Recent Top Women’s Fiction

March 31st, 2014

Booklist of March 15, 2014 showcased the top 10 women’s fiction from the last 12 months (reviewed in Booklist between March 15, 2013, and March 1, 2014). Click on a highlighted title to go straight to our catalog.

The Apple Orchard. By Susan Wiggs.

“Art specialist Tess has a successful professional life but is lacking in the family department. When she’s named heir to one-half of an estate and discovers the other half goes to the sister she never knew she had, her life gets turned upside-down.”

 

The Bookstore. By Deborah Meyler.

“Between studying art history at Columbia University on a prestigious scholarship and a two-week fling with a magnetic, wealthy man, 23-year-old Esme Garland from England is happily settling into life in Manhattan when she discovers she’s pregnant. This character-driven novel is witty and poetic.”

 

A Fall of Marigolds. By Susan Meissner.

“The heartbreaks of two women, separated by decades, come together in the history of a scarf that holds special meaning to each woman. Christian fiction author Meissner’s first mainstream women’s fiction novel hits all of the right emotional notes without overdoing the two tragedies.”

 

Golden State. By Michelle Richmond.

“Estranged sisters Julie and Heather are brought together as Heather goes into labor and Julie, a doctor, rushes to her side to assist. But the sisters are separated by forces beyond their control, as their city, San Francisco, is in chaos, shut down by political protests. Perfect for fans of issue-driven women’s fiction.”

 

Ladies’ Night. By Mary Kay Andrews.

“Grace, an interior-design blogger, discovers her husband is cheating on her. She begins therapy with a group of other “marital misfits,” and the women soon start meeting at Grace’s mother’s bar, where they plot revenge but eventually learn to move on.”

 

Sweet Salt Air. By Barbara Delinsky.

“Two girlhood friends who’ve been estranged for the past 10 years reunite to collaborate on a cookbook, both of them harboring secrets. Never fear; Delinsky knows when a happy ending is in order.”

 

Time Flies. By Claire Cook.

“In this delightful beach read, two best friends reunite for their high-school reunion and overcome their fears. The banter is a lot of fun, and the characters’ realization of what is important is certain to make readers yearn for reconnections of their own.”

 

Who Asked You?By Terry McMillan.

“Told from the perspectives of several of the characters, this novel offers an array of personalities and everyday life challenges within a story of close friends, family, and neighbors as they grow and change over many years.”

 

The Whole Golden World. By Kristina Riggle.

“Dinah’s world is about to fall apart—her teenage daughter has been caught half-naked in her teacher’s car. Rain, the teacher’s wife, is watching her life fall apart instead of rejoicing in the news that she’s finally pregnant. Fans of Jodi Picoult will devour this story.”

 

Annotations Booklist March 15, 2014 – editor

Cannibals and Colonialism

March 28th, 2014

Savage Harvest: a tale of cannibals, colonialism, and Michael Rockefeller’s tragic quest for primitive art by Carl Hoffman has been getting a lot of media exposure.  It looks both fascinating and horrifying, and should appeal to fans of armchair travel,  true-life mysteries and stories of America’s financial aristocracy. (Find this book in our catalog).

“The mysterious disappearance of Michael Rockefeller in New Guinea in 1961 has kept the world and his powerful, influential family guessing for years. Now, Carl Hoffman uncovers startling new evidence that finally tells the full, astonishing story.

Despite exhaustive searches, no trace of Rockefeller was ever found. Soon after his disappearance, rumors surfaced that he’d been killed and ceremonially eaten by the local Asmat—a native tribe of warriors whose complex culture was built around sacred, reciprocal violence, head hunting, and ritual cannibalism. The Dutch government and the Rockefeller family denied the story, and Michael’s death was officially ruled a drowning. Yet doubts lingered. Sensational rumors and stories circulated, fueling speculation and intrigue for decades. The real story has long waited to be told—until now.

Retracing Rockefeller’s steps, award-winning journalist Carl Hoffman traveled to the jungles of New Guinea, immersing himself in a world of headhunters and cannibals, secret spirits and customs, and getting to know generations of Asmat. Through exhaustive archival research, he uncovered never-before-seen original documents and located witnesses willing to speak publically after fifty years.

