Category: Commