Monday, January 25, 2010
My latest find...
BROKEN GLASS PARK
by Alina Bronsky
Sascha Naimann is a 17-year-old Russian girl living in Germany. Vadim, her brutal stepfather, kills Sascha’s mother and is sent to prison. While she and her younger siblings are being smothered by distant relatives and social workers, all Sascha can think about is exacting vengeance on Vadim.
When a story runs in the local paper about Vadim’s lauded in-prison reformation, Sascha goes ape-shit — storming to the newspaper office to confront the writer. There, she meets Volker Trebur, an editor who had known her mother and offers to make things right. Sascha holds him to it, and winds up moving in to Volker’s guestroom where she becomes uneasily involved with the Trebur family.
At the story’s conclusion, Sascha ends up in “broken glass park” — the most seedy and dangerous area in her neighborhood — where the varied, complicated layers of her struggle are laid bare.
THE SKINNY: A WONDERFUL, MOVING READ...WITH A “WOW” ENDING.
Friday, January 8, 2010
I’m back, kids! Alas, my first Friday pick of 2010...
LOVE IN MID AIR
by Kim Wright
I can’t possibly do this spectacular debut novel justice.
On the surface, it appears like a story you’ve heard tens of times before: woman in an unhappy marriage (Elyse) silently decides to leave her husband...before making any official move, she meets another man and becomes embroiled in an affair...all the while, she vicariously enjoys the second marriage of her gorgeous best friend (Kelly), who is hitched to a suave, older, wealthy man. Boring, right?
But this is a wistful, insightful take on a modern woman at an existential crossroads. And the dialogue between Elyse and Kelly is rich and genuine, pulling you in and drawing your empathy.
THE SKINNY: A FRESH, AUTHENTIC TAKE ON A COMMON TALE.