In Savage Harvest he finally solves this decades-old mystery and illuminates a culture transformed by years of colonial rule, whose people continue to be shaped by ancient customs and lore. Combining history, art, colonialism, adventure, and ethnography, Savage Harvest is a mesmerizing whodunit, and a fascinating portrait of the clash between two civilizations that resulted in the death of one of America’s richest and most powerful scions.” (HarperCollins)

Editor

True Crime – “a brazen serial imposter”

March 27th, 2014

Blood Will Out: the true story of a murder, a mystery, and a masquerade by Walter Kirn (Find in our catalog).

“In the summer of 1998, Walter Kirn–then a young novelist struggling with fatherhood and a dissolving marriage–set out on a peculiar, fateful errand: to personally deliver a crippled hunting dog from an animal shelter in Montana to the New York apartment of one Clark Rockefeller, a secretive young banker and art collector. Thus began a fifteen-year relationship that drew Kirn deep into the fun-house world of an outlandish, eccentric son of privilege who, one day, would be shockingly unmasked as a brazen serial impostor and brutal double-murderer.”

“In the summer of 1998, Walter Kirn—then an aspiring novelist struggling with impending fatherhood and a dissolving marriage—set out on a peculiar, fateful errand: to personally deliver a crippled hunting dog from his home in Montana to the New York apartment of one Clark Rockefeller, a secretive young banker and art collector who had adopted the dog over the Internet. Thus began a fifteen-year relationship that drew Kirn deep into the fun-house world of an outlandish, eccentric son of privilege who ultimately would be unmasked as a brazen serial impostor, child kidnapper, and brutal murderer. Kirn’s one-of-a-kind story of being duped by a real-life Mr. Ripley takes us on a bizarre and haunting journey from the posh private clubrooms of Manhattan to the hard-boiled courtrooms and prisons of Los Angeles. As Kirn uncovers the truth about his friend, a psychopath masquerading as a gentleman, he also confronts hard truths about himself. Why, as a writer of fiction, was he susceptible to the deception of a sinister fantasist whose crimes, Kirn learns, were based on books and movies? What are the hidden psychological links between the artist and the con man? To answer these and other questions, Kirn attends his old friend’s murder trial and uses it as an occasion to reflect on both their tangled personal relationship and the surprising literary sources of Rockefeller’s evil. This investigation of the past climaxes in a tense jailhouse reunion with a man whom Kirn realizes he barely knew—a predatory, sophisticated genius whose life, in some respects, parallels his own and who may have intended to take another victim during his years as a fugitive from justice: Kirn himself. Combining confessional memoir, true crime reporting, and cultural speculation, Blood Will Out is a Dreiser-esque tale of self-invention, upward mobility, and intellectual arrogance. It exposes the layers of longing and corruption, ambition and self-delusion beneath the Great American con.” – (WW Norton)

Editor

Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger

March 26th, 2014

Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger (Find in our catalog) has won the 2014 Dilys Award, which honors the mystery that members of the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association  most enjoyed selling during the previous year. The announcement was made Thursday, March 20 during the Left Coast Crime 2014 conference in Monterey, Calif.

This is what it says in our catalog: “NOMINATED FOR THE 2014 EDGAR AWARD FOR BEST NOVEL

“That was it. That was all of it. A grace so ordinary there was no reason at all to remember it. Yet I have never across the forty years since it was spoken forgotten a single word.”

New Bremen, Minnesota, 1961. The Twins were playing their debut season, ice-cold root beers were selling out at the soda counter of Halderson’s Drugstore, and Hot Stuff comic books were a mainstay on every barbershop magazine rack. It was a time of innocence and hope for a country with a new, young president. But for thirteen-year-old Frank Drum it was a grim summer in which death visited frequently and assumed many forms. Accident. Nature. Suicide. Murder.

Frank begins the season preoccupied with the concerns of any teenage boy, but when tragedy unexpectedly strikes his family—which includes his Methodist minister father; his passionate, artistic mother; Juilliard-bound older sister; and wise-beyond-his-years kid brother—he finds himself thrust into an adult world full of secrets, lies, adultery, and betrayal, suddenly called upon to demonstrate a maturity and gumption beyond his years.

