BOOK REVIEW: What We Were Promised

What We Were Promised by Lucy Tan (Contemporary Novel, 2018). This touching first novel features vivid characters interacting with the hopes and contradictions of our multicultural world, as well as universal the joys, challenges, contradictions and heartbreaks of modern family life. Wei and Lina Zhen grew up in a small town in the China of the […]

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REVIEWED: It All Falls Down

It All Falls Down by Sheena Kamal (Crime/Thriller, 2018). Canada’s disastrous 1950s-era policy of adopting out indigenous children to non-Native American (or as they say in Canada, First Nations) families provides the background for author Sheena Kamal’s novels revolving around Nora Watts. I missed the first of these, The Lost Ones, but this is the second and […]

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REVIEWED: Stray City

Stray City by Chelsey Johnson (Contemporary Novel, 2018). In the last months of the 20th century, Andrea Morales is a 20-something artist who has left behind her very conventional Midwestern Catholic upbringing for life as part of the thriving and politically active lesbian community of Portland, Oregon. Most of her associates, friends and lovers are (like […]

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REVIEWED: RAINBIRDS

Rainbirds by Clarissa Goenawan (Contemporary Novel, 2018). Ren Ishida heard of his sister’s violent and mysterious death just after finishing his graduate degree at one of the top universities in Japan. Keiko was long-estranged from the rest of the family, though she spoke to Ren through weekly phone calls. She’d been living in a smallish town […]

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REVIEWED: Tell Tale

Tell Tale by Jeffrey Archer (Short Story Collection, October 2017).   One of the great British crime novelists of the current era, Jeffrey Archer also writes outstanding short stories. This is his first new collection in about a decade and features a wide-ranging variety of stories, including several truly outstanding efforts. Locales and subject matters covered in […]

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REVIEWED: Whiskey & Ribbons

Whiskey & Ribbons by Leesa Cross-Smith (Contemporary Novel, Match 2018). This fast-rising short story writer’s first novel is a moving, three-sided examination of shattering loss, abiding love and the cleansing power of passions reborn. It is, in a sense, a love triangle–but one unlike any you’ve seen and, despite misplaced (if understandable) feelings of guilt that […]

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REVIEWED: Turkey Trot Murder

Turkey Trot Murder by Leslie Meier (Mystery Novel, October 2017). The lead character in this cozy mystery series, Lucy Stone, is a middle aged, happily married woman who works as a reporter for the local weekly newspaper in her small New England town. This time, she’s out for a run, training for the local Thanksgiving Day […]

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