Testimony

Testimony

By Scott Turow

Review by Roberta Earle

“Life had taught me a cold truth, that the long-savored dream, when tested by reality, rarely approached expectations.”

Bill ten Boom decides to quit his lucrative job as a partner in a law form, leave his life in the U.S., and take a job with the International Criminal  Court in The Hague.  At 54 years old, he is not sure where his life is going and he is hoping that the ICC, a permanent war crimes tribunal charged with prosecuting crimes against humanity, will help give his life some meaning and purpose.    Continue reading

The Westing Game

The Westing Game.Puffin Modern ClassicThe Westing Game

By Ellen Raskin

Review by Kate Boyle

Perfect for anyone with an interest in reading a classic, a Newbery Winner, and a frequently challenged book! Young readers looking for an introduction to mystery novels need look no further than The Westing Game. Additionally, seasoned mystery lovers will also delight in this complex tale. The novel revolves around the last will and testament of a wealthy man named Samuel W. Westing. Sixteen people attend the reading and learn they could become millionaires if they can win a game created by Mr. Westing. Paired off and given differing sets of clues, the potential heirs hunt to find the solution to a game they don’t really understand. No one knows why Mr. Westing would choose these people as his heirs; a group that includes a possible murderer! Continue reading

Everything I Never Told You

Everything I Never Told YouEverything I Never Told You

By Celeste Ng

Review by Zoey Mills

I was recommended Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng based on my enjoyment of Arundhati Roy’s God of Small Things. While both novels are arguably different, Celeste Ng cited Roy’s 1997 work as inspiration—and I quickly picked up on subtle similarities. In Everything I Never Told You we follow the story of Lydia Lee, the events leading up to and after her sudden, gruesome death, and how her family copes with their loss. The novel seems almost as though it were written backwards, by beginning with Lydia’s death and then jumping to the beginnings of the Lee family. Ng, like Roy, jumps around on the timeline of the story and explores how the family’s past and present influenced the events leading up to Lydia’s death. I’m not much of a mystery reader, but Ng had me instantly hooked and I finished the book in two days (despite my finals desperately begging for attention). Continue reading

Sister

SisterSister

By Rosamund Lupton

Review by Gretchen Chamberlin

This debut novel by British author, Rosamund Lupton, is a mystery which builds incrementally, relentlessly and brilliantly to its well plotted and harrowing conclusion!

At the opening of the book, I was slightly disoriented as Lupton plunges the reader headlong into the story. But, in short order, you come to understand that Bee’s younger sister, Tess, has gone missing and is later found dead. Was it a suicide as the police surmise, or was it a murder? Bee flies from New York to London and tries to uncover what happened. Continue reading

Camino Island

Camino Island

By John Grisham

Review by Roberta

If you are a John Grisham fan, you may be slightly disappointed in this latest novel.  It does not have quite the drama, pace, and legalese of previous novels.  However, it is a good story and worth reading.

The novel begins with an intricately planned and nearly perfect heist of rare F. Scott Fitzgerald manuscripts from Princeton University by some very clever thieves.   Although the manuscripts are insured for $25 million dollars, the university wants the manuscripts back and the insurance company also prefers this outcome. Continue reading

Orhan’s Inheritance

Orhan’s Inheritance

By: Aline Ohanesian

Review by: Shahnaz

Tragic human stories of greed under different titles of religion, land, country, resources, and freedom happen every day. This is one of them, which takes place in two time periods, 75 years apart and across two continents, old and new. We all have heard about the tragic Armenian death walks from Turkey’s northern region to the Syrian desert, under the label of displacements. Just looking at the map gives one a dizzying feeling, let alone walking it, in hard, hot weather, with no food or comforting rest, mostly women and children who were guided by violent guards. We all have read about it, but what I found in this new book is looking on this tragedy from a different angle – human common emotions of love, hate, power, and suffering. Continue reading

A Great Reckoning

A Great ReckoningA Great Reckoning

By Louise Penny

Review by Kathy Caputo (our Book Your Summer grand prize winner!)

This book is the twelfth in a series of mystery novels by a Canadian author in which the protagonist is the wise and gentle Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of a Canadian Police Agency.  He is known for his intelligence, his kindness and for his ability to see the goodness in flawed characters, often having his associates question his judgment.

The main setting is a tiny idyllic fictional village near Montreal in which several of the local residents are regular characters in the series.  Characters include a gifted artist, a retired psychologist turned book store proprietor, an eccentric aging poet and a gay couple who operate a bed and breakfast inn and a cozy bistro that functions like a community center.   Descriptions of rich French food served in the bistro add to the warm and inviting atmosphere of the community, especially when there is snow pelting the windows.  Part of the story takes place at the police academy and elsewhere. Continue reading

One Day

One Day

By: David Nicholls

Review by Stephanie Crean

When I received this book as a “blind choice” as part of TPL’s ‘Christmas in July’, I expected it to be a cute, brainless beach read. One Day chronicles the relationship between two people by visiting them on the same day, year after year. Dexter, an affluent, self assured individual struggles with womanizing, drugs, alcohol, and eventually, self esteem. He constantly relies on the kindness and support of Emma, who wishes she could have the Dexter she met in college. Continue reading

The Book of Polly

The Book of PollyThe Book of Polly

by Kate Hepinstall

Review by Kathy

This book is a delight, a laugh out loud, tear up a little, hold your breath in suspense delight!

The story is told from the point of view of Willow, the child born to a 58 year old steel magnolia who discovers she is with child within days of her husband’s death. All children fear the death of a parent, but Willow’s fear of being left an orphan is not irrational, considering the circumstances. While she has two much older siblings, they are long out of the house and Willow is like an only child. Polly is a strong, proud, snarky woman who feuds with her neighbors and her daughter’s teachers while scaring her daughter’s friends. Yet she lovingly attends to her garden and it is one of the few places she and Willow can share a space without conflict. This is a woman who loves deeply but cannot express it. Continue reading

No One Cares About Crazy People

No One Cares About Crazy PeopleNo One Cares About Crazy People

By: Ron Powers

Review by: Maria Salvucci

This book chronicles the lives of the author and his family whose two sons were diagnosed with schizophrenia. The author intersperses his family story with the history of mental health treatment in the US. It’s an eye opening look at how mentally ill people have been treated in harsh, cruel and ineffective ways throughout time due to the lack of compassion and understanding of mental illness. The author and his wife experienced this while trying to get help for their sons. It is obvious they are a family of means so could afford better care than the average American and it was still difficult to find. Continue reading