This week surprisingly there is no Paris (I know!) but we do have Scotland, Pakistan, stunning loss, horrendous crime, perplexing behavior and some lunatics.


Let us begin!


Barbara  M. has left Mother Russia and is now reading Gillespie and I by Jane Harris. “An elderly woman, Harriet Baxter, is writing an account of her acquaintance with the artist Ned Gillespie in the late 1800s in Scotland. It reads like a Victorian novel and I'm completely mesmerized by the story. Harris' writing is beautiful and I love the atmosphere she creates.”

Ann is working on American Dervish by Ayad Akhtar.  “This is a very interesting book about a young Muslim boy, Hayat, living in America with his immigrant parents in the Mid-West. He has no religious upbringing until his mother's friend Mina flees Pakistan to live with his family.  She introduces him to the Quran which he becomes obsessed with and believes in its strict interpretation.  Hayat has to live with the decisions he makes but it will cost his family and Mina many hardships.  This was a thought provoking read.”

Pat T. says, “I have just started reading The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes. The story is told in two parts and the first part reads like a coming of age story about Tony, his school friendships, his first girlfriend and a loss that stuns all the classmates. I look forward to reading part two!”


Abby is working her way through Defending Jacob by William Landay.  “This book about a prosecuting attorney father defending his son (hence the title) when he is accused of a horrendous crime has been getting a lot of buzz.  And while I am enjoying it, I am not quite getting what all the fuss is about.  It's a solid mystery with a bang up ending that doesn't quite rise to the level of a great read.”  

Citizen Asha
felt compelled to read the following: “I was fascinated by her story so, I thought I would read Once Upon A Secret by Mimi Alford. In the book, she gives an account of how her affair with President Kennedy started as well as what happened afterwards.  After reading it, I am perplexed by her behavior. I’m not sure if Mimi is aware that she actually had an affair with Mr. Kennedy because as she says, “I was just keeping him company when he was wife was away.” Hmm.  That’s an interesting take on adultery.

I am enjoying Blue Asylum by Kathy Hepinstall. When Iris Dunleavy, plantation wife, dares to question her husband’s treatment of his slaves she is put on trial for insanity and finds herself exiled to Sanibel Island to a lunatic asylum.  Here she meets a fascinating assortment of characters but none more compelling than the shell shocked Confederate Ambrose Weller.  When they fall in love they realize that they can never have a life together and must escape.  But what really waits for them on the “outside”.  This one is due out in April.  

 

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