Tommy Orange’s first novel There There is a relentlessly
paced multi-generational story about violence and recovery, memory and identity,
and the beauty and despair woven into the history of a nation and its people.
He intertwines twelve characters as they travel to the Big
Oakland Pow wow. Each has their reasons – explore traditions, face their
heritage, honor family, and question the life and plight of urban Native
Americans. Here is a voice we have never heard – a voice full of
poetry and rage, exploding on to the page with stunning urgency and force.
(cover blurb) As a member of the Cheyenne and Apache tribes of Oklahoma,
Tommy Orange explores complex history, writes of spirituality, and looks at
addictions and abuse as he introduces his characters. Each character is
interesting and complex. They live in a world I’ve not seen, but I’m aware of
from current news.
This work of fiction is quite strong, relevant, and thought
provoking. I liked his writing and voice and the characters stuck with me even
after the final page. There is a There There worth exploring.
The Postmistress by Sarah Blake offers two
perspectives on the news in 1940. First Iris James, as the postmistress
in a coastal MA town, takes her duty quite seriously. However, one day, she
slips a letter into her pocket, knowing she delays the inevitable but feels
it’s for the best. She reads a heartbreaking letter and does not deliver
it. Meanwhile, Frankie Bard broadcasts overseas with Edward R. Murrow.
She feels compelled to make sure Americans know what is happening in Europe.
She doesn’t want folks to not believe that Nazi Germany is building evil and
that it affects the world.
Cover blurb: The Postmistress is a
tale of two worlds – one shattered by violence, the other willfully naïve – of
two women whose jobs are to deliver the news, yet who find themselves unable to
do so. Through their eyes, and the eyes of everyday people caught in history’s
ride, it examines how we tell each other stories, and how we bear the fact of
war as we live ordinary lives.
This is a solid story with engaging writing. There’s a love
story and a story of survival. P. 351 A story like a
snapshot is caught, held for a moment, then delivered. But the people in them
go on and on. And what happens next? What happens? This book
has a sense of urgency and is a worthy read. Another winner. I’ve been on
Thanks, Linda Hoffman – a friend, and a reader who shares
her excellent finds. Shout out, my friend!
A Simple Favor is a delicious, twisty turning
fun film full of deception, beautiful people , a vlog, surprises, and friends?
Anna Kendrick is Stephanie, super single mom who hosts her video blog, makes
the best school food treats, and is conservatively eager to please. When son
Miles and his friend Nicky beg for a play date, she agrees when Emily, the cold
as ice beautiful Blake Lively, invites Stephanie over for a martini. “Momma
needs a reset button.” Oh my!
Stephanie has never met anyone like Emily, who drinks, curses,
wears power clothes, works in the city, has the hot author husband, and dares
Stephanie to be bad. Then the phone call, “Can you pick up Nicky and take him
after school for a bit? I’m swamped at work.” One simple favor
turns into days…where is Emily? Stephanie posts her concern on her vlog.
Shaun (the luscious Henry Golding) involves the police. What’s going on?
Then a body in a Michigan lake turns out to be Emily – DNA and tattoo
match. End of movie grieving?
Oh no. That was only the beginning. I won’t give more away.
Grab the popcorn tub and hang on for a wild ride in suburbia. Good acting. Lots
of twists. And several, “Say what?” moments.
Today, October 8 - I'm officially truly older than dirt.
I can remember black and white TV and clicking the three or four channels. I remember red dye and when cereal said "sugared" and meant it. I remember "smoking" candy cigarettes in the kitchen while Dad had his one Camel.
Ray and I did marry - Justice of the Peace, in jeans, then a fun party that night.
Picture on the right is my very casual author picture....Maybe I should update it.
And here I am with Ray in Cozumel, cruising onward.....I know less than I did back in the black and white era. Still questioning, still stumbling, still a left-handed, green-eyed gal from PA. (a damn Yankee in TX)
Assuming I make it to Halloween, I will then have lived longer than my mother. That's mind blowing.
But cheers! I plan on eating chocolate cake and enjoying my whole birthday weekend - Friday and Monday off. Go to the State Fair, hit a movie, celebrate with friends, and of course, hang with Ray.
Fannie Flagg has been around forever and her books read like
an old friend stopped by to chat. The Whole Town’s Talking is a
light breezy read that entertains.
Elmwood Springs, MO is home to the Nordstoms. Lorder moved
there from Sweden, farmed, ordered a mail order bride – beloved Katrina, became
the town’s first mayor, and chose the place on the hill for the cemetery.
Naturally he was the first to arrive at the resting place. And much to
his surprise, he “woke up” and could hear town folk visit his grave. Soon other
seniors passed away and joined him. All in all, Flagg keeps us posted through
the decades on the folks who are alive and prospering, and the folks who die.
Some pass too young – boys who went to Vietnam. Some arrive and are annoyed
that they still have to hear the town talk (old man Henderson). Some arrive at
the cemetery, participate, and then suddenly leave.
She mixes real life history with Elmwood Springs growth, and
we enjoy the company of the founders, their offspring, and their grandchildren.
This is Americana at its best – chatty, catty, generous, patriotic, and greedy.
The author knows people and keeps her sense of humor as she regales us with
town talk. The Whole Town’s Talking is just plain fun – a
good read on a rainy day that will keep you chuckling as you turn the
pages. After a few chapters, go stroll through your neighborhood and find
something or someone to talk about. Make sure it’s good or juicy! Enjoy.
(cover blurb) She was his best kept secret – a mysterious
Frenchwoman begins work on a dangerous memoir. It is a story of a man she once
loved in the Beirut of old, and a child taken from her in treason’s name. The
woman is the keeper of the Kremlin’s most closely guarded secret. Long ago, the
KGB inserted a mole into the heart of the West – a mole who stands on the
doorstep of ultimate power.
And of course who shall come to the rescue of
civilization? Gabriel Allon - art restorer, assassin, chief of
Israel secret intelligence – is back to reluctantly join in a quest to thwart
treason, restore global order, and of course, arrive home safe to the arms of
his lovely Italian wife, Chiara, and their twins. Gabriel is getting older,
more world weary, and yet those deep green eyes burn when there are wrongs to
Daniel Silva knows how to keep pages turning. Double
crosses. Twists. World travel locations. Whirlwind espionage with the strongest
cast of characters around. I’ve written plenty of Silva reviews on this blog.
Add The Other Woman to my list of compelling reads. Silva is
scary current with a pulse on our fragile world situation. Reading his work is
like having the key to our future. Now, who’s our Gabriel Allon? He can conquer
the bad guys…gotta love fiction. (or scary truth?) Enjoy!
Joanne Faries, originally from the Philadelphia area, lives in Texas with her husband Ray. She considers herself fortunate to be able to pursue a writing career after eons in the business world. Joanne enjoys reading and movies, and is the film critic for the Little Paper of San Saba.