Tag archive

Carol Memmott

Review: The Sensual Life of M.F.K. Fisher Reimagined in ‘The Arrangement’

in Fiction by

Preeminent food writer M.F.K. Fisher once wrote: “It seems to me that our three basic needs, for food and security and love, are so mixed and mingled and entwined that we cannot straightly think of one without the others.” Novelist Ashley Warlick gets to the heart of Fisher’s fervent beliefs in The Arrangement (Viking; February 9, 2016), an extraordinary novel that reimagines the love triangle that wreaked havoc on Fisher’s marriage in the 1930s. You don’t have to be familiar with Mary Frances Kennedy Fisher, or her pen name, or her vast body of work to feel the irresistible pull of this story, the Indie Next pick for February. Fisher destroyed many of the letters and journals in which she…

Keep Reading

Review: John Irving’s ‘Avenue of Mysteries’ Revisits the Seductive Highways of Childhood

in Fiction by

Here’s an interesting fact about John Irving whose new novel, Avenue of Mysteries (Simon & Schuster; November 2, 2015) uses the present as a vehicle for visiting the past: he begins every novel by writing the last sentence first. If your curiosity gets the better of you, then go ahead and read Avenue’s final words first. It only will entice you to flip back to the novel’s opening pages where you’ll begin a journey through the fantastical moments in Juan Diego Guerrero’s life. Like the protagonists in other Irving novels, Juan Diego is quirky and unique. Much of the story of Juan Diego’s childhood takes place in the early 1970s when he’s a teen. He and his younger sister Lupe…

Keep Reading

Review: Geraldine Brooks’ The Secret Chord Breathes New Life into King David

in Fiction by

In The Secret Chord (Viking, October 6, 2015), a splendid re-imagining of King David’s life, Geraldine Brooks harmonically blends historical record with her gift for breathing life into people and events that have shaped our world. Brooks won the Pulitzer Prize for her 2005 novel March which takes place in America during the Civil War. The Silent Chord draws its inspiration from events occurring in Israel during the Second Iron Age, the time when David ruled. Beyond his slaying of Goliath, his talent as a harpist and his achingly beautiful psalms, few are familiar with David’s full story. But Brooks, who says she was inspired to write The Secret Chord after her 9-year-old son began playing the harp, paints a…

Keep Reading

Elisabeth Egan’s A Window Opens Skewers Modern Family Life

in Fiction by

One of the most anticipated novels of the summer delves with humor and empathy into an everywoman’s heroic attempt to have it all. It’s no surprise that Alice Pearse, the harried woman at the center of A Window Opens (Simon & Schuster, August 25), confesses to her mother: “I’m so stressed, I feel like my head is going to explode.” This relatable, warm and funny debut from Glamour magazine books editor Elisabeth Egan gets at the heart of what it means to be everything to everybody. Like many of today’s brightly optimistic women, Alice follows Sheryl Sandberg’s advice to lean in only to discover that when she leans too far she begins to topple over. A Window Opens fits neatly…

Keep Reading

Carol Memmott Reviews: Ernest Cline Scores with Armada

in Fiction by

In 2011, pop culture enthusiasts were tripping over their lightsabers as they rushed to praise Ernest Cline’s geekfest debut novel, Ready Player One. The novel’s futuristic/retro mash-up of a plot about the hunt for a lottery ticket hidden in a virtual world is as much an epic adventure story as it is a cautionary tale about the future of humankind. If you loved Ready Player One’s hundreds of references to the nostalgia-inducing entertainment brands and gadgets of the 1980s, grab your game controller and get ready to do it all over again. Cline’s Armada (Crown) is a rollicking space cowboy adventure set in two iconic worlds: video gaming and our endless fascination with science fiction books, television shows and movies.…

Keep Reading

Beach Bums guide to good reads: June review roundup by Carol Memmott

in Potpourri by

This month we’re recommending some reads that you won’t want to wait until vacation to savor. We have great authors who write books that pull us into their world. Candace Bushnell, S.J. Watson, Sarah Hall and Wednesday Martin take us on journeys both real and imagined in new books out this month. Primates of Park Avenue: A Memoir by Wednesday Martin Ph.D. (Simon & Schuster, June 2) It really is a jungle out there, and in Primates of Park Avenue, the danger lies within the ranks of the aggressive Mean Girl Moms of the Upper East Side. In what could be one of the most talked about nonfiction titles of the summer, social researcher Wednesday Martin gets down and dirty…

Keep Reading

Go to Top