Category Archives: Fiction

Tears of Autumn

When Charles McCarry, novelist and former CIA operative, died earlier this year, I was reminded that I’d been meaning to try his books for a long time. (Jenny is a big fan.) His books focus on the life and career … Continue reading

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The Break

Katherena Vermette’s novel, The Break, is the story of an Indian community and a crime that connects them. It begins with Stella, a Métis woman, who sees a woman being raped in the area by her house that she calls “The … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Mysteries/Crime | 6 Comments

Black Leopard Red Wolf

I’ve been excited about Marlon James’s new book ever since I first heard about it. Other-worldly fantasy drawing from African mythology? Yes, please. But then I started hearing how violent it is, and I wasn’t sure I could stomach it. … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Speculative Fiction | 10 Comments

Melmoth

Melmoth by Sarah Perry took me by surprise. I didn’t like Perry’s previous book, The Essex Serpent, nearly as much as I expected to, and I had no intention to read this until I saw Rohan’s review, which makes it sound like … Continue reading

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Kristin Lavransdatter 3: The Cross

The final book in Sigrid Undset’s Kristin Lavransdatter trilogy (translated by Tiina Nunnally) finds Kristin, Erland, and their sons back at Kristin’s childhood home of Jørundgård, thanks to Erland’s political machinations detailed in The Wife. They no longer have the wealth and influence … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Fiction, Historical Fiction | 4 Comments

Kristin Lavransdatter 2: The Wife

The second volume in Sigrid Undset’s Kristin Lavransdatter trilogy, translated from Norwegian by Tiina Nunnally finds Kristin newly married and pregnant, learning to adjust to her new home at Husaby. Although she finally has the marriage she longed for for … Continue reading

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The Four Last Things

As an avid reader of crime fiction, I’m not easily rattled by dark content. I have my limits — I avoid reading about torture when I can, for instance — but I don’t mind violence when it’s intelligently used in … Continue reading

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Kristin Lavransdatter 1: The Wreath

Sigrid Undset’s trio of novels set in 14th-century Norway tells the story of a young woman named Kristin, daughter of the prosperous farmer, Lavrans (hence the name Lavaransdatter). The first novel, The Wreath, translated by Tina Nunnally, was published in … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Fiction, Historical Fiction | 10 Comments

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 | 9 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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