Jane Austen Read All-a-long: Sense and Sensibility

Two impressions: One, I’m surprised by just how much Jane Austen can shock me through effective plotting.  I suspect that most of her fans will list her prose, her sense of humour and her characterization as the reasons why they love her, but she’s very good with plotting, too.  There was a point in the…

The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy

This was at least the third time I’ve read The Mayor of Casterbridge. Could be the fourth.  I was a big Thomas Hardy fan back in college.  For years I’ve been haunted by that final image of the dead songbird in the cage sitting on the back door steps of the newlywed’s home.  Forgotten and forsaken,…

Mr. Loverman by Bernadine Evaristo

Was it okay for Bernadine Evaristo to write this book? I ask this question in light of the ongoing controversy over cultural appropriation, specifically who has the right to write about whom. If you haven’t been following this issue lately you might want to check out Lionel Shriver’s keynote speech at the Brisbane Writers Festival…

Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff

How much do we really know about each other? C.J. and I will celebrate 20 years together late in 2016, but do even long-term couples like us really know each other? Halfway through Lauren Groff’s new novel Fates and Furies a secret is revealed, one so dramatic that it forces one half of a decades long…