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Original Essays | September 18, 2014

Lin Enger: IMG Knowing vs. Knowing

On a hot July evening years ago, my Toyota Tercel overheated on a flat stretch of highway north of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. A steam geyser shot up from... Continue »


Customer Comments

IslandPoet has commented on (4) products.

The Vacationers by Emma Straub
The Vacationers

IslandPoet, September 2, 2014

This story follows two weeks in the lives of the Post family and some of their friends, as they vacation together in a house on the island of Mallorca. Presented in a form with each day as a chapter, the story slowly unfolds to the reader all the personal problems and interpersonal tensions at play among these characters. I started out disliking almost all of them, especially Franny, but there was something compelling that kept me reading until the very end.
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The Cruelest Month (Chief Inspector Gamache Novels) by Louise Penny
The Cruelest Month (Chief Inspector Gamache Novels)

IslandPoet, April 2, 2014

Having read the first two mysteries in Louise Penny's series, I was a bit disappointed by this third one, "The Cruelest Month." The murder seemed not as dramatic, and the denouement rather anti-climactic. Still, I enjoyed the usual cast of characters and the descriptions of all the mouth-watering foods consumed in Three Pines. If you are a Penny fan, you will enjoy this. If not -- try the first or second book instead.
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The Paris Wife by Paula McLain
The Paris Wife

IslandPoet, February 10, 2014

McLain's book is presented as fiction, but based on what I have read elsewhere, it stays very true to the known facts about the lives of Ernest Hemingway and his first wife, Hadley Richardson. Courtship, marriage, the move to Paris, and birth of their son "Bumby" are all rendered in exquisite period details through the eyes of Hadley. What began as a story of true love deteriorates into a tale of nightlife, alcohol excess, and infidelity as the young Hemingways are surrounded by the Paris celebrities of the Twenties. Fitzgerald, Stein, Pound and other luminaries of the time all make their memorable appearances. It was interesting to me that the downhill course of Hadley's marriage coincided with the rising fame and success of Ernest. The story is told with restraint and respect. I felt my heart breaking for both of them, but especially Hadley. A must-read for any fan of Hemingway, the Jazz Age, Twenties literature, or Paris in general.
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The Shadow Girls by Henning Mankell
The Shadow Girls

IslandPoet, January 2, 2013

Although set in Sweden, this novel has global scope in its consideration of the issue of illegal immigrants. The book gives an engrossing portrayal of some of the most marginalized members of society. By turns poignant, humorous, and heartbreaking, Mankell does not offer up any tidy solutions or endings, but instead leaves the reader in a thought-provoking quandary.
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