January 2020 Book Reviews

Sarah Canary by Karen Joy Fowler. This is marked as a NYTimes “Notable Book,” which I find is the perfect description. Not an easy or ordinary read, but a very unusual tale of Chin, a Chinese railway worker, BJ, an escaped mental hospital patient, Adelaide Dixon, a doctor and suffragist, and Sarah Canary, a mysterious woman who has emerged from the wilderness of the Northwest. The story takes place in the late 1800’s and is most definitely delivering a political message. I really liked it! Rate: 4.0

Until I Find You by John Irving. I read this one years ago (published in 2005) and I decided I wanted to read it again. Warning…it is LONG, 820 pages. But the topic is unusual…a young woman with a four year old child is in search of the child’s father…what makes this unique? She’s a tattoo artist and he is an organist, who plays at many famous European cathedrals and churches. As always, Irving’s slant on life is creative and entertaining. I liked this the first time and I still liked it second time around. And I learned a lot about tattoos. Rate: 4.0

Never Tell a Lie by Hallie Ephron. A bit of a murder mystery, starring a young couple. Ivy is eight months pregnant and her husband David helps her clean out their old victorian house and have a yard sale. Enter Melinda, a woman they both knew from high school. The book was fast paced because of the twists and turns, but fairly standard format for genre mystery. I knew “who done it” early on. Rate: 3.0

Limelight by Amy Poeppel. This very unique novel caught my interest after I saw a recommendation from one of my FB writing groups. Allison Brinkley, mother of three falls into the most unusual role of personal assistant to a popstar…I don’t want to spoil things, so I’ll just say it’s an engaging and somewhat funny story. Poeppel is a good writer and the book flowed, characters were well developed. Rate: 3.9

The New Neighbor by Leah Stewart. This was a captivating story…new to the area Jennifer Young has moved across the bond from ninety year old Margaret Riley. Both women are hiding something and this tales takes us through the emotional confusion they bear. Loneliness, fear, anxiety, all play a role in this novel. Rate: 3.5

Key for my personal rating system:

5.0 – A book I will never forget, will quote, will tell everyone I know they MUST read it.

4.0 – An excellent book, but doesn’t quite make the best books of all time list.

3.0 – A recommendation, good read, decently written

2.0 – Some redeeming qualities, I finished it, but I’m not likely to seek out more by the author

1.0 – Don’t waste your time.