Category Archives: Family

THE SUNDAY REVIEW | LOVE, NINA: DESPATCHES FROM FAMILY LIFE – NINA STIBBE

  After having this on my shelf since shortly after its release, I finally picked it up because I found out it had been adapted to a mini-series starring Helena Bonham Carter. As most of us do, I prefer to read the book before watching the adaptation, so I figured I might as well get around to giving it a… Read more »

THE SUNDAY REVIEW | PIGS IN HEAVEN – BARBARA KINGSOLVER

  ***WARNING: Contains spoilers for The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver*** In the sequel to Barbara Kingsolver’s The Bean Trees, we catch up with a slightly more mature and settled Taylor, who is living with her musician boyfriend Jax and her adopted daughter Turtle, now six. But of course, things can’t stay calm and secure for long. As in the last book, the… Read more »

THE SUNDAY REVIEW | THE BEAN TREES – BARBARA KINGSOLVER

   This isn’t the first time I’ve read this book, but it might as well have been. It was my first Kingsolver, read at the fervent recommendation of my mother. Over the years, the memory of the book’s specifics faded, but the general feeling that I had loved both the story and characters, and that it had earned a place… Read more »

RELEASE DAY REVIEW | MISS EMILY – NUALA O’CONNOR

The American debut of an award-winning Irish writer that brings to life Emily Dickinson and will enthrall fans of Longbourn and Mrs. Poe. Nuala O’Connor’s enchanting American debut novel, Miss Emily, reimagines the private life of Emily Dickinson, one of America’s most beloved poets, through her own voice and through the eyes of her family’s Irish maid. Eighteen-year-old Ada Concannon… Read more »

THE SUNDAY REVIEW | FINDING AUDREY – SOPHIE KINSELLA

  From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Shopaholic series comes a terrific blend of comedy, romance, and psychological recovery in a contemporary YA novel sure to inspire and entertain. An anxiety disorder disrupts fourteen-year-old Audrey’s daily life. She has been making slow but steady progress with Dr. Sarah, but when Audrey meets Linus, her brother’s gaming… Read more »

THE SUNDAY REVIEW | A GOD IN RUINS – KATE ATKINSON

  In Life After Life Ursula Todd lived through the turbulent events of the last century again and again. In A God in Ruins, Atkinson turns her focus on Ursula’s beloved younger brother Teddy – would-be poet, RAF bomber pilot, husband and father – as he navigates the perils and progress of the 20th century. For all Teddy endures in… Read more »

THE SUNDAY REVIEW | THE SHORE – SARA TAYLOR

Welcome to The Shore: a collection of small islands sticking out from the coast of Virginia into the Atlantic Ocean. Where clumps of evergreens meet wild ponies, oyster-shell roads, tumble-down houses, unwanted pregnancies, murder, storm-making and dark magic in the marshes. . .   Situated off the coast of Virginia’s Chesapeake Bay, the group of islands known as the Shore… Read more »

THE SUNDAY REVIEW | WE ARE ALL MADE OF MOLECULES – SUSIN NIELSEN

  Thirteen-year-old Stewart is academically brilliant but socially clueless. Fourteen-year-old Ashley is the undisputed “It” girl in her class, but her grades stink. Their worlds are about to collide when Stewart and his dad move in with Ashley and her mom. Stewart is trying to be 89.9 percent happy about it, but Ashley is 110 percent horrified. She already has… Read more »

THE SUNDAY REVIEW | THE CHILDREN’S CRUSADE – ANN PACKER

  From the New York Times bestselling, award-winning author of The Dive From Clausen’s Pier, a sweeping, masterful new novel that explores the secrets and desires, the remnant wounds and saving graces of one California family, over the course of five decades. Bill Blair finds the land by accident, three wooded acres in a rustic community south of San Francisco…. Read more »

THE SUNDAY REVIEW | SWAMPLANDIA! – KAREN RUSSELL

The Bigtree alligator wrestling dynasty is in decline — think Buddenbrooks set in the Florida Everglades — and Swamplandia!, their island home and gator-wrestling theme park, is swiftly being encroached upon by a sophisticated competitor known as the World of Darkness. Ava, a resourceful but terrified twelve year old, must manage seventy gators and the vast, inscrutable landscape of her… Read more »

THE SUNDAY REVIEW | THE HALF BROTHER – HOLLY LECRAW

A passionate, provocative story of  complex family bonds and the search for identity set within the ivy-covered walls of a New England boarding school When Charlie Garrett arrives as a young teacher at the shabby-yet-genteel Abbott School, he finds a world steeped in privilege and tradition. Fresh out of college and barely older than the students he teaches, Charlie longs… Read more »

THE SUNDAY REVIEW | A SPOOL OF BLUE THREAD – ANNE TYLER

From the beloved Pulitzer Prize-winning author–now in the fiftieth year of her remarkable career–a brilliantly observed, joyful and wrenching, funny and true new novel that reveals, as only she can, the very nature of a family’s life. “It was a beautiful, breezy, yellow-and-green afternoon.” This is the way Abby Whitshank always begins the story of how she fell in love… Read more »

THE SUNDAY REVIEW | THE VACATIONERS – EMMA STRAUB

An irresistible, deftly observed novel about the secrets, joys, and jealousies that rise to the surface over the course of an American family’s two-week stay in Mallorca. For the Posts, a two-week trip to the Balearic island of Mallorca with their extended family and friends is a celebration: Franny and Jim are observing their thirty-fifth wedding anniversary, and their daughter,… Read more »

THE SUNDAY [BOOK & MOVIE] REVIEW | THIS IS WHERE I LEAVE YOU – JONATHAN TROPPER

Let’s start with the exciting part. Thanks to Karen over at One More Page who frantically tweeted me last weekend telling me to wake up and get my act in gear, I was able (just barely) to enter Indigo Events‘ contest for tickets to an advance screening of This Is Where I Leave You. Which was perfect, since I was… Read more »

The Sunday Review: THE STORIED LIFE OF A.J. FIKRY – Gabrielle Zevin

Hanging over the porch of the tiny New England bookstore called Island Books is a faded sign with the motto “No Man Is an Island; Every Book Is a World.” A.J. Fikry, the irascible owner, is about to discover just what that truly means.  A.J. Fikry’s life is not at all what he expected it to be. His wife has… Read more »

REALITY BOY – A. S. King

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Gerald Faust knows exactly when he started feeling angry: the day his mother invited a reality television crew into his five-year-old life. Twelve years later, he’s still haunted by his rage-filled youth—which the entire world got to watch from every imaginable angle—and his anger issues have resulted in violent outbursts, zero friends, and clueless adults dumping him in the special… Read more »

BOOK REVIEW | ANIMAL, VEGETABLE, MIRACLE: A YEAR OF FOOD LIFE – BARBARA KINGSOLVER (WITH STEVEN L. HOPP AND CAMILLE KINGSOLVER)

  In Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, the amazingly talented author Barbara Kingsolver takes on a new realm: the economy of food life. The idea for the book was born in her family’s move from the arid climate of Arizona to the temperate climate of southern Appalachia. Part of the motivation for this move was a desire to live in a way… Read more »