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Two tales set in the years following America's invasion of Iraq: a young woman takes up with an older award-winning author, and an Iraqi living in America is detained at Heathrow Airport. The unrelated stories gradually fuse in empathy for those struggling with aging bodies, and the horrors of war. ~ Reviewed by Mike Hare
For Spinnen, a book is not words on a screen. Rather, it is tactile pleasure engaging sight and touch; an insignia of distinction in the bookshelf; a treasure sought in libraries and bookstores; a marker for a stage in life, proof of connection with the sentient world, and a talisman for the future. ~ Reviewed by Mike Hare
Nearly two centuries after ex-slave Denmark Vesey plotted a doomed rebellion in Charleston, South Carolina, the revisionist, airbrushed "Lost Cause" Confederate history struggles to persist. Denmark Vesey's Garden traces the slow acknowledgement of slavery's evils, and how that knowledge is necessary for an honest reconciliation with our past. ~ Reviewed by Mike Hare
Accepting and even embracing old age, with its severe limitations and huge compromises, is unimaginable for the young. That the six elderly people portrayed by Leland succeed, in their own ways, in achieving not only acceptance, but happiness, is a profound testament to the beauty, and value, of life. ~ Reviewed by Mike Hare
A 13 year old girl disappears from a sleepy English village. What happened there the next day, the next week, the next year, the next decade: sunsets, marriages, walks in the woods, graduations, rainstorms, services, pantomimes. And, the search for the missing girl. ~ Reviewed by Mike Hare