The Nix is an historical novel of the 1960's hippies' protests at the Democratic Convention and a modern day commentary on politics, gaming, and the publishing industry. The characters are funny and flawed and surprising, and this smart book has everything. It is a long book that is worth every page.
I devoured this sharp, peculiar memoir in a single evening. Gornick, in a voice unlike anyone else’s—funny, incisive, disappointed—describes walks through New York City, conversations with friends and lovers, and “odd women” of literature and history whose lives have not conformed to the conventional patterns of marriage and motherhood. Gornick is as keen a critic as she is a trenchant observer of the daily drama of the city sidewalk, but this book isn’t just smart: it’s dazzlingly alive and deeply moving.
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Experience life in remote coastal North Carolina from the perspective a ten-year-old colonial girl, the slave girl who was given to her as a birthday present, her independent, spontaneous mother, her soldier-sailor-shopkeeper-frontiersman father, and her plantation-building grandparents. Katy Simpson Smith’s novel is written in crystal clear prose, with telling details that put you there, and observations about human life in general that ring true. Smith demonstrates her characters’ great hopes and meager stakes, their struggle with faith, and the poison of slavery in the New World.
Michelle Hoover who wowed Prairie Lights’ audience, reading from her first book, The Quickening, now has a second book. It’s called Bottomland and, like her first, deals with rural culture in Iowa in the early 20th Century. This book is more of a thriller than The Quickening, involving a Germ, as always, well researched with characters formed by the dark circumstances of their lives. She’ll be reading the end of April, a reading all lovers of Willa Cather and the great mid-western writers will not want to miss.
Which of us has not noticed the same people every day of our lives and, not knowing anything of their real circumstances, created an imaginary narrative around them to satisfy our own fantasies? This is certainly the case of Rachel, our protagonist, who sees a couple on their terrace every morning on her commute to work, and builds her own biography of their lives. When the woman goes missing and is the subject of endless media reports, Rachel feels she knows this woman and tries to help the police with their investigation. This intriguing premise is the springboard of Ms. Hawkins' fascinating suburban thriller -- a tale told by three women: Rachel, an alcoholic; Megan, the missing woman; and Anna, who remarried Rachel's husband, Tom, after their divorce. All three narrators are unreliable, wearing the blinders of their addictions, dissatisfactions, and jealousies. Full of red herrings, flashes of revelations, and plenty of twists and turns, this is a splendid mystery populated with fascinating characters. Enjoy!