Freiburger single night
Stone, Bellingham, WA The Look Thief, Elizabeth Harris, Austin, TX The Many Wars of Beanie Taylor, Michele Ivy Davis, Escondido, CA The Mourning Parade, Dawn Reno Langley, Durham, NC The Two Mothers of Jimmy O’Reilly, Laura S.Edwards, Crystal Lake, IL The Perfect Place, Robert Brown Butler, Mahopac, NY The Prince of Foul Weather, John Henry Fleming, Tampa, FL The Shores of Our Souls, Kathryn Brown Ramsperger, Rockville, MD The Summer of Sizzle, Robert Raymer, Sarawak, Malaysia The Star I Flee, Irene Tervo, Simpsonville, SC The Tools of Ignorance, Mark J.
The narrator’s deep well of empathy for the human suffering that surrounds her ultimately redeems a story that might otherwise feel self-absorbed and trite.
In one scene, the narrator sobs into her pillow about her mundane concerns as she prepares to decamp with her loving-but-remote husband to a nine-bedroom home with “a basement the size of a squash court.” In the next, she races around Kuwait City with her stricken maid, laboring valiantly to find someone to treat the poor woman after a botched (and very illegal) abortion.
If this author isn’t an elderly psychiatrist from New York, then the novel is a feat of astounding research and ventriloquism.
Even if he is, though, it’s nevertheless a wonderful artistic accomplishment, rich with character and complication and detail, with both heartbreak and joy. The runner-up is The Last Bird (The Life of Adrian Mandrick), a very fine novel, both disturbing and deeply moving, about a man’s quest to overcome his childhood trauma and confront the awful damage he has inflicted upon his own family and upon himself.
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