Absolutely fantastic. I give this book a starred review- Noelle
With the storytelling power of Wally Lamb and the emotional fidelity of Lorrie Moore, this is the searing drama of an American family on the brink of dissolution, one that explores adoption, gay marriage, and true love lost and found.
For years, Matthew Greene and Daniel Rosen have enjoyed a contented domestic life in Northampton, Massachusetts. Opposites in many ways, they have grown together and made their relationship work. But when they learn that Daniel’s twin brother and sister-in-law have been killed in a Jerusalem bombing, their lives are suddenly, utterly transformed.
The deceased couple have left behind two young children, and their shocked and grieving families must decide who will raise six-year-old Gal and baby Noam. When it becomes clear that Daniel’s brother and sister-in-law had wanted Matt and Daniel to be the children’s guardians, the two men find themselves confronted by challenges that strike at the heart of their relationship. What is Matt’s place in an extended family that does not completely accept him or the commitment he and Daniel have made? How do Daniel’s complex feelings about Israel and this act of terror affect his ability to recover from his brother’s death? And what kind of parents can these two men really be to children who have lost so much?
The impact that this instant new family has on Matt, Daniel, and their relationship is subtle and heartbreaking, yet not without glimmers of hope. They must learn to reinvent and redefine their bond in profound, sometimes painful ways. How does a family become strong enough to stay together and endure when its very basis has drastically changed? And are there limits to honesty or commitment–or love?
Each summer the wealthy, seemingly perfect Sinclair family meets on their private island. Cadence, Johnny, Mirren, and Gat are a unit, especially during “summer 15,” marking their fifteenth year on Beechwood– the summer that Cady and Gat fall in love. Cady became involved in a mysterious accident, in which she sustained a blow to the head, and now suffers from debilitating migraines and memory loss. When she returns to Beechwood during summer 17 issues of guilt and blame, love and truth all come into play.
A Face in the Crowd is a short story about an widower who is learning to live on his own. He attends a baseball game where he starts to see people from his past and each person is stranger then the next.
When Ross Buchanan is forced to resign as chairman of the Barrington Shipping Company, Emma Clifton wants to take his place, but Don Pedro Martinez plans to install his puppet, the egregious Major Alex Fisher, so he can destroy the Barrington family firm once and for all. The talented Jessica Clifton, Harry and Emma’s adopted daughter, wins a scholarship to the Slade Academy of Art and falls in love with a fellow student, Clive Bingham, who asks her to marry him. Both families are delighted and preparations for the nuptials are well under way, when Charlotte Bingham, Jessica’s future mother-in-law, has a visit from an old friend, Lady Virginia Fenwick, who drops her particular brand of poison into the wedding chalice. But then, without warning, a man no one had ever heard of takes his place on the board of Barringtons and causes an upheaval that none of them could have anticipated. Cedric Hardcastle, a bluff Yorkshire banker, quickly decides who he should support, Emma Clifton or Don Pedro Martinez, and the story takes yet another twist.
Thirteen-year-old Kyra has grown up in an isolated community without questioning the fact that her father has three wives and she has twenty brothers and sisters. That is, without questioning it much—if you don’t count her visits to the Ironton County Mobile Library on Wheels to read forbidden books, or her secret meetings with Joshua, the boy she hopes to choose for herself instead of having a man chosen for her. But when the Prophet decrees that Kyra must marry her sixty-year-old uncle—who already has six wives—she must make a desperate choice in the face of violence and her own fears of losing her family forever.
Melody is a bright, confident 11-yr-old, blessed with a photographic memory and the ability to “taste” music. She also has cerebral palsy, is unable to speak, and has extremely limited movement. Nearly everyone in her life assumes she is “slow,” and the frustration of not being able to prove otherwise is overwhelming. When a device to help Melody communicate finally is available to her, her intelligence is obvious to everyone. But, will she finally gain acceptance?
I appreciate how Draper refuses to take the easy, expected path with Melody’s story. Melody knows she is one of the smartest girls in any room, and she’s not afraid to make that fact known. Children (and adults) can be cruel when faced with someone deemed “different,” and Draper doesn’t wrap everything in a neat bow of acceptance. Making your place in the world can be tough, and Melody shows she is exactly that. A worthy award-winner.
In The Supreme Macaroni Company, Adriana Trigiani transports readers from the cobblestone streets of Greenwich Village to lush New Orleans to Italy and back again while exploring the tricky dynamics between Old World craftsmanship and New World ambition, all amid a passionate love affair that fuels one woman’s determination to have it all.