Told from Frank’s perspective forty years after that fateful summer, Ordinary Grace is a brilliantly moving account of a boy standing at the door of his young manhood, trying to understand a world that seems to be falling apart around him. It is an unforgettable novel about discovering the terrible price of wisdom and the enduring grace of God. – (Simon and Schuster)

Editor

One Maryland, One Book 2014

March 24th, 2014

The Maryland Center for the Book has announced that the selection for One Maryland One Book 2014 is The Distance Between Us: A Memoir by Reyna Grande. (Find this book in our catalog)

The theme for 2014 is “the American Dream.” The titles suggested by the public last Fall touched on varied interpretations of the American Dream. The book selected by the committee covers a subject that we see frequently in the news today. Ms. Grande’s story is that of an undocumented immigrant who came to the United States when she was almost 10. The Distance Between Us tells her journey before and after coming to the U.S. She gained legal status at the age of 13. Today she teaches writing at UCLA Extension.

More information is available on the Maryland Humanities Council website. Click here for an interview from The Daily Beast with the author.

Editor

LibraryReads Top Ten for April

March 24th, 2014

The Storied Life of A. J. Kikry: a Novel by Gabrielle Zevin.

 

 

 

Frog Music: a Novel by Emma Donoghue.

 

 

 

And the Dark Sacred Night: a Novel by Julia Glass.

 

 

 

Silence for the Dead by Simone St. James.

 

 

 

By Its Cover: a Commissario Guido Brunetti Mystery by Donna Leon.

 

 

 

The Intern’s Handbook: a Thriller by Shane Kuhn.

 

 

 

Love Nina: a Nanny Writes Home by Nina Stibbe.

The Axe Factor: a Jim Juree Mystery by Colin Cotteril.

 

 

 

Family Life: a Novel by Akhil  Sharma.

On the Rocks: a Novel by Erin Duffy.

 

 

 

Editor

The Martian by Andrew Weir

March 20th, 2014

(Find this book in our catalog) This brilliant debut novel, though classed as science fiction, will appeal to a larger audience than just those readers who enjoy the science fiction genre. It is a story of survival in one of the most inhospitable environments, Mars. Mark Watney, engineer & botanist, is left on Mars, presumed dead, when the rest of the mission evacuates the planet. The reader cannot help but be engaged by the charming, humorous, determined Watney. We share his hopes & fears, & as the tension mounts & his days on Mars count down towards the end, we cannot help but root for this hero. Mark is a great character, his creativity & positive attitude in the face of adversity make you want him to survive, but will he, when so many things can go wrong. Thrills, suspense & real science combine in this wonderful story of humanity & survival.

http://www.andyweirauthor.com/

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18007564-the-martian

 

 

 

Jen’s Jewels with Barbara O’Neal

March 17th, 2014

As a seasoned blogger, I am never more gratified than when I connect with my followers. Oftentimes, special friendships blossom simply from the exchange of ideas between two strangers with a common interest. No matter what your hobbies may be, there is no shortage of blog options available. From wine enthusiasts to specialty chefs and even high-end dog groomers, you never know what you might find on the web.

This month’s Jen’s Jewels Barbara O’Neal addresses this very topic in her latest release, The All You Can Dream Buffet: A Novel. It’s the story of four women bloggers with varied interests and ages who come together in the beautiful Oregon wine country for a life-changing reunion. Despite their professional prowess, the Foodie Four are each at a crossroads in life. Together they unite in this unforgettable tale of friendship, love, and heartfelt emotion.

As part of my interview, Random House Publishing Group has generously donated five copies for my readers to win in the trivia contest that follows the interview. Winners will be randomly drawn. Be sure to keep up-to-date on all the latest news in the publishing business by stopping by www.jennifervido.com, follow me on Facebook jennifervido.com, or on Twitter and Pinterest @JenniferVido. And as always, thanks for making Jen’s Jewels the ultimate source for news on the web for today’s hottest authors.

Jen: As a six-time Rita award winner, your path to publication is a story in itself. So that my readers may catch a glimpse into the life of the woman behind the words, please briefly share with us your educational and professional background.
Barbara: My goal was always to be a novelist, but my father wanted me to be sensible, so I studied mass communications with a goal of being a journalist. It was great training—I learned to write to a deadline, to write on demand, to tone done my (very baroque!) language. I worked for a newspaper for eight months as an intern and realized that was not at all what I wanted to do. Novels were—and are—my love.

Jen: Please describe for us your "Aha!" moment when you decided to take the plunge and pursue a career as a writer.
Barbara: There were two. When I was in the 5th grade, I read an author bio at the end of a book I’d been reading and it occurred to me that people wrote books. Like that was their job. And my thought was, very clearly: why would you do anything else?

