ALENA by Rachel Pastan

ALENA is a novel about the art world and the people who inhabit it. It is said to be an homage to du Maurier’s Rebecca. However, not having read Rebecca in no way took anything away from my love of this novel. This novel stands on its own and I loved it.

March 6, 2014 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , , , , ,  · Posted in: Debut Novel, Europe, NE & New York

CALEB’S CROSSING by Geraldine Brooks

What becomes of those who independently and courageously navigate the intellectual and cultural shoals that divide cultures? Is it truly possible to make those crossings without relinquishing one’s very identity?

Geraldine Brooks poignantly explores these questions in her latest novel, CALEB’S CROSSING. The story is based on sketchy knowledge of the life of Caleb Cheeshahteaumauk – the first Native American to graduate from Harvard College — and a member of the Wampanoag tribe in what is now Martha’s Vineyard.

May 3, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , ,  · Posted in: 2011 Favorites, Class - Race - Gender, Facing History, NE & New York, y Award Winning Author

OUTSIDE THE ORDINARY WORLD by Dori Ostermiller

At first I thought this book was not for me as a male reviewer, for its focus is so much upon its central female character and her roles as daughter, wife, and mother. But I soon found Dori Ostermiller gripping me with her writing, and her uncanny ability to plot the emotional seismograph of a woman on the brink of an affair. “I want to ask if she ever felt she was falling through her life, pulled down through dream and memory by a force larger than gravity. I want to know if she felt the splintering pain of it — a terrible, fruitful pain like birth, a pain you can’t stop because you have to know what’s on the other side.”

August 19, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , , ,  · Posted in: Contemporary, Debut Novel, Family Matters, NE & New York, Reading Guide

FATHER OF THE RAIN by Lily King

Years ago, I sent out a birthday invitation with the theme, “It’s never too late to have a happy childhood.” Funny – or so I thought.

But for Daley Amory, the main character of Lily King’s poignant and at times heartbreaking FATHER OF THE RAIN, those words are anything but funny. We meet her as an 11-year-old, torn between the liberal and do-good world of her mother and the conservative, erratic, liquor-soaked world of her charismatic and arrogant father. A WASP of the first-degree – rich, Harvard-educated, disconnected – his signature phrase, while lying on his chaise chair, drink in one hand, cigarette in the other, is, “I wonder what the poor people are doing today.”

July 30, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: Character Driven, Contemporary, Family Matters, Literary, NE & New York, Reading Guide, y Award Winning Author