Code Name Verity is fantastic. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it (or crying about it) since I finished reading it. It is an unexpectedly powerful story of friendship and confronting one’s worst fears. It is also an ode to the brave and often nameless women who flew and fought alongside men in World War II as part of the Special Operations Executive, Women’s Auxiliary Air Force and Air Transport Auxiliary. The first part of the book is narrated by Julie and is presented to the reader in the form of her confession to the Gestapo in Ormaie, […]
Red Ink is a young adult/teen novel about grieving the loss of a parent and learning the painful truth about the past. The novel is narrated by 15-year-old Melon Fourakis in a manner that takes the reader back and forth through time, jumping ahead to the days and months after her mother Maria’s unexpected death and back to the time preceding it. In doing so, author Mayhew keeps readers on the edge of their seats and thoroughly engaged in unraveling the mystery of “The Story” that Maria left to her daughter. When Melon begins her story, we know it is […]
Set in a contemporary North Carolina town that has been deteriorating for some time, No One is Coming to Save Us is a thoughtful novel about coming to terms with one’s past and building a future. It is about thwarted dreams, dreams that characters expected would “save” them had they been realized. What does one do with the shards of broken dreams? The story opens with JJ Ferguson’s return to Pinewood, NC, which once had a booming economy, but jobs are dwindling as the furniture factories close and move abroad. JJ has been away for about 20 years, but he […]
This Is How It Always Is is a sort of fairy tale about a mom who wished for a daughter, a dad who tells stories, siblings who watch out for each other, and how even if you do everything just right, life is never easy. This is the story of parents doing their best to raise their transgender child in a world that fears and rejects those who don’t fit cultural norms. It is clever, funny and heartbreaking, and enlightening. Frankel happens to be the parent of a transgender child and brings her parental insight into her storytelling while also […]
Quiet is less about quiet than it is about people and how to embrace the diversity of personalities we see at school, at home, at work. This isn’t a book that shouts its thesis, despite the title, but demonstrates it calmly and thoughtfully.
I picked this one up on sale, despite figuring I wouldn’t really be its target audience (I don’t know a Lanvin from a Latverian; fashion is something I stare at when I can’t sleep (or, well, it used to be when “Fashion Trance” was a thing). Delightfully, I was wrong.
I cannot tell a lie, dear reader: This is, technically, another cozy mystery. But it’s an awful lot more fun than the Scottish Play.
Citizen: An American Lyric (2014) was a finalist for the National Book Award for poetry, the winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award in poetry, and winner of many other literary prizes. It is a series of reflections written as poetry on racism in its many forms, from childhood through adulthood, from everyday personal experiences to those that make national news. Rankine, with precise and evocative language, provides a series of images with words that demonstrate the relentlessness and predictability of racism in America as well as its longterm effects: dissonance, disaffection, erasure of people of color. Rankine writes […]