I’m not sure what happened with this one. It was a great one for setting–Frazier gives us some fabulous descriptions of North Carolina. And it’s not just the area around Cold Mountain itself–Inman walks away from the hospital where he is recovering, across much of the state. But I lost interest in the story pretty […]

I love to see books with unusual main characters–it seems like there has been a lot written recently about the importance of seeing yourself in books, and that goes for kids with special needs too. From that perspective, The Islands at the End of the World seems like a big win, although I have absolutely […]

My dad is a history buff, and one of his areas of interest is the conflicts between Native Americans and the pioneers and settlers who took over their land. He always takes the side of the Native Americans. One of his heroes is the great Nez Perce leader Chief Joseph, who led the United States […]

In So Far From God by Ana Castillo, is, in many ways a quintessential novel of the Chicano experience, so it’s no surprise that the quintessential Mexican-American legend–La Llorona–appears. The basic legend is that La Llorona–literally the Wailing Woman–is a spirit who wanders–usually at night and usually along water–in search of her lost children. In […]

In To the Bright Edge of the World by Eowyn Ivey, one of the main characters, Sophie, discovers she is pregnant. She has mixed feelings when she learns of her pregnancy. She and her husband, Colonel Allen Forrester, are thrilled, however the doctor seems worried and refuses to give her any information other than telling […]

I like the novelty of a story told through letters, photos, journals, newspaper clippings, and other memorabilia.┬áTo the Bright Edge of the World by Eowyn Ivey (2016) is such a book, and it’s wonderfully done. It’s mostly centered in 1885, switching back and forth between the journals of Colonel Allen Forrester and his wife Sophie […]

And She Was has some great quotes about the Aleutian Islands that really express the setting wonderfully: I read that a few archaeologists did not believe the standard ice age migration theory. … They did not believe that the Aleuts had come on clumsy feet, plodding after mammoths. No, they had come in boats agile […]