Book Reviews

Thoughts and impressions on books I loved reading…

All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews

Published 2014 by Knopf Canada

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Riveting. Great style and voice. Compelling and controversial subject matter. My first read by this author. I will definitely be reading her other works. Really enjoyed her seasoned writing style.

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The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown

Published 2013 by Viking

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An extraordinary true story of perseverance by a group of young men on their journey to Olympic Gold. Beautifully written with seamless rhythm much like the subject matter itself, rowing — perfect pacing, each chapter moving through deep historical waters one smooth, even stroke at a time. I loved this book.

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A Change in Altitude by Anita Shreve

Published 1998 by Little Brown and Company

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One of my favorites from Anita Shreve. A more personal work of fiction based loosely on her own journey to Africa when she was a young woman. Margaret married Patrick only a few months before moving to Kenya for a year. What they experience during their adventure and the horror of an accident atop a mountain on a climbing expedition forever changes them and their marriage going forward. A gripping novel.

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The Children Act by Ian McEwan

Published 2014 by Nan A. Talese

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Stunning. Each elegantly trim sentence delectably descriptive. Ian McEwan is a genius at creating complex characters who are relatable yet challenging to sympathize with, difficult to forgive, just as it is for them. And there it is…The Children Act pulls the reader in so tight, one might forget it’s only fiction. If you enjoy splendid prose, you’ll no doubt be jotting notes in the margins and dreaming of such an eloquent writing style.

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The Dinner Party by Brenda Janowitz

Published 2016 by St. Martin’s Griffin

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This is an endearing story of a high-achieving family from Connecticut and all the rivalry and competition and expectations they put upon each other — always out of love, of course. Sylvia, the matriarch is struggling to accept her adult children’s decisions about who they intend to spend their lives with, while feeling the passing of time and the sacrifices made for her family. Why can’t they all just do what she wants? There’s humor, tenderness and forgiveness. The closing brought a tear to my eye and reminded me that sometimes being the first to say, I’m sorry, is the most wonderful gift you can give to a loved one.

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More to come…