Category Archives: Fiction

The Gone-Away World

I’m in a dilemma, and I blame Jeanne, the non-necromancer, almost entirely. My problem is this: Jeanne read Nick Harkaway’s stunningly great book The Gone-Away World years ago, and has been steadily plugging along at convincing the rest of us … Continue reading

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Claire of the Sea Light

Although marketed as a novel, Edwidge Danticat’s newest book reads more like a collection of linked stories. Each of the stories could stand almost entirely on its own, but together, the stories are more powerful than they would be apart. … Continue reading

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The Passion of New Eve

Evelyn is an Englishman in a violent, rat-infested New York, a city nothing like his dreams: The first thing I saw when I came out of the Air Terminal was, in a shop window, an obese plaster gnome squatly perched … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Speculative Fiction | 2 Comments

The Orphan Master’s Son

My literary journey through North Korea continues, this time with a novel, Adam Johnson’s The Orphan Master’s Son. Part memoir, part biography, and part propaganda, the novel takes readers to the center of power in North Korea, as it follows … Continue reading

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Among Others

Jo Walton’s Among Others is the 1979 diary of Mori, a 15-year-old Welsh girl. As we gradually pick up bits of her history (because who would write down an entire narrative in a private diary?), we learn that she and … Continue reading

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The Taste of Sorrow

Now that I’ve read all seven novels by the Brontë sisters, I am proceeding to books about them. First up is Jude Morgan’s wonderful novel about their lives. As far as I can tell, not having read any biographies of … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Historical Fiction | 10 Comments

The Murder Farm

This novel by German author Andrea Maria Schenkel and translated by Anthea Bell begins with a foreword in which an unnamed narrator writes of spending the summer after the war with relatives in the country: During those weeks, that village … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Mysteries | 15 Comments

By Blood We Live

By Blood We Live is the third in Glen Duncan’s massively entertaining, literate, philosophical, funny, heart-stoppingly suspenseful, sexy trilogy about vampires and werewolves. (You can find here on this very site my reviews of The Last Werewolf and Talulla Rising.) … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Speculative Fiction | 4 Comments

Secret Son

Youssef El Mekki, the main character in this novel by Laila Lalami, lives in the slums of Casablanca with his mother. His father, a fourth-grade teacher, died when Youssef was only two, so his memories of him are few and … Continue reading

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Purple Hibiscus

Happy Canada Day to those who celebrate it! I have just returned from a family vacation in California. In the past, when my children were smaller, I’ve packed several books for this yearly ten-day vacation and gotten nothing read at … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction | 12 Comments