Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Dilemma by Penny Vincenzi

"Francesca had a successful career and a satisfactory marriage, but she gave it all up to become the third Mrs. Isambard Channing. Now she finds life as the trophy wife of a highly successful property magnate fraught with family turmoil created by the adult children of her husband's first two marriages. When Francesca and Bard's second child falls ill and the business empire Bard has built starts to falter, his uncommunicative and condescending nature begins to strain their relationship severely. Francesca's vulnerable and trusting nature makes her the prime candidate for use by Bard's eldest son as a means of exacting revenge upon his father. Then, when he is under direct fire from government authorities for fraud, Bard asks Francesca to provide a false alibi, leaving her on an emotional precipice."

~Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Extracurricular Activities by Maggie Barbieri

"Barbieri's in top form as she delivers a smooth sequel to her witty debut (Murder 101). English professor Alison Bergeron wishes she'd stop getting uninvited visits from her ex-husband, Raymond Stark, fornicator extraordinaire and fellow professor at St. Thomas, a small Catholic university north of New York City. Ray's past conquests include Alison's slutty neighbor, Terri, and St. Thomas student Kathy Miceli, whose recent murder shocked the campus. Then Alison comes home one night to find Ray's body in her kitchen, hands and feet chopped off: the slaying signature of chubby mobster Peter Miceli, Kathy's father. Peter begins stalking Alison, showing up uninvited in her house to proclaim his innocence. Alison reluctantly turns to her soon-to-be-divorced former boyfriend, Bobby Crawford, an NYPD homicide detective, for help and comfort. The plot thickens when Terri disappears, leaving Alison in charge of Trixie, a scene-stealing golden retriever who makes a gruesome discovery. Barbieri juggles romance, murder and mayhem with stark realism and disarming charm."

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Reservation Nation: A Novel by David Fuller Cook
"The Uwharrie of North Carolina came up against the controversial Indian termination policy of the 1950s and '60s, which sought to mainstream Native Americans. Warren Eubanks, whose Uwharrie name means the Seed, grew up under the care of his grandparents in the 1950s, and narrates troubled reservation life as an older man looking back at his childhood and Vietnam-era younger adulthood, witness to a besieged community that has had to figure out how to continu[e] to be Indian. Warren moves back and forth between different periods in the past, telling of conflict between the old ways, as followed by elders such as great Aunt Ida, who could read minds, and Grandmother, a weaver and singer, and the ruinous ways of the Kowache, or white people, to which Chief Billy Farmer is drawn. The Bureau of Indian Affairs, the American Indian Movement and various corporations all play in as Warren slowly narrates how the reservation lands are handled, all the while staying close to people like the motorcycle riding Joe Bad Crow and Sun Susie, a horse trainer daughter whose mysterious death haunts these pages. In channeling Warren, Cook's beautifully modulated, speechlike cadences give his debut novel a quiet power."
~Publisher Weekly Review, Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Someone Knows My Name: A Novel by Lawrence Hill

"Stunning, wrenching and inspiring, the fourth novel by Canadian novelist Hill (Any Known Blood) spans the life of Aminata Diallo, born in Bayo, West Africa, in 1745. The novel opens in 1802, as Aminata is wooed in London to the cause of British abolitionists, and begins reflecting on her life. Kidnapped at the age of 11 by British slavers, Aminata survives the Middle Passage and is reunited in South Carolina with Chekura, a boy from a village near hers. Her story gets entwined with his, and with those of her owners: nasty indigo producer Robinson Appleby and, later, Jewish duty inspector Solomon Lindo. During her long life of struggle, she does what she can to free herself and others from slavery, including learning to read and teaching others to, and befriending anyone who can help her, black or white. Hill handles the pacing and tension masterfully, particularly during the beginnings of the American revolution, when the British promise to free Blacks who fight for the British: Aminata's related, eventful travels to Nova Scotia and Sierra Leone follow. In depicting a woman who survives history's most trying conditions through force of intelligence and personality, Hill's book is a harrowing, breathtaking tour de force."

~Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved