THE ORPHAN CHOIR by Sophie Hannah

In Sophie Hannah’s THE ORPHAN CHOIR, forty-one year old Louise Beeston may be on the verge of an emotional breakdown. Her creepy next-door neighbor, Justin Clay, plays loud music late at night, usually every other weekend. Although Louise has repeatedly implored him to stop, Clay is indifferent to her pleas. (Louise’s husband, Stuart, is oblivious to the cacophony. Even if a freight train were to pass through their bedroom, Stuart would remain asleep.) Unfortunately, Louise has little hope that Clay, a pot-smoking party animal who enjoys living it up with his loud-mouthed friends, will change his ways.

February 13, 2014 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , ,  · Posted in: Psychological Suspense, United Kingdom

THE PAPERBARK SHOE by Goldie Goldbloom

It’s a tough world that’s inhabited by Gin Boyle Toad – an albino, a classical pianist, an unloved woman whose life has been reduced to freak show status with the indelicate stares, the gossip, the pointing. Although she was raised in Perth’s wealthy environs and showed early and sustained musical talent, she is abused and ultimately institutionalized by her cruel and loathsome stepfather.

Her unlikely rescuer is Agrippas Toad, a dwarfish and crudely mannered farmer who happens to hear her play piano and immediately marries her. By doing so, he attempts to stave off the rumors about behavior that is deemed aberrant in his small-minded farm community. It is the “strangeness” of these two that binds them together. Gin Boyle reflects, “It wasn’t happiness. It wasn’t love. But it had been tolerable, so long as there was nothing else.”

April 22, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: Australia, Class - Race - Gender, Debut Novel, Reading Guide, World Lit