Wednesday, October 16, 2019

“Keeping Lucy” by T. Greenwood – The Good Fugitive Mother

T. Greenwood has earned many awards and accolades for her profound and piercing stories, and her recent novel Keeping Lucy is certainly another welcome notch in her career.

The novel tells a story inspired by true events, following a mother who sets out to rescue her daughter Lucy, born with Down Syndrome, from a special school which turns out to be a real hell on Earth... sending her down the path of becoming a fully-fledged fugitive.

Tuesday, October 08, 2019

“The World That We Knew” by Alice Hoffman – The Path of Most Resistance

Alice Hoffman has quite the unique flair in telling her stories, and The World That We Knew only further affirms this, taking us to an alternate view of Europe in 1941, colored heavily by the author's own brand of magical realism. The story follows a twelve-year-old girl, Lea, sent away by her mother to hide her from the Nazi regime. With the help of a Rabbi's daughter, Ettie, and a magical golem made specially for Lea, the trio set out on their own unforgettable adventures where evil waits at every corner.

Thursday, October 03, 2019

“The Music Shop” by Rachel Joyce – Birds of the Same Tune

Rachel Joyce has an uncanny ability to get inside her characters' heads and paint unforgettable portraits there, something she demonstrates yet again with her novel The Music Shop.

It tells the overtly-simple story of Frank the music shop owner as he attempts to connect to the one person who might carry him to salvation, the mysterious Ilsa Brauchmann. Inexplicably drawn to each other, they both come to learn about the healing powers of music and love, and perhaps gain a chance to overcome their emotional baggage.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

“The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley” by Hannah Tinti – A History in Bullet Wounds

Hannah Tinti took little time to establish herself as an author with some original tales to set on paper, and she continues her award-winning run with The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley.

The novel follows the titular Samuel as he spends years on the run trying to raise his daughter Loo. With Loo being a teenager and yearning for a normal life now, Samuel decides to settle down as a fisherman, but the demons from his past are never too far behind, as his twelve bullet scars constantly remind him.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

“Lawn Boy” by Jonathan Evison – The Dreams of a Lost Landscaper

Lawn Boy” by Jonathan Evison (Book cover)

Jonathan Evison has a keen eye for observing the innermost workings of our society, and in Lawn Boy he introduces us to Mike Munoz, a young man a few years out of high-school, who is about to learn a whole lot about the world on his own.

Unsatisfied with his trajectory of menial work and recently fired from his last gig as a landscaper, Mike decides to shake his life up a bit and give chase to the good old American dream... after all, shouldn't every American be entitled to it?

Friday, September 13, 2019

“American Predator” by Maureen Callahan – The Calculated Serial Killer

American Predator by Maureen Callahan - Book cover

While many serial killers have earned infamy forever in the books of history, Maureen Callahan reminds us there are many more who slipped between the cracks of our collective attention.

Namely, in her true crime book titled American Predator, she presents us with a serial killer who struck all over the United States and whose methods were considered unprecedented by the FBI: Israel Keyes.

Tuesday, September 03, 2019

“The Secrets We Kept” by Lara Prescott – The Forbidden Novel

Lara Prescott Tells a Story of Illegal Literature

Lara Prescott seems to have an underappreciated knack for bringing to life the lesser-known historical curiosities, at least if her first published novel, The Secrets We Kept, is anything to go by.

In it, we are presented with a retelling of how the CIA smuggled Boris Pasternak's Doctor Zhivago out of the USSR to distribute it abroad.

More specifically, we follow the two secretaries tasked with the job, as well as a love story for the centuries revolving around Pasternak and his muse Olga Ivinskaya.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

“The Lost Daughter” by Gill Paul – Heritage of the Revolution

Gill Paul has without question established herself as a leading author in the seemingly emerging Romanov historical fiction genre, with notable entries such as The Secret Wife and I Am Anastasia.

In her recent novel, The Lost Daughter, Gill Paul tackles the fate of Grand Duchess Maria Romanov with the help of two parallel story lines.

One follows Maria as she lives her final days in imprisonment, while the second tells of a woman retracing her surprising, and perhaps even shameful heritage.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

“The Lost Girls of Rome” by Donato Carrisi – Avengers at the Confession Booths

Donato Carrisi has been a fantastic representative for Italian literature in the Western world, and his 2013 novel The Lost Girls of Rome is a fantastic example as to why.

Taking place in, you guessed it, Rome, it follows a young widow, Sandra Vega, seeking answers after her husband, a journalist, supposedly plunged to his death at a construction site.

Unsatisfied with the official version of events, Sandra sets on the trail of a secret society with a much darker and richer history than anyone could have imagined.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

“Inland” by Téa Obreht – The Capricious Winds of Arizona

Inland by Téa Obreht (Book cover)

Téa Obreht has done no small work in living up to the various awards and nominations she has received so far, just publishing her second novel titled Inland. It tells two stories taking place in the dry lands of 1893 Arizona.

The first one follows Nora, a frontierswoman who awaits the return of her husband, gone to look for water, and her elder sons who disappeared after an argument.

The second follows Lurie, an outlaw on the run who is forced to take up military service and ends up on a journey for the ages.

Tuesday, August 06, 2019

“City of Windows” by Robert Pobi – The Invisible Sharpshooter

Robert Pobi has taken his first dive into the police procedural genre by opening the Lucas Page series with City of Windows. It tells the story of Lucas, a retired and handicapped FBI agent who gets brought back into the fold for his unbelievable ability to analyze crime scenes.

More precisely, he is asked to put his talents to use to solve the murder of his former partner, shot by a sniper while on the move in an SUV. Before long, he finds himself fully back in the fold, on the hunt for a killer nobody knows anything about.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

“How to Stop Time” by Matt Haig – The Existence Before Real Life

Matt Haig has always been one for regaling readers with out-of-the-box thinking, and in How to Stop Time he presents us with a rather unusual scenario.

Tom Hazard is a forty-year-old-looking man, but has actually been alive for over four hundred years, living many historical events first-hand.

After centuries of travel and exploration, all he wants to do is settle down, but the secretive group which is meant to protect people such as Tom is threatening to derail his life, and what actually might be a shot at love.