THE STORM AT THE DOOR by Stefan Merrill Block

Stefan Merrill Block has written a novel so irrepressibly beautiful and poetic that it left me stunned.THE STORM AT THE DOOR is based on the life of his grandparents, Frederick and Katharine. Partly imagined and partly based on fact, this is the story of a troubled family dealing with mental illness, secrets, and denial. It is also about the horror and the power of a psychiatric hospital, along with the myriad patients who have enacted their trust in this institution.

July 1, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: 2011 Favorites, Facing History, Family Matters, Literary, NE & New York, y Award Winning Author

PORTOBELLO by Ruth Rendell

Prolific mystery writer Ruth Rendell’s work can be divided into two categories: the Inspector Wexford novels and her psychological novels. PORTOBELLO falls into the latter category and fans of Ruth Rendell know what to expect. The novel concentrates on the poisoned lives of a handful of characters who are connected to London’s Portobello Road, and these characters are as varied and colourful as the district itself. Rendell brings her characters together with her usual skill–although the heavy reliance on coincidence argues against the idea that London is, after all, a city of millions of people.

November 4, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: Class - Race - Gender, Mystery/Suspense, United Kingdom, y Award Winning Author

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

STASH by David Matthew Klein

Debut novelist Klein has written a smart and nervy domestic drama/thriller. The pages fly, and the prose is crisp and economical. He tackles difficult, dicey, and controversial subject matter without handing out platitudes or falling into blunt party line agendas. I am tempted to call it a non-puff beach read. It is lively, energetic, and easily accessible, but it is also thought provoking and ultimately bold.

July 28, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: Contemporary, Debut Novel, Mystery/Suspense, Reading Guide

FAMILY ALBUM by Penelope Lively

British novelist Lively, winner of the Booker Prize (MOON TIGER) and an expert in the darkish art of domestic wit, celebrates big, happy families in her twenty-second book, FAMILY ALBUM. To matriarch Alison, family is, simply, what she lives for, even now that her six children have dispersed to distant parts and seldom return.

February 11, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags:  · Posted in: Contemporary, Family Matters, United Kingdom, y Award Winning Author