Friday, August 22, 2014


THE GOOD DAUGHTERS by:  Joyce Maynard

I loved this book!  It was hard to put down.  Two girls were born on the same day in the same town in the same hospital in New Hampshire.  Even though their families were vastly different, their lives seemed linked.  The novel takes us from when the girls were born until they are in their thirties.  Joyce Maynard explores many facets of family life in this story alternating between the voices of Dana and Ruth, the "birthday sisters."  This book kept me thinking even after I had finished reading it.
Reviewed by: Mimi @ Genoa Branch Library

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


HIDDEN by:  Catherine McKenzie

This book has the interesting concept.  A young husband gets killed on his way to work which devastates his wife and son.  In the meantime, his girlfriend (a co-worker) waits to hear from him all weekend and doesn't find out the news until she is at a meeting at work.  No one at work knows they see one another so she has to keep her emotions in check.  This book is written from the view points of these three characters.  My only problem with this book is the difficulty in ascertaining which chapter goes with which character.  You have to read a bit to figure it out. 
Reviewed by Mimi @ Genoa Branch Library

Wednesday, August 13, 2014


In this memoir, Novella Carpenter and her partner are contemplating having a baby.  Before she takes the leap to parenthood though, Novella needs to make peace with her feelings about her mainly absent father.  Growing up, she and her sister were raised by their parents, off the grid, in remote Idaho.  Eventually this hard existence becomes too difficult for Novella's mom and she and her husband divorcedand she takes the girls and moves to California.  From that point on Novella rarely sees or corresponds with her father.  She always imagines him as living a wild, pioneer kind of life.  In her late 30's, as she ponders becoming a mother, she returns to Idaho to get to know her dad better.  What she finds though, isn't a romantic mountain man living off the land but a down and out man selling scrap left from large logging operations and living in a small, filthy home.  You will have to read this book yourself to see if she does indeed become a mother and if she and her father form a relationship.  This book made me think a lot about my own upbringing and how differently people perceive life depending on the circumstances in which they were raised. 
Reviewed by Mimi @ Genoa Branch Library

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

"The Ides of March" is 2011 film that recounts the transformation of a young assistant campaign manager for presidential candidate Mike Morris, the governor of Pennsylvania.  When we meet Stephen Meyers, he is a true believer in his candidate, someone who "drank the Kool-aid" as another character describes Stephen.  In just a few short, but eventful, days during the Ohio primary, Meyers meets betrayal from a number of people he has admired and trusted, and he transforms into a hardened, manipulative campaign operative.  Ryan Gosling plays the role of the initially naive Stephen, and George Clooney is the charismatic candidate.  It's a very interesting film-ready for the next campaign cycle?  Reviewed by Amy @ the Harris-Elmore library

"Fin and Lady" by Cathleen Schine is a lovely novel.  It tells the story of the orphaned Fin and his improbably-named half-sister, Lady.  The story begins in the 1960's, where Fin and Lady share a townhouse in Greenwich Village.  Fin grows up going to poetry slams and peace demonstrations, mixing drinks for Lady's many suitors.  Lady does not fit into either the world of the New York City socialite or of the hippie, and eventually flees to Capri, where she finally finds peace.  At the end of the story, the narrator is revealed and brings the story full circle.  The story is gently humorous, and with the orphan, the beautiful lady, her trio of persistent suitors, and the magical island, it reminds one of a fairy tale.  The author has an enjoyable writing style, and the reader can almost smell the lemons, feel the sunshine on one's shoulders, and see the colorful boats in the harbor as she describes Capri.  Schine has written several other novels, including "The Love Letter," and "The Three Weissmanns of Westport," a contemporary take on "Sense & Sensibility."  Reviewed by Amy @ the Harris-Elmore Library

"Death Comes to the Village" by Catherine Lloyd is the first in a new mystery series.  Lucy Harrington, the rector's daughter, pays a daily call on her childhood friend, Robert Kurland, who has been seriously wounded at the Battle of Waterloo.  They have both witnessed or heard about some unusual doings in the village, and two young ladies have gone missing.  While Robert is house-bound, Lucy can call on the villagers and ask questions as they try to solve the mystery of the missing girls.  Lucy is a worthy heroine, and would not be out of place in a Jane Austen novel.  The mystery comes to a sensible conclusion, and the next in the series is due in November.  Reviewed by Amy @ the Elmore library.

Thursday, August 7, 2014



The author spent her summers working in her family's miniature golf course.  Her family spent their summers in Wisconsin working 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. seven days a week all summer.  Her parents owned this family business for 30 years I found it very interesting how working in a family business shaped the family's lives.  June Melby tells about her life by comparing it to each of the 18 hazards on the course.  This book is very "readable!"
Reviewed by Mimi @ Genoa Branch Library