Why was the March family so poor?
Far from being the sainted mother of Louisa May Alcott‘s LITTLE WOMEN, Marmee in Sarah Miller’s re-telling has a temper, and one sudden outburst of boiled-over fury ruined her family. What to do when your husband spends all his money on others? How I LOVED Marmee’s voice. The poor woman is so compassionate towards everyone. […]
How could a quiet bookworm become a ruthless female sniper?
A Historian-turned-Sniper Nicknamed “Lady Death” by the Nazis, Lyudmila Pavlichenko is a historian-turned-sniper who is so good at her craft that she tallies 309 Nazi deaths in the space of about 10 months. But Mila (as she is usually known) is not arrogant about this. She is only doing her duty. “I serve the Soviet […]
A Novel out of its time
North & South by Elizabeth Gaskell is a novel out of its time. Miss Margaret Hale, the Heroine Unlike most Victorian misses Margaret Hale doesn’t flutter, faint, or claim that she is unable to understand anything complicated, as does her cousin Edith (who is the perfect foil for her.) No. Miss Margaret Hale is Queenly. […]
THE CRUCIBLE by Arthur Miller, narrated by Stacy Keach, Richard Dreyfuss, Ed Begley Jr., Hector Elizondo, and others, produced by LA Theater Works and Audible.
This is one of those famous works I had never experienced until now when I came across the audio version of this play. Of course, I knew what it was about. Of course, I knew it was about the infamous Salem Witch trials which took place in the Puritan Theocracy of Massachusetts in 1692. Of […]
LEAVING TIME by Jodi Picoult, narrated by Rebecca Lowman, Abigail Revasch, Kathe Mazur & Mark Deakins
LEAVING TIME is one of those punning titles that I love about Jodi Picoult novels. To me, a woman who grew up in Britain, it sounds as if Ms. Picoult is talking about a public house (or pub), those last orders for drinks. But this whole novel is all about leaving, loss and grief, and […]
THE LAST AMERICAN MAN, by Elizabeth Gilbert, narrated by Patricia Kalember
This is an amazing story, written by an amazing writer. What a great stylist Liz Gilbert is! I LOVED the carefully crafted casualness of her prose style – a gossip at the local cafe with superb editing. Eustace Conway is about my age, but when he was 17, he didn’t finish his A-Levels and go […]
THE STORYTELLER by Jodi Picoult, narrated by Mozhan Marno (Sage), Jennifer Ikeda (Anya), Edoardo Ballerini (Josef), Suzanne Toren (Minka), Fred Berman (Leo)
This has to be the first novel, or at least the first novel in a long time of Jodi Picoult’s that DIDN’T end in a courtroom! Which was refreshing. As usual, Jodi Picoult tackles a difficult moral issue. What would YOU do if a 95-year-old man asked you to help him to die? Most of […]
SECRET GERMANY: Stefan George and his Circle by Robert Edward Norton
Who was Stefan George? If you look him up, you will find out that he was born in 1868 and died in 1933, and that he was a poet. In fact, he was one of the most important and influential poets to have written in German, making him as great as Goethe, Hölderlin or Rilke. […]
John Irving’s THE CIDER HOUSE RULES
Ostensibly, THE CIDER HOUSE RULES is the story of Dr. Wilbur Larch, who founds an orphanage at St. Cloud Maine, and of his favorite orphan Homer Wells, who follows in his footsteps and eventually becomes a doctor. But the novel is so much more than that. During the time period of this novel, set between […]
J. K. Rowling’s A CASUAL VACANCY
A CASUAL VACANCY by J. K. Rowling is the story of a bitter class struggle between the smug, wealthy inhabitants of Pagford, and their much poorer neighbors who inhabit the council flats called “The Fields”. When kindly counsel member Barry Fairbrother dies suddenly, someone has to be found to fill that vacant seat. The good […]