Death Threat

“Viewers are cautioned that this next report contains images that may be disturbing to some.” Naturally, I turn toward the television to see what all the fuss is about.  Photos of a crime scene where two women have been brutally stabbed to death are plastered across the screen along with images of the hotel they […]

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“Before We Were Yours”: A Review

Before We Were Yours, by Lisa Wingate introduces the shameful story of the Tennessee Children’s Home Society, an organization run by Georgia Tann, a woman who made money by abducting poor children from their homes and selling them into adoption. Wingate’s novel imagines what life would be like for siblings taken from their homes and […]

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The Alice Network: a Worthy Read

Charlie’s cousin Rose has disappeared, and refusing to believe she is dead, Charlie sets out to retrace Rose’s steps.  Her investigation brings her to the door of Eve Gardner, a cranky woman, with deformed hands, a clear drinking problem, and a luger.  Together, with the help of a Scotsman, with a shady past, the three […]

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“The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir”: a review

It’s World War II, and the denizens of Chilbury are faced with the loss of their church choir as their men leave to fight for the cause.  Enter Prim, an upbeat teacher, with a fresh outlook, who encourages the women to defy protocols and create their own chorus. Jennifer Ryan’s novel about the life of […]

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“Everything I Never Told You”: Review

Set in small town Ohio, in the 1970’s, Everything I Never Told You tells the story of the Lee family: father, James, a professor and Chinese-American; Marilyn, a blue-eyed blonde, and their three children, one of which has disappeared as the story opens. The investigation into sixteen-year-old Lydia’s disappearance and consequent death (not a spoiler, as […]

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“Half of a Yellow Sun”: Review

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie weaves an intricate tale, with well-developed characters and relationships, and just when the reader wonders where it is all headed, the unthinkable happens. “Half of a Yellow Sun” is not a symbol I would have recognized before reading Adichie’s work.  Now I know that it is integral to the Biafran war, and […]

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“Ordinary Grace” Engaging

William Kent Krueger’s Ordinary Grace opens with two interesting events – a phone call in the middle of the night, introducing the main characters of the novel, and a mysterious death.  It is the beginning of a series of deaths plaguing this small, 1960’s Minnesota town. Thirteen-year-old Frank and his younger brother Jake team up to […]

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