along with alternate points of view, is the unreliable narrator. Although there is a flood of new titles with this type of character narrating the story, the choices of books with this concept stretches back over 50 years. British author, , writes an article in The Guardian describing this style of narrator in its various manifestations as: “those who are fooling themselves, those who are fooling others, and a range in between.”  The latest unreliable narrator book I’ve read is Alice Feeney’s “Sometimes I Lie” whose title alone instantly manipulates the reader. Wait. Who is really telling the truth here anyway? Feeney immediately has the reader on edge guessing at who is telling the truth and who isn’t:

“My name is Amber Reynolds. There are three things you should know about me:

  1. I’m in a coma.
  2. My husband doesn’t love me anymore.
  3. Sometimes I lie.

  As Feeney tells her tale, we share our sympathy with the misunderstood character hoping she will be revealed, in the end, as we know her to be: the honest, kind woman she is.             Or is she?

Dear Harry Potter Fans: You’re welcome.

May 14, 2018 by

Fans of Harry Potter rejoice! I have discovered a Harry Potter podcast that you will love. It is called Harry Potter and the Sacred Text. Each week the two hosts analyze one chapter at a time through a central theme (Loss, Confusion, Shame, etc..) The hosts do an amazing job of relating the characters to the real world and as a longtime fan of Harry Potter I didn’t realize that there was so much of the books that I hadn’t yet explored. So take a listen: static1.squarespace


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