EVERYTHING WAS GOODBYE by Gurjinder Basran

In her debut novel, EVERYTHING WAS GOODBYE, Gurjinder Basran tells the story of one happy-unhappy family, seen through the eyes of Meena, the youngest of six sisters. Set against the backdrop of suburban British Columbia, Basran paints a richly coloured portrait of a close-knit Punjabi community, caught between the traditions of “home” in India and their Canadian home, where their community is surrounded by a predominantly white, rather laid-back English-speaking society. With an impressively confident approach to a complex subject matter and a lively and engaging writing style, the young Indian-Canadian author explores the emotional turmoil, faced by a girl/young woman like Meena, experiencing the two cultures intimately. Traditional family values are assessed against the young heroine’s need for independence and emotional fulfillment.

October 3, 2011 · Judi Clark · Comments Closed
Tags: , , , ,  · Posted in: Canada, Class - Race - Gender, Debut Novel, World Lit, y Award Winning Author

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 CONFEDERATE GENERAL RIDES NORTH by Amanda C. Gable

Set in the 1960s, Amanda C. Gable’s debut novel, THE CONFEDERATE GENERAL RIDES NORTH spans two pivotal times in American history: the Civil War and the century-later Civil Rights movement. Eleven year old Kat, a Civil War buff, finds herself on a sudden trip from Marietta, Georgia to Maine with her manic-depressive mother who has decided to start her own antiques store up north. At first, Kat believes that they are on vacation, but the signs are immediately evident to the reader: her mother is leaving her father. Not until days later does Kat discover that her mother intends for this move to be permanent. Kat, loyal to her mother as well as to those family members left behind, finds herself emotionally under siege.

November 29, 2009 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: Contemporary, Family Matters, Literary, Reading Guide, US South