THE INVERTED FOREST by John Dalton

The dictionary defines “inverted” as reversed, upturned, and this aptly describes the goings on, again and again in John Dalton’s latest novel, The Inverted Forest, an impressive follow-up to his award winning debut, HEAVEN LAKE. That the two stories are quite diverse in setting and subject serves the reader well, as HEAVEN LAKE, set in Taiwan and China, was one of those wondrous, luminous novels difficult to surpass. THE INVERTED FOREST takes place in 1996 in a rural Missouri summer camp, a sun-dappled, bucolic environment that still manages to impart a sense of subliminal unease.

September 21, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , ,  · Posted in: 2011 Favorites, Contemporary, Literary

THE MATTER OF SYLVIE by Lee Kvern

From Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, to Jonathan Franzen’s THE CORRECTIONS, and just recently, Jennifer Vanderbes’ STRANGERS AT THE FEAST, unhappy families have been a staple of literature all over the globe. What, or who, put the “y” in unhappy, in dysfunction? Canadian author Lee Kvern mines this question with a brutally honest sensitivity in her intimate family portrait of Lloyd and Jacqueline Burrows and their three children–”four, if you count Sylvie.”

September 5, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: Canada, Contemporary, Family Matters, y Award Winning Author

THE COMPANION by Lorcan Roche

Trevor is a young Irishman in New York City. A film-school dropout with a checkered past, he is also a born storyteller whose life, both past and present, plays out in short takes of absurdity, abandonment, and aggression, with brief moments of wonder and wisdom thrown in — not an atypical first-time reaction to Manhattan. Voices speak to him in the soundtrack tones of James Mason or Bob Hoskins as he picks up the outtakes of his life from the cutting-room floor. And in calling him a born storyteller, I should also mention that he is one of the most unreliable narrators one is likely to encounter; most of the book will be spent distinguishing the truth from the falsehoods. As he himself admits: “We lie to protect. We lie to inure. To keep on going we have to lie.”

September 4, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , ,  · Posted in: Contemporary, Debut Novel, New York City

ONE MORE THEORY ABOUT HAPPINESS by Paul Guest

This gripping memoir is an homage to resiliency, strength and courage. It is written by Paul Guest, now 27, who had a cataclysmic accident when he was 12-years-old. While riding his teacher’s old 10-speed bicycle, which had no brakes, he crashed and broke his neck. Since that day he has been confined to a wheelchair, a quadriplegic.

May 7, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: Non-fiction