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- THE FAVOR: A Novel
- Written by Nicci French
- ISBN-13 : 978-0063243620
- William Morrow Paperbacks (October 18, 2022)
Earth Shattering Consequences
Do you keep secrets? What have they cost you? Nicci French’s protagonist, Jude, looks at these questions and their ramifications as she becomes entangled in a world far from her own in The Favor: A Novel. One high school summer she fell in love with Liam, who was creative and carefree. After a car accident, they drifted apart, and he took a much more casual path through life. Jude became a doctor while Liam followed a more creative path.
When he showed up at her office to ask her to do him a favor, she agreed to take his bag and cell phone up to a cabin and meet him at the train station. Even though she’s engaged to Nat, she owed Liam, a thought that always lurked in the back of her mind.
Liam never arrives. Instead, the police turn up at the train station with bad news. Liam’s been killed, they are investigating, and they easily punch holes in Jude’s story. Afterwards, her fiancé breaks up with her, the hospital where she works asks her to take a leave, and the police suspect she knows something she’s not saying.
Meanwhile Liam’s house and the people who share it turn out to be a disaster, and when Jude is named as a co-executor in his will, along with Liam’s brother, she fears she’s in over her head.
So how will this all sort out? In the expert hands of author Nicci French, tensions rise, twists appear, and readers will zoom forward on the ride of their lives. French knows how to keep ta reader turning pages in this character-driven novel with escalating stakes. Nicci French is the pseudonym of English wife-and-husband team Nicci Gerrard and Sean French. Their acclaimed novels of psychological suspense have sold more than 8 million copies around the world.
- How We Disappear: Novella and Stories
- Written by Tara Lynn Masih
- ISBN: 978-1-950413-45-4 –September 2022
- Press 53, www.press53.com
Wanderers, Exiles, Runaways and More
Have you ever thought about leaving town and getting a fresh start? Or ghosting someone? Or let problems disappear from your mind? Or even wondered about the thoughts of someone selling fruit or fish on the side of the road? All of these are subjects that Tara Masih tackles in her collection of short stories and flash fiction titled How We Disappear. It’s a book that explores some of the darker corners of the human mind with questions that provoke thought and don’t relate to violence, in contrast to so many of today’s movies and TV shows.
These are the stories of wanderers, exiles, runaways, and ghosts resisting the pain and grief that come with being erased or feeling rubbed out. Themes cover emptiness, seeking, surviving, finding truth, and more. Geographically, they cover a large portion of the world —from Alaskan survival to the American frontier and from rural Long Island to postwar Belgium, these stories are the epitome of apolitical diversity. They are about the clever, crafty ways that humans survive and thrive despite the obstacles that life throws at us.
Award-winning author Tara Masih writes beautifully. She’s published fiction, poetry, essays, profiles, and articles (Confrontation, The Caribbean Writer, Hayden’s Ferry Review, The Baltimore Review, Pleiades, Five Points, Natural Bridge), and her essays have been read on NPR. She has worked as a publisher’s assistant to Pym-Randall Press; as an assistant editor to STORIES literary magazine; as an editorial assistant at Little, Brown’s college division; and as a book editor at Bedford Books/St. Martin’s Press and more.
Each story is a well-told, intelligent, thought-provoking journey. Her descriptions are both lyrical and evocative and readers are swept into worlds they may not yet have imagined. This is a collection you can read over the course of a season or devour in one day. Why not find out for yourself at one of the many bookstores carrying How We Disappear: Novella and Stories
- Bindle Punk Bruja: A Novel
- Written by Desideria Mesa
- ISBN: 978-0063056084
- Harper Voyager (September 13, 2022)
Luna, Rose and Cultural Conflicts
Gangsters and flappers flourished 100 years ago in America along with a whole lot of racial and sexual discrimination. How could a Mexican American woman rise above her imposed place and become a business owner at that time? How could she protect her darker-skinned younger brother who was also her bartender? What could she do when the goons came for money?
Desideria Mesa’s debut novel, Bindle Punk Bruja, explores the time, the restrictions, and a woman who rose above it. It seems fair that she had a secret weapon to help her cope. She inherited Earth Witch powers from her maternal grandmother.
The narrator, who is Luna with her family and Rose when she’s out in the world, is trying to make her way in the world as the owner of an illegal jazz club operator. She has all kinds of charm from her looks, her speech, and the way she looks into a man’s eyes can pierce his mind and make him cooperate. Even so she works hard dealing with the threats and insults of mobsters, being challenged when they discover that her family lives in an immigrant boxcar community. She doesn’t want to put them in danger and doesn’t trust anyone. Can her grandmother’s magic and her own save her or will she have to learn to trust?
Author Desideria Mesa has eclectic taste in literature. Her novel blends history with fantasy, resulting in an outspoken, gutsy narrator telling us a story that shows how far we’ve come and reminds us that some people would like to return us to that era. She’s a strong writer with a unique voice. Learn more about her and her work at http://www.desideriamesa.com/desideria-desi-mesa/. Then celebrate the end of National Hispanic Heritage Month by picking up a copy of Bindle, Punk, Bruja.
- Wrong Place Wrong Time
- Written by Gillian McAllister
- ISBN #: 978-0063252349
- William Morrow (August 2, 2022)
Can You Prevent Murder After It’s Committed?
Can anyone stop a murder that’s already happened, and what would it take to do that? Can a mother stop her teenage son from killing a stranger—at least a stranger to her? Will fear override the narrator’s courage as she searches for the truth? And how can she re-orient herself to a world where she’s traveling backward every morning, erasing time as she looks for clues while her son sits in jail in present time? Gillian McAllister’s new novel, Wrong Place Wrong Time is a murder mystery with a unique twist and an ending that you’re absolutely not expecting.
The narrator, Jen, who’s a practicing lawyer, has no idea why her son would murder anyone. Unable to figure out what she’s missed and what her husband and son refuse to tell her, she finds herself traveling backwards in time. When she wakes up after leaving her son in jail, it’s the day before instead of the day after. With each spiral backward, she discovers a new clue about her family and the secrets of their lives, making Wrong Place Wrong Time a philosophical thriller that blends mystery, thriller, and a bit of a time loop in unexpected ways. Readers soon discover that McAllister’s story is filled with insights about the things we miss on a day-to-day basis.
Will Jen be able to prevent the murder? Will she discover secrets that shock her? Will she turn into a different person as she travels back in time? In this incredibly clever story that will set your imagination on fire, readers find new perspectives about their assumptions and the secrets right under their noses.
Author Gillian McAllister has been writing for as long as she can remember. She graduated with an English degree and lives in Birmingham where she now works as a lawyer. Her debut novel Everything But The Truth was a Sunday Times top ten bestseller.
If you love mysteries and are looking for the unexpected, you must check this book out.
- The Book of Longings
- Written by Sue Monk Kidd
- ISBN13: 978-0143111399
- Penguin-Random House
What the Bible Doesn’t Tell Us
Where are the women of the Bible? Why isn’t there a Book of Mary or Mary Magdalene? Might either one have written a book that got lost? Or did either one know how to write? If there were anywhere near as many women as men in Biblical times, a large part of history has been lost.
In The Book of Longings fiction writer Sue Monk Kidd imagines the story of Jesus’s fictitious wife, a woman named Ana. In doing so, she gives us a whole new perspective on Biblical times as we see obligations, chores, and limitations through a woman’s eyes.
Though women were treated as subservient beings controlled first by their father and then by their husband, Ana and Aunt Yaltha, whose daughter was sold for a minor infraction, are rebels you’ll route for.
Raised in a wealthy family, Ana is a rebellious and ambitious woman who furtively writes about neglected and silenced women. Sue Monk Kidd takes a daring, exceptional approach to history when she imagines her story.
Ordered to marry an older widower, Ana is repulsed. Thankfully, a respectfully flirtatious encounter with eighteen-year-old Jesus gives her hope. Though Jesus is poor, their marriage evolves with love triumphing over conflict after she becomes a part of Jesus’s family. Too bad Jesus is called to follow God, leaving her behind.
Ana’s aunt sustains her once Jesus leaves to help John the Immerser and later starts his own ministry. What price will she pay for her rebellious moments? How will she find peace once Jesus is gone? This is a rendition of the story that will open reader’s eyes.
The meticulous research will amaze religious scholars. Kidd brings her acclaimed narrative gifts and a new perspective to life in Israel, which is under the influence of Rome.
The Book of Longings is an inspiring, unforgettable account of one woman’s struggle to realize the passion and potential inside her and find her voice so she can share her voice, while living in a time, place and culture devised to silence her. It is a triumph of storytelling from a masterful writer. This is an important book for people who are curious about Rome, Christianity, and the role of women.
- Feminist Therapist: How Second Wave Feminism Changed Psychotherapy and Me
- Written by Jessica Heriot and Reviewed by B. Lynn Goodwin
- ISBN #: 9781952714221
- Mountain Page Press, LLC 8/20/21
The Fight Against Second Class Citizenship
Is America still a patriarchy? Pretty much, though we’re conditioned to think otherwise. What are truths, what is perception, and how did Jessica Heriot rise above her conditioning when she poured newly found feminist knowledge into a career, and later wrote Feminist Therapist: How Second Wave Feminism Changed Therapy and Me.
Heriot writes about both her personal and professional experiences, infusing her stories with commentary about the political ramifications of being a woman in a society governed mostly by men.
- Were we born second class?
- Did conditioning make us second class?
- How does all of this apply to our lives today?
- What actions could and should we take?
Heriot looks at the lives of second-class citizens, who never intended to be that way, through the feminist perspective that is ingrained in her. She says women are caught in a double bind that “could make someone crazy, which it does…. Society conveys to women that they should find happiness and fulfillment in caring for and serving others, but at the same time asserting that they are not really valuable for doing this…”
She recognized her own frustrations with the life she’d been handed, with the double-standards, and she chose to break through the bonds, one patient at a time, one project at a time, and one thread at a time. As she counseled others, she discovered truths about self-image, aging, and empowerment. Truly she took a road less traveled, which turned her into the woman she was meant to be.
Despite her feminist views, she’s still trapped in a bit of vanity. Maybe we all are. Towards the end of Part One she writes, “Many women never make peace with their bodies, though feminism has stood on the side of honoring womanly bodies whatever the size.” Later she adds the effects of age into the picture, saying, “One summer on Cape Cod, in a sun-drenched cottage overlooking the bay, I obsessively glanced in the mirror or any other ‘reflecting surface,’ not believing how old I looked. I cried and was angry, then ashamed of myself for caring.”
Clearly, she approaches her subject three dimensionally. Readers become flies on the wall, observing and translating her work on herself and with others into their own lives. There’s a sense of joy, camaraderie, and purpose in her life’s work, and I’m glad she’s sharing that through this book. Please take a look. She might open your eyes
This review was originally posted on Story Circle Network at https://www.storycircle.org/book_review/feminist-therapist/.