If you get to come home…

afterwardIt may not be what you expect. Ethan was kidnapped four years ago on a bike ride. But then his kidnapper wanted another child. This kidnapping goes wrong and Ethan and the little boy are found. Coming home is not the relief Ethan thought. Instead, it is rocky and full of unexpected challenges for both boys. The little boy has a sister, just Ethan’s age, named Caroline. Caroline is determined to help her brother (who has special needs and can’t communicate) by finding out what is triggering his heartbreaking outbursts. She knows Ethan from school and through music the two find each other, the truth about what really happened to her brother, and strength to keep on going. Afterward is a beautiful, gripping story of the trauma of real life and the power of human connection to heal. Jennifer Mathieu graciously answered some questions about this gripping novel for me: Continue reading “If you get to come home…”

Life in Four Directions

crazybraveJoy Harjo’s Crazy Brave is part history, part memoir, and part poetry. A recounting of a life from inside the soul that encompasses the way history impacts our lives at every turn.

Joy Harjo barely survived a rough childhood by running. Not running away, but finding a place where she was known. At an arts boarding high school she learned ways to express what her stepfather and life had told to be quiet and to bury. Turned on to the arts, her soul began to fly again. But even the sky has storms. Continue reading “Life in Four Directions”

Appalachia Noir

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David Joy’s novel, Where All Light Tends to Go, is a journey into the heart of America. A heart that is tunneled through with poverty, drugs, and disenfranchisement and barely held up with hope and dreams for something better. Jacob McNeely is barely an adult and born into a family where crime is the only business. Wanting something better for himself, and to help his high school sweetheart escape, Jacob struggles to disentangle himself from the most difficult of webs, family obligation. When those obligations include murder, Jacob has to decide if he will continue to fight to get out, or be pulled under by his father and family reputation.

A beautiful novel set in rural Appalachia, Where All Light Tends to Go is a deep dive into the heart of a young man. Noir meets character study in this lyric, heart-pounding, page-turner.

David spoke with me via email about his novel: Continue reading “Appalachia Noir”

Ten minutes to laughter…

American Housewife CoverCasual murders in a brownstone, deadly decorating wars, a reality show revolt, rehabilitating pageant kids who many or may not be willing, and a book club with unique benefits are just a few of the situations that Helen Ellis spins with sharp satire, leaving you laughing, groaning, and saying amen. Do not miss this collection of short, short stories. Addictive and stunningly spot-on, once you start you won’t be able to put it down. Begging to be shared, this little book is going to be one of this year’s big things. -Ms. Alderman

Helen graciously answered some questions for me! Just like her book, her answers left me laughing, thinking, and eagerly awaiting her next book! Read on for her frank talk on writing, feminism, and how to type with a cat who thinks it’s a parrot… Continue reading “Ten minutes to laughter…”