Sunday, July 25, 2021

Dear Great Book Guru,  My book group has not met in person since February 2020- lots of Zooms but we miss being together. We will be meeting on my porch in a few weeks and  I would like a spectacular book to start up our club. Any suggestions?  Starting Up

Dear Starting Up,  I just finished an amazing book that any book club would find a perfect choice for discussion: THE DAMAGE by Caitlin Wahrer.  This debut novel is told from the perspectives of four people over  alternating time settings: 2016 and 2019.  A brutal assault has taken place (2016) – Nick a twenty-year old college student is the victim. His much older brother Tony is intent on avenging this crime. Julia – Tony’s wife- is a former defense attorney who sees and knows how the judicial system works. John Rice is a retired police detective who investigated the crime and now (2019) as he approaches death wants to clear up “loose ends.”  What happened that night and what went on over the next three years is the mystery that Rice tries to unravel.  The psychological trauma each of these four people undergoes is dramatically told and the reader’s sympathies shift as more and more is revealed.  What society is owed versus what family loyalty demands is the recurring theme of this deeply engrossing psychological thriller. Highly recommended!


Sunday, July 4, 2021


Dear Great Book Guru, We have had the most wonderful of summer  especially with all the  festivities marking Independence Day- from the Patriotic Bicycle Parade, the Reading of the Declaration of Independence,  to the ever sweet Happy Birthday USA party at the Children’s Library.  Now I have the time and desire for a good novel with maybe a little history thrown in.  Any ideas? Fan of the Fourth


Dear Fan of the Fourth, I just finished reading a compelling tale recommended by a favorite bookstore of mine: BOOKS ARE MAGIC in Brooklyn. The book is OUTLAWED by Anna North.  Set in a dystopian 1890’s Wild West where a mysterious illness has decimated the population, the novel traces the fate of Ada. When we first meet her, she is seventeen and recently married. From the beginning, it is clear that it is of the utmost importance to have children - many children - and not to is reason for banishment. When she does not become pregnant, she is sent away to a prison with other childless women.  The women she meets there form a bond of sisterhood, break out to find a new life for themselves., and find themselves outlawed by society.  The underlying feminist message of empowerment is folded into a fiercely engaging story that the reader will long remember. Recommended!