Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Read to Relax - Writers You May Have Missed

If you get overwhelmed in the library or your local bookstore you aren't alone. There are so many wonderful options that it's easy to just pick up books by the same authors instead of trying a new one.

Here are a few suggestions if you have not tried these yet: 

Tom Rob Smith  The Secret Speech and Child 44. Both of these books are set in Russia and will quickly catch your attention. The two books feature Leo 
Demidov a secret police member haunted by his job of torturing and killing for the state. In Child 44 he is tasked with looking for a serial slay
er of children in a country where crime does not officially exist.

 In Smith's second novel, Khrushchev is in power and he has criticized Stalin for going too far in his purges and treatment of the citizens - hence the "Secret Speech," title. Dimidov's past work continues to haunt him and the life he has made with a wife and adopted children. This book follows a wandering trail as it explores the harshness of the gulags,  life in Russia during the mid 1950's, Budapest during the Hungarian Revolution, and the strain of familial relationships when there is no trust.  Both of these books are worth reading.

    Eileen Favorite  The Heroines  is a debut novel about a young teen and her mother whose B&B is host to a cast of literature’s finest (and most tragic) heroines from Ophelia to Hester Prynne and Scarlett O’Hara. The narrator is ordered to play with Hester’s daughter Pearl (can we say “playing “pillory”) so the two unwed mother’s can share notes. The daughter is cautioned she must keep two secrets: don’t tell anyone you see heroines (albeit they are garbed in modern clothing) and the never to tell the heroines the rest of their or  they will not go back to meet their dreadful fates. No wonder the young narrator ends up accidentally (so to speak) in a psych ward. An interesting take on an odd situation…I hoped for a bit more…kind of an adult  “Inkheart” with a tad less drama, a lot less fantasy and slightly more heart.