Wishful Thinking
Written by Kamy Wicoff and Reviewed by B. Lynn Goodwin
The Butterfly Groove
Written by Jessica Barraco and Reviewed by B. Lynn Goodwin
Can a computer predict war or tell us why it is imminent? Can it give us tools to stop us from blowing ourselves up? And where do our personal beliefs fit
into a world run by algorithms? Pulitzer Prize winner and New York Times journalist Matt Richtel explores all of this through the eyes of a determined man
with an exceptional but unproven computer program in his newest novel The Doomsday Equation.

Computer genius Jeremy Stillwater has three days to save the world from annihilation. He’s written a program that predicts war based on a global
economy, shifting values, and unanticipated behaviors. That program has started beeping. This means he has three days to save the world--unless
there’s a problem with his algorithm instead of the world as a whole. Seeing the situation through Jeremy’s eyes as he frantically researches both the
news and glitches in his program, we share his uncertainty and growing fear.

This thriller could become real far too easily, and contemporary readers know that. Our needs for power, recognition, acceptance, and love make the
story easy to identify with. Enemies lurk in unexpected places. Could they be using Jeremy and what will it take for him to see that?

Even if you’re not a fan of computers and know nothing about programming them, you’ll find drama, tension, twists and turns in the plot and pacing of
The Doomsday Equation. Richtel’s storytelling and journalistic skills shine as his protagonist, Jeremy Stillwater, fights to save the world.
Written by Suzanne McNear and Reviewed by B. Lynn Goodwin
Kristine Hannah’s epic novel, The Nightingale opens in Oregon in 1995 but soon takes us back to France to 1939.  The protagonist, Vianne Mauriac, says, “The
past has a clarity I can no longer see in the present.”

Vianne, an elderly widow pragmatically faces her own pending death. Julien, her doctor son, reproaches her when she insists she will take the ancient trunk
from the attic with her to the nursing home. . He does not yet understand his mother had a challenging full life as a survivor before he was born. Each day
Vianne’s past, as a French American immigrant, becomes more real to her than the present. She is determined to return to Paris one last time. Julian
reluctantly accompanies his mother, and despite her age and illness, in Paris he sees her as if for the first time.

Vianne and her husband immigrated to the USA after the war with their two children. Julien was a baby and had no memories of the land of his birth. His sister,
Sophie, was fifteen years older and remembered the hardships of the war years, though she never talked to him about it, so Julien had no way to appreciate
the significance of his mother’s immigration.

The chaotic Earth-shaking evacuation of Paris hours before the Germans arrived was terrifying. Vianne actually felt the land beneath her home tremble as
thousands of weary people trampled past all night long.

Vianne and Isabelle are adult sisters with opposing views on how to deal with the German occupation of France and its consequences.  Both do what they feel
they have to do in order to survive, but it tears their relationship apart. After Vianne’s husband, Antonine, is sent to the front, she protects and provides for
her daughter. A kind German officer is assigned to live in their home; he is totally unlike the one who replaces him for the last months of the war. Outraged at
the thought of aiding the enemy, Isabelle excuses herself to move back to Paris to care for their ill father. There she becomes a fearless underground
resistance fighter.

Kristin Hannah has outdone her previous best work, another WWII epic, Winter Garden, about the St Petersburg siege. Her research and writing are flawless
as she weaves the threads of dark secrets and deceptions throughout her novel. Her characters are likable and well developed. The pacing kept me turning
pages as the tension thickened. If you like to read WWII historical fiction, this is the book for you.
Ever needed to be with your kids and at a meeting work at the same time? It might be possible. Soon. All it takes is a few physics principles and the right
creative physicist to make it happen. Until that occurs though, Kamy Wicoff’s debut novel, Wishful Thinking allows readers to imagine the joys and
complications of a time travel app. Wishful Thinking introduces us to the science that might just make it possible.

Jennifer Sharpe, a divorced mother with two young sons, works long hours at the New York City Housing Authority. She is co-chair of a project designed to
implement One Stop, an outreach program which intends to reach out to an underserved community. Her boss, a pushy real estate developer, uses his
financial support to manipulate her.

When Jennifer is threatened in a custody suit, she gets help from Dr. Diane Sexton, an eccentric neighbor and brilliant physicist, who always wears one red
and one black shoe, a symbol of her mastery of living in two worlds at once. Dr. Sexton installs her time travel app, Wishful Thinking, on Jennifer's phone. The
app is addicting, and like all addictions, it comes at a cost. She has a rich life, a new love, and is severely sleep deprived, but using the app becomes a
necessity if she is to expose a serious problem facing One Stop.

Wishful Thinking starts as fantasy meets comic romp. It evolves into a thought-provoking examination of human needs and the possibilities that exist in a
technologically skilled universe. Though the premise seemed beyond belief at first, I kept turning pages. How could Wicoff made the app plausible? Dr. Sexton
offered answer. I rooted for Jennifer finding a happy ending that allowed her to live fully without destroying her health. Wicoff combines humor, wit, and
everyday chaos, finds a solution, and then finds an even better way to live.

