THE INTERESTINGS by Meg Wolitzer

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

LOLA, CALIFORNIA by Edie Meidav

In this artful, cerebral novel spanning four decades and encompassing the tribal conventions and counterculture movements of the 70′s and 80′s, the reader is plunged into a cunning world of philosophy and hedonism that is best described as baroque rawness or stark-naked grandiloquence. If these terms appear to be incompatible pairings, the reader will grasp the seeming polarity as axiomatic soon after feasting on Edie Meidav’s complex narrative style. A carnal vapor infuses every provocative page of this unorthodox psychological crime thriller.

August 4, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , ,  · Posted in: California, Character Driven, Mystery/Suspense, Thriller/Spy/Caper

AFTER LYLETOWN by K.C. Frederick

“In his mid-forties, he feels he’s come to a pretty good place in his life, and he couldn’t have got there if he hadn’t been able to survive some of his earlier selves, forgiving, maybe, but also forgetting, even erasing. From his present vantage point, it isn’t exactly magnanimity he feels toward the passionate but confused graduate student he’d been twenty years ago. From that time onward he’s been acutely aware of the importance of chance in the affairs of human beings, and he hopes it’s given him a better understanding of people who are down on their own luck. But what he feels toward the person he’d been then is mostly relief that he’s been able to move beyond him.”

August 1, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , , ,  · Posted in: Contemporary, Facing History, y Award Winning Author

RICH BOY by Sharon Pomerantz

Family sagas have long been a staple among American best-sellers; the examples are wide and vast. The very predictability of the family saga genre promises an absorbing yet familiar reading experience: the once-poor yet highly attractive and charismatic main character who overcomes all kinds of adversities, goes through heartbreak and scandal, and then emerges older, wiser, and in most cases, wealthier than before (or at the very least, with enough knowledge to BECOME wealthier).

July 14, 2011 · Judi Clark · One Comment
Tags: , , , , ,  · Posted in: Class - Race - Gender, Contemporary, Debut Novel, Family Matters, Reading Guide

TEN THOUSAND SAINTS by Eleanor Henderson

It’s 1987 and New York’s lower east side and alphabet city are places for the homeless, vagrants, the impoverished, hippies, some immigrants who have held out through the next generation and some younger folks who call themselves “straight edge.” Straight edge refers to teenagers who like hard rock and punk but live a straight and clean lifestyle – no meat, no sex, no booze and no drugs. Many shave their heads and are into tattoos. That’s what TEN THOUSAND SAINTS by Eleanor Henderson is about – a group of straight ddge teens and their parents trying to understand themselves and one another as they venture through life, a lot of it in alphabet city in Manhattan.

June 8, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: Coming-of-Age, Contemporary, Debut Novel, Family Matters, NE & New York, New York City

THE GIRL WHO FELL FROM THE SKY by Heidi W. Durrow

It amazes me that THE GIRL WHO FELL FROM THE SKY is Heidi W. Durrow’s debut novel. It is poetic, poignant, beautiful and elegiac with the panache of a seasoned writer. Once I started it, I could not stop thinking about it. It haunted my days until I finished it. Durrow has a talent that is rare and brilliant, like the northern lights.

February 11, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , , ,  · Posted in: 2011 Favorites, Bellwether, Class - Race - Gender, Coming-of-Age, Contemporary, Debut Novel, Family Matters, US Midwest, US Northwest, y Award Winning Author