March 2023 Newsletter
Solito, Javier Zamora; At age 9, Javier begins a three thousand mile “adventure” to join his parents in California. Traveling with a group of strangers and a “coyote” hired to lead them across the border, Javier expects his journey to last about 2 weeks. In fact, it lasts two months and the coyote hired by his grandparents hands the entire group off to others early in the trip. The book describes the harrowing and dangerous journey which is balanced by the love and kindness of strangers. It will open your mind to the lengths migrants will go to find a better life and you will wonder if you would have survived such a journey.
The French Widow, Mark Pryor; This is the 9th in a mystery series set in Paris. Hugo is a security officer at the US Embassy in Paris and has a knack for strolling into situations. Always a good mystery for Hugo and team to solve. And set in Paris, an splendid armchair travel on a snowy day.
Final Gifts, Maggie Callanan and Patricia Kelley; A friend suggested I read this book about the messages we receive as we attend to our partner or loved one in their final days before death. As I read the stories related by these two nurses with 20 years’ experience of helping terminally ill patients and their families, I found many examples of recognition of my own recent experience. I found answers to unexplained conversations, and behaviors I witnessed as I tried to take care of my husband. It was validating and comforting in a deep sense to know I am not alone.
Small World, Laura Zigman; Set in Boston, this is an engrossing story of two middle aged sisters, both successful in some ways but not able to trust each other because of their childhood which included a disabled sister. It’s so true in detail of how painfully that affected the sisters that you are there with them as they remember. As a reader, you love them as they finally can reach out to each other.
It also has some funny scenes and interesting points about living in Cambridge as an adult.
My two recent books in the Irish theme were one old and one new. The old book, As for Ireland, written by M. Wallace in 2001 is a great travel guide which also provides a smallened down version of Ireland’s history. I needed that after Frank Delaney’s 500 page tome, Ireland. The new book was Trespasses written by Louise Kennedy in 2022. The story is of a young Catholic woman and her affair with a non-Catholic. Although some of the reading around the affair is racey, the overarching presence is the fear and constant uncertainty of trying just to live in a place where violence can occur at any time. It is something unfamiliar to us living here.
Carlsson, Christopher; Blaze me a sun
Christie, William; The double agent
De Giovanni, Mauricio; Winter Swallows
Ferrars, E.X.; Smoke without Fire
George, Jessica; Maame
Harper, Jane; Exiles
Hlad, Alan; The Book Spy
Johnstone, Carole; The Blackhouse
Kubica, Mary; Just the nicest couple
Lorac, E.C.R.; These names make clues
March, Nev; Murder in Old Bombay
McDermid, Val; 1989
Moyes, Jojo; Someone else’s shoes
O’Connor, Joseph; My Father’s House
Olafsdottir, Audur; Animal Life
Pieri, Lorenza; Lesser Islands
Pryor, Mark; THE French Widow
Seghers, Anna; The dead girls’ class trip
Verble, Margaret; Stealing
Zigman, Laura; Small World
Bemelmans, Ludwig; Hotel Splendide
Brown, Nancy; Looking for the Hidden Folk
Fisher, Max; Chaos Machine
Luzzi, Joseph; Botticelli’s Secret
Mukherjee, Siddhartha; The Song of the Cell
Barrows, Annie; Ivy & Bean take the Case
Bright, Michael; Love Monster
Brown, Meredith; Milk and Juice
Greenlaw, Suzanne; The First Blade of Sweet Grass
Lang, Suzanne; Grumpy Monkey, Freshly Squeezed
Lyall, Casey; A Spoonful of Frogs
Sell, Chad; The Cardboard Kingdom, Roar of the Beast
Ticket to Paradise