You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott – Book Review

 You Will Know Me

This is a novel about a family that will do anything to support their gymnast daughter on her journey to possible Olympic gold.  Katie and Eric Knox have devoted every ounce of their family’s collective fiber toward the single goal of attaining the highest possible goal for their 15 year-old gymnast daughter, Devon.  On the face of it, the family seems to “work”, however, as the plot develops, the cracks grow larger and larger.

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This obsession has led to an unstable financial and emotional family life.  Why, they even have a younger son, but he seems more like an appendage than a fully-developed member of the family.  He seems to get more than lost in the shuffle of having such a talented older sibling.

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If you’ve ever wondered at the dedication of the families of Olympic level athletes this is the book for you.  I really felt that I both understood, and was repulsed by the Knox family and their lifestyle.  This novel is filled with that sense of danger; how quickly everything can go wrong in more ways than one.  I highly recommend this book.

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We Are All Made of Stars by Rowan Coleman – Book Review

We Are All Made of Stars - Rowan Coleman

 

I loved this book, and it’s one that I’ll be thinking about for a long time.  Stella Carey is a nurse, working nights at a hospice.  She is trying to make her marriage to an injured, Afghanistan war veteran work by basically staying out of his way.  One of the tasks that Stella completes for her dying patients is to write their final letters for them.  Coleman has included some of these letters, and they range from the downright hilarious to the tear inducing.  In fact, I laughed and cried quite a bit while reading this novel.

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There are many life lessons to be learned here, but I loved the story-lines that went along with them.  I don’t want to give anything away as I want you to read the book yourself.  This was a wonderfully written and well thought out novel that left me with many different things to think about.  I highly recommend this novel.  If you do read it, and I truly hope that you do, let me know your thoughts in the comments below.  Well done Coleman!

Wilde Lake by Laura Lippman – Book Review

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There are certain genres that I never really thought that I’d read a lot of, and crime novels were one of them.  However, I’ve found a few authors that I really like, and Lippman is one of them.  In the past, most crime novels were completely plot-driven, and there was little to no character development (which I enjoy).  However, Lippman’s novels are all about the crime, and all about the character development, and relationships.

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The novel revolves around a murder that once unraveled reveals personal ties to “Lu” Brant, the newly elected state’s attorney of Howard County, Maryland.  I really liked how the story was told, revealing Lu’s daily life, and her childhood, in bits between the murder investigations.  Lu learns about long-kept family secrets, shocking information regarding a long-ago murder, and also has some revelations regarding her own relationships.

The novel keeps you turning the pages to find out what will be reveled next, which I found captivating.  I won’t go into much detail here, since I want you to read this novel.  Well done, Lippman.  I highly recommend this book.

The House on the Edge of Night by Catherine Banner – Book Review

The House at the Edge of Night

 

This novel is epic in that it spans time from 1914 to 2009, includes myths and legends, and takes place on an island off the coast of Sicily, which can only be described as magical.  It follows the fortunes of Amedeo Esposito, a foundling, through his early life on to his education, his becoming a doctor in search of a town to practice in and his family.  Amedeo is an amazing character by himself, since he came from nothing and still managed to succeed.

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The novel deals with both the Esposito family members and the life of the villagers on the tiny island of Castellamare.  I loved how Banner infused both world wars into the story, showing the effects of nationalism on life on the island and the unrest that war brings.  This definitely gives you the feeling of both being there, and understanding the behavior that “nationalism” can cause.

Catherine Banner

Catherine Banner

For me, the most interesting characters were the women of the Esposito family, from Amedeo’s wife to his daughter in law to his granddaughter.  All three women are strong and intelligent.  I really enjoyed this novel and highly recommend it.  Well done, Catherine Banner!  I am looking forward to your next novel.