GEMINI by Carol Cassella

GEMINI is an intensely absorbing novel which I found difficult to put down. It is a very human tale which delves deeply into subjects like love in its many shapes and forms, and time – too little time, not enough time, counting time, too late. The author, Carol Cassella, uses time to move her storyline back and forth in years, seamlessly weaving together the characters and the events which impact them.

March 3, 2014 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , ,  · Posted in: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense

CARTHAGE by Joyce Carol Oates

CARTHAGE is quintessential Oates. It is stylistically similar to many of her other books with the utilization of parentheses, repetitions and italics to make the reader take note of what is important and remind us of what has transpired previously. The book is good but it is not Oates’ best.

February 28, 2014 · Judi Clark · Comments Closed
Tags: , , , ,  · Posted in: Family Matters, Mystery/Suspense, NE & New York


This bighearted, voluptuous, riveting book – one of my favorites of the decade – is filled with contradictions. It tells an apocalyptic and ancient tale but its topic is fresh and timely. It is told without any pretensions yet it’s lyrical and bracing. It focuses on the microcosm of a family under pressure yet its theme is universal and its messages integrate age-old mythologies.

February 8, 2014 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: Contemporary, Family Matters, Literary, National Book Award Winner, Reading Guide, US South, y Award Winning Author

ED KING by David Guterson

ED KING had me mesmerized from the first page and did not let up throughout the book. It is a contemporary retelling of Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex set in the American northwest. The protagonist’s name, Ed King, means Oedipus Rex. Ed is short for Oedipus and Rex means “king” in Greek. Ed’s middle name is Aaron and one could read into this, “Ed, A King.” There is no real subtlety to the retelling. The characters change but the story remains the same. Ed kills his father and marries his mother. It is a Greek tragedy of great proportions and strength, hubris and loss.

November 13, 2011 · Judi Clark · One Comment
Tags: ,  · Posted in: 2011 Favorites, Contemporary, Literary, US Northwest, y Award Winning Author

A DARKER GOD by Barbara Cleverly

A DARKER GOD is my introduction to Barbara Cleverly fiction, and I enjoyed getting to know her Laetitia Talbot, who reminds me of Deanna Raybourn’s Julia Grey and Tasha Alexander’s Emily Ashton, although Talbot gallivants and sleuths about in a later era.

July 24, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: Facing History, Sleuths Series, y Award Winning Author

RANSOM by David Malouf

The background of RANSOM’s slipcover is velvety black, the Japanese kuro, “perfect black,” that, by definition, engulfs not just all frequencies of light, but also the senses. It almost mesmerizes and gives a feeling of sinking into endless depth. Silhouetted against this backdrop is an image that from afar isn’t easily identified, but up close resolves as a donkey or a mule. Why aren’t there two men depicted instead? Why this animal? Only by reading does it become clear why its shaded presence is considered so indispensable that it graces the cover.

January 23, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: 2010 Favorites, Facing History, World Lit, y Award Winning Author