Book Lovers Circle April
The Aviator's Wife
This is historical fiction at its best. Written from the point of view of Anne Morrow Lindbergh, the novel takes us from her first meeting with Charles Lindbergh until she takes him to Hawaii to die in 1974. Overshadowed by her husband, Anne was a hero in her own right. She and her husband were complicated people in a complicated relationship, and this is a wonderfully written journey into the mind and heart of Anne Morrow Lindbergh. It is a great story, made even more real by the fact that her family had a home in Englewood, New Jersey; and of course, the trial of the century, after the kidnapping and death of their infant son, took place in Flemington, NJ.
The Burning Air
This is a psychological thriller, told from the point of view of each of the characters. Lydia's family has come home to disperse her ashes, but by the time you get to the end of the chapter, Lydia's baby grand-daughter has disappeared, along with her son's girlfriend who was baby-sitting. The novel takes you on a rollercoaster, as you try to figure out the puzzle pieces. There are lots of twists and turns, and you might not want this book to end.
A young woman, cook to a wealthy family living in NY in 1899, worries when the toddler son in the family is sickened-and then his mother, the gardener and the nursemaid. The mother and son die, and the cook returns to New York City to look for another job. It turns out that the mother and son had typhoid, and the cook's name is Mary Mallon, known to us now as "Typhoid Mary." An investigator figures out that Mary is a carrier of typhoid, even though she is herself healthy, and the rest of the book is the story of what happens to Mary once she is told she is a carrier; a fact that she could never believe. What happens to Mary and the people in her life is a fascinating story.
This is the memoir of Christa Parravani, and tells the story of her life as a twin, both while her twin sister was alive, and even after her sister's death at a young age from a drug over-dose. The outlet for Christa's grief is to write about the lives of the two women. The book tells the story of how hard it is to live in a world, where even if you are a twin, you are alone.
Jacob's Folly: A Novel
Jacob Cerf is a poverty stricken Jew who works as a peddler in Paris in the eighteenth century, and this unique book tells us what happens to him in Paris, where he dies at a young age, and then what happens to him in the modern day world when he returns, somehow reincarnated as a fly. The author uses this device to have us watch what happens to the two people Jacob, the fly, becomes interested in. Masah is a 21 year old Orthodox Jewish woman, torn between the Orthodox world and the modern world which is forbidden to her outside; and Leslie, a good hearted fire fighter. The story goes back and forth from past to present, and from character to character-and it works. You don't have to try to explain the plot to your friends, just get them to try and enjoy the book once you have read and enjoyed it.
The Obituary Writer
This book goes back and forth between the lives of two women. One is a typical 1960's housewife, in a troubled marriage, newly pregnant who is living right at the time of the inauguration of JFK. The other story is that of Vivien, whose story begins when the married man she is having a relationship with, kisses her good bye, goes out into San Francisco the very day of the Great Earthquake in 1906 and never returns. Vivien and is forced to move on in her life and becomes the writer of obituaries. The two women live very different lives, but at the end, the connection between the two women is made clear.
The Still Point of the Turning World
Emily receives a surprising, horrifying and heart-breaking diagnosis of her infant son when, after she notices that one eye does not seem to be right, she takes him to a specialist, who bluntly tells her that it is not his eyes that are the problem, but rather her beloved son Ronan is suffering from a neurological genetic disease, Tay-Sachs, which is always fatal.
Emily is a writer, and she writes to tell her son's story and to get through her grief. She writes eloquently, and she imparts the lesson of her book reminding us how important it is to live in the moment.
A Week in Winter
This is the last novel to come from the pen of Maeve Binchy, written just before she died in July, 2012 and it is pretty much vintage Binchy. The main character, Chicky, comes back to Ireland after running away to America. She returns to her small town, where she decides to open up a bed and breakfast. And then we meet a whole host of characters-ne'er do well, Rigger, who comes to work with her to keep him out of trouble, a niece who has left London to help,and a vast array of other characters, most of them trying to get a new start in life. This is gentle entertainment, with a little moral lesson thrown in, and it doesn't disappoint.