Category Archives: Fiction

Tam Lin

Pamela Dean’s retelling of the Scottish ballad Tam Lin is set at a Minnesota college in the 1970s. Janet, whose father teachers at the college, is beginning her studies there when she and her roommates, Tina and Molly, become involved … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Speculative Fiction | 8 Comments

The Continuous Katherine Mortenhoe

This 1974 novel by D.G. Compton is set in a near-future time period, when death by disease has been pretty much eradicated, leaving people to die of accident or old age. When a person does develop a terminal disease, they … Continue reading

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Broken Harbor

I continue to love Tana French’s Dublin Murder Squad series, and Broken Harbor, the fourth book, may be my favorite yet. It felt a little leaner than previous books, and the murder at its heart is particularly disturbing. Plus, it explores … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Mysteries/Crime | 3 Comments

Woman at Point Zero

Firdaus, the central character in this 1975 novella by Egyptian Nawal El Saadawi (and translated from Arabic by Sherif Hetata) is in prison, waiting to die. When newspapers are brought to her, she spits on the photos of the men … Continue reading

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The Italian Teacher

Pinch Bavinsky, the title character in Tom Rachman’s latest novel, is the son of artist Bear Bavinsky. Born in 1950s Italy, Pinch remembers Bear as a big personality when he moved in with Pinch and his mother, Natalie, a fledgling … Continue reading

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There There

One of the characters in Tommy Orange’s debut novel, There There, is a filmmaker named Dene Ozendene who is taking over a project started by his uncle Lucas before his death. In an interview for a grant, he describes the work this … Continue reading

Posted in Contemporary, Fiction | 8 Comments

My Sister, the Serial Killer

My Tournament of Books reading continues with a dark and twisted and really enjoyable crime novel by Oyinkan Braithwaite. It doesn’t surpass Washington Black or So Lucky as top contenders, but it’s near the top, alongside Milkman. The narrator of My Sister, the Serial … Continue reading

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Mrs. Ames

This 1912 novel by E.F. Benson focuses on the people of a little English town who don’t seem to have much to do except to watch each other and gossip about who is dining with whom and when. Mrs. Ames … Continue reading

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The Light of the Fireflies

The 10-year-old who narrates this novel by Paul Pen (and translated from Spanish by Simon Bruni) has lived in the basement his whole life, never leaving. With him are his mother and father, his grandmother, and his brother and sister. … Continue reading

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The Ladies of Lyndon

By just about any measure, Agatha Cocks is lucky in her marriage. Sir John Clewer, while older, is kind and seems fond of Agatha, and she will have the honor of becoming the mistress of Lyndon, a grand country house. … Continue reading

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