MostlyFiction.com is an online book review site. We love to read and to share our opinions and discoveries of literary gems and top-notch genre novels.  Since 1998, we have posted over  2,900 reviews.  Good books never go out of style, so please take time to peruse our website.

Today’s feature reviews (e-book on sale through April 30) :  HEIR TO A GLIMMERING WORLD by Cynthia Ozick


This site links titles & covers to Amazon.com,  but we wholeheartedly encourage you to buy books from your local brick-n-mortar store and to visit your library frequently. 

April 11, 2014 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Posted in: Xtra

CASEBOOK by Mona Simpson

Book Quote:

“The walkie-talkie didn’t work. I could hear my mom but not the other person. I hadn’t thought of that. And in a lot of conversations, most of what she said was mm-hmm. I hadn’t thought of that either. With us, she said a lot. I had to be completely still so she wouldn’t hear noise through the device. Most of the time, I just heard her moving in her room, singing Joni Mitchell songs, off-key. ”

Book Review:

Review by Bonnie Brody  (APR 15, 2014)

Miles Adler-Rich is a precocious teen-ager, very much upset by the changes in his family. His parents have recently divorced and his mother has taken up with a new boyfriend named Eli Lee. Eli says he works for the National Science Foundation and professes to love Miles’s mother, Irene, very much. However, there is something about Eli that seems off to Miles.

Miles, along with his best friend Hector, decide to investigate Eli along with the help of a private investigator named Ben Orion. There are things in Eli’s stories that just don’t add up. Is he really divorced from his wife? He said he had pituitary surgery but has no scars. He came to visit with a dog that he borrowed from a friend. Who borrows a dog? He told Irene that he’d loan her a million dollars and that he’d contribute money to their household. Most importantly, he said he’d marry Irene but in the six years that they’ve been seeing one another, no marriage has occurred. Also, Eli is supposed to live in Washington, D.C. and Miles is sure he saw Eli with a woman and child in Pasadena. Read the rest of this post »

April 15, 2014 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags:  · Posted in: California, Coming-of-Age, Contemporary

BURIAL RITES by Hannah Kent

Book Quote:

“I hope they will leave some men behind, to make sure she doesn’t kill us in our sleep.”

Book Review:

Review by Betsey Van Horn  (APR 10, 2014)

Twenty-eight-year-old Australian author Hannah Kent spent time in Iceland while in high school, chosen because she wanted to see snow for the first time. She fell in love with this island country south of the Arctic Circle, and returned several times to do extensive research on Agnes Magnúsdóttir, the last woman to be beheaded in Iceland, in 1829. Kent imagined the interior psychological states of various characters, especially the enigmatically alluring Agnes, and has successfully penned a suspenseful fiction tale that transcends the outcome. It reveals a complex love triangle and double murder, and a provocative examination of the religious and social mores of the time. Knowing the fate of Agnes prior to reading the novel won’t change the reader’s absorption of the novel. The strong themes hinge on the backstory and viewpoints that are woven in and reveal characters that go through a change of perception as the circumstances of the crime come to light. Read the rest of this post »

April 10, 2014 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , ,  · Posted in: Character Driven, Debut Novel, Facing History, Iceland, Mystery/Suspense


Book Quote:

“It is the time of year when Kit must rise in the dark, as if he were a farmer or a fisherman, someone whose livelihood depends on beating the dawn, convincing himself that what looks like night is actually morning. His only true occupation these days, however, is fatherhood; his only reason for getting up at this dismal hour is getting his children to school.”

Book Review:

Review by Jill I. Shtulman  (APR 8, 2014)

Julia Glass’s latest book strikes right to the core of personal identity. How do we solidify our sense of who we are if we don’t know where we came from? In what ways can we take our place in the universe if our knowledge of our past is incomplete?

Kit Noonan has reached a fork in the road. Underemployed with no clear sense of purpose, he is floundering, until his wife urges him to take some time away to work out the secret of his father’s identity. That search leads him back to his stepfather Jasper in Vermont – a self-sufficient outdoorsman who effectively raised him along with two stepbrothers. Eventually, the journey brings him to Lucinda, the elderly wife of a stroke-ravaged state senator and onward to Fenno (from Julia Glass’s first book) and his husband Walter. Read the rest of this post »

April 8, 2014 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: Character Driven, Drift-of-Life, Family Matters, NE & New York


Book Quote:

“The bride stood like a pillar of salt, rigid under layers of itchy petticoats. Sweat dripped down the hollow of her back and collected in pools under her arms staining the ivory silk. She edged closer to The Bedeken Room door, one ear pressed up against it.”

Book Review:

Review by Eleanor Bukowsky (APR 7, 2014)

In The Marrying of Chani Kaufman, Eve Harris discloses the secrets of a Chasidic community in Golders Green, London, focusing on the tribulations of three families: the Kaufmans, Levys, and Zilbermans. The Kaufmans have eight daughters, one of whom, nineteen-year-old Chani, is seeking an intelligent, animated, and good-natured husband. The Levys, a well-to-do couple, want only the best for their son, Baruch, and plan to settle for nothing less. The Zilbermans are facing a major crisis. Rabbi Zilberman’s wife, Rivka, is no longer a contented spouse, mother, and homemaker; she is restless, edgy, and depressed. Adding to the tension is the fact that one of her sons, Avromi, a university student, is acting strangely. He is secretive, stays out late, and avoids telling his family where he has been. Read the rest of this post »

April 7, 2014 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , , , ,  · Posted in: Contemporary, Family Matters, Man Booker Nominee, United Kingdom, World Lit

THE ACCIDENT by Chris Pavone

Book Quote:

“She knows that she is the obvious — the inevitable — literary agent for this project. And there’s also one very obvious acquiring editor for the manuscript, a close friend who never met a conspiracy theory he didn’t like, no matter how ludicrous, no matter what level of lunatic the author. He used to have impressive success with this type of book, even by some of his less rational authors; there’s apparently a good-size book-buying audience out there that inhabits a space beyond the margins of sane discourse. He’ll be motivated to publish another. Especially this one, about these people.”

Book Review:

Review by Chuck Barksdale  (APR 6, 2014)

Isabel Reed, a literary agent for ATM, spends all night reading, The Accident by Anonymous, the new manuscript from her assistant Alexis who was very enthusiastic about it. The book has startling information about Charlie Wolfe, a major media figure with major political connections that is hoping to run for office himself. The information in the manuscript, if true, would certainly end Wolfe’s career as it describes a crime he apparently covered up while a student at Cornell University. Read the rest of this post »

April 6, 2014 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: ,  · Posted in: California, Denmark, Edgar Award, New York City, Switzerland, Thriller/Spy/Caper, y Award Winning Author