Opening and Closing Wounds.

Book Review for “Swimming Back to Trout River” by Linda Rui Feng. Summary: “In the summer of 1986 in a small Chinese village, ten-year-old Junie receives a momentous letter from her parents, who had left for America years ago: her father promises to return home and collect her by her twelfth birthday. But Junie’s growing … Continue reading Opening and Closing Wounds.

Sunny Days.

Book Review for “Summer on the Bluffs” by Sunny Hostin. Summary: "Welcome to Oak Bluffs, the most exclusive black beach community in the country. Known for its gingerbread Victorian-style houses and modern architectural marvels, this picturesque town hugging the sea is a mecca for the crème de la crème of black society—where Michelle and Barack … Continue reading Sunny Days.

Tasty Toppings.

Book Review for “Gentleman's Relish: Stories” by Patrick Gale. Summary: "A son wreaks revenge through the power of cookery, a lonely wife finds short-lived solace in angling lessons from a prisoner, and an obedience lesson with a puppy leads to the discovery of a murder... From the delightfully chilling to the humorous and heart-warming, this … Continue reading Tasty Toppings.

Petrie’s Dishings.

Book Review for “Antiquities: A Story” by Cynthia Ozick. Summary: Lloyd Wilkinson Petrie, one of the seven elderly trustees of the now defunct (for thirty-four years) Temple Academy for Boys, is preparing a memoir of his days at the school, intertwined with the troubling distractions of present events. As he navigates, with faltering recall, between … Continue reading Petrie’s Dishings.

On Santa Claus Lane.

Book Review for “Lurkers” by Sandi Tan. Summary: “The residents of Santa Claus Lane do their best to stay out of each other’s way, but desire, fury and mischief too often propel these suburban neighbors to collide. Precocious Korean American sisters Mira and Rosemary find their world rocked by a suicide, and they must fight … Continue reading On Santa Claus Lane.

Intimate Essays.

Book Review for “Conversations with My Body: Essays on My Life as a Jewish Woman” by Elana Sztokman. Summary: “Elana Sztokman arrived in Israel in 1993 as a young religious mother wearing a long skirt and a hat covering her hair. Today, nearly 30 years later, after spending years fighting for women’s rights in Orthodoxy, … Continue reading Intimate Essays.

They Came from Away.

Book Review for “The English Wife” by Adrienne Chinn. Summary: "VE Day 1945: As victory bells ring out across the country, war bride Ellie Burgess’ happiness is overshadowed by grief. Her charismatic Newfoundlander husband Thomas is still missing in action. Until a letter arrives explaining Thomas is back at home on the other side of … Continue reading They Came from Away.

In Their Own Skins.

Book Review for “Quicksand & Passing” by Nella Larsen. Summary: “Quicksand, written in 1928, is an autobiographical novel about Helga Crane, a mixed-race woman caught between fulfilling her desires and gaining respectability in her middle-class neighborhood. Written a year later, Passing tells the story of two childhood friends, Clare and Irene, both light-skinned enough to … Continue reading In Their Own Skins.