Wicoff is the owner of SheWritesPress.com and a partner in She Writes Press. She is also the author of I Do But I Don’t.
A History in Paris
Last week a 15-year-old asked me what I was reading. I said, “Knock Knock” and held up the book so he could see the cover. He didn’t look. Instead he
said, “Who’s there?” and laughed. Later I realized that his question made perfect sense, even though he didn’t realize it. Knock Knock is fictional memoir is
about a woman seeking truths that will explain who she is and where she belongs in this complex world. Perhaps she asks, “Who’s there?” every time she
looks in a mirror.

March Rivers, who grew up in La Rue, Wisconsin, always felt slightly out of step. Once she became a student at Vassar, where the intellectual stimulation
agreed with her, she was more at home. On Graduation Day, though, she has no engagement ring, nor a promise of one.

After various jobs in New York and a love affair that ended abruptly, she followed a path common for women of that time: pregnancy, marriage, and children.
Seven years later, after increasing tension, upheavals, and despair, she divorced her husband, who wrote mystery novels with a glass of Heaven Hill bourbon
close at hand. Instead of living happily ever after, she had a breakdown. They had three daughters and no money, despite her family’s wealth. She
eventually became an editor at Playboy. The job and her literary life gave her a sense of peace.

McNear writes with details strung like the pearls around her mother’s neck. She gives us a strong sense of a bygone world and her discomfort in it. She’s
insightful, honest, and always digging for the truths that make her a skilled author with a unique literary voice. Although I had a little trouble getting started
with this book, I became absorbed within the first 25 pages. McNear is a courageous writer with captivating stories and a strong voice. Whether you write
memoir or fiction, you should read this book.
Written by Kristin Hannah and Reviewed by Ann McCauley

Fantasy Meets Comic Romp
Eccentricity, Secrets, and Civil Rights
Written by Laura Lane McNeal and Reviewed by B. Lynn Goodwin
Written by Laura Lane McNeal and Reviewed by B. Lynn Goodwin
ISBN# 978-0670014736
Penguin Books

Written by Jessica Barraco and Reviewed by B. Lynn Goodwin
ISBN # 978-1631528002
She Writes Press

Written by Suzanne McNear and Reviewed by B. Lynn Goodwin
ISBN # 978-1-579-62286-2
The Permanent Press

Written by Kamy Wicoff and Reviewed by B. Lynn Goodwin
ISBN # 9781631529764
She Writes Press

Written by Kristin Hannah and Reviewed by Ann McCauley
ISBN #: 978-0312577223
St. Martin’s Press, 2015
If a girl grew up in the south during the Civil Rights Era, she might not have
realized that you were living in a historic time. Ibby Bell certainly didn’t in Laura
Lane McNeal’s Dollbaby. She is eleven when her father dies in 1964. Ibby’s
mother deposits her at her paternal grandmother’s house in New Orleans while
she goes off “to think.” Ibby had never lived in a big city with a sweeping
history nor had ever been around black people. Her grandmother’s servants,
Queenie and Dollbaby made her feel comfortable as they teach her the ways of
the South at that time.

Ibby’s eccentric grandmother, Fannie, is a powerful, loving, outspoken woman
who occasionally succumbs to acute depression. She’s lost a husband and two
sons, and it’s not surprising that grief overtakes her and she sometimes has to
be removed from her rundown Victorian mansion and hospitalized. It’s no
surprise that Ibby brings life back into the old house, which is filled with
secrets. Ibby learns what family is all about in this novel divided between 1964,
1968, and 1972. We watch her grow and the South mature at the same time
Fannie and her house deteriorate.

Laura Lane McNeal is a promising author. Her work has been called funny and
poignant. It is filled with lush, evocative writing and should appeal to anyone
interested in family, loss, or finding out the truth. Fifty years after the Civil
Rights Movement, this piece of historical fiction brings the rich history of a
region’s coming of age to life. Whether you were alive in the sixties and early
seventies or you want to know more about the times, Dollbaby will paint a
picture of the times. I recommend this coming of age story for teens and
Whether Your Mother is Here or Not
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Hooked On Books
October-December 2015
Editor's Note:

1.Do you have a favorite author to recommend?

2. Do you have a favorite book that everyone should read?

Writer Advice welcomes reviews of recently published books. Be balanced, be fair, and pick a book you want to honor. Let your voice come through. Submit your reviews of approximately 250 words to Lgood67334@comcast.net. Unless there is a byline, the reviews in this issue are written by B. Lynn Goodwin.

“Stories of imagination tend to upset those without one.”  -- Terry Pratchett
Writer Advice
Struggling to Find her Place