Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout

Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout

One of the most intriguing characters in contemporary literature is back! Olive Kitteridge, whom we first met in Strout’s eponymous novel of 2008, is not the most likable woman. She’s got a Down East bluntness and speaks her mind, often sharply. Her inner thoughts are often nasty but she doesn’t let them out. She has […]


Pride of Eden

Pride of Eden

Eden is a wildlife sanctuary on the Georgia coast run by Anse Caulfield, an ex-jockey and Vietnam war veteran who uses all his military skills to save animals being mistreated in roadside attractions or private cages.  Malaya, a young Filipino-American, Iraqi War veteran, fresh from a gig hunting poachers in Africa, saves herself from PTSD […]


Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All by Laura Ruby

Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All by Laura Ruby

Suspenseful and with unexpected plot-twists, this novel kept me on edge. Frankie, her sister Toni and their brother Vito have been left at a Catholic orphanage in Chicago during the Depression. Their mother died and their father can’t afford to keep them. The ghost who watches Frankie has been dead since the Spanish Flu epidemic. […]


The Grammarians by Cathleen Schine

The Grammarians by Cathleen Schine

Language mavens, read and forwynsumian. Ah, the play of words, the joy of vocabulary! Not only are Laurel and Daphne red-headed identical twins, they are named for the same Greek myth. They love the power and mastery of grammar and each other. The twins are surrounded by family and friends who are amazingly tolerant of […]


The Girl in the Green Raincoat by Laura Lippman

The Girl in the Green Raincoat by Laura Lippman

With a nod to Hitchcock’s “Rear Window,” private detective Tess Monaghan is confined to her sofa during the final weeks of a high-risk pregnancy. Bored beyond belief, she mopes and watches with great envy the jolly collection of twice-a-day dog walkers she can easily see from her large picture window. As a trained observer of […]


The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri

The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri

Nuri was a beekeeper with his cousin Mustafa in the beautiful Syrian city of Aleppo before the civil war broke out in 2011 and he lost all he loved. His cousin left first but Nuri and his wife Afra were reluctant to leave the place where their families had lived for generations. Finally, they decided […]


The World That We Knew by Alice Hoffman

The World That We Knew by Alice Hoffman

Like a kaleidoscope that is infinitely unfolding, this WW II tale of danger, daring and despair, brings into focus love and sacrifice in a cruel time. The plot revolves around several engaging characters, each one trying to do what is right in the face of great evil. Emotionally fraught, engaging and exciting, this is one […]


The Three Weissmanns of Westport by Cathleen Schine

The Three Weissmanns of Westport by Cathleen Schine

I wonder if Jane herself would have chuckled at this modern adaptation of “Sense and Sensibility.” I know I did. The sparkling wit and sharp social commentary are intact and the feature characters are all nicely represented but done so with very clever variations. The two sisters, Annie and Miranda, are middle-aged. Mom–Betty–is in her […]


This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger

This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger

There are four Vagabonds at the heart of this captivating tale–an odyssey of discovery, love and finding a home. Odie and his big brother Albert, Mose, a Sioux Indian boy who is mute, and Emmy, a loveable and wise 6-year old, all unfortunate orphans on the lam from a horrific institution–the Lincoln Indian Training School–run […]


Celestial Bodies by Jokha Alharthi

Celestial Bodies by Jokha Alharthi

This story of three generations of an Omani family was the first Arabic book to win the International Man Booker. The women in the novel are trapped whether they are mistresses of households, enslaved, married, single. Their lives are circumscribed but so are the men’s. Tradition and superstition rule even as times change and the […]