The second was as I was finishing my internship and university degree. I tended bar to make ends meet, and one night I over heard my favorite reporter telling her friend that one day she would quit the paper and write her novels. My heart seized—and I knew I’d be her, at 40 telling my friends that if I didn’t give novels a shot right now, while I was still poor and used to it. So I talked to my husband and asked if he’d give me five years to see if I could sell a novel. He took a big gulp (we were about to NOT be poor, finally!) and said yes. I will be grateful forever.

Jen: Besides writing books in various genres, you also have a blog, www.awriterafoot.com. For my readers who may not be familiar with its content, please tell us how it evolved.
Barbara: The blog came out of my experiences as columnist, actually. I’ve always loved the simple, ordinary conversation that can evolve around women just talking about their lives, and wanted to establish a place for that. I love talking about travel and food and showing off my photos, so it was a very natural, very happy habit to develop.

I have to admit I’ve been distracted by blogging elsewhere over the past couple of years, so have neglected my own. The past year, I’ve given up all the other blogs and will be bringing everything back to A Writer Afoot.

Jen: In December 2010 your delightful novel How to Bake a Perfect Life, which I was thrilled to feature on my website, was chosen as a Target Club Pick. How did that recognition affect your career? How did you handle the pressure of such an honorable distinction?
Barbara: That was a big, big moment in my career—as it is for any writer who is lucky enough to be chosen. It brought in a lot of new readers and it was so much fun to see the book featured in stores, and I am very grateful to have had the chance.

The pressure in writing doesn’t come from the good things that happen, at least for me. It comes from the unexpected bad things. So it was so much happiness and fun. I loved it.

Jen: In terms of nuts and bolts, approximately how long does it take for you to write a book? And, what is the most challenging part of the writing process?
Barbara: It takes anywhere from a year to two years to write a book. Most of that is the brewing process—it seems that I have to run the movie in my head over and over and over and over again before I can write it. I’ll gather a few bits, a character, a situation, something that’s magical, a possible food and let it all brew for awhile. When it starts to shove other projects out of the way, I’ll sit down and start trying to capture it. The actual writing doesn’t take as long, probably because of all that journalism practice. I’m very methodical about the actual writing: I show up 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week and write. No internet, no email, no drama, just writing. I often get a draft done in a few months.

It does help to have all that brewing time, knowing the story before I start.

Jen: Your latest release The All You Can Dream Buffet: A Novel centers around four foodie bloggers on a journey of self-discovery. I absolutely devoured this book. What a gem! What inspired you to write this book?
Barbara: I am so happy to hear that you loved it. It was such a great journey for me!

The magazine Artful Blogging triggered it. I love food blogs, of course—who doesn’t these days, and for a foodie like me, they are heaven. All those photos! All that potential for great food and drink!

But I’m also a fan of the magazine, and one night as I was reading it, I started wondering what it would be like if your life really was turned upside down by a blog. It struck me that all the women in the magazine had discovered their own voices, themselves, with the blogs they created, and that’s powerful stuff. Ginny walked into my imagination shortly afterward.

Jen: Lavender Wills is the owner of Lavender Honey Farms situated in the Oregon wine country. Nearly eighty-five years old, she manages a successful organic farm. What is her motivation for bringing the ladies together?
Barbara: She’s a powerful woman, and not given to leaving life to chance. The lavender farm is her dream and her legacy and she’s not about to let it just pass into the hands of people who will not understand what it means and how it matters. She brings the other bloggers to the farm to evaluate if one of them might be right to inherit.

Jen: Ginny from Kansas is a baker who photographs her own culinary treats. Her decision to make the trip is more than just a desire to meet her fellow bloggers. How does her decision to attend affect her relationship with her husband Matthew?
Barbara: Ginny’s life was transformed when the people in her world found out she was a modestly famous, well-known blogger. She discovers that the relationships she thought were sustaining her are really containing her, and she needs to find out what she’s made of, really. Her marriage is in trouble even before she sets out, and it only becomes more strained as she travels.

Jen: Ruby, a vegan from the California Bay area who is pregnant by her ex-boyfriend, arrives in her food truck ready for an adventure. How does her vivacious personality rub off on the others?
Barbara: Ruby is one of my favorite characters ever! She stole my heart with her mix of joy and longing, her yearnings and her exuberance. She is a person just bursting with the pleasure of every day living—and for a good reason. Her childhood was overshadowed by painful, extreme illness, and just being alive is a pretty good deal, even when it sucks. Even if your mother left you and your boyfriend doesn’t love you anymore.

