Well, I’m pretty mixed on this one. The writing was wonderful–descriptive, lush, full of emotions. I loved what Siddons did with the “abyss”–the ways in which we disguise our true selves, even from those we love the most. The way that Kate’s father reinvented himself–and his daughter–as true Southern aristocrats was masterfully written. But the […]

I was hesitant about this one because I’d heard there were some concerns over the way Russo handles his female characters and race, but mostly because it’s a long one–a serious investment of time when I’m feeling behind in my goals for the year. But I’m really glad I gave it a chance–this one nails […]

Wow! This book has it all when it comes to setting and our reading challenge–geography, history, all the different people who make up Hawaii–and the setting is so integral to the story! So many aspects of the story are uniquely Hawaiian, there’s nowhere else it could be set. I am reading my way across the […]

This was a really nice book, and a great opening for Hawaii! It’s not only the story of Spencer taking care of his dying mother, it also tells the story of how he unexpectedly went from being the middle son to being the only son. The childhood flashbacks take place in the 1950s and 1960s, […]

This was a last minute addition, and I’m really glad I found it–Casanova does a really nice job with the northern Minnesota setting in her Young Adult novel Frozen. I am reading my way across the USA–5 or so books from each state, with an emphasis on setting–books where the setting is really tangible, and […]

Run by Ann Patchett (2007) was an amazing read and just great for my reading challenge–we really feel not just the New England snowstorm, but also many of the Massachusetts people.  I am reading my way across the USA–5 or so books from each state, with an emphasis on those where the setting becomes its […]

In the early- to mid-1990s, I lived in Massachusetts, outside of Lawrence, along New Hampshire’s tiny coastal strip, and worked for a Girl Scout council on the North Shore, which included Lawrence, Lowell and Lynn, Salem, Marblehead and Gloucester. I also did an internship a bit to the west, around Worcester. What I remember the […]

I’m reading my way across the USA–3 to 5 books from each state, with a focus on books where the setting really becomes another character in the book. Unfortunately, Murder in Burnt Orange by Jeanne Dams (2011), did not meet that criteria. It was a fun, quick book, with an authentic historical feel, and some […]

Well, I have to say I’m having a hard time slogging through The Milagro Beanfield War by John Nichols (1974). I think I might have had an easier time if I hadn’t read So Far From God by Ana Castillo so recently. In many ways they are similar, and both do a great job of […]