Monday, June 13, 2011

Faith by Jennifer Haigh

book jacketThis story takes place in Boston during 2002, the height of the priest abuse scandals.  It is told from the point of view of Sheila, the half sister of the accused priest.  It is a dysfunctional family drama and the author does a great job of evoking the time and the values of working class Irish catholic and of creating suspense and keeping us wondering if Father Breen is guilty or innocent.  Father Arthur Breen is a well-respected priest but his half sister and brother are not sure what to believe his mother is the only one that continues to have faith in his innocence.  Father Art himself is not forthcoming on the issue for his own reasons.  One does not have to be from a catholic background to enjoy this well told story.

Request Faith from The Bangor Public Library

The True Deceiver by Tove Jannson

book jacketKatri Kling is a social outcast of a woman who lives with her mentally challenged brother, Mats, and a nameless dog in a small room above a store.  Anna Amelin is a wealthy book illustrator, doing flowery rabbits, and on the opposite end of the social spectrum.  Katri cares only for her brother and wants things for him and he wants a boat.  Katri is bright and realizes the way to get what she wants for Mats is through Anna.  Soon both Katri and Mats move into the "rabbit house" along with the wolf-like dog.  Katri is successful in creating a dependency in Anna and Anna's formerly trusting self is lost. 

This is a thought provoking novel and one is never sure who is the true deceiver.

Request The True Deceiver through our interlibrary loan system

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Quartet in Autumn by Barbara Pym

Barbara Pym is a favorite author and Quartet in Autumn is my favorite of her books.

Quartet is the story of middle-aged office workers Norman, Edwin, Marcia and Letty.  These people have nothing in common but working together in the same office and acute loneliness. The four are ready for retirement.  It is most difficult for Marcia who is eccentric, a hoarder and an old anorexic. She dies alone in sad circumstances.  Her death awakens the others, and while they are a passive group, at least Letty seems to be aware of possibilities open to her to make the golden years more pleasant.

I love Pym’s novels-- nothing really happens but she tells a great story with an economy of words and lots of humor.  A cup of tea and a comfortable chair go well with Barbara Pym.

Request Quartet in Autumn from the Bangor Public Library

Bad Marie by Marcy Dermansky

Bad Marie fits the title; she is a totally amoral person.  The novel catches your attention with the first line, “Sometimes Marie gets a little drunk at work.”    She has been in prison for six years for being an accessory to murder.  When she gets out of prison a childhood friend hires her as a nanny for her little girl.  Marie is selfish and rude and manipulating and returns her friend Ellen’s kindness by drinking on the job and ultimately stealing her friend’s husband Benoit and kidnapping her little girl.  They run off to Paris together and take the child along.   Marie soon learns that Benoit is no prize and she and the child and head for Mexico where she thinks she will be welcomed by the family of the man responsible for her being imprisoned.   This is not the case.   Marie is wicked but I think at the end she does the right thing and reunites the child with her mother.   This book is quirky, unpredictable and edgy---a quick fun read.

You can request Bad Marie on our interlibrary loan system.
Request now!

The Upright Piano Player by David Abbott

Henry cage is a middle aged man who appears to have it all.  However, he is forced into an early retirement by his company-----a company he started and his life begins to unravel.   The beginning of the book is really the end so we know where life is going for Henry.  Random events seem to rule his life.  After the first chapter the book turns us back five years to millennium eve.   Henry has a random violent encounter and is stalked by a disturbed young man.   His ex-wife’s illness forces a reconcilitation with her and through this he renews his relationship with his estranged son and forms a bond with a grandson he did not know he had.   Of course, we know how this melancholy story ends-----but it is well written and a first time author.

You can request The Upright Piano Player through our interlibrary loan system.
Request now!