BOUND by Antonya Nelson

Set mostly in Wichita, Kansas, Antonya Nelson’s BOUND drops us right into the lives of a handful of characters. These characters are mostly connected by familial or marital bonds, and yet there are other bonds here too–the bonds of loyalty and friendship. At the centre of the story is Catherine Desplaines, married to a successful, wealthy, and much older businessman husband, Oliver.

October 25, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: Character Driven, Contemporary, Family Matters, Reading Guide, US Midwest, y Award Winning Author

HEALER by Carol Cassella

In HEALER, by Carol Cassella, forty-three year old stay-at-home mom Claire Boehning had been living a charmed life with her biochemist husband, Addison, and their only daughter, fourteen-year-old Jory. After Addison sold his biotech company, he and his wife bought a beautiful lakeside house in Seattle, where Jory attended private school, took ballet lessons, and enjoyed hanging out at the mall with her friends. Suddenly, everything turns sour, and mother and daughter are forced to retreat to their vacation home in the mountains of Washington State, while Addison scrambles to recoup the losses that Claire knew nothing about until a store rejected her credit card.

October 17, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , ,  · Posted in: Contemporary, Family Matters, Reading Guide, US Northwest

AN UNFINISHED SCORE by Elise Blackwell

Classical music, and the games of evasion and deception we play with the ones we love, create the engine that drives this lyrical, well-crafted story by acclaimed author Elise Blackwell. The premise is simple but compelling: Career violist Suzanne hears over the radio about the death of her lover, orchestral conductor Alex Elling, in a plane crash. She can only grieve secretly amid the members of her household, which include emotionally-distant husband Ben, irreverent best friend and fellow musician Petra and her young, deaf daughter. Suzanne soldiers on, rehearsing with her string quartet, playing second mother to Petra’s daughter, until a phone call from her former lover’s widow changes her life a second time. Suzanne and Alex’s secret affair was no secret, in the end, and now his widow extorts a favor from Suzanne: to finish the viola concerto started by her deceased husband. Desperate to keep the affair secret, even now, Suzanne reluctantly agrees.

September 23, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , ,  · Posted in: Contemporary, Literary

FREEDOM by Jonathan Franzen

…But here’s the catch: Jonathan Franzen’s FREEDOM is worth every accolade and every bit of heaping praise it garners. In one word, the novel is spectacular.

September 3, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: 2010 Favorites, Contemporary, Literary

REMEDIES by Kate Ledger

In REMEDIES, Kate Ledger has written a poignant and painful novel about a marriage that is barren of communication and intimacy, left to wither after the death of a six-week old infant named Caleb. Simon and Emily Bear initially married with hopefulness and love, though Emily was as much drawn to the marriage by the potential of Simon’s future success as she was by his being her one and only. Together they have a child. When their child dies, so does their marriage.

August 11, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: ,  · Posted in: Contemporary, Debut Novel, Family Matters, Reading Guide

MY WIFE’S AFFAIR by Nancy Woodruff

If you’ve got a hot work project with an overdue deadline, a soccer game that you simply must attend, or any “must do” commitments in the next couple of days, whatever you do, DON’T pick up this book. It will grip you, entice you, and place you under its spell. And in the end, it just may break your heart.

July 22, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: Contemporary, Family Matters, United Kingdom