THE WEED THAT STRINGS THE HANGMAN’S BAG by Alan Bradley

Young Flavia Sabina de Luce, chemistry whiz, accomplished amateur detective, and sometime drama queen, is back! She says she trying to be a better person, but she still at least thinks rude retorts, forgets to come home for Mrs. Mullet’s strange meals, steals into houses and businesses to collect evidence, opens coffins and peers inside to confirm forensic theories, and gives as good as she gets to her older sisters.

March 8, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: 2010 Favorites, Humorous, Sleuths Series, United Kingdom

SMALL WARS by Sadie Jones

Major Hal Treherne first saw Clara, his friend’s sister, when he was 19 and she was 17. The year was 1946. He felt overwhelmed by her and within a few years they were married. Hal came from a family where emotions were not talked about and intimacy was as close to him as a foreign language. He was not prepared for the language of closeness and love that marriage requires. During the first ten years of their marriage Clara and Hal were happy, looking forward to seeing each other, passionate and engaged. Things on the military front were quiet for Hal and this bored him as he was trained for combat. He got the chance to use his combat skills when they were transferred to Cyprus in 1956.

March 6, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: World Lit, y Award Winning Author

YELLOW BLUE TIBIA by Adam Roberts

The main character tells another, “Science fiction is the Olympic Games of the imaginatively fit.” Adam Roberts certainly is in the running for a gold medal with YELLOW BLUE TIBIA. His novel, in the form of a Soviet science fiction writer’s memoir, leads the reader on a perplexing, high-strung, high-concept pursuit. Konstantin Skvorecky (the writer); Stalin; KGB officers; other science fiction writers; an American man and woman representing Scientology; and a phobic, tic-ridden taxi driver all play their parts in this elaborate, ironic, schizophrenic “fantasy.”

February 12, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: ,  · Posted in: 2010 Favorites, Speculative (Beyond Reality)

UNFINISHED DESIRES by Gail Godwin

Gail Godwin’s newest book, UNFINISHED DESIRES is an intriguing character study of the female students and nuns who inhabit an outwardly idyllic Catholic girls’ school in North Carolina, Mount St. Garbriel’s. The novel takes place primarily in the 1950′s where the students jockey for power, prestige and friendship. The nuns, too, have their own histories and secrets. The Mother Superior at the School, Suzanne Ravenal is writing a history of the school. This part of the book takes place in 2001 when Sister Ravenal is in a retirement home for nuns. The book goes back and forth from the every-day school intrigues of the 1950′s to 2001 when Mother Ravenal is writing her school’s history…

January 4, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , ,  · Posted in: Coming-of-Age, Contemporary, US South

LOVE AND SUMMER by William Trevor

In William Trevor’s novel LOVE AND SUMMER, past and present don’t collide but instead merge into a shimmering, elusive and painful present. The novel set in the 1950s explores the lives of interconnecting characters following the funeral of Mrs. Eileen Connulty in the Irish town of Rathmoye.

September 12, 2009 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: Ireland, Man Booker Nominee, World Lit, y Award Winning Author

FOLLOW ME by Joanna Scott

Joanna Scott’s lyrical novel, FOLLOW ME, traces the story of three generations of women and their family secrets. Sally Werner tells her life story to her granddaughter and namesake, who in turn serves as the frame narrator for the story.

July 29, 2009 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags:  · Posted in: Contemporary, Family Matters, NE & New York