interpersonal relationships

Ask Again, Yes

By Mary Beth Keane
4
Rated by Megan K.
Sep 25, 2019

Attempting to understand the human experience, and dealing with the aftermath of tragedy is something to which all people can relate. Mary Beth Keane’s novel Ask Again, Yes explores this phenomenon through the Gleeson and Stanhope families- neighbors in a suburb of New York City. The reader is introduced to the parents of both families at the beginning of the novel, and walks through life with their youngest children, Kate Gleeson and Peter Stanhope. We see the way various characters react to experiences with marriage, mental health, love, betrayal, and forgiveness. I found myself struggling

Oct 17, 2017

Here’s a familiar situation that we’ve all been in -  you see someone you know that has recently lost a loved one, or is going through a serious illness, or recently got divorced and that little voice in your head says “do I say something or not . . .  I don’t know them that well . . . what do I say that won’t make matters worse . . . . " Well, here’s a practical and humorous guide encouraging us to go ahead, reach out and fumble; it’s better than not reaching out at all!


In short, colorful chapters, the authors share examples of their “Three Touchstones of Showing Up” – your kindness is

Crosstalk

By Connie Willis
4
Rated by Diane H.
Nov 26, 2016

Crosstalk is categorized as science fiction and yet, if it wasn’t for the telepathy, I could easily see the events in the book becoming reality in the near future.


Gossip, in this case workplace gossip, has always moved at the speed light. Between gossip and the omnipresence of social media, it’s nearly impossible to keep anything secret. Briddey Flannigan does her best, however, to keep her coworkers and her family from finding out that she and her boyfriend (and coworker) Trent are about to undergo an outpatient procedure designed to increase empathy between partners, the newest rage.

Thin Ice

By Irene Hannon
3
Rated by Lisa J.
Feb 17, 2016

Christy Reed has had a difficult year. First she lost both of her parents in a car wreck, then just a few months later her sister Ginny dies in a house fire. Just as Christy is starting to pull herself out of her grieving and begins to accept that she is alone in the world, an envelope arrives in the mail. The envelope is addressed in Ginny’s handwriting and is postmarked just a few days ago. What is going on, and where is Ginny?


Brand new FBI Special Agent Lance McGregor receives Christy’s call about the letter and reopens the case. There are many questions that need answers. Is Ginny

The Widow

By Fiona Barton
3
Rated by Lisa J.
Feb 6, 2016

When little Bella went missing four years ago, seemingly disappearing into thin air from her front yard, all of England was on the lookout for the precious two year old. As The Widow opens, we meet Jean Taylor, whose husband, Glen, has just been killed in a freak accident. Now that Glen is dead and she is newsworthy again, Jean has been hiding in her house from the reporters who have started camping out on her front walk. In the past Jean and Glen did everything they could to ignore the reporters who hounded them when Glen was accused of Bella’s kidnapping and murder, and again when he was

Jan 10, 2016

There are some downsides to HBO’s Enlightened. It is painfully sincere. It riffs on commercialized, New Age-y self-help. It satirizes corporate America in a way that makes you wonder if it is really satire after all. But I find myself recommending the show anyway.


I haven’t really seen anything like it. I cringed a lot. I felt uncomfortable. But I didn’t stop watching. There’s a tension in the show, which totters between rage and earnestness. These extremes are broadcasted on the face of the protagonist, Amy, played by Laura Dern. Everyone is a bit of a caricature, which is the show’s main

The Returned (DVD)

By Fabrice Gobert
4
Rated by Heather B.
Jul 13, 2015

One day, fifteen year old teenager Camille walks back up the winding mountain road and into her house, shocking her family. What seems like it should be a completely mundane act most patently is not; Camille died in a bus accident four years earlier. Camille has no memory of that event and no apparent understanding that she has died. As far as she knows, it's the day of the bus accident. But her family, while still grieving, has moved on. Her parents have split up, and most strikingly, her twin sister Léna is now several years older than Camille. The family member's responses to her return

The Storyteller by Antonia Michaelis

0
Rated by Bethany T.
Nov 7, 2012

Anna lives in a blue-colored world, filled with roses and birds and flute music.  But once she finds a tattered doll abandoned in her high school, Anna is pulled into the harsh and gritty life of Abel Tannatek, the school’s peddler of drugs—and more.  Abel spins stories and tales for his little sister, who is on the verge of being yanked from her home with Abel and put into foster care.  First by eavesdropping and later by invitation, Anna listens to the stories.  Tiny queens, drowning islands and a black ship that draws ever closer—Anna is caught up in the beauty of  Abel’s imagination.  That

Tigerlily's Orchids by Ruth Rendell

By Ruth Rendell
4
Rated by Susan B.
Aug 15, 2011

Why is Duncan so warm in his flat during the coldest of winters in London? An efficient heating system and good insulation, he tells his neighbors.  But why is Duncan so warm in April with the heating system turned off and the windows open? And who is this good-looking new guy, who admires his reflection in every shop window he passes? He has fallen in love at first sight with the woman that Duncan has inventively named Tigerlily, who lives next door. Old hippies, young college students, a professional couple, and an unrepentant drunk all occupy the six flats in Lichfield House.  Duncan

Jul 7, 2011

 As Cathi Hanauer, the editor of The Bitch in the House, explains, “This book was born out of anger…which stemmed from a combination of guilt, resentment, exhaustion, naivete, and the chaos of my life at the time.”  Sharing her thoughts and feelings about her situation in late night e-mails to friends brought her to the realizations that a) many women were facing the same struggles and that b) she was gaining comfort and insight from these conversations.   These realizations led her to approach women she knew and knew of, with the idea of writing essays about their own personal choices and

May 27, 2010

sarahs-key.jpgI have seldom been as disappointed in a book as this one. While the original premise is quite intriguing--an American journalist who has lived in France for twenty-five years,  married to a Frenchman, and with an 11-year old daughter, writes a magazine piece on the Vel' d'Hiv' roundup of Jews by French policmen in July of 1942--but the latter half of the book does not live up to the first half. The book is told in alternating chapters between the Jewish girl forced into the inhumane Vel' d'Hiv', losing her parents, and tragically contributing to the death of her little brother, with