hbellanca@northshire.com's blog

The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox

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ISBN: 9780156033671
Availability: Special Order
Published: Harvest Books - June 2nd, 2008

This a powerful, haunting tale about the dangers of being female and not conforming in the post-Victorian, post-colonial world of Britain. A contemporary woman, a bit adrift, is asked to take custody of a great aunt she never knew existed who is being released from 60 years of institutional confinement. Through her, the young woman discovers a great deal about herself as well as some shocking family secrets. Spell-binding! ~ Reviewed by Heather Bellanca

Harry, Revised

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ISBN: 9781596916272
Availability: Special Order
Published: Bloomsbury USA - April 28th, 2009

This begins like a light summer read -full of belly laughs-until the darker side in the life of the bumbling, foggy-headed, eponymous protagonist is revealed. This book is an emotional "coming of age" saga about a contemporary guy who seems to find exactly the wrong thing to do in his valiant efforts to make things right. Fine, compelling storytelling! ~ Reviewed by Heather Bellanca

The Mistress's Daughter

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ISBN: 9780143113317
Availability: Special Order
Published: Penguin Books - March 25th, 2008

This is a look into the soul of an adoptee - what it feels like to wrestle with questions of family and identity. And the experience of having one's biological mother, the one who gave you up, make contact after 30 years. Homes has written a spell-binding, angry, and brave account of her discovery of who her biological parents really were. Unfortunately, they were not lost treasure returning to her. A bit like eavesdropping - you can't stop! ~ Reviewed by Heather Bellanca

Loving Frank

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ISBN: 9780345495006
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Ballantine Books - April 8th, 2008

I had to remind myself that this is fiction, though based on the life of Frank Lloyd Wright and his mistress, Mamah. Horan's portrayal of the self-absorbed architect and Mamah and their affair feels authentic. As does her representation of the life and mores within the world of the intellectual and privileged in the early 1900s. The many (presumable) facts about Wright's projects I found fascinating. The drama of their choices culminates in a shocking ending that would be unbelievable were it fictional. Who knew?! ~ Reviewed by Heather Bellanca

The Monsters of Templeton

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ISBN: 9781401340926
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Hyperion Books - November 1st, 2008

If you're familiar with the ups & downs of living in a resort town, if you like New England history, genealogy and a good gossipy tale, with a bit of sci-fi, this story will appeal to you. A prodigal daughter returns from California to her Cooperstown style hometown, pregnant and angry at her mother who has kept secret the identity of her father. She finally gives her a hint which involves digging as far back as to the town's pre-revolutionary founder. A fun read with a dark edge. ~ Reviewed by Heather Bellanca

Our Lady of the Forest

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ISBN: 9780375726576
Availability: Special Order
Published: Vintage - July 27th, 2004

A young runaway who survives by selling mushrooms she gathers in the dark woods of Washington state has visions of the Virgin Mary in this cathedral of trees. When this news leaks out, all hell breaks loose. Everyone in this desolate community of unemployed loggers is affected. Guterson tells a suspenseful tale, expressing in his poetic way the many miseries of people's lives and choices they make. A stick-to-one's ribs book that left me with memories of complex characters, questions of faith and food for thought. ~ Reviewed by Heather Bellanca


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