Archive for the ‘United States’ Category

NORTH OF BOSTON by Elisabeth Elo

North of Boston is Elisabeth Elo’s debut novel, and to me it is a real winner. It certainly held my interest and I found that, at times, I was unable to put this books down.

Pirio Kasparov, heir to a very successful perfume business which her Russian immigrant parents founded, is our protagonist. She is a gritty, smart and complex woman. When Pirio’s mother died, the girl was just 10 years old. Her deceased mother’s will stipulates that when Pirio turns 21 years old, she will inherit her mother’s share of the extremely successful business, Inessa Mark, Inc. and that if she wants full ownership, the company would revert to her upon her eccentric father’s death. Pirio has joined the company where she works as “CEO in training.” Scent permeates much of the novel – the scent of perfume, ambergris, herbs, flowers, etc. And the smells of the sea also play an important part in the author’s descriptive passages.

May 11, 2014 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: Canada, Debut Novel, NE & New York, Thriller/Spy/Caper

CASEBOOK by Mona Simpson

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.

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


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?

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

THE ACCIDENT by Chris Pavone

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.

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

LOVE AND TREASURE by Ayelet Waldman

Ayelet Waldman’s new book begins in Red Hook, Maine, the setting of her novel RED HOOK ROAD, but the two could hardly be more different. For whereas she had previously confined herself to two families in the same setting over a period of a very few years, she travels in this one to Salzburg, Budapest, and Israel, at various periods over a hundred-year span. By the same token, though, it is a stretch to call Love and Treasure a novel; it is essentially a trilogy of novellas, each with different characters, but linked by a single object and common themes. The object is an enameled Jugendstil pendant in the shape of a peacock. Although only of modest value, it plays an important role in the lives of the people who people who possess it, and provides a focus for the novelist’s enquiry into the lives of Hungarian Jews both before and after the Holocaust.

March 31, 2014 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: Contemporary, Eastern Europe, Israel, NE & New York, World Lit


The greatest gift that any writer can give her readers is providing them with a fictional world they can immerse – and ultimately lose – themselves in.

That’s precisely what Meg Wolitzer achieves in THE INTERESTINGS, surely the most fully-realized and satisfying book of her career.

This panoramic saga focuses on a group of Baby Boomers from the time they meet at a camp for the creatively gifted as teenagers through middle age. The bond that draws these divergent characters together is powerful and special; they dub themselves “The Interestings.” And the bond, for the most part, is stretched, sustained, and redefined as they age.

March 24, 2014 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , ,  · Posted in: 2013 Favorites, Coming-of-Age, Contemporary, New York City, Reading Guide