The Newlyweds by Nell Freudenberger- review

This book got very good reviews, but it was too slow-paced for me and dragged. Amina, a young woman from Bangladesh, and George, an American living in Rochester, meet online and marry. Once settled in the United States, Amina’s goal is to have her parents relocate here before she starts having babies. Although it doesn’t seem that she married just for citizenship, Amina’s true feelings aren’t clear nor how much she really cares for George. I wish the author had given more background on George’s earlier life, too. The book had a strong start and then just went nowhere. Even after the author had Amina revisit a childhood crush, the plot drifted without purpose and was left unsatisfyingly unresolved.

In-between books

A mother of a girl going into middle school came into the library earlier this week.  Her daughter no longer wanted to read “J” books, so the mother looked over the YA collection.  She apparently did not like many of the titles that she saw. Maria suggested that we try to put together a short list of books that are on our shelves that would be appropriate for that in-between reader. 

Even though this child didn’t want books from the “J” collection, there are many authors whose books are shelved in the Children’s Room that might be what this mother is looking for.  For example Mildred Taylor and Cynthia Voight have written about children trying to make their way in the adult world.  Of course, Bradshares, Paolini, LeGuin and McCaffery, who we shelve in YA, might also be “kinder and gentler” authors with a more adult edge that we could include.

Perhaps we could all come up with a short list of titles that we could feature that would appeal to both early middle school kids and their parents alike.

Another author moves to YA

We know that Carl Hiaasen, John Grisham, and Harlan Coben have all ventured into the YA writing market. Well, soon we can add some other very familiar adult authors to this list.  Elizabeth George, Jodi Picoult, and Jane Smiley all will have YA novels published very soon.

Why this cross-over stampede?  It seems that YA sales have increased, especially because of the success of “The Hunger Games” trilogy and, of course, the “Twilight” series.  Adult fiction sales don’t seem to be generating as much revenue.  So it seems from a monetary point of view, it makes good sense to have established writers venture into other genres.

Elizabeth George has written her Inspector Lynley series for more than 25 years.  I appreciate her complicated plots, which often involve social commentary on conditions in England.  She does admit that she had to change her writing style in order to present a more straightforward telling of the story.  Jodi Picoult has co-authored “Between the Lines” with her teenage daughter.  She admits that one reason she wrote her YA novel was because she wanted to write something that would appeal to her own children.It has also been pointed out that teen readers’ enthusiasm rates much higher than that of adults. 

Combine all of these reasons and we will probably see more authors joining the growing ranks of those authors writing for many different age groups.  I only hope that they don’t forget their adult readers.  Elizabeth George ended her last book with one of her major characters promising to help a friend find his kidnapped daughter.  I hope I won’t have to wait two more years to find out what happens.



There’s a great article on two of Palisades’ nonegenarians in the May issue of 10964: Dorothy Davis and Albon Man, who are 96 and 94, respectively. Their bios are so inspiring; Ms. Davis is a 1985 Grandmaster of the Mystery Writers of America. I had no idea what this was, but when I looked it up, the MWA website explains it as an award “representing the pinnacle of achievement in mystery writing.” How impressive! The organization also administers the esteemed Edgar Awards, for which Ms. Davis was nominated 7 times. The awards are given for 15 separate categories, a fact I didn’t know… At any rate, Ms. Davis now lives in the Esplanade and is currently working on her memoirs.

Mr. Man retired from Prentice Hall at 65, started a new career with the American Institute of CPA and retired from there at 80. Amazing. He also volunteered with the Historical Society of Rockland to keep busy after that retirement and took part in a peace vigil against the war. Like Ms. Davis, Mr. Man reads a great deal and is very aware of world events.

I think how fortunate we are to know these two impressive Palisadians.