Friday, May 28, 2010
Bloodroot is the name of a flower whose blood-red sap possesses the power both to heal and poison. It is also the perfect title of this novel, which is as much about a place as it is about people. The setting is Appalachia, with its stunning natural beauty amidst a hardscrabble life of poverty. Myra grows up in this lovely place, and she is a beauty herself, but she seems destined to a life of trouble and hardship. She is a wild child and has been given a special gift, the "touch," but sometimes life's greatest gifts turn out to be the source of greatest sorrows. Amy Greene gives us the interwined and hopelessly linked stories of the families that live on Bloodroot Mountain, and you will feel that you're a part of it, too.
Monday, May 17, 2010
Single mother Ellen finds one of those "Have you seen this child?" fliers in her mailbox, and the picture looks shockingly like her three-year-old adopted son Timothy. Her journalist instincts compel her to investigate, and she finds more than she bargains for--a trail that leads to more than one suspicious death and the potential loss of the son she has grown to love so much. Scottoline is at the top of her game with this one, and you will be holding your breath until the last page.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
After four long years, Anna Quindlen's patient and faithful fans have been rewarded with her newest novel, Every Last One. This is not an easy read. Mary Beth Latham, wife, mother, and business owner, has a full and happy life. Her husband Glenn is lovable and companionable; her daughter Ruby a charming, intelligent, young woman, and her twin boys Alex and Max are like two sides of a coin--one the easy, popular athlete and the other the quiet, struggling outsider whom Mary Beth worries about the most. We know from the beginning of the story that something terrible will happen to fracture this family. When it comes, even though we have been warned, it is a shock. It is incredibly sad, but I do encourage you to read this book. Quindlen knows how to write. She knows how to connect the reader to the character, almost as if you are walking hand in hand with Mary Beth and her family. As the reader, you can see from the comfort of your reading chair that casual comments and small actions can sometimes unintentionally lead to large and calamitous results. This is a beautiful and tender drama of a family forever altered but a family nonetheless.
Monday, May 03, 2010
This collection of short stories by the brilliant Alice Munro is called Runaway because it is about women of all ages and temperaments who are running away from something, be it their youth, their husbands, their lives, or quite possibly the truth. Munro has a talent for revealing the secrets and betrayals, large and small, that populate all our lives. I usually do not like short stories. They often seem so perfunctory and leave me wanting for more. Not so with Alice Munro. These are satisfying stories, spare of language but full of meaning and depth. This is the Morning Book Club selection, which will be discussed on Friday, May 28, at 9 a.m. All are welcome to join us!