Reported by Meygan
This week’s Nevermore began with a discussion of Kim Barnes’ A Country Called Home. The book was recommended because the author is good at setting up coincidences and the effect of those coincidences. The story takes place in the 1960’s in a rural town in Idaho. Thomas and his wife Helen seek opportunities in their new hometown, while Helen hopes to get away from what she knows in Connecticut. The book’s ending is realistic. As our reader said, “Not everyone gets a happy ending.” The four main characters are immersed in life and you will be intrigued by their situations. This book will be available at the library soon.
I Always Loved You by Robin Olivei interested another Nevermore reader. It’s a fictional account of Mary Cassatt. American Mary moves to Paris after the Civil War in hopes of becoming an artist. When her artwork is rejected, her father begs her to move home and find a husband before it is too late. She is later introduced to Edgar Degas and from moment her life is never the same. The book makes readers question, What would have happened to her if she had never met him? and makes readers think of art as something other than a commodity.
The Spymistress by Jennifer Chiaverini is a new novel that one of our Nevermore readers recently finished. The setting is in Richmond, Virginia during the Civil War. The reader states that she learned new facts about the Civil War such as there were approximately 16,400 prisoners in Richmond during the war. The book is about a Southerner who is for the union and if that isn’t interesting enough, her sister-in-law is for the Confederacy. One of our other readers suggested that if she enjoyed The Spymistress then she should read Mary Chestnut’s Diary.
Last week, Charles Frazier’s Nightwoods was mentioned in Nevermore and inspired another reader to check out the book. Although she is not finished, she is captivated by what she has read so far.
Our most discussed book was Jo Nesbo’s The Son, a novel about a teenager in prison who is blamed for crimes that he doesn’t commit just so the Wardens do not have to investigate. The book is realistic fiction and can be compared to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series and the Wallander series. The reader said the plot was good right to the very end and is one of the better “Nordic crime” books she has read. A Nevermore member stated that she believes most of Nesbo’s plots are convoluted, but she reader of The Son said she didn’t think she would feel the same way about this novel because the plot was so good.
Last week’s recommended memoir The World According to Bob by James Bowen was picked up by another reader. One of our members read it and gave her opinion. We learn that although Bowen isn’t a saint in the book, we can tell how much he has overcome. Relocating from Australia to London for his aspirations to become a singer, Bowen finds himself homeless after his music gig has failed him. He becomes addicted to drugs, including heroin. The reviewer stated this book is a quick read and provides an insightful dimension to street life.
The next book was Homer’s Odyssey about a blind kitten that was adopted by Gwen Cooper. The reader liked this book but felt that the book focused more on the author than the cats. A Nevermore member stated that she felt the same way about Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World.
Another member is still reading The Trigger by Tim Butcher which tells the story of Garvilo Princip, the young man who shot and killed Archduke Franz Ferdinand, sparking the First World War. The reader is finding the book difficult to get through because she wants to get to the facts. (Apparently the author is longwinded.) She did say that she was interested in the background of the story, so she would continue to read it until she got her answers. It’s a timely book because this year marks the 100th anniversary of WWI.