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Karen Rush has commented on (29) products.

An Untamed State by Roxane Gay
An Untamed State

Karen Rush, February 7, 2015

What an extraordinary and unforgettable novel. A Haitian-born woman who is visiting her well-to-do family in Haiti is kidnapped and held for ransom. Thus begins Mireille's 13 day brutal cycle of rape and torture. The treatment by her captors and the breaking down of her spirit and body took my breath away.This is not for the faint hearted.
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(2 of 3 readers found this comment helpful)

After the Fog by Kathleen Shoop
After the Fog

Karen Rush, February 7, 2015

This novel is based on a real event. In 1948, a smog settled over a small Pennsylvania mill town of Donora and sickened over 7000 people.
The central character, Rose, is a competent nurse, but a very unlikeable character. OK, I get it that life has not been kind to you, Rose. But gee, give those around you a break! Her frustrations and dislikes are glaringly apparent. About mid way thru the book,
when Rose shares her 20-year-old secrets with a priest, it becomes clear why she harbors these hateful and resentful feelings. Her torment has given her the drive to become independent, strong and determined to succeed, but at what cost? If only she could be as generous with her own family as she is with her patients.

This book started slow for me but then it pulled me in and I was hooked. I grew to really admire Rose, someone who tried to do her best and was devoted to her family. Very well written.
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Children of the Jacaranda Tree by Sahar Delijani
Children of the Jacaranda Tree

Karen Rush, February 7, 2015

This story grabbed me from the first paragraph. It is set in post-revolutionary Iran, and delves into how the aftermath of the Iran-Iraq war forever changed families' lives. This was a war in which many thousands of people were executed, others spending years living in inhumane prison conditions. The author’s inspiration comes from her own family that was affected by this war, an uncle executed and her parents imprisoned. Those readers looking for a story that is action packed will not find that here. The chapters follow the normal routines of husbands, wives, fathers, sons, and daughters coping to make the best of an awful situation, their stories intertwining. The resilience of these people in such atrocious conditions is stunning. The details contained within will stay with me for a long time.
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The Same Sky by Amanda Eyre Ward
The Same Sky

Karen Rush, December 23, 2014

I loved this story. It is one of hope, faith and resilience. The novel’s chapters alternate between the lives of Carla, an 11-year old Honduran girl, and Alice, a 40-year old married woman living in Texas.

Carla’s story touched me deeply. A child who is forced to grow up too fast in a dangerous environment, Carla has a fierce determination and a strong faith in God through much suffering. She is wise beyond her years. What she goes through broke my heart, felt real to life and left me with greater compassion for the immigrants trying to make their way to America for a better life.

There is also Alice’s story that did not have the same emotional impact on me but it is a significant storyline. She and her husband Jake seem to have it all, successfully running a restaurant that is soon to be highlighted in a national foodie magazine. But, after years of trying to have a child, they have not been able to conceive. They adopt a baby, bring it home for a day, only to have the child’s mother change her mind. Alice and Jake’s relationship begins to fracture. I don’t agree with some of Alice’s choices and self-centeredness, but they are believable behaviors of someone who is exhausted, depressed and extremely emotional. Jake is a prize and I begged Alice to wake up and notice how Jake also needs emotional support.

I highly recommend this thought-provoking novel of two people leading very different lives under ‘the same sky”. I believe it will almost certainly leave the reader more appreciative of what they have and hopefully will also make people think twice before complaining about nonsense
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The Sleepwalker's Guide to Dancing by Mira Jacob
The Sleepwalker's Guide to Dancing

Karen Rush, December 9, 2014

An insightful multi-generational family saga spanning from the 1970’s into the 1990’s. When an Indian family moves to America, the children Amina and Akhil open themselves to this new world while their overbearing mother is intent on keeping rooted in established culture and tradition. Brain surgeon father Thomas is working such long hours he seems oblivious to the familial cracks forming. The movement between cultures ebbs and flows. The author articulates the joys, sorrows and challenges of this family very well.
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