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This is vintage Russo. Why? The marvelous cast of characters, the sparkling dialogue, the texture, the slow and tantalizing posing of questions, secrets and revelations. It's a novel where you know from the beginning you are in the surest of hands and you want to delay the end for the pleasure of being there. Bookended by two weekends, decades apart, at Martha's Vineyard, Chances Are is about four college friends. One goes missing, perhaps forever, after the first weekend in 1971. What happened to her? ~ Reviewed by Stan Hynds
Imagine you are hosting a birthday party for your fifteen-year old niece in your home in your pleasant middle class neighborhood. Your whole family is there in the backyard. It’s a cookout. Gunmen walk into the yard and shoot everybody. They murder your whole family—your spouse, your mother, cousins. Sixteen in all. But by blind luck you survive because you are hidden in the house at the time of the ambush. You and your eight-year old son. If you linger one hour more in your house, in your hometown, you know with complete certainty you and your son will be murdered. Never mind the police. Your only chance to survive is to flee two thousand miles to the neighboring country to the north. This is the fiction that is the truth that Jeanine Cummins has created in her explosive novel. For the love of humanity, read it. ~ Reviewed by Stan Hynds
I was thinking maybe I should talk to someone and then there was this book. Gottlieb has written a compassionate and entertaining memoir from both sides of the couch. So to speak. She tells the stories of four patients whose lives the reader comes to care deeply about while she herself goes into therapy. Physician, heal thyself? No. Human being, be honest with thyself and do something really difficult. Gottlieb is as fine a writer as she is a storyteller. I was sad our sessions had to end. ~ Reviewed by Stan Hynds
A triumph of language and historical detail, Bayard’s novel creates a vivid portrait of a young, aspiring Lincoln while Mary Todd absolutely shines as his equal in intellect and wit. A vastly entertaining novel that will have broad appeal. ~ Reviewed by Stan Hynds
It's 1953 on the coast of Italy and Truman Capote throws a party. That's where we meet this beautiful and atmospheric novel's main characters, Tennessee Williams and Frank Merlo. Add a young Swedish starlet whose own story extends to modern day New York. The glitterati and the literati mingle, as do the fact and fiction, in this heartbreaking novel by this marvelous novelist. ~ Reviewed by Stan Hynds