The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman: a Book Review

The Rules of Magic, by Alice Hoffman is a novel about love, the ties of family, loss, identity and fate. This novel powerfully conjures the condition of the human heart with all of its’ joy, longing, and agony. The three Owens children, Franny, Jet, and Vincent, are on a journey to discover who they are. Along the way they un-earth a few family secrets and cover up a few of their own. The Rules of Magic is a powerful, heart-breaking novel that renders a dazzling portrait of the Owens family and their spellbinding traditions. Continue reading “The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman: a Book Review”

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We Shall Not All Sleep by Estep Nagy

We Shall Not All Sleep by Estep Nagy is a haunting novel of betrayal, scheming, familial ties, and manipulation. The novel takes place over a highly charged three day period during the summer of 1964. Events unfold in the novel following Hannah’s untimely death, and after Jim Hillsinger has been ousted from the CIA on the suspicion that he has committed treason. Set against the backdrop of the escalating Soviet threat, this novel is rife with secrets, scandals, and revenge. Continue reading “We Shall Not All Sleep by Estep Nagy”

Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman

In anticipation of the upcoming release of Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman, I decided to read Practical Magic, the inspiration for the 1998 movie of the same title. While I, like so many others, adore the movie, I had never read the book. Although the cast of characters largely remains the same (the movie just forgets to mention a couple of them,) and the general story line is basically the same, the book is very different. It almost has a different “feel” to it, and as readers we receive more thorough portraits of each character that the film doesn’t necessarily offer. Continue reading “Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman”

The Child Finder: a Book Review

The Child Finder is the story of a woman, Naomi, whose life calling is to locate missing children. Known simply as the Child Finder, Naomi works as a private investigator with word of her uncanny ability traveling from person to person.  Like the children she is hired to find, Naomi was abducted in her childhood.  As an adult she has no recollection of the events that transpired while being held captive. Her mind has blocked the trauma and she only has memory of being found by a group of migrant workers after she escaped. She remembers them driving her to the Sherriff’s office, she remembers being deposited with her kindly foster mother, and she remembers meeting her foster brother Jerome. Perpetually haunted by nightmares, Naomi is terrified of her past catching up with her, but has made it her life’s mission to save and help children like her. Continue reading “The Child Finder: a Book Review”

5 Books Arriving in October that I Can’t Wait to Read

If you’re like me, then you likely have an ever lengthening list of books that you can’t wait to read. Unfortunately, for me reading doesn’t pay the bills so I never seem to have enough hours in the day to devour each book on my list. Regardless, I am going to be making the time to read the 5 books on this list very soon.

Continue reading “5 Books Arriving in October that I Can’t Wait to Read”

Telling the Map: a Collection of Short Stories by Christopher Rowe

I am pleased-as-punch to share with you, readers, my review of a collection of short stories written by a former co-worker of mine. A little more than two years ago, I found myself in the employ of one of Lexington’s much beloved local book stores, Joseph Beth Booksellers. During my time there, I was introduced to Christopher Rowe. Christopher is a talented writer (who as it happens, is married to another talented writer, Gwenda Bond) and his collection Telling the Map was released in July of this year. Continue reading “Telling the Map: a Collection of Short Stories by Christopher Rowe”

The Book I Recommend to Everyone and Why

As readers, we all have our go-tos. Our books that for one reason or another pique our interest in a special way, manage to captivate our interests even after we know what is going to happen, and live on in our imaginations long after we’ve finished reading them. Most of us have several. Also, if you are an avid reader you will likely have people frequently approach you (usually while you are reading) and ask for book recommendations. Usually, I immediately ask them what they like to read. They’ll stop and think for a moment, and then most of the time they will say one of two things. They’ll either say “I like to read anything, I’m not really picky,” or they’ll say THRILLERS or MYSTERIES.  (Not always, sometimes they’ll be like “historical fiction” or “romance” or some other such thing. But, by and large non-readers will gravitate to thrillers because they are so compelling and can generally hold the interest of even the most infrequent reader.) If their answer is either of the two responses listed above, I always, without fail, recommend Dark Places by Gillian Flynn. And always, without fail, I’m right on the money. Continue reading “The Book I Recommend to Everyone and Why”