Continuing to be

Book review of "I am, I am, I am: Seventeen Brushes with Death" by Maggie O’Farrell Goodreads calls this book a “memoire with a difference - the unputdownable story of an extraordinary woman's life in near-death experiences.” They also say it is “Shocking, electric, unforgettable,” and comment that “It is a book to make you question … Continue reading Continuing to be

Shards of Remaining Objects

Book Review of "Smash All the Windows" by Jane Davis Goodreads Synopsis: “For the families of the victims of the St Botolph and Old Billingsgate disaster, the undoing of a miscarriage of justice should be a cause for rejoicing. For more than thirteen years, the search for truth has eaten up everything. Marriages, families, health, … Continue reading Shards of Remaining Objects

Portraits in Survival

Book Review of "On a Cold Dark Sea" by Elizabeth Blackwell. The Titanic; it was supposed to be the most wondrous ship ever built. But for Esme, Charlotte and Anna, surviving that fateful crossing has stalked their whole lives, each in very different ways. Particularly because each of these three women were on different classes … Continue reading Portraits in Survival

A New Christmas Carol

Review of The Deal of a Lifetime: A Novella by Fredrik Backman The protagonist of this novella is a father who is wealthy, successful and famous. He also has cancer, but so does the adorable five-year-old girl he meets in the hospital. Both of them are going to die eventually. The question is, does it … Continue reading A New Christmas Carol

Perfecting your Good-bye

And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer by Fredrik Backman Stock up on tissues folks, because Fredrik Backman is BACK! This time, Backman gives us a perfectly formed, exquisitely developed novella (whose title is almost longer than the book itself) about a man slowly succumbing to dementia and his relationship to his … Continue reading Perfecting your Good-bye

Progress per traditionem.

Different Class by Joanne Harris Much to the chagrin and worry of the aging Latin Master, Mr. Straightly, John Harrington is back at St. Oswald's, but this time he's not a student; he's the new Head. Harrington has some ideas of how he wants to bring St. Oswald's into the 21st century, but modernizing this … Continue reading Progress per traditionem.

What is your superpower?

My Grandmother Sends her Regrets and Apologises (aka My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry), by Fredrik Backman Anyone who has been reading my reviews will know that my favorite book of 2014 was Backman's, "A Man Called Ove." This Swedish author took the world by storm with his poignant story of a … Continue reading What is your superpower?

Becoming Nora

Nora Webster by Colm Tóibín Everyone loved Maurice Webster. While she was married to him, Nora lived quietly in his shadow. Then he fell ill, and as his death approached, Nora was totally devoted, practically ignoring her sons and daughters in order to care for him. Now that he's gone, Nora has become something of … Continue reading Becoming Nora

Twins and Ghosts

Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger Elspeth and Edwina were identical twins, estranged for many years. When Elspeth dies in London, she leaves her flat to her sister's, nieces - Julia and Veronica - who are also identical twins. However, there is a condition. The two girls must leave the USA and their mother behind, … Continue reading Twins and Ghosts

Gambits and Pawns

The Death's Head Chess Club by John Donoghue SS Obersturmführer (1st Lieutenant) Paul Meissner's battle injury has taken him off the front lines, and put him in Auschwitz, assigned to bolster flagging morale in the camps. His superiors are skeptical about his chess club idea, especially if he's allowing officers and enlisted men to play … Continue reading Gambits and Pawns