PositiveShelf AwarenessMacDougall\'s fun, brisk storytelling and cleverly rendered details largely focus on growing, improving upon and sustaining her business. However, philosophical undercurrents profoundly define how work--and canine companionship--can enrich the soul and spirit, ultimately giving shape and form to living a more meaningful existence.
Caterina Bonvicini, Trans. by Antony Shugaar
RaveShelf Awareness... a big, bold, all-encompassing novel ... Through short, perfectly selected and astutely crafted scenes, Bonvicini depicts episodes from the lives of Olivia and Valerio over the next four decades in an Italy where corruption--in both personal lives and the society at large--is endemic ... High drama and moments of great wisdom flesh out themes centered on the perils of upward mobility, appearances for appearance\'s sake and allegiance to marriage and family. Chilling, stark realities force some characters--including a very strong, vividly rendered supporting cast--to become victims of the dark era in which they live. In stunning prose, translated by Antony Shugaar, Bonvicini renders an intricately plotted contemporary Italian epic where the fate of her star-crossed lovers is magnified by the crushing influence of familial and societal forces.
PositiveShelf Awareness... a beautifully rendered, spellbinding saga about family secrets and taboos ... The journey Shorto takes to trace his grandfather\'s life is eventful, entertaining and enlightening ... In pursuing recollections of the past and unearthing long-buried family secrets, Shorto and his father reconcile and deepen their own relationship on the way to crafting a thorough, immensely moving and empathetic portrait of Shorto\'s namesake, and how his Sicilian American immigrant experiences shaped the course of history.
RaveShelf-AwarenessTichenor\'s courageous memoir is an exquisitely crafted, painfully beautiful chronicle of loss. She articulates the immensity of her feelings and emotions with unbridled candor that, at times, is difficult to read, but ultimately evokes hard-fought rebirth, resurrection and the presence of God. For five years, Tichenor travels a rocky path toward perspective and healing, until the ravaging devastation of loss ultimately fuses into the landscape of her life. Navigating as a bereft wife and mother, a pastor, a friend and a daughter orphaned because of her mother\'s helplessness, Tichenor discovers that pain, joy and sadness can prove enlightening, buoying her with hope and eloquent moments of grace.
RaveShelf AwarenessHarkup leaves no stone unturned in her immensely thorough and compelling distillation of the Bard\'s work ... Through an intricate dissection of Shakespearean plays, Harkup breaks down and analyzes methods of death, destruction and peril, and delves into how Elizabethan actors might have been bloodied up for battles of war using lye or slow coagulating sheep\'s blood ... Harkup\'s expertise leans toward the scientific. Her riveting storytelling, however, is refreshingly accessible. Her narrative will attract and intrigue readers who appreciate the macabre, eager for the enriching wisdom offered by two masters in their fields.
PositiveShelf AwarenessStrong, well-drawn women anchor Brown\'s deeply thought-provoking, feminist novel. The spellbinding dual stories complement each other, raising themes of self-discovery, self-preservation and liberation for two women living eras apart.
PositiveShelf Awareness... lyrically written, delightfully charming ... By telling the story from two intimate points of view, debut novelist Hazel Prior allows readers simultaneously to discover startling truths right along with her well-drawn characters. This approach heightens the narrative tension and allows this beautiful, tender story about the harmonious meaning of true friendship and love to reverberate with many unexpected surprises.
PositiveShelf Awareness... ripe with amusing wit and charm, skillfully explores regret and longing, friendship, love and forgiveness, and the challenges posed by reinvention. Strong characterizations and short, well-plotted scenes are filled with clever banter. Holmes has a firm grasp on the realities of everyday life and the difficulties of carving out happiness in the modern world. She understands what makes people hurt and pine, and the forces that ultimately conspire to encourage them to pick up, dust off and start again. Readers will cheer for this richly drawn cast as they swing, sometimes miss and even manage to hit a few home runs off the curveballs of life.
PositiveShelf AwarenessVivid, profound and visually imaginative. Throughout the story, Knisley adds levity by presenting illustrated factoids, myths and research about women\'s reproductive health ... Knisley is a lively storyteller, and the encapsulated charm of her graphics holds equal appeal. In both arenas, her inimitable style builds suspense and ultimately oozes with hopeful optimism.
PositiveShelf AwarenessJoe-the great man he was, what he stood for and his lasting influence upon a large circle of family and friends--anchors a narrative that noticeably maintains and preserves the privacy of Sharri and Devon and the depth of their personal feelings of grief and loss. Schefter, instead, chooses to focus on paying thoughtful homage to Joe Maio and all whose lives he touched, acknowledging his great admiration and respect for--and gratitude to--an absent man who is and will forever remain an active part in all of their lives.
Simon Van Booy
PositiveShelf- AwarenessIn The Sadness of Beautiful Things, a collection of short fiction, British-born and Brooklyn, N.Y., resident Van Booy mines similar terrain and themes. This time he gathers eight short works that focus on a host of ordinary people who suffer devastating life losses, but find ways to go on--dramatically changed. Each of these haunting, at times mystical, fictions are, at their core, love stories in every conceivable sense of the word ... Van Booy is a wise, philosophical writer. His spare prose is...illuminating and is further enhanced by unexpected resolutions that allow graceful themes to expand and flourish ... The dark, sad circumstances that germinate each of these poignant, unpredictable gems will lead readers to refreshing glimpses of transcendence and hope.
RaveShelf AwarenessIn The Friend, she takes readers on a reflective journey through a labyrinth of grief, loss and loneliness. This meditative, beautifully written novel reads as intimately as a memoir ... Humans, however, can reckon with death. This is evidenced by the narrator\'s intriguing stream-of-consciousness monologue that winds through the past and present, offering ruminations about the sacrifices of a truly creative life, while referencing great writers and thinkers like Flaubert, Hemingway, Coetzee et al. ... The pain of the narrator\'s bereavement is dealt with through remembering and writing. But the bond she forms with the dog – how they acclimate to each other and a world darkened by an aching void – forges this thought-provoking, philosophical story. Ultimately, The Friend ponders the meanings of loyalty, love, friendship and a buoyant creative spirit.