Category Archives: Book Reviews

I Thought You Were Dead!

I’m a dog lover. That’s probably why I chose to read Pete Nelson’s book, I Thought You Were Dead as my second Massachusetts book. I loved The Art of Racing in the Rain by Seattle’s own rock star author Garth … Continue reading

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The Celestials

The Celestials by Karen Shepard takes place in the town of North Adams, Massachusetts, in 1870.  It’s the story of Julia and Calvin Sampson —she, a childless woman in her early forties grieving the recent loss of her thirteenth pregnancy, … Continue reading

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The Ice Storm

Right away in Rick Moody’s The Ice Storm, I get a sense of what the author thinks of New Canaan, Connecticut ­— the novel’s setting:  It is “the most congenial and superficially calm of suburbs.  In the wealthiest state in … Continue reading

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Be Careful What You Wish For – Ravens by George Dawes Green

The Boatwright family is in trouble.  Creditor’s send bills to their workplaces, they’re in danger of losing their house to foreclosure, the mom, Patsy, has a drinking problem, the dad, Mitch, is religious, passive and ineffectual and their youngest son, … Continue reading

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Wise Blood by Flannery O’Connor

Wise Blood by Flannery O’Conner is a strange book.  In the Author’s Note to the Second Edition, she describes it as a comic novel dealing with matters of life and death, wherein protagonist, Hazel Motes, struggles with his faith in … Continue reading

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Jernigan, by David Gates

The protagonist in David Gates’ novel, Peter Jernigan, is a mess.  As the novel opens, he’s been up all night driving through the New Jersey snow.  The sun is up and blinding now as he makes his way to Uncle … Continue reading

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American Pastoral

American Pastoral begins with a vignette from the narrator, Nathan “Skip” Zuckerman’s, youth.  It’s a story about another kid in their Jewish neighborhood in Newark, Seymour Levov, nicknamed “The Swede.”  The point is that Swede was no ordinary Jew,  he … Continue reading

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Back Roads by Tawni O’Dell

Back Roads by Tawni O’Dell is the story of a twenty- year-old young man, Harley Altmyer, who, on page one, is questioned by the local sheriff for the brutal murder of a woman.  From the looks of it, Harley is … Continue reading

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Appointment In Samara, by John O’Hara

I loved reading this book!  And, too, I see immediately why Jeff Wood of the Whistlestop Bookshop has recommended it to me.  I get the comparison to Gatsby and why, for my purposes, it’s better than Gatsby, in the way … Continue reading

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All This Talk of Love – Leaving Delaware

I’m not sorry that I took the time to read Christopher Castellani’s most recent novel before moving on to Pennsylvania.  In fact, I think I like this novel even more than I liked its predecessor. In All This Talk of … Continue reading

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