Archive for the ‘Fiction’ Category

All the Water in the World

January 8, 2020


How does a parent cope when their child has cancer? Told in alternating voices of mother and daughter, the reader discovers how Eve and Mandy handle a parent’s worst nightmare.¬† At sixteen Maddy has found her first boyfriend, Jack, who is very supportive of her, and besides her mother, also has both grandparents in her corner as well. Karen Raney has written a wonderful story about love, loss, and everything in between. I highly recommend it…

A Single Thread

December 4, 2019

indexTracy Chevalier, author of The Girl With A Pearl Earring, has written a novel set in 1932 England about a young woman trying to support herself on her own. Violet Speedwell lost both her fiance and her brother in the Great War and struggles as a typist to earn enough for her rent and two meals a day. She finds a friend, Gilda, among the broderers, a group of women who embroider cushions and kneelers for the local cathedral. Through Gilda, Violet meets Arthur, a bell ringer at the church, who becomes very special to her. Chevalier’s characters are well-developed and they provide the reader with a snapshot of the difficulties faced by single women in 1930’s society.

The Giver of Stars

November 6, 2019

indexThe latest novel by Jojo Moyes is a gripping tale of the “packhorse” librarians who travelled around Kentucky in the 1930’s, delivering books to families in remote and outlying areas. Eleanor Roosevelt had developed the idea to support literacy, and the women who undertook that task were brave and determined to complete their routes to the best of their abilities. This job was not for the faint of heart; they faced wild animals and wilder men who had been hitting the homemade moonshine and thus very unprincipled. And women had very few rights at that time, although one of the main heroines, Alice, leaves her husband after her father-in-law punches her in the face for “sassing” him. But she has the support of her friends and fellow librarians, Margery, Izzy, Beth and Sophia.Moyes has again written a story that you just can’t put down… I give it 5 stars!

A Terrible Country

September 18, 2019

index.aspxAndrei Kaplan journeys to Russia to take care of his ailing grandmother after his brother must suddenly leave the country. Keith Gessen pens an interesting comparison of everyday life in 2008 Russia with its counterpart in the U.S. Andrei is still waiting to land a job in his field of Russian literature, so a trip to Russia cannot fail to have a positive impact on his career, he reasons. His Baba Seva is about to turn 90, and is struggling with the beginnings of dementia, and Andrei learns from her what it feels like to outlive almost all of your friends. Gessen mixes humor in with his details of Russian economics and politics, which makes for an entertaining read.

The Long Flight Home

September 8, 2019

indexAnother new novel set during WWII, this story by Alan Hlad focuses on the role of homing pigeons, which were used by the English to convey messages from the locals in German-occupied France regarding troop movements. Operation Source Columba, referred to in the novel, is the actual name for the air-drop of thousands of pigeons in occupied zones of France and the Netherlands. In The Long Flight Home, Susan Shepherd and her grandfather are responsible members of the National  Pigeon Service who deliver their pigeons to British Services in an attempt to help win the war, knowing many of them will never return. Susan falls in love with Ollie, a brave American who is determined to be a fighter pilot for the British well before America enters the war. I particularly liked the brave actions of the members of the French Resistance, who risked their lives to save their people from the Germans, as well as the resilience of the British civilians. London was bombed for 76 consecutive nights by the Luftwaffe, a truly sobering fact. Recommended for fans of historical fiction.

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