A review of Sophie Chen Keller’s The Luster of Lost Things. Published on August 8, 2017 by PENGUIN GROUP (G.P. Putnam’s Sons). This book has been compared to both A Man Called Ove and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.
Walter Lavender Jr. is a finder, using his gift to help people around the city who have lost important items, anything from dogs to bassoons, yet unable to use it to locate his own lost father. He spends most of his time in his mother’s sweets shop – The Lavenders – a place where desserts come to life, thanks to the magic of the Book. However, when the book is lost, he must go on a journey through New York City to find it. Along the way, he meets the lost people of the city who, like him, just want to be found and belong.
A review of Salman Rushdie’s The Golden House. Published on September 5, 2017 by Random House Publishing Group (Random House).
The Golden House, among other things, is a commentary on the current political atmosphere as well as American life and culture in general, tackling issues from immigration to gender identity and beyond.
A review of Sarah Schmidt’s See What I Have Done. Published August 1, 2017 by Grove Atlantic (Atlantic Monthly Press).
Sarah Schmidt’s See What I Have Done is a fictionalized version of the Lizzie Borden Axe Murders. The title of this book is adapted from the famous song: “Lizzie Borden took an axe…”
A review of V.S. Alexander’s The Magdalen Girls. Published December 27, 2016 by Kensington Books.
V.S. Alexander’s novel The Magdalen Girls is set in 1962 Dublin, Ireland. The Sisters of the Holy Redemption, a convent of the Catholic Church, is a place for “fallen” women to have a chance for redemption from their sins through hard labor, reflection, and prayer. The lives of a Magdalen was difficult. Not only did they have to endure long hours working in the stifling laundries, but they had little chance of returning to the rest of society, and even if they did, their reputation would be ruined.
A review of Lisa See’s The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane, published March 21, 2017 by Scribner.
Lisa See’s latest novel, The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane, tells the story of Li-yan and her life as a tea farming Akha in a remote hill tribe village in Yunnan. When she has a baby out of wedlock, she abandons her in an orphanage in the closest town both as defiance of traditional Akha practices as well as in hopes of a better life for her daughter.
A review of John Boyne’s (author of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas) latest novel, The Heart’s Invisible Furies. Published August 22, 2017 by Crown Publishing (Hogarth Press).
The Heart’s Invisible Furies tells the story of Cyril Avery, born in Ireland in 1945 to a teenage girl out of wedlock and raised by a couple who kept insisting he was not a “real” Avery, seeing as he was adopted. Never feeling like he truly belonged anywhere, Cyril struggled for his entire life to be happy, especially as having to come to terms with being a homosexual man in a highly conservative and religious Ireland, where the very nature of homosexuality was reviled and even illegal. What an unassuming cover for such an ambitious, powerhouse of a book.
A review of Hannah Tinti’s The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley, published on March 28, 2017 by Random House Publishing Group – Random House.
Hannah Tinti’s The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley tells the unconventional father-daughter relationship shared between Samuel Hawley and Loo (Louise) – a man running from his past and a girl running toward her future.
Because of his past, Hawley never felt comfortable settling in any one place for long. That is, until he and Loo move to Olympus, Massachusetts, the town where Loo’s mother Lily grew up and where Hawley is determined to let Loo do the same. Shifting between Loo’s present and Hawley’s past, Tinti weaves a tale of love lost, revenge sought, and the cost of protecting those you love.