Posts tagged with the keyword: ‘fiction’


The Girl You Left Behind

The Girl You Left Behind
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The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes is a split story—past and present, mystery and love story—much in the way of A. S. Byatt’s Possession (1990), but without the nuance, depth, and brilliant ending. It’s October 1916, just prior to battles of Somme and Verdun. The novel opens in a small town in France, […]

Primal Scene

Primal Scene

The church my family attended in our medium-sized, Midwestern town held an annual mother/daughter banquet. Every woman was expected to volunteer. My mother was a teacher and breadwinner before the feminist movement gave her permission; it wasn’t like her to make a casserole or decorate the church basement. She was a writer and had studied […]

Dancing the Tunes

Dancing the Tunes

I am a woman of rich inner means, of hips which widen, and of feet which grown clumpier as the years go by. The word “dance” doesn’t call to me as it did in my younger years. At twelve, my twin Liz climbed out of a tree, swung into the back door of our twelve-room […]

Authors in Our Midst

Authors in Our Midst

Authors in Our Midst in an ebook written by participants in the Spring 2013 Courage to Write Writing Workshop led by author/instructor Esther Bradley-DeTally and held at La Pintoresca Branch Library. How about a taste of a Faukner-length sentence in “Toasting Relations” by Bradley-DeTally: The toast, more than slightly burned and twisted, rose with her […]

Death at the Voyager Hotel: a Novella

Death at the Voyager Hotel: a Novella

by Kwei Quartey Prologue In equatorial Africa, day breaks around 5:30 a.m. no matter the time of year. Morning preparations at the Voyager Hotel in Accra, Ghana follow a similar timetable. The breakfast buffet is laid out, the day staff arrives to take over from the graveyard shift, the janitor sweeps the lobby, and tour buses and hired […]

The Hummingbird’s Daughter

The Hummingbird’s Daughter

This wonderful novel captures a remote time and place (northern Mexico in the late 1800s) teeming with fascinating characters who live large while debating politics, spirituality, community and faith. There is an aristocratic Don and his engineer companion; his mistress, his wife and illegitimate children; faithful retainers; rebellious natives; a dastardly priest; and soldiers who […]

Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand

Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand

If Miss Marple investigated social consciousness instead of murder mysteries, Agatha Christie might have written this book. Set in a charmingly upscale village on the Sussex downs, this novel is a charmingly upscale commentary on British snobbery as widowed, bookish and oh-so-English Major Pettigrew falls inevitably in love with the village’s Pakistani shopkeeper. Consequences ensue, […]

The Invisible Bridge

The Invisible Bridge

I’ll cut right to the chase: The Invisible Bridge is a wonderful, captivating read, intimate and grand at the same time. This first novel by San Francisco writer Julie Orringer, many years in the making and her second work after her acclaimed book of short stories, How to Breathe Underwater, takes readers to 1930s Budapest […]

Anne Lamott at Caltech

Anne Lamott at Caltech

Anne Lamott has chronicled, laughed at, and succumbed to boomer/outsider angst for the last couple of decades. Through her best-selling nonfiction memoirs (Grace, Eventually; Plan B; Operating Instructions) we feel that we know her: outspoken and frank, a possessor of a wicked wit and hidden backbone, a woman tested by all kinds of travails, from […]

Through a Glass Darkly

Through a Glass Darkly

The glass room is the centerpiece of a starkly modern “machine for living” house built by the equally modern Landauers, a young, progressive couple who marry in the heady days of the new democracy of Czechoslovakia. The sleek, striking building expresses their hopes and personalities and the drive to be “new.” But old forces are […]

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