For over a hundred years, the Angelini Shoe Company in Greenwich Village has relied on the leather produced by Vechiarelli & Son in Tuscany. This ancient business partnership provides the twist of fate for Valentine Roncalli, the schoolteacher turned shoemaker, to fall in love with Gianluca Vechiarelli, a tanner with a complex past . . . and a secret.
But after the wedding celebrations are over, Valentine wakes up to the hard reality of juggling the demands of a new business and the needs of her new family. Confronted with painful choices, Valentine remembers the wise words that inspired her in the early days of her beloved Angelini Shoe Company: “A person who can build a pair of shoes can do just about anything.” Now the proud, passionate Valentine is going to fight for everything she wants and savor all she deserves–the bitter and the sweet of life itself.
Romantic and poignant, told with humor and warmth, and bursting with a cast of endearing characters, The Supreme Macaroni Company is a sumptuous feast of delights: an unforgettable narrative about family, work, romance, and the unexpected turns of life and fate.
In this wrenching, exquisite coming-of-age novel, Friday discovers what makes a family-and a home.
Friday Brown has never had a home. She and her mother live on the road, running away from the past instead of putting down roots. So when her mom succumbs to cancer, the only thing Friday can do is keep moving. Her journey takes her to an abandoned house where a bunch of street kids are squatting, and an intimidating girl named Arden holds court.
Friday gets initiated into the group, but her relationship with Arden is precarious, which puts Friday-and anyone who befriends her-at risk. With the threat of a dangerous confrontation looming, Friday has to decide between returning to her isolated, transient life, or trying to help the people she’s come to care about-if she can still make it out alive.
Rebecca Winter, a once famous photographer, sublets her Manhattan apartment, to hopefully, pay the monthly expenses she has become responsible for and, to inject some cash flow into her dwindling bank account. This is a story of city mouse moves to the country and finds that life isn’t all that bad. She finds subject matter for a new photo collection and unexpected love in a man 30 years her junior.
This is the first book by Anna Quindlen that I’ve read and thoroughly enjoyed it. I think you will, too.
Dena Nordstrom, a 70′s television news person, is on her way up the ladder of success when she gets side tracked by illness and a desire to find out what happened to her mother. Her mother disappeared one Christmas when Dena was young, never to be heard from again.
There is a colorful cast of characters within the pages of this book. Norma and Macky Warren and Aunt Elner from Elmwood Springs, Missouri, cousins and aunt, respectively, nutty in their own way, and so proud of Dena; Ira Wallace and Sidney Capello, two cut throat modern day sleaze journalists; and Sookie, Dena’s college roommate, who would do just about anything for her; Kappa sisters forever.
The book quickly wraps up in the last several pages with an ending I didn’t see coming. More to come in the Elmwood Springs series with “Standing in the Rainbow”.
So, I finally decided to read this book that everyone has been talking about since it was first published. I have to admit, as cliche’ as it sounds, it did in fact, live up to all the hype. It was absolutely riveting. I haven’t been so absorbed in a book in a long time. The visualization while I read was extremely vivid, as it was set in a small Missouri town much like the one I work in daily. It even had a character with my first name, Noelle, which is quite unusual. So, you’ve got my attention, Ms. Flynn. Your book was pretty awesome. I’ll be waiting for your next novel. In the mean time, I need to read Sharp Objects.
Haunted by the freak accident that killed their father when they were children, Jim and Bob Burgess escaped from their Maine hometown of Shirley Falls for New York City as soon as they possibly could. Jim, a sleek, successful corporate lawyer, has belittled his bighearted brother their whole lives, and Bob, a Legal Aid attorney who idolizes Jim, has always taken it in stride. But their long-standing dynamic is upended when their sister, Susan–the Burgess sibling who stayed behind–urgently calls them home. Her lonely teenage son, Zach, has gotten himself into a world of trouble, and Susan desperately needs their help. And so the Burgess brothers return to the landscape of their childhood, where the long-buried tensions that have shaped and shadowed their relationship begin to surface in unexpected ways that will change them forever.
With a rare combination of brilliant storytelling, exquisite prose, and remarkable insight into character, Elizabeth Strout has brought to life two deeply human protagonists whose struggles and triumphs will resonate with readers long after they turn the final page. Tender, tough-minded, loving, and deeply illuminating about the ties that bind us to family and home, “The Burgess Boys” is Elizabeth Strout’s newest and perhaps most astonishing work of literary art.
