Monday, December 07, 2015

Together for Christmas by Katherine Spencer

   Molly Harding and her partner Betty Bowman are owners of Willoughby's Fine Foods and Catering in the town of Cape Light.  Betty Bowman's husband is recovering from a serious injury, and Betty has to step back from the business and take care of her husband.  This puts more pressure on Molly during the holiday season, which is Willoughby's Fine Foods and Catering's busiest time of year.  Molly is not as good as Betty with the finances and soon finds herself in over her head and, thinking she can do it all, puts off asking others for help.  Finally she realizes if she doesn't ask for help from her husband and best friend, Betty, they will lose the business.
   Meanwhile, a single mother, Carrie Munro, and her son, Noah, have come to Cape Light to start a new life.  Carrie is out of work and looking for a new job, a new place for her and Noah to live.  Noah likes his new school, and he's especially happy with his new friend, who he calls Theo.  Noah insists his new friend is an angel.  At first Carrie is amused but later becomes concerned; she seeks out the help of Dr. Jeff Carlson, who is a child psychologist for help and guidance.
    Looking for a good Christmas story to read for Christmas?  Together for Christmas by Katherine Spencer would be a good choice.

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Memory Wall

Author Anthony Doerr has received a great deal of attention in the last year--and deservedly so--for his outstanding, Pulitzer-Prize-winning novel All the Light We Cannot See. Although I had read and liked his previous novel About Grace, I had skipped Doerr's short stories, preferring to read meatier, lengthier tales. Until now. The first and title story in Memory Wall is almost 90 pages of pure, glistening prose, more of Afterworld, alternates between an elderly woman suffering from epilepsy in present-day Ohio and her childhood in WorldWar II in Hamburg, Germany. The story explores the connections among memories, dreams, and the physical and ailing brain. Fascinating food for thought.
a novella than a story. It is set in South Africa in a futuristic time in which your memories can be extracted and stored in memory cartridges that can then be replayed by you or others over and over. Used as a treatment for dementia patients, the cartridges are also sought by others for nefarious purposes. The story is suspenseful and builds to a page-turning climax, but it is much more than that. It is a study of the power of memory. All the stories in the book are connected in this way, looking at the wonder of mind and memory. The final story in the collection, Afterworld, alternates between an elderly woman in Ohio suffering from epilepsy, and her childhood in WWII era Hamburg, Germany. It explores the connections between memory, dreams, and the physical, ailing brain. Fascinating food for thought.

Review submitted by Kelly Currie