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“Weather” is a very short, observational stream of consciousness. The story and the narrator’s musings reflect  those weird thoughts and dysfunctional relationships we all have (I think). Lizzie is a middle aged, married, mother of one who is keenly aware of aging and the peculiarities of the world around her. Lizzie works in the library of a university, a job procured for her by her friend and former university professor Sylvia. Sylvia is a rather…
The Mirror & The Light is the story of Thomas Cromwell and King Henry from May 20, 1536 through July 28, 1540. The novel, which begins with a beheading and ends with a beheading, is the final novel in Mantel’s trilogy chronicling Thomas Cromwell’s rise and fall. Since it is a historical novel, with some liberties and fictional characters thrown in, I am going to assume you do not need to be warned about spoiler…
Lost Children Archive is a complex novel involving sensory perception through sound and echo. The novel focuses on a family of four—husband, wife, boy girl. No names. Husband and wife met four years before the story begins, when they were recording a soundscape together in New York City. They were part of a large team of people working for New York University’s Center for Urban Science and Progress. The project was intended “to sample and…
The Resisters is a complex dystopian story envisioning the consequences of an authoritarian technology dependent future. And yet, the story involves baseball! The story begins with Gwen. As a baby, Gwen “threw her stuffed animals straight through her bedroom doorway. They shot out, never so much as grazing the door frame, and they always hit the wall of the staircase across from her bedroom at a certain spot…”. Gwen had a golden arm. Gwen’s parents,…
Red at the Bone is about the complexities of love, youth, parenthood and unsatisfied expectations. When beautiful Iris becomes pregnant at the age of 15, not only is her life turned upside down, but the lives of her mother, Sabe, her father, Sammy Po‘Boy Simmons and her boyfriend, Aubrey Daniels, are thrust into turmoil. The novel describes each person’s reaction to the pregnancy and the arrival of Melody into their lives and gives the reader…
“Olive Again” is Elizabeth Strout’s follow up to her highly acclaimed Pulitzer Prize winning novel, Olive Kitteridge. Similar to the original novel, Olive Again is 13 interrelated short stories, with similar themes. In the first story, Arrested, we meet Jack Kennison, a slightly disgraced retired Harvard professor. Jack is 74, widowed and in the beginning stages of a romantic relationship with Olive. Jack reflects all of the book’s themes.  He is questioning many of his…
My friend Val lives in Westchester and travels to the city each day for work. She has been describing to me the dystopian feel of her days. An empty ghostlike grand central station, fearful commuters and anxious parents are just a few of her observations. Below is her as yet unpublished COVID-2019  Lament (NYC/March 2020)   The cavernous Grand Central is virtually empty save for those few who trudge through. Heads down, almost sheepish they…
Girl, Woman, Other is a wonderful novel about all the different kinds of people in the world and their commonality. The novel tells the story of 12 different women all of whom have a common connection—some obvious and some less so. The story begins with an introduction to Amma. When we first meet her, Amma is 50 years old and preparing for the opening of her play, The Last Amazon of Dahomey, at the National…
“I lived a life where I had less than what I desired. So instead of wanting more, sometimes I just made myself want less. Sometimes I made myself believe that I wanted nothing, not even food or air. And if I wanted nothing, I’d just turn into a ghost. And that would be the end of it.” This is Lillian Breaker. Lillian is 28 years old and “working two cashier jobs at competing grocery stores,…
Night Boat to Tangier is a beautifully written story about the criminally complex and intertwined lives of two haggard gentlemen, Charlie Redmond and Maurice Hearne. Both men are from Ireland and we meet them in October of 2018, sitting in the terminal at the port of Algecirus, hoping to spot Maurice’s estranged 23 year old daughter Dilly, either coming or going. Charlie, early 50s, walks with a pronounced limp and Maurice, 51 years old, has…