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beccasbookstack has commented on (3) products.

Conscience Point by Erica Abeel
Conscience Point

beccasbookstack, June 23, 2009

Conscience Point, is a marvelous tale as told by one Madelaine Shaye, a concert pianist/TV arts correspondent, who seems to have the ubiquitous "everything" a middle aged woman could want...a successful career, a great relationship with her teenaged daughter, and best of all, a steamy love affair with the man of her dreams. But, as befits any good Gothic drama, things begin to unravel, and in the unraveling a slew of secrets are revealed, forcing Maddy to answer some very difficult questions about her past while making equally difficult decisions about her future.

Abeel's writing is sharp, witty, and modern, adding a unique twist to the distinctly Gothic feel of this novel. She gets the atmosphere and the characters just right, and has a real flair for setting the scene, as well as for depicting (with just the right touch of tongue in cheek) the world of trendy New York arts and media.

A great read!
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(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)

Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri
Unaccustomed Earth

beccasbookstack, April 27, 2008

Every story in this collection is a masterpiece. As much as I loved The Namesake, Lahiri’s novel, she is an absolute master of the short story, and I can see why she returned to the genre for her second book. She may well be this generation’s Alice Munroe, the writer who makes a name for herself with an entire oeuvre of short stories. With this collection (as with Interpreter of Maladies) I never for a second felt the sense of incompleteness short stories sometimes lend. Her characters are so complex, her prose so dense and delectable, the reader feels as if they are immersed in a full length novel.

But by far the most riveting of all are the three linked stories that make up Part II of the book. In Hema and Kaushik, we follow the fates of two people who first meet as children when their parents share a house one winter. Their lives separate and intersect in unusual and occasionally painful ways, until destiny brings them together one last time. Hema and Kaushik is a brilliant elegy to life and to love, to family relationships and the power of fate, and the ways they interact. It could easily stand alone as a poignant and perfect novella.

As in Interpreter of Maladies, all Lahiri’s characters have the common thread of nationality to bind them. But their ethnicity is not necessarily the “unaccustomed earth” to which the title refers. Most of them are traversing new emotional territory, much of it regarding loss - of a parent, a partner, an ideal. Relationships are explored in painstaking detail, as in “Only Goodness,” where an older sister tries her best to provide her younger brother with “the perfect childhood,” and is so bitterly disappointed when his alcoholism prevents them from having the adult relationship she desires.

Lahiri chose a quotation of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s as the epigraph for this collection: “Human nature will not flourish…if it be planted and replanted for too long a series of generations, in the same worn-out soil. My children…shall strike their roots into unaccustomed earth.” This proves to be the perfect metaphor for each of Lahiri’s characters, in a volume of elegant, emotionally exquisite
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(72 of 95 readers found this comment helpful)

The Senator's Wife: A Novel by Sue Miller
The Senator's Wife: A Novel

beccasbookstack, April 9, 2008

This is a ultimately a novel about marriage and relationships, and the mysterious bond that keeps a couple together. In her trademark style, Miller gets to the heart of all the emotions of her characters, and reveals some surprising truths about the nature of love in all its stages.

The Senator's Wife is a novel that provokes strong feelings in it's readers, and one that will leave you thinking about its characters for a long time after you've closed the cover.
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(7 of 13 readers found this comment helpful)

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