Tag: family relationships

Review: The Beauty of Your Face by Sahar Mustafah

This book about a Palestinian family in Chicago, Illinois begins with a school shooting.  Afaf, the principal of a school for Muslim girls, is praying when the gunman opens fire.  Then the book goes back to Afaf’s childhood.  Afaf is raised in Chicago in… Continue Reading “Review: The Beauty of Your Face by Sahar Mustafah”

Review: The Most Fun We Ever Had by Claire Lombardo

I enjoyed and appreciated this character-driven family drama by Claire Lombardo.  I read it for my book club, which didn’t end up happening last month, and that was actually good because I never would have finished in time.  It’s a long one — but… Continue Reading “Review: The Most Fun We Ever Had by Claire Lombardo”

Review: The Dutch House by Ann Patchett

This was only my second read by Patchett, after the excellent Commonwealth, and I was struck again by Patchett’s thoughtful development of characters and understanding of family dynamics.  This is a story that covers decades in the lives of a single family in Pennsylvania,… Continue Reading “Review: The Dutch House by Ann Patchett”

Review: A Place for Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza

This is my favorite book of the year so far.  It was everything I like in a book – really character-driven, about complex family relationships. It’s about a family where the parents are immigrants to the U.S. and they struggle to raise their children… Continue Reading “Review: A Place for Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza”

Review: Bellflower by Mary Vensel White

In 2012, author Mary Vensel White sent me her book The Qualities of Wood, a small town mystery about a compelling main character and a complicated marriage.  So I was happy when she sent me her latest book, Bellflower. It’s described as a “novel… Continue Reading “Review: Bellflower by Mary Vensel White”

Review: Tiny Shoes Dancing and Other Stories by Audrey Kalman

This book of short stories by Audrey Kalman really resonated with me.  The stories are different but deal with common issues, most related to marriage and family.  Divorce was a frequent story element, and it was really interesting to see divorce explored from a… Continue Reading “Review: Tiny Shoes Dancing and Other Stories by Audrey Kalman”

Review of Happiness by Aminatta Forna

I knew nothing about this author or novel but, true to its title, it was a happy surprise.  This is a thoughtful and thought-provoking story of two adults who meet in London.  Attila is a trauma expert from Ghana who arrives in London for a conference… Continue Reading “Review of Happiness by Aminatta Forna”

Review of We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler

I loved this book by Karen Joy Fowler, and found myself thinking about it quite a bit after finishing it.  While the story itself is an unusual one, the themes – family, psychology, memory, and our relationship with animals – are common ones that… Continue Reading “Review of We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler”

Review of Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

I was happily surprised to find this second book by Celeste Ng every bit as good as her debut novel, Everything I Never Told You.  There are two key similarities between these two books, although the books are quite different.  The first is conceptual. … Continue Reading “Review of Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng”

Anything is Possible by Elizabeth Strout

This is the third book I’ve read by Strout, and I found it even more moving than the other two (both excellent). Strout’s latest is set in the same place and time as her previous book, My Name is Lucy Barton. And in fact,… Continue Reading “Anything is Possible by Elizabeth Strout”

Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan

If you’re a Jennifer Egan fan, you’ve already heard that this book is a bit different from her others, in that it’s traditional historical fiction. If you loved Goon Squad, this book isn’t anything like that one, but don’t let that keep you from… Continue Reading “Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan”

Goodbye, Vitamin by Rachel Khong

I recommend this short but moving first novel by Rachel Khong about a woman caring for her father with Alzheimer’s.  This is a prospect I find absolutely terrifying, whether for my parents and for myself.  It seems to me that almost any physical ailment… Continue Reading “Goodbye, Vitamin by Rachel Khong”

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