Julianna Baggott’s heartbreaking novel Harriet Wolf’s Seventh Book of Wonders merges a hunt for a missing manuscript and family secrets that define three generations of women.
Years after the famous novelist Harriet Wolf died, her loyal fans are convinced that there’s still a seventh manuscript out there. Harriet had a turbulent relationship with her daughter Eleanor, which in term affected the lines of communication with Eleanor’s children Ruth and Tilton. After running away from home at the age of 16, it is not until her mother is hospitalized that Ruth and the family reunite to come to terms with Harriet’s legacy.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Wednesday, September 30th, 2015||No Comments »|
In Celeste Ng’s debut novel Everything I Never Told You, the Lee family quickly unravels after their middle daughter Lydia is found floating in an Ohio lake in the 1970s. Lydia’s parents struggle with their guilt, as her father James hoped she’d be a social butterfly while her mother Marilyn constantly pressured Lydia to become a doctor instead of a stay-at-home housewife. Meanwhile, Lydia’s little sister Hannah may hold the key to the truth about her sibling’s death. The family also attempts to keep some of their secrets safely hidden in a closet as well, but all of their destructive tendencies are on display and they are forced to face their own inner demons throughout the course of the novel.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Monday, August 11th, 2014||No Comments »|
Award-winning author Emma Donoghue sat down with XTRA, a Canadian channel dedicated to keeping viewers up-to-date on the latest LGBT news, to discuss how living as a lesbian in Ireland colored her perception of stepping over social “lines in the sand” and how her experience helped color the stories in Astray.
Donoghue also mentions that during a Twitter conversation with her fans, she thought it was odd that no one had read her hit novel Room under the lens of queer theory. After all, the mother and child in the story are seen as “outsiders,” much as many gays and lesbians are seen as “Other.” So while most readers don’t view The Room as a queer story, Donoghue says that it can definitely be read that way.
For readers who love learning about how an author’s life experiences can weave into the lifeblood of a story, this interview sheds a fascinating light on the process.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Tuesday, May 27th, 2014||No Comments »|
Although many people know the figure of the Norse God Loki from Tom Hiddleston’s performance in Marvel’s Thor and Avengers movies, in today’s day and age many modern-day Pagans and Heathens still honor the original deity. While some members of the Northern Traditions consider Loki to be the “Norse Satan,” others honor the fiery Trickster of the Norse as their main deity. Now, author Elizabeth Vongvisith’s collection of poetry allows readers to discover the different sides of Loki: World Breaker, Father, Best Friend, Mentor, Confidant, and Big Brother.
Trickster, My Beloved is made up of 27 poems from a dedicated “Loki’s Woman.” Not only are they inspiring, but it also allows those who may not know much about Paganism to get a deeper understanding of the “pro-Loki” Northern Traditions as well. Readers will also gain a new understanding and a deeper appreciation for Loki, whose fiery spirit, passion, and trickster nature are effortlessly appealing. If you’re looking for an expanded idea of Loki, Vongvisith’s work is both multi-faceted and inspiring.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Monday, May 5th, 2014||No Comments »|
Whitney A. Miller’s debut thriller novel is a suspenseful and terrifying read. The plot revolves around Harlow, a young woman who is the adopted daughter of a patriarch in the VisionCrest religion and has a ton of responsibilities on her shoulder. Not only is she expected to become a future leader in the religious movement, but she’s also looked up to as the pinnacle of integrity. One wrong move and the entire community will be calling for her blood.
Amongst the 24/7 spotlight, Harlow harbors a dark secret that not even her crush nor her best friend knows about. The young teen keeps hearing a voice inside of her head that seems to have a mind of its own. This mysterious voice is now urging her to turn into a merciless, cold-blooded killer. Despite all of Harlow’s best efforts, the urge to give in and obey the voice is becoming more and more difficult to control.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Monday, April 28th, 2014||No Comments »|
The power of human connections, including both its beauty and fragility, are explored to the very depths in a new short story collection titled Sympathetic People by Donna Baier Stein. Each of the thirteen stories revolve around male and female characters as they struggle to find happiness and meaning in their lives after experiencing loss and tragedy.
The story “Hindsight” follows a hippie-ish young woman named Jessie as she makes a brash decision that later shatters to pieces when her life goes wildly off-track. There’s also “The Secrets of Snakes,” a story that looks at how early ruptures in a marriage can make a wife desperate to do anything she can to stop it, even when she’s supposed to be keeping an eye on her son’s pet racer.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Friday, March 7th, 2014||No Comments »|