Genre: Fiction

Review: The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes

Review: The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes

What would you do if a war were being fought in your country, and your town or city was occupied by enemy forces? Would you cooperate or would you be subversive? What if your survival and the survival of your family depended on which choice you made? Would that make the choice between cooperation and subversion easier? What if the person you loved the most were arrested and taken into custody by the enemy…would you do everything in your power […]

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Review: The Returned by Jason Mott

Review: The Returned by Jason Mott

Fifty years ago, Harold and Lucille Hargrave’s son, Jacob, died on his eighth birthday. In the decades since, Harold and Lucille have gotten on with their lives and have learned to live without him. Though they still think of him and miss him from time to time, the pain of his loss has diminished and a strong marriage has held them together. As have their stubborn personalities. Then one day, Jacob comes back to Arcadia, North Carolina. A knock on […]

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Review: Mother, Mother by Koren Zailckas

Review: Mother, Mother by Koren Zailckas

Let me start by saying that Mother, Mother is a real page-turner. I could have plowed through it in about a day if I’d had the time. It’s fast-paced, the writing is simple, and the subject matter is of the I’m-feeling-really-uncomfortable-but-can’t-stop-reading kind. Mother, Mother is part psychological thriller, part study of a dysfunctional family. It’s written in the alternating perspectives of two of the Hurst children, Violet and Will, ages sixteen and ten or eleven, respectively. Their mother, Josephine, is […]

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Review: Mystery Girl by David Gordon

Review: Mystery Girl by David Gordon

Isn’t the cover of this book fantastic? I love it. We’ve always been taught not to judge a book by its cover, but sometimes that is the main reason I decide to read (or not read, as the case may be) a particular book. That was the case with Mystery Girl. Yes, the premise sounded good, but when it was offered to me by TLC Book Tours I ultimately said yes because I love the cover. Heh. Now I find […]

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Review: The Panopticon by Jenni Fagan

Review: The Panopticon by Jenni Fagan

This book is so good. The Panopticon is written in first-person, narrated by a 15-year-old girl named Anais Hendricks. The story is set in Scotland and when it opens, Anais is being accused of beating a police officer into a coma and is being placed in an institution called the Panopticon. The rest of the story goes through Anais’s time in the Panopticon and the life circumstances/choices that have ultimately led to her being placed there. The subject matter doesn’t […]

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Review: Race Across the Sky by Derek Sherman

Review: Race Across the Sky by Derek Sherman

The back cover of Race Across the Sky asks, “Who would you run one hundred miles for?” My answer? Nobody. Let’s be realistic here: I’d never make it. I probably couldn’t even run two miles without hurting myself and/or passing out at this point in my life, and that’s not going to help anybody. I can think of a lot of things I would do and sacrifice for the people I love, but running one hundred miles is not any […]

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Review: In the Land of the Living by Austin Ratner

Review: In the Land of the Living by Austin Ratner

In the Land of the Living is a coming-of-age story, a family saga, a book about fathers and sons (and brothers), a story highlighting the differences and misunderstandings between generations. It also has a sins-of-the-father-being-visited-on-the-son undertone, in a way. It begins with the story of Isidore, which is told as a kind of epic myth about a hero: That there lived a man named Isidore Auberon, there can be no dispute. There is the reflex hammer with the reddish rubber […]

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Review: The Perfume Collector by Kathleen Tessaro

Review: The Perfume Collector by Kathleen Tessaro

  London, 1955. Grace Munroe is in a loveless marriage with a cheating husband. Having lived a rather sheltered childhood in Oxford, her marriage has also thrown her into the fashionable, upscale social circles in London, which she is not fond of. Social conventions be damned. Even though her tendency to be meek means she tends to do as her husband wishes, she isn’t happy with that arrangement. Of course, finding out that her husband is cheating on her doesn’t […]

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Review: The Illusion of Separateness by Simon Van Booy

Review: The Illusion of Separateness by Simon Van Booy

Let me just start by saying that this is easily one of the best books I’ve read so far this year. The Illusion of Separateness gets top-five status on that list. It’s relatively short–I took two days to read it because I was savoring it, but I could have easily read it in a day–but it leaves a huge impact. The Illusion of Separateness is a book of interconnected vignettes (I think that’s the word I want) about a group […]

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Review: Drift by Jon McGoran

Review: Drift by Jon McGoran

Jon McGoran has been following and writing about food and agriculture for many years. In Drift, McGoran focuses on GMOs (genetically modified organisms). Technologies of this kind always have good and bad sides, divided by a fine ethical line. No matter how you look at it or where you read about it though, GMO technology often sounds like some kind of science fiction thriller. (Frankenstein, anyone? There is a reason why genetically modified foods have been nicknamed “Frankenfoods.”) Drift is a fast-paced […]

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