Archive for the ‘Fiction’ Category

American Dirt

March 4, 2020

indexI enjoy the writing skills of Jeanine Cummins, and her latest novel does not disappoint. As you probably know from all the publicity surrounding it, American Dirt is the story of the plight of the migrant family. Lydia and Luca Perez, a mother and her young 8 year old son, are fleeing Acapulco to escape with their lives. Their entire family of 16 people have just been gunned down in cold blood by the henchmen of a local drug cartel boss, in retaliation for the fallout after a story by Lydia’s husband exposing “El Jefe” and his murderous crimes. Lydia and Luca ride La Bestia, trains that will take them close to the US border, a harrowing journey, and then must hire a “coyote” to sneak them across the border. I thought Cummins did an excellent job of portraying “the other” and the reader is led to experience the tremendous courage displayed by the migrants in the face of immense adversity.

The Outside Boy

February 23, 2020

indexThe Irish Travellers are the subject of this early novel by Jeanine Cummins. The term refers to a distinct culture of itinerants, who maintain a set of traditions. Christy lives as a Traveller, (or Pavee in Irish) in 1959 Ireland with his dad and extended family, having just lost his Grandda. Christy’s culture is generally looked down on, as Travellers are viewed as ignorant and poor, since they don’t own property, live in a house or hold a long-term job. Instead, the men work with metal, repairing and making items to sell, as they travel around. Christy’s mom died giving birth to him eleven years ago, and he carries this constant guilt around with him He spends the majority of the story determined to track her down from an old newspaper clipping that his Grandda saved for him. It’s slow going at times, but the ending is worth the struggle.

The Perfect Fraud

February 12, 2020

indexClaire is a psychic, just like her mother, but she’s just not getting the vibes that she needs. So she tries to tell people what she thinks they want to hear during her readings. But when she loses her father, her world begins to change, especially her relationship with her mom.
Rena is a mom with a very sick daughter, but doctors aren’t able to diagnose her issues. She is flying to Arizona to hunt down yet another doctor to¬† cure her four-year old Stephanie, and her seatmate on the flight just happens to be Claire. Will Claire be able to help Stephanie before it becomes too late? The novel addresses a very disturbing psychological disorder, but one that needs to be brought to light.

Lady Clementine

February 5, 2020

indexMany of us are familiar with the legacy of Winston Churchill, but what about his wife? Clementine Churchill was a formidable woman in her own right. She had an amazing grasp of the political sphere, and was quite an influence on Churchill and his career. Mrs. Churchill also took on government officials in her fight to keep Britain’s air raid shelters livable for the families that were forced to reside there when their homes were bombed during WWII. Marie Benedict paints a clear picture of an amazing woman. Highly recommended for fans of historical fiction.

Secret of a Charmed Life

January 26, 2020

indexKendra, a college history major spending a term at Oxford, is interviewing Isabel, a 93 year old who survived the Blitz, for a term paper. But she is shocked to discover that Isabel is not the woman’s real name, nor is she 93. Susan Meissner spins the story of two sisters separated after a relocation from London to the British countryside in 1940. The novel is written in alternating time frames between the 1940s and the present, and provides a window into wartime England from a young person’s point of view. I enjoy this author’s writing and would definitely recommend this novel for fans of historical fiction.

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