FALLING TO EARTH by Kate Southwood

FALLING TO EARTH is the kind of novel that makes me want to grab the very next person I see and urgently say, ”You MUST read this.” I read this rabidly with increasing awe and respect that Kate Southwood had the chops to create a debut novel with this degree of psychological insight, restrained power, and heartbreaking beauty.

The story centers on a tragedy of unimaginable proportions – a tornado hits the small Illinois town of March in 1925, causing devastation and grievous loss in the homes of every single resident of the town.

Except one.

March 5, 2014 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,  · Posted in: Debut Novel, Facing History, Family Matters, Literary, US Midwest

ABSOLUTION by Patrick Flanery

Patrick Flanery’s debut novel is a very interesting example of an overarching story that incorporates another “novel” or “memoir,” a journal and more embedded inside it. Set in post-apartheid South Africa Absolution is a thought provoking book, and engaging; not necessarily, or least of all, in the sense one would initially expect.

November 30, 2013 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: Africa, Debut Novel, World Lit

ZONE ONE by Colson Whitehead

ZONE ONE by Colson Whitehead plays on the archetype of apocalyptic zombie literature. The unnamed protagonist is known as Mark Spitz, because he is afraid to swim. He is a sweeper, someone assigned by the pseudo-government in Buffalo to destroy any zombie AKA skel or catatonic victim AKA straggler of the plague that has destroyed civilization.

October 18, 2011 · Judi Clark · Comments Closed
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: Speculative (Beyond Reality)

BAD INTENTIONS by Karin Fossum

Karin Fossum’s BAD INTENTIONS is about three friends, now in their twenties, who have known each other since they were six. On the surface, Axel Frimann is by far the most successful. He is well-spoken, good-looking, nicely dressed, and drives a Mercedes; his job at an advertising agency pays well. Philip Reilly, on the other hand, is disheveled, has long, stringy hair (“he looked like a troll from a fairy tale”), and spends a portion of his small salary as a hospital porter getting high. The third member of the trio is Jon Moreno.

August 10, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , ,  · Posted in: Norway, Psychological Suspense, Sleuths Series, Translated, y Award Winning Author

INCENDIARY by Chris Cleave

Imagine that you’re a working class Cockney mother with a husband who detonates bombs and a young son who is four years and three months old. You stave off your anxieties about the uncertainty of your life through mindless sex encounters. Eventually, you meet a neighbor – a journalist named Jasper – and, while your husband and son are at a soccer game, you invite him to your flat. At the exact same time you are in the throes of sexual abandon, there’s a massive terrorist bomb attack at the London soccer stadium, vaporizing over one thousand people – your husband and son among them. How do you go on? How do you live with the remorse?

March 12, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: Contemporary, Literary, Unique Narrative, United Kingdom

EVERYTHING LOVELY, EFFORTLESS, SAFE by Jenny Hollowell

For the longest time, growing up in rural Virginia, Birdie Baker is convinced she is destined to follow the path set forth by her devout Christian parents. Like them, as a Jehovah’s Witness, she will spread the word of the Lord, marry, settle down and wrap it up. But the sense of unease that plagues her even after she is married to a church-going man named Judah, is worsened when she runs into her high school drama teacher at the grocery store. “What are you still doing here?” he asks, “I figured the next time I saw you it would be in a movie.” Eventually, leave Virgina she does. Birdie pools all her savings toward a one-way bus ticket to Los Angeles.

December 14, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , ,  · Posted in: 2010 Favorites, California, Contemporary, Debut Novel, Drift-of-Life