Set in the high country of Colorado and during the Depression, this is a story of women’s strengths and friendships amid the harshest living conditions. Hennie Comfort has lived in Middle Swan for seventy years. She doesn’t sell prayers, but Nit Spindle, a young wife new to the area, wants to buy one for her little girl who passed away before they moved to Colorado. This is the segue that Hennie needs to befriend Nit and over the course of the story they share their deepest hardships and secrets while visiting, quilting, and walking the hills in spring. A few twists and turns in this story line kept me listening to this book. It’s not all gloom and doom – lots of good things happen to the characters. Recommended to those who like a little history woven within a story.
Libby Day was seven when her mother and two sisters were murdered in “The Satan Sacrifice” of Kinnakee, Kansas.” She survived—and famously testified that her fifteen-year-old brother, Ben, was the killer. Twenty-five years later, the Kill Club—a secret secret society obsessed with notorious crimes—locates Libby and pumps her for details. They hope to discover proof that may free Ben. Libby hopes to turn a profit off her tragic history: She’ll reconnect with the players from that night and report her findings to the club—for a fee. As Libby’s search takes her from shabby Missouri strip clubs to abandoned Oklahoma tourist towns, the unimaginable truth emerges, and Libby finds herself right back where she started—on the run from a killer.
With Asperger’s syndrome, teenager Jacob Hunt is unable to have the same kind of social life other boys his age have. However, like other kids with AS, he has honed in on one particular interest: forensic analysis. He normally shows up to crime scenes and helps solve the case, but this time he is the prime suspect. When a murder leads police to question Jacob, they interpret his AS symptoms as a sign of guilt and cast a very public spotlight on Jacob and his family.
The characters are well developed and intriguing to listen to. Picoult is known to research her topic thoroughly which helped with understanding Asperger’s syndrome and the main character. A very interesting story.
Protagonist Sam works for as a programmer for an online dating company. As he is filling out an online application in the hopes of meeting the right one, he realizes that none of the questions really tap into really meaningful issues. Even if meaningful questions were included, most people would lie. So, proposes that he writes a new software algorithm that taps into people’s financial statements. The good news is that it works really successfully in matching up couples. The bad news is that it is too successful and long term monthly signups drop. He is fired, then the grandmother of his new girlfriend Meredith – the perfect match from his algorith – dies. Meredith spends HUGE amounts of time moping and mourning her grandmother’s death. In an effort to return his love Meredith to her usual self, Sam creates another algorithm based on digital conversations between Meredith and her grandmother to recreate a digital version of the grandmother.
The book seems more like a mouthpiece to explore these complicated issues. Unfortunately, there is a HUGE amount of whining by most of the characters (I’m usually pretty sympathetic, but the characters are so hopeless and pathetic). Might have been better reading the book instead of listening to it.
As soon as I saw this on the new book shelf, I snatched it up. I read books 1-5 in a couple weeks around Easter and was excited to see that Book 6 was out.
General premise of the series: Famous children from history have been kidnapped during their own time and taken to the future to be adopted. Guardians of time are trying to return those kids to the time they belong and “fix” the wrinkles in time.
Jonah, along with his sister, Katherine, and best friend, Chip, and two other children get taken back to 1918 where they discover that the two kids with them are really Alexei and Anastasia Romanov and they have arrived hours before the entire Romanov family is going to be executed.
Will they be able to repair the time rift and still save the two Romanovs so they can continue their lives in the 21st century?
I was sort of hoping that this book would wrap up the series, but unfortunately Jonah still does not know his true identity from history. I have enjoyed the series, but I thought this book lacked some of the period detail that the previous books contained. Still, Risked is a good book and if you are a fan of futuristic books, then The Missing series is a must read.
13-yr-old Salamanca retraces with her grandparents the route taken by her mother when suddenly she left Sal and her father, and went to Lewiston, Idaho. Along the way, Sal tells her grandparents the story of moving from Kentucky to Ohio, and of how Phoebe, a new friend, also had a mother leave. The journey west combines with stories of the past to determine the future of Sal’s family.
This novel won the Newbery Award in 1995, and deserves all the praise it has gotten over the years. It is a powerful exploration and celebration of life, loss, new love, and mature love. Creech gives Sal’s voice an aching, coming-of-age truthfulness that should be experienced by everyone, and not just middle readers. If you’ve not done so already, read this book!
The great Gatsby is one of the great classics of twentieth-century literature.
This exemplary novel of the Jazz Age has been acclaimed by generations of readers. The story of the fabulously wealthy Jay Gatsby and his love for the beautiful Daisy Buchanan, of lavish parties on Long Island at a time when The New York Times noted gin was the national drink and sex the national obsession, it is an exquisitely crafted tale of America in the 1920s.