Fiction

cover image of below zero

Below Zero

C.J. Box
3
Rated by
Helen H.
Thursday, Jul 1, 2010

Witness to the murder of Marshall and Sylvia Hotle, April needs to find a phone. Joe Pickett needs to get back to Saddlestring, Wyoming and his family. Sheridan, Joe’s daughter, needs to find April. But April is dead. While Joe is working in exile as a game warden in remote Wyoming, Sheridan receives a text from someone claiming to be her step-sister April. As evidence mounts that the texts are coming from the locations of violent crimes Joe and Sheridan track April across Wyoming. Or are they tracking a killer?

The Irresistible Henry House

Lisa Grunwald
4
Rated by
Diane H.
Friday, Jun 11, 2010

There are many things we practice for: a test, an interview, a sports event. In the early and middle part of last century women sometimes practiced being a mother. There were home economic programs at some colleges that offered female students the opportunity to learn about motherhood firsthand. Orphaned babies were loaned to the program for a year or two in order for the student, or practice, mothers to learn about taking care of a real baby.

The Rest of Her Life

Laura Moriarty
3
Rated by
Helen H.
Thursday, Jan 14, 2010

Kansas author Moriarty follows The Center of Everything with a second thoughtful book, The Rest of Her Life. When high school senior Kara accidentally hits and kills a fellow high school student in her car she changes the course of not only her own life, but of family, friends and strangers alike.

Friday, Oct 23, 2009

Along with the long-forgotten contents of the basement of the Panama Hotel, Henry Lee’s memories of 1940’s Seattle are unearthed. When new hotel owners start to renovate the boarded up, old Japanese-designed building they discover the personal belongings of numerous Japanese families who were interned during WWII. As a resident of Seattle’s Chinatown, just the other side of the Panama Hotel from Japantown, Henry witnessed first-hand the removal of the Japanese.

Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman
2
Rated by
Helen H.
Tuesday, Oct 6, 2009

When Charlie Nancy’s estranged father passes away, family secrets come tumbling out at the funeral. Disbelieving that he could possibly be the son of a god, Charlie inadvertently calls the brother he didn’t know he had into his life. Havoc ensues and Charlie must find a way to extricate himself from his brother while learning what it means to be the son of Anansi, the African and Caribbean trickster god. Adult fans of Harry Potter will enjoy the sudden revelation of a secret life and Charlie’s ensuing transformation.

cover art

Little Bee

Chris Cleave
3
Rated by
Helen H.
Tuesday, Sep 22, 2009

Books that don’t match their descriptions are extremely annoying, and this one especially so. The book jacket says, “It is extremely funny, but the African beach scene is horrific.” And the beach scene really is exceedingly horrific. Unfortunately, the comic relief I was led to expect never followed. I failed to be even slightly amused by this story of Little Bee, a Nigerian refugee, whose life becomes entangled with a vacationing English couple.

Friday, Aug 14, 2009

When Junior announces that he wants to attend the white school off the reservation he is not only ostracized, but tormented by his own people. As he dips one foot into the strange world of white people and keeps the other firmly planted on the reservation he feels torn between the better life he glimpses at his new school and the life he has always known.

Every Last Cuckoo

Kate Maloy
4
Rated by
Helen H.
Saturday, Jul 18, 2009

According to Wikipedia, a “coming of age” story is one which details a young person's transition from adolescence to adulthood. This describes Every Last Cuckoo, except Sarah Lucas’ transition is one from a comfortable coupled existence as a mature woman to one in which she must make her own way. At seventy-five, Sarah’s husband of fifty years has died unexpectedly leaving Sarah and their two dogs alone in their rural Vermont home.

Invisible Monsters

Chuck Palahniuk
2
Rated by
Helen H.
Monday, Feb 9, 2009

My reaction to Invisible Monsters is much the same as my great Aunt Kack’s to Northern Exposure back in the 80’s. She couldn’t believe what “they” were putting on TV, and I can’t believe what “they” are putting in print.

Old School by Tobias Wolff

Tobias Wolff
5
Rated by
Helen H.
Saturday, Aug 30, 2008

Tobias Wolff, who teaches creative writing at Stanford, has led an interesting life. His success comes despite a precarious childhood, from which he escaped through a combination of quick wit and good luck. So it’s no surprise that his novel Old School, which draws on his personal experience, is a fascinating exploration of the precarious nature of class and social status.

Pages