A STUDENT OF WEATHER by Elizabeth Hay

Elizabeth Hay centres her superb, enchanting and deeply moving novel around Norma Joyce and sister Lucinda, her senior by nine years. Set against the beautifully evoked natural environments of Saskatchewan and Ontario, and spanning over more than thirty years, the author explores in sometimes subtle, sometimes defter, ways the sisters’ dissimilar characters. One is an “ugly duckling,” the other a beauty; one is rebellious and lazy, the other kind, efficient and unassuming… I

December 15, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: 2011 Favorites, Canada, Contemporary, Debut Novel, Giller Prize, Reading Guide, y Award Winning Author

THE LANGUAGE OF FLOWERS by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

Before she is emancipated at eighteen years old, Victoria Jones has lived in 32 different foster homes creating havoc wherever she’s lived. Abandoned at birth by a mother she never knew and knows nothing about, the only steady contact she’s had in her life is Meredith, her social worker. Meredith’s role is primarily to take Victoria from one foster home and place her in another.

August 23, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags:  · Posted in: Contemporary, Debut Novel, Reading Guide

BACK OF BEYOND by C. J. Box

BACK OF BEYOND by C. J. Box is just what a mystery thriller should be – a wild ride through twists and turns with rogue characters that have depth of spirit and lots of baggage. This book is a hardcore page-turner with characters the reader gets to know well. It’s well-plotted and everything comes together just when it’s supposed to; no red herrings and no deus ex machina. Box knows exactly how to plot his book so that each page brings the reader closer to crisis and then conclusion. There is the dark side that is required in order for good to prevail and there are lots of cold, dark pathways that wind their way to a fine conclusion.

August 20, 2011 · Judi Clark · Comments Closed
Tags: , , , ,  · Posted in: Mystery/Suspense, US Northwest, Wild West, y Award Winning Author

TINKERS by Paul Harding

I can honestly say that I have not read a book so evocative of place and time since reading anything by Faulkner.

May 27, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , ,  · Posted in: 2010 Favorites, Contemporary, Debut Novel, End-of-Life, Literary, NE & New York, Pulitzer Prize, y Award Winning Author

WHEN THE KILLING’S DONE by T.C. Boyle

Never one to shy away from sacred cow territory or the ruthless ways in which humans stampede it, T.C. Boyle’s latest wise epic puts ecologists on a restless collision course with agitated animal rights activists. In his vintage style of tackling issues with snarling drama and incendiary humor, Boyle plots a political novel without sending the reader a preachy message, although he comes right up under it.

February 24, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: California, Contemporary, Theme driven, y Award Winning Author

WEST OF HERE by Jonathan Evison

Visit the website for the National Park Service and you will find that the Elwha River Restoration project is a key one for the Olympic National Park in Washington state. “Elwha River Restoration will restore the river to its natural free-flowing state, allowing all five species of Pacific salmon and other anadromous fish to once again reach habitat and spawning grounds,” the project literature explains.

It is with this kernel of truth that writer Jonathan Evison spins a grand tale in his new novel, West of Here. The novel essentially looks at environmental decisions made during the late 1800s, when the American frontier moved rapidly west, and land grabs were in full swing—and the consequences of those same decisions more than a hundred years on.

February 16, 2011 · Judi Clark · 2 Comments
Tags: , , , , ,  · Posted in: Contemporary, Facing History, US Northwest, Wild West