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Chris has been a partner at the store for twenty years. She has a BA in History from Albion College and a BS in Education from Kent State. A mother of five grown sons, she used to hide in the laundry room to get time to read!
As a huge fan of Anne Tyler, I couldn’t wait to read this book! This is an inviting story of a woman reflecting on all parts of her life. The story is formatted with each chapter taking place in a different time period. We see Willa as a young girl, newlywed, widower, and a remarried woman who just wants to be noticed and perhaps needed. Reminiscent of The Ladder of Years, her new book is typical of the sublime art of character development. Nuanced with the mundane everyday life, we see Willa evolve into a new creature recreating herself anew. “She sees herself as a tiny skirted figure like the silhouette on a ladies’ room door, skimming the curve of the earth as it sails through space.” Best last line ever! And it comes out on my birthday, July 10th
Wow! I was really blown away by this novel. Christensen is a wonderful writer, her characters are witty, charming, and earthy. The plot is a suspenseful commentary on the cruise industry – what might go wrong when money rules humanity. Told through three voices, Miriam Koslow, an elderly Israeli violinist, Mick Szabo, a Hungarian who is the ship’s sous-chef, and Christine Thorne, a journalist turned Maine farmer. You find yourself cheering them on and hoping for the best!
While Hannah did write the Nightingale, a historical novel about France during the WWII, The Great Alone, while encompassing some history, is a more contemporary novel set in the 1970’s – 1980’s. This is a story of passion and survival. Passion for community, family, and country. Survival from the elements of Alaska and those we love. The descriptions are breath taking and the character development complicated and moving. This is a gripping story that is difficult to walk away from. Hannah weaves herself into your days as you think about these characters wishing that you could give them advice and help them along!
Ms. Egan may be the best American novelist of our day. As a Pulitzer Prize winner her use of language, creation of fascinating characters, and captivating plot compel the reader to turn each page, but not before savoring every word. This historical novel set in the depression through the Second World War, weaves the story of a young girl supporting her disabled sister and her mother after the disappearance of their father. Young Anna works in the Brooklyn Naval Yard and becomes the first female diver repairing the ships for the US Navy. Her relationship with gangster Dexter Styles brings to light the complexity of her father’s life and the reasons why he might of disappeared. I loved every page!
Trying to be a better father, Samuel Hawley, a man who carries more guns than Quentin Tarantino, takes his teenage daughter, Loo, back to Olympus, Massachusetts, his deceased wife’s hometown. Few in this village want them around, and the story winds back and forth between their past and the present. This thriller takes you on a road trip of grand proportions, but somehow you end up loving this unlikely team. Tinti is an extremely gifted writer who “exposes her characters’ hearts with a precision and a fearlessness that that will leave you shaken”. (Junot Diaz) I couldn’t put this book down!
As a former twenty-year resident of Cleveland Heights, I was immediately drawn to this book about Shaker Heights. You have to understand that the two towns are similar to Mariemont and Milford. The Van Sweringen’s (like the Emery’s) designed the city of Shaker Heights and they were my neighbors on Coleridge Road. They were delightful people who lost much of their fortune after the seventies. The city was well designed, with winding roads, parks, schools, and the Shaker Rapid for transporting people to work in downtown Cleveland. The novel mimics the spirit of the town in creating a utopia for people to lead successful lives in a perfect environment. The Richardson family embodies this spirit by always playing by the rules, or do they? Enter Mia Warren, a single mother and photographer, with a mysterious past and a teenage daughter, Pearl. Soon the families are intertwined and battle lines are drawn. Elena Richardson puts her family on a path of destruction, along with the lives of Mia and Pearl. Once again the author has created a story where the reader has to decide what really happens in the end. This book releases September 12th! I give it five stars
Having never read a book about hockey, I was challenging myself to get outside of my comfort zone in choosing a subject that made me feel a little uneasy. (What woman hasn’t heard those horrible stories about hockey players?) This story about a town that has been slowly deteriorating due to unemployment, is about the presumed win of the city's promising junior-level hockey team and the salvation of everyone. The hopes of a whole city are riding on a team of teenage boys, until a fateful night changes everything. The author is masterful at putting the reader inside the souls of his characters. A bit darker than some of his other novels, you don’t have to be a hockey fan to fall in love with some of his protagonists.