Skip to main content


Showing posts from July, 2021

Review: Everything I never told you by Celeste Ng

“Everything here reminds her of what Lydia could have been.”   Lydia, a high school student has died and her mother drifts into her room to experience the smells and sensations of the girl who used to inhabit the space. Across town, Lydia’s father has dropped into another woman’s bed and sleeps tranquilly. Nothing in life has happened as it should. Love gets lost in withheld touches and unspoken thoughts. Parents’ expectations are driven into successive generations and serve as baggage rather than inspiration. Words hurt: “ this,”  referring to Lydia’s parent’s marriage, “isn’t right.” Words are avoided: mixed, interracial, mismatched. Words that could reassure lay stagnant and not vocalized. Words are smithed to cope: “disappeared, fell in the lake, drowned.” The family’s search to understand the daughter who died, their search for a killer to pin their grief on, the destruction of trust, and the slow melting away of relationships show a family on the brink. The sprint to finish this

Review: Bride of the Sea by Eman Quotah

“And the word  divorce  is whispering in his ear, a secret no when else knows.” Muneer, a 23-year-old journalism student from Saudi Arabia attending university in the United States, is considering divorcing his 19-year-old wife, also from Saudi Arabia, who is pregnant and about to give birth. He has this thought when she is shoveling snow without a jacket, scarf, or gloves. She seems to like the cold. Before the baby is born, she strips down to her underwear and walks into a lake in winter. Is this a suicide attempt? It’s hard to grasp that concept –a young woman so unhappy she walks into a lake pregnant, a couple who doesn’t share, has no team goal, with divorce thoughts shortly before their child is born. The couple divorces. The wife, Saeedah, or Sadie as she is later known, flees with their daughter and spends the next seventeen years hiding from Muneer, his family, and her family. How is this life of hiding, that Sadie has taken her daughter Hannah on, different from a culture th

Review: The Fist Day of Spring by Nancy Tucker

"I killed a little boy today." reads the first sentence of Nancy Tucker's women's fiction The First Day of Spring, and thus unfolds the story of a girl who can't cope with a life where she is uncared for, unfed physically and mentally, and who battles an undeveloped brain that has yet to understand that dead means dead. Chillingly unaffected by her killing crime, she hungers to live a child's life where parents adore you, sing songs to you, and provide sustenance.  She's enough self aware to understands what she has done must be kept secret, taunts others with her insider knowledge, knows which adults don't like her, and lingers on the outskirts of life, hanging on to her best friend Linda who is probably the only person who likes her. How she's caught is revealed near the end of the novel, but before that is understood, the reader learns she is sentenced to a home for criminal youth, which she eventually loathes leaving – it has electricity, regu