jgrigsby@northshire.com's blog

One Two Three: A Novel by Laurie Frankel - Book Review

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ISBN: 9781250236777
Availability: Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Henry Holt and Co. - June 8th, 2021

Quirky, sad, and uniquely funny, this is a story about teenage girl triplets (known to each other as One, Two and Three) growing up in a small town that endured an unbelievable, almost unimaginable tragedy. A new kid arrives, and unlike their wary classmates, the girls befriend him and join forces to attempt to save the town. Each chapter is told by a different triplet, and their distinct personalities and roles provide a clever perspective which ties the story together. I loved every single misfit character in this made up, god forsaken town. Several twists and turns, heart touching relationships, and laugh-out-loud moments. A wonderful book! ~ Reviewed by Jen Grigsby

Sorrow and Bliss: A Novel by Meg Mason - Book Review

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ISBN: 9780063049581
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Published: Harper - February 9th, 2021

Martha is smart, clever, and talented. People are initially drawn to her. But she's been plagued by an unnamed mental illness that struck her when she turned 17 and has left her struggling to maintain a normal life. The physical and emotional pain that engulfs her has damaged all of her relationships, and causes her personality to become hostile and cruel, which pushes everyone away. With two failed marriages under her belt and an estranged sister, she ultimately moves back home with her "nutty" parents to delve into her past and attempt to figure out a way to change her trajectory, and hopefully redeem her life. ~ Reviewed by Jen Grigsby

Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family by Robert Kolker - Book Review

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ISBN: 9780385543767
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Business Days
Published: Doubleday - April 7th, 2020

This biography tells the shocking story of a family with twelve children, six of whom are schizophrenic. The book chronicles the lives of the Galvin family as one by one their sons are diagnosed with this horrific disease. We are witness to the violence, abuse and chaos that runs rampant within the house on Hidden Valley Road. Each sick son has schizophrenia in varying degrees, all severe, and we see how the parents and healthy siblings are impacted due to such turbulent circumstances. In alternating chapters the author explores the family's life, and the psychiatric community at the time (1960’s-1970’s) and how it scrutinized the question of nature vs. nurture related to the development of schizophrenia. Eventually the Galvin family became a primary (and ideal) model for the study of genetics and behavior, testing and interviewing the sick boys, parents, and unaffected siblings for many years.
Fascinating story and extremely informative. ~ Reviewed by Jen Grigsby

A Woman Is No Man: A Novel by Etaf Rum - Book Review

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ISBN: 9780062699770
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Published: Harper Perennial - February 4th, 2020

This is a contemporary story told through the eyes of three generations of women within a family, who have moved to Brooklyn from Palestine and live together. These women have been married off to men they don't know, and abuse and subservience is not only accepted, but expected. The violence and humiliation they are subjected to is shocking. The shame and fear that pervades the culture they try so hard to protect slowly unravels as they become more self aware and "Americanized" over the years. This book, although painful to read at times, was hard to put down. ~ Reviewed by Jen Grigsby

The Possible World: A Novel by Liese O'Halloran Schwarz - Book Review

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ISBN: 9781501166150
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Published: Scribner - September 17th, 2019

This story follows the lives of three different people: Ben, a six-year-old boy who is traumatized after surviving a mass murder, Lucy, his ER doctor, and Clare, a 100-year-old woman. Each chapter is told from the viewpoint of one of these characters. As their stories unfold, you discover exactly how their lives intertwine, delving far into the past and luring the reader deep into the sad histories of each person. It culminates with a very satisfying wrap-up that answers the unsolved questions and leaves you feeling content and hopeful. ~ Reviewed by Jen Grigsby


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