Jen: Valerie, a wine blogger from Ohio, surprises the group by arriving with her daughter Hannah despite recently suffering a tragic loss. How does her unexpected presence bring the ladies together?
Barbara: It unites the Foodie Four—and Ginny, especially, needs her friend to be there. Ginny and Val are very close through email, but have never met because Ginny has not been brave enough to step up before. Meeting Val in person makes a big difference for her.

Plus, Val has a connection that allows them to live out a fantasy for Lavender’s birthday.

Jen: Noah, Lavender’s handsome farmhand who served 4 tours of duty in the military, is hiding from his own demons. How does the women’s arrival help him come out of his shell?
Barbara: I live in a military town and one of my friends likes to say that we need to reestablish a temple that used to be part of the ancient world. Women were trained as priestesses to help a soldier through the transition of being a man who kills to a man who loves. The priestesses would heal the returning soldiers with sex and talk, and send them home to their families whole and reconnected. Noah is reconnecting with life through the farm and all his tasks, but he needs a certain exuberant someone to shatter the last of his soldier self and bring him all the way home.

Jen: Let’s switch gears now and talk about your promotional plans. Are you active on social media? And, how would my readers go about connecting with you?
Barbara: I am active on social media. I’m on Facebook as BarbaraSamuelONeal and Twitter as barbaraoneal.

Jen: Will there be a sequel? And, are you currently at work on your next book? If so, what may you share with us?
Barbara: I’ve had a number of requests for a sequel and admit I thought there might be. Not yet, however. I’m currently working on a story about two women who come together over a mysterious little girl. Peaches and pickles and a legend that caught me by the throat…..

Jen: Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to chat with my readers. I absolutely loved The All You Can Dream Buffet. I highly recommend it to my Jen’s Jewels readers.
Barbara: I’m very honored to be invited, and so thrilled you enjoyed the book!

Please stop by your favorite library branch, local bookstore, or on-line retailer and pick up a copy of The All You Can Dream Buffet: A Novel today. Better yet, how would you like to win one instead? Okay, send me an email at jensjewels@gmail.com with the correct answer to the following trivia question and you’ll be entered into the contest. Good luck! (Offer void where prohibited.)

What is the title of Barbara’s blog?

Next month, I will be chatting with Nina Stibbe about her upcoming release, Love, Nina: A Nanny Writes Home. You won’t want to miss it.

Not I

March 14th, 2014

Not I:  Memoirs of a German Childhood, by Joachim Fest

What would it be like to grow up in Germany during the rise of the Nazis?  Joachim Fest’s memoir takes us on that journey, year by terrifying year.  One of five children born into a household of conservative and morally committed parents, Fest relays to us how an otherwise happy childhood was impacted by the Nazis, with the secret meetings of like-minded friends, the gradual loss of individual freedoms, and the dire life that awaited a family whose father was forbidden to work for his insufficient embrace of the government of the Third Reich.

Fest’s father was a firm Catholic, and unlike so many other Germans, he found no room in his beliefs for the ugliness and hate that the National Socialists fomented through their propaganda, lies, laws, restrictions, and suspicions.  For his moral stand, he was cast out of his job as a civil servant and denied further work.  Rather than compromise his principles, he held firm and thus taught his admiring children that a higher moral principle was far more important than material comforts.

Despite the family’s descent into hardship, Fest enjoyed a happy childhood, full of lively political discussions, fascinating family friends (many of whom died at the hands of the Third Reich), and a rich schooling both in the classroom and around the dinner table that Fest carefully delineates for us, as he expands his reading tastes from the likes of Karl May to Goethe.

As World War II moved forward and Germany began to suffer staggering defeats, Fest reached the tender age of seventeen and thus found himself in the military.  Eventually captured by the Americans, he spent the final months of the war in a POW camp.  Upon his release, he journeyed back to Berlin, where he found a city destroyed but still full of life, now with the joyous sounds of American jazz everywhere.  Still, it is a frightening tale, full of woe.  That his family survived more or less in tact is a miracle.  That their morals remained firmly in place by the book’s end is not at all surprising.

For a look at German society first under the Weimar Republic and then unbelievably under the National Socialists, turn the pages of this memoir to find a rich if bitterly sad interpretation of German life in the 20th century.

