Tuesday, January 5, 2021
Saturday, December 12, 2020
In which the author scrupulously investigates his upper-middle-class upbringing to confront its messy interior of violence, betrayal, and mental illness.
Adam, the center and occasional narrator of Lerner’s (The Hatred of Poetry, 2016, etc.) essayistic and engrossing novel, enjoyed a privileged adolescence in the Kansas capital during the 1990s: He competed nationally in debate, had plenty of friends, and was close to his parents, two psychologists at an illustrious foundation. (Lerner is again in autofiction mode; he, too, competed in high school debate, and his parents are psychologists who’ve worked at Topeka’s Menninger Clinic.) But all is not well: Fred Phelps’ homophobic Westboro Baptist Church recurs in the narrative, a childhood concussion has left Adam with migraines, and his parents’ marriage is strained.
Thursday, November 26, 2020
The author travels to different parts of the world that include Belfast, Cyprus, U.S.-Mexico border, Palestine and even Montreal in Canada. His quest is to understand the rationale for building these walls. From the many conversations with these refugees, he discovers their plight of being stuck in camps near the walls with continued efforts to cross over or around the barricade to get on the other side for a better life.
No matter where the wall is erected, it is not a solution. Instead it generates hate, fear, feelings of separation and division. As a result it becomes more of a problem that is fortified in grief and loss of dignity for the refugees. As Di Cintio takes the reader into these areas it becomes evident that the author portrays a hopeless situation with no solution.
Tuesday, November 3, 2020
The author portrays a good balance between the current research that is linked to the narratives she has gathered for this project. It is authentic and gives credence to the experiences of the dying, immediately after death and during the grieving process. Pearson attempts to answer the long asked questions on this topic. Also, she includes stories from those who experienced death only to return to life as changed persons.
Ultimately there are no definitive answers except experiences that vary from individual to individual. It is very interesting to read through the research that leaves the reader more informed and yet left with further questions with the possibility of accepting the research as part of life's experiences.
Opening Heaven's Door by Patricia Pearson keeps the reader engrossed with a constant need to read continuously to the end. It is a well-documented project that captures authenticity.
Saturday, October 17, 2020
In each of these stories, Archer succinctly captures the culture, time and place that keeps the reader captivated through the meanderings of each story. The author's style of writing brings out various emotions ranging from sheer sadness to delirious happiness that brings out tears and laughter.
And Thereby Hangs a Tale is an excellent read.
Saturday, September 12, 2020
The characters intertwine with each other in varying situations; they appear and disappear as the story unravels in a work place, a social setting or in the safety of home. The reader is enticed to engage with each character through the excellent narration of the many different scenes in the story. Sometimes it is heart breaking while at other times it brings joy and hope.
The story moves within each scene as it observes and reflects on each incident with flashbacks to another time and another story as it relates to the present scene. It is fascinating to keep up with the story that brings intrigue and suspense.
House Made of Dawn is an excellent read. The author successfully takes the reader on an emotional journey with each particular character in this novel.