Love & Saffron Book Review

Love & Saffron by Kim Fay novel follows two women in 1960s America as they discover that food really connects us all, and that friendship and laughter are the best medicine. When twenty-seven-year-old Joan Bergstrom sends a fan letter, as well as a gift of saffron, to fifty-nine-year-old food columnist Imogen Fortier, a life-changing friendship begins. As the two women commune through their letters, they build a closeness that sustains […]

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Small World Book Review

Jonathan Evison’s Small World tells the stories of a train’s passengers in 2019 and their mid-nineteenth-century ancestors after a disastrous crash. There’s Walter Bergen, a veteran train conductor on his last run before retiring, and a descendent of Irish twin orphans. Malik, a young basketball star, is the descendent of a slave. Then there’s Jenny, a corporate consultant whose ancestors were Chinese immigrants, and Laila, a Native American, fleeing her abusive husband. […]

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July 2022 Reads and Reviews

We Norwegian Americans love to say “Uff da.” The phrase is used to express many emotions: exasperation, annoyance, surprise, anger, exhaustion, enthusiasm, dismay, and even joy. It also works as an uber-mild curse. So what does this have to do with my July book reviews? Well, today I am expressing my frustration for posting this in September rather than July. UFF DA! I was on a road trip for much […]

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What Happened to the Bennetts Book Review

“I knew my life would forever be divided into Before and After.” Lisa Scottoline, What Happened to the Bennetts. The Bennett family is on their way home from 15-year-old Allison’s lacrosse game when a pickup truck tailgates them on a dark stretch of road. They are forced to stop, and two men jump from the pickup and pull guns on Jason, demanding the car. What happens next will change their […]

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Homegoing Book Review

“We believe the one who has power. He is the one who gets to write the story. So when you study history, you must ask yourself, Whose story am I missing? Whose voice was suppressed so that this voice could come forth? Once you have figured that out, you must find that story too. From there you get a clearer, yet still imperfect, picture.”  — Yaa Gyasi, Homegoing. Homegoing traces […]

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The Final Case Book Review

From the author of Snow Falling on Cedars (PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction Winners, 1995) comes a disturbing legal drama. In this fictionalized account, a thirteen-year-old Ethiopian girl adopted by a conservative, white fundamentalist Christian couple is found dead of hypothermia a few feet from the back door of her home in Seattle. Her adoptive parents are put on trial for murder. An octogenarian criminal attorney defends the mother, Betsy Harvey. […]

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The Foundling Book Review

“I trust you’re familiar with the type of girl I’m referring to,” she tells the audience. “You’ve seen her slinking in and out of bawdy houses and illegal drinking establishments… she may seem normal enough—in fact, she’s often quite pretty. Until you see her again, a few years later, ruined and destitute, begging for handouts, surrounded by her own diseased and illegitimate children.”—Ann Leary, The Foundling. So says Dr. Agnes […]

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Facing the Mountain Book Review

“They couldn’t know that they were about to see things and do things that would change them utterly, things they would regret, things that would sear their souls, and things they would cherish beyond all reckoning. They couldn’t yet understand that they were about to step off the edge of the world.” — Daniel James Brown, Facing the Mountain. From the author of Boys in the Boat comes another phenomenal […]

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