Author Study

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— Jacquelyn Mitchard

Author Study Events

Sisterland by Curtis Sittenfeld
Wednesday, August 6, 2014 at 5:30pm

Delicious insights into sisterhood and motherhood are peppered throughout Sittenfeld's novel about identical twins with ESP. The story, though, isn't as convincing as the twins, who are rendered so vividly that readers would be able to pick them out of a crowd. Kate, a stay-at-home mom in St. Louis, Mo., is embarrassed by her sister Violet, who ekes out a living as a psychic. After a minor earthquake in the area in September 2009, Violet's guiding spirit warns her that a major quake is imminent. When Kate has a premonition that it will occur on October 16, she allows Violet to share the date with the public if she doesn't reveal its source. Kate tells the story in chapters that alternate between timelines, one beginning with the September quake and one beginning when the twins are born.

The Master by Colm Tóibín
Wednesday, August 27, 2014 at 5:30pm

This distinguished Irish novelist boldly offers a fictional depiction of the last two decades of the life of the great god of American letters, Henry James.   Toibin gives him ordinary human qualities, such as fear and loneliness and longing, in a shaping and shading process that has not been an easy task, even in the most thoughtful, scrupulously researched biography.

The Singer's Gun by Emily St. John Mandel
Wednesday, September 17, 2014 at 5:30pm

Anton Waker simply wanted to have an office job, a home, and a family. He never wanted to participate in his family's shady business dealings. His parents traffic in stolen goods, and he's been helping cousin Aria sell forged documents to illegal immigrants. Now he has a comfortable management job, but then Aria blackmailed him into doing one last job for her, and all prospects for a normal life seemed lost. In this intricate novel, her second after Last Night in Montreal, Mandel underscores the notion that everything in life comes with a price tag, and sometimes that cost is remarkably high. Although some situations seem contrived, overall the construction of the novel is unique and compelling. The story leaps from New York to Canada to Italy, unfolding slowly, allowing the reader only limited knowledge about the characters and their motivations until the ending. Verdict An intriguing and suspenseful read that will appeal to those who like mysteries. ~ Joanna M. Burkhardt, Univ. of Rhode Island Libs., Providence (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journal

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