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Stella Fortuna's brushes with death began in a poor mountain town in Calabria where she was born in 1920. She was named for a sister who had died in childhood. Her father had left for America to make his fortune and returned home only occasionally. A sibling arrived nine months after one of his visits. Stella was a smart, beautiful, standoffish girl who fiercely protected her younger, slower sister. She never wanted to marry after witnessing her father's brutality. When Stella was nineteen, her father decided to take the family to America where he expected her to fulfill the traditional role of women at that time. Her brushes with death continued. Grames writes beautifully and her descriptions of life and her portrayals of people in a large extended Italian family in America at that period are fascinating. A wonderful story told with gusto and love that doesn't sugarcoat the lives of either women or men. ~ Reviewed by Sarah Knight
A wonderful tribute to the Maira Kalman's mother whose closet is now a traveling art exhibit. Poignant, funny, delightful with Maira's wonderful drawings and Alex's photos. If you liked Nick Bantock's Griffin & Sabine this is a book for you. ~ Reviewed by Sarah Knight
A young man disappears after a hockey game with friends on a local pond. Police suspect fowl play while his friends, including an older man he has a secret relationship with, have other ideas. Beautifully written with interesting characters, most of whom are provocatively suspect. Set in Vermont. ~ Reviewed by Sarah Knight
After two girls go missing, their family feels the official investigation is lax. Alice Vega, a bounty hunter, is hired to explore avenues closed to the police. She teams up with a dishonorably discharged policeman and together they unravel events leading to the disappearances. This is a good recommend for people who are looking for a great read after the holidays are over and the day to day routine seems dull. ~ Reviewed by Sarah Knight
In 1948 Julia Child and her husband moved to France where they had a great time discovering the French way of life and its cuisine. The book is filled with wonderful photographs taken by Julia's husband Paul, many of which haven't been seen before. The personal stories written by Julia's great-nephew are treasures. This is a delightful look at the influences on a great chef and a portrait of another era. ~ Reviewed by Sarah Knight