Archive for May, 2010
The city of Lowell, Massachusetts, was once a thriving home to the textile industry. Just before World War I broke out, the city was at the peak of a huge economic boom. In just a couple of decades however, a slow reversal of fortunes took place. By the early 1920s work was moving south to the Carolinas and once the Depression took hold, the slide was pretty much irreversible.
Rock Harbor, the fictional New England town painted by Rebecca Chase in her new novel, feels a lot like Lowell or even New Bedford, both towns marked by severe downturns in manufacturing industries.
The narrative focuses on four Jewish women, all Holocaust survivors, all Atlit inmates, all from extremely different backgrounds, who wait for their release from the camp and the freedom to, hopefully, begin new lives as pioneers on kibbutzim, (collective farms or settlements). Anita Diamant writes, “Not one of the women in Barrack C is twenty-one, but all of them are orphans.”
Nothing has gone right for Gabrielle Segovia in a while. Frustrated with her academic job, slowly becoming more and more estranged from her husband and despondent after three miscarriages, everything comes to a head when after too much alcohol at a New Orleans nightclub, she picks up a sexy scientist attending the same conference and might have done more than kiss him if her stomach hadnâ€™t propelled her to the bathroom instead. On a lark, she participates in a reading at Marie Laveauâ€™s shop that will change her life. Mr. John, the reader, tells her that her husband has a surprise for her, her father should stay away from ladders, someone at her university wants to steal her work and that she needs to turn to her family for answers.
Spanning five years, Harrisâ€™ second crisis-driven installment in the life of Cicero (after IMPERIUM — both can be read on their own) begins in 63 BC as Cicero is elected consul of Rome and finds himself caught between two factions scheming for power, the patricians and the populists. Tiro, his slave and loyal secretary, continues to chronicle his masterâ€™s exploits as powerful forces range against him, including the wily and ruthless Gaius Julius Caesar.
COYOTE HORIZON continues the story of the human settlers on Coyote, a moon of the planet Bear in the 47 Ursae Majoris system. Hawk Thompson, nephew of former president, Carlos Montero, is on parole after spending time in jail for killing his abusive father. As the story opens, he has a boring, dead-end job as customs inspector at the spaceport.
Sometimes the reader is lucky enough to pick up a book that they can get lost in. Place and time disappear and all that is left is immersion in the written word. We become one with the book. MY NAME IS MARY SUTTER is such a book. From the time I started it until the very last page, all that existed for me was the story â€“ the ebb and flow of events. I was transported.