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Anyone who would advise, "make sure the dog has been walked extensively on the day of the party", in a preparation list for an entertainment book, gets-it. European food writer, chef & columnist, Yvette Van Boven has published a gorgeous holiday cookbook designed to take the angst out of party prep. Beautifully photographed and laced with lots of good advice, you'll want to give this to someone who absolutely adores the holidays and will invite you later to experience the inspiring recipes throughout. ~ Reviewed by Nancy Scheemaker
From the moment I was crouching alongside Gertrude in the heat of an alligator infested swamp, I was hooked by her story, just as I would be upon being introduced to the other two main narrators - big hearted Retta still mourning the death of her little girl, and Annie, isolated by her tyrannical wealthy husband.Together, they tell of their rural lives in a southern town, just after the Civil War, where race and class are a mighty burden, and where women, despite their station or class, reach out to nurture, keep vigil, and rescue one another. A first rate novel with great depth, terrific writing and characters whose faces I will never forget. ~ Reviewed by Nancy Scheemaker
Claire Fuller certainly proves her ability to charm and captivate readers in her newest novel, Bitter Orange. But this novel also scared me to death. You know as you wade in that something is terribly, horribly awry This lurking sensation emerges and retreats throughout, seemingly like a main character - ever present, but never solid. You just can't put your finger on it. Until the end. I never anticipated such an ending. Whoa!! ~ Reviewed by Nancy Scheemaker
Yara Zgheib has delivered a compassionate portrayal of anorexia in her new novel The Girls at 17 Swann Street. I never considered the terrible demons that plague those who have suffered from this merciless disease. The fight with self starvation. The compulsive need to exercise. The arresting guilt from every bite of food and the ever present heckling of a distorted self image. Certainly, readers will find strength, courage and hope through the characters of Anna and Mathias. Zgheib has shared a serious portrayal based on personal experience that is certain to resonate with readers who need this story the most, joining the ranks of must read contemporary lit for many women and girls. ~ Reviewed by Nancy Scheemaker
Before reading Anne Tyler's newest novel Clock Dance, I had read 18 of her previous works. I've come to realize that like a favorite ritual, her novels have become a great comfort to me - always her distinct voice, and always her magnificent sharing of characters that are so honestly and endearingly human. Clock Dance is classic Tyler. Readers and fans can assuredly welcome the life story of Willa Drake with open arms into their reading lives. ~ Reviewed by Nancy Scheemaker