Burial Rites by Hannah Kent

Hannah Kent’s novel is stunning, almost unfairly so given it’s her debut novel. ‘Burial Rites’ is the sophisticated, yet simple telling of Agnes Magnúsdóttir’s story. She was the last woman executed in Iceland. Unprepared for dealing with a murderess, the courts sent her to the remote family farm of Jón Jónsson, his wife Margret, andContinue reading “Burial Rites by Hannah Kent”

The Good Lord Bird by James McBride

I’d like to think I have varied interests. Think being the keyword in that sentence. Because at the end of the day I sometimes realize exactly how connected my little literary world is. And then my world seems significantly smaller and much less varied. I am not a person of many talents. It’s quite possibleContinue reading “The Good Lord Bird by James McBride”

Freud’s Mistress by Karen Mack and Jennifer Kaufman

I am a dreamer. No, not the kind that fantasizes about becoming rich and famous or finally attaining my dream job (although if that one librarian at the U. S. Geological Survey library would give up her job, I would be most pleased). I dream, frequently and vividly (and sometimes lucidly), almost every night. IContinue reading “Freud’s Mistress by Karen Mack and Jennifer Kaufman”

The Fever Tree by Jennifer McVeigh

We are all possessors of secrets. They may vary in nature and value, but we keep them all the same. A secret shared between two people, despite their best intentions, rarely stays so. Secret liaisons, secret murders, secret selves – they’re all revealed eventually – in literature and in life. I’m not hiding any ofContinue reading “The Fever Tree by Jennifer McVeigh”

Hell at the Breech by Tom Franklin

There is a particularly vein of literature that I find both unsettling and fascinating. Donald Ray Pollock, Daniel Woodrell, Frank Bill, Bonnie Jo Campbell, and Cormac McCarthy are modern writers who successfully mine that vein (impoverished, desperate, violent, and real).  I now consider Tom Franklin to be one of them. In his debut novel (yes, debut,Continue reading “Hell at the Breech by Tom Franklin”

The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis

From Goodreads: In 1923, fifteen-year-old Hattie Shepherd flees Georgia and settles in Philadelphia, hoping for a chance at a better life. Instead, she marries a man who will bring her nothing but disappointment and watches helplessly as her firstborn twins succumb to an illness a few pennies could have prevented. Hattie gives birth to nineContinue reading “The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis”

The Truth of All Things by Kieran Shields

From Goodreads: Two hundred years after the Salem witch trials, in the summer of 1892, a grisly new witch hunt is beginning…. When newly appointed Deputy Marshal Archie Lean is called in to investigate a prostitute’s murder in Portland, Maine, he’s surprised to find the body laid out like a pentagram and pinned to theContinue reading “The Truth of All Things by Kieran Shields”

Wilderness by Lance Weller

From Goodreads: Thirty years after the Civil War’s Battle of the Wilderness left him maimed, Abel Truman has found his way to the edge of the continent, the rugged, majestic coast of Washington State, where he lives alone in a driftwood shack with his beloved dog. Wilderness is the story of Abel, now an oldContinue reading “Wilderness by Lance Weller”

The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe

The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe , deftly weaves modern day, Harvard doctoral candidate Connie Goodwin’s life with that of Salem-era witch Deliverance Dane. Connie’s earthy, organic mother has asked her to spend the summer cleaning her Granna’s old house (to sell) during the same time Connie’s PhD advisor has recommended she find a profound,Continue reading “The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe”

Sacrilege by S.J. Parris

Former monk, radical philosopher, and spy Giordano Bruno is living in London in summer of 1584. As Bruno makes his way around London, he cannot shake the suspicion of being watched – particularly by a violent old enemy. Much to his surprise, his follower is none other than Sophia Underhill, a woman with whom heContinue reading “Sacrilege by S.J. Parris”