Tag Archives: reading

The Death of the Heart by Elizabeth Bowen

Bowen writes of orphaned Portia who goes to live in London with her stepbrother and his wife. Both are wealthy and emotionally unavailable. Portia sets her sights on Eddie, a rough-around-the-edges player who manages to dazzle her because of her … Continue reading

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Days Without End by Sebastian Barry

A victim of Ireland’s Great Famine, 17-year-old Thomas McNulty joins the U.S. Army with his friend, John Cole. They fight the Sioux and the Yurok on the frontier before the Civil War. This book is about the horrors and hardship … Continue reading

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Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

I loved this book, from my initial confusion about who was narrating, to figuring it out, and to the incredible language and storytelling. “Lincoln in the Bardo” is, on the surface, about the death of Lincoln’s son during the Civil … Continue reading

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All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood

This novel is about the complicated relationship between Wavy (a fairy-like little girl, then a teenager), and Kellen (a gentle giant and ex-con) who is one of her meth-dealing father’s helpers. I think the book does an excellent job of … Continue reading

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Wenjack by Joseph Boyden

This is the tale of an Ojibwe boy who runs away from a residential school in order to return home. At first, he’s accompanied by two other students. Always, the forest spirits watch his journey. The writing is beautiful and heartbreaking. … Continue reading

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After the Parade by Lori Ostlund

This novel tells 40-year-old Aaron Englund’s story. He leaves his long-term partner in New Mexico and drives to San Francisco to begin again. In re-establishing his life, he has to deal with the past’s ghosts. I loved the writing, the … Continue reading

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The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

This novel is about Cora’s escape from a plantation on the underground railroad. The best part of the novel, I feel, is that Whitehead makes the railroad a real thing rather than a metaphor. For that exceptional idea alone, I … Continue reading

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