Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Nevermore: Sisters of the Winter Wood, Someone, Lisbeth Salander, Bishop's Pawn, Kamala Harris

Reported by Jeanne

Sisters of the Winter Wood by Rena Rossner caught the eye of a Nevermore reader who was browsing our new book shelves.  The story is a lyrical, fairy tale about sisters Laya and Liba who live near a small village in Ukraine with their parents. When the parents are called away, the girls are left to fend for themselves but not before being told a secret: their parents are shape-shifters, and they have probably inherited the same ability.  It isn’t long before dark forces seem to be on the rise, stirring up trouble in the village.  Our reader liked the interaction between the sisters in this coming of age story, and liked that the narration was split between the two girls, one of whom speaks in prose and the other in poetry.

When Marie has her heart broken, she tearfully asks her brother who will ever love her.  He replies, “Someone.” That answer forms the heart of Someone by Alice McDermott, which bounces back and forth in time while recounting the lives of Marie, her brother Gabe who becomes a priest, and others in the neighborhood.  Our reader liked the book, noting that it was “very Irish, very Catholic, and very Brooklyn” and that it was also very worthwhile. She also thought it was quite well written.

The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye is the fifth title in the Lisbeth Salander series created by Stieg Larsson and continued by David Lagercrantz. As the story opens, Salander is serving time in a maximum security prison for reckless endangerment and destruction of property, but she is not one to allow injustice—even in prison.  Our reader enjoyed the book, which is action-packed.  She also said that she actually liked the ones by Lagercrantz better than the originals, which she found rather horrifying.

Another recommendation for a thriller followed with Bishop’s Pawn by Steve Berry.  Cotton Malone, an ex-U.S. government agent seems drawn to adventures rooted in history but which have repercussions that extend to the present day.  This entry involves a rare and extremely valuable coin and the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., and provides Berry’s usual swift action, plot twists, and plenty of intrigue.  Our reviewer praised Berry for noting what parts of the novel are based on fact and which are the author’s invention.

Finally, a reader had just started The Truths We Hold: An American Journey by Kamala Harris. She noted that Harris had an interesting background:  her Jamaican father was an economist and her Indian mother was a cancer researcher, while Harris herself went to law school and became a prosecutor.  Updates are promised after more of the book is read.

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