“The Enchanted” by Rene Denfeld

When I picked up The Enchanted by Rene Denfeld, I was expecting it to be a fantasy novel set within a prison.  That’s not quite what it is.  It’s more like the movie “Dead Man Walking” paired with Isabel Allende’s magical realism. The Enchanted is narrated by a mute death row inmate named Arden.  WeRead more

“Silk Armor” by Claire Sydenham

Silk Armor is the story of Claire Sydenham, an American woman teaching English in Turkey.  While she is there, she observes the relationship between her colleague Victor and Didem, one of her students.  Victor and Didem’s relationship is tragic and destructive, highlighting the clash between old and new cultural values. For Didem, romance with VictorRead more

“Necessary Errors” by Caleb Crain

Jacob Putnam is a young expat teaching English in the Czech Republic.  He went there because he was inspired by the ideas of the revolution, but he’s too late, and instead witnesses the country’s transition from socialism to capitalism. The plot of the novel isn’t exciting, but it isn’t meant to be.  It’s supposed toRead more

“The Lemon Orchard” by Luanne Rice

The Lemon Orchard by Luanne Rice is the story of two people from very different socioeconomic classes who share a bond of grief.  Julia’s daughter died in a car accident, and Roberto’s daughter was lost on the night they came to America when he was captured by Border Patrol.  When Julia house-sits for her wealthyRead more

“My Education” by Susan Choi: Review and Giveaway

 “My Education” by Susan Choi is the story of a young woman’s poor sexual decisions and their impact on her life.  Regina Gottleib is a 21-year-old graduate student.  She’s young, naive, and inexperienced, and begins taking classes with Professor Nicholas Brodeur, whose reputation as a womanizer precedes him.  Brodeur mentors Regina until she begins anRead more

“There Once Lived a Girl Who Seduced Her Sister’s Husband, and He Hanged Himself: Love Stories” by Ludmilla Petrushevskaya

I’m in a particularly grumpy/bitter mood tonight, so this is a perfect time to review this book. I’m too cynical to take most stories of happily ever after seriously, and love triangles make me want to puke.  This book is different. Ludmilla Petrushevskaya’s most excellent collection of love stories, entitled “There Once Lived a GirlRead more

“Irv’s Odyssey: Lost in a Looking Glass” by Irving Podolsky

I received a copy of “Irv’s Odyssey:  Lost in a Looking Glass” from the author in exchange for an honest review.  When I received the query, I wasn’t initially planning to accept it.  I’ve got six months worth of books piled on my living room floor, and wasn’t planning to take on any others untilRead more