D. L. S.

The Ocean at The End of The Lane by Neil Gaiman – a Readers’ “Notes”

March 11th, 2014

Bob Hoff, the Moderator of one of our in-library book discussion groups sent me these “notes” from one of his participants.  Bob wrote: “My book discussion group recently discussed Neil Gaiman’s newest novel, The Ocean at the End of the Lane (find this book in our catalog). … one person enjoyed it so much that she wrote “notes”. … She told me that she read the book in two hours.”

The Ocean at The End of The Lane by Neil Gaiman-Notes by Paulette Smyth

“This is a spiritual book that touches on many new age spiritual beliefs and uses new scientific theories to explain life. One of the spiritual hypotheses that Neil Gaiman employs is Cosmic Consciousness (CC), the belief that we all share one universal, all encompassing communal consciousness when we die. The pond at the end of the lane (which is the Ocean of the title) represents that communal consciousness that we blend into upon our death.

In this engrossing fable, a boy and his friend, Lettie embark on a quest for a gray and pink rag monster. This monster has started trouble on the earth by stirring up human greed for money. It feeds off humans’ greed and lust. The theory of CC is key as the boy and Lettie trek across other dimensions to find the evil thing that is stirring things up in our world.

The idea of cosmic consciousness clearly stands out when Lettie brings the Ocean in a bucket to the boy in the fairy ring and at her direction he steps in. (p.142) “I would stay here for the rest of time in the ocean which was the universe, which was the soul which was all that mattered.” Lettie tells him he can’t stay because his individuality would dissolve and he would become absorbed by the universe, become one with it. “You wouldn’t die in here, nothing ever dies in here, but if you stayed here for too long, after a while just a little of you would exist everywhere all spread out….there wouldn’t be anything left that would think of itself as an“I”. (p.145) In this communal consciousness we become all knowing, but when we leave it to be reborn into the earthly plane we forget this knowledge, another aspect of the CC belief of afterlife.

Some believers in CC also believe in reincarnation of the soul. Belief in reincarnation is evident throughout the story. One pertinent reincarnated being is the black kitten with the white-tipped ear. This cat is an animal guide sent from the afterlife to be of comfort to the boy.

The idea of reincarnation encompasses the idea that there are old souls who are more knowledgeable than newer souls, the old souls having lived and learned through many reincarnations. Old Mrs. Hempstock is one of them. There are many references throughout the story where she speaks of existing in different historic time periods. At the very beginning of the tale when we are first introduced to the old lady we are cautioned that she is no ordinary grandmother. Lettie is also an old soul, although not as old or as powerful as the Grandmother. At various points throughout the story the boy asks her how old she really is as she appears to him to be far older and wiser than her 11 years. He also recognizes her as a guardian repeatedly telling of the trust he places in her.

In this fable Neil Gaiman also explores the science of String Theory. String Theory basically contends that there are multiple universes in operation at the same time and that time itself is a concept imposed by man. This multi-dimensional property of existence allows for the possibility of movement from one dimension to another, and that time as we define it is really nonexistent. Dimensions lie next to one another like thin membranes. Lettie and the boy travel out of one dimension into another when they travel to find the gray and pink rag monster. To pass from one dimension to another one needs a portal. The lane and gaps in the hedgerows on the boundaries of the Hempstock farm act as portals to safety for humans and at the same time they are rigid barriers to evil. Several times in the story the boy talks about a child’s ability to find ways (portals) through the brush (dimensions) to reach a destination those adults would never conceive of, since adults stick to well-delineated roads. The pond is a portal to the afterlife or cosmic consciousness. The kitchen in the Hempstock farm house is a portal to past historical periods. The Hempstock women live in multiple dimensions, as well as, time periods. Lettie is part of the trinity of Hempstock women.

This story can be read on many levels. You could just read it as a fairytale with interesting plot and characters. You could read it as a story of a lonely, sometimes psychotic, possibly schizophrenic child who conjures up creatures to fill the void in his socially isolated life.

I think the author wrote it so superbly that the mythology, spirituality, and the theories at the forefront of today’s scientific advances in physics and consciousness are interwoven and blended so well that it makes for one terrific book that prods the mind to do some serious thinking. LOVED IT!!!!!!!!”

Paulette Smyth attends the fiction book group at the Bel Air branch on the 3rd Thursday of the month. Please see our website for details of this and other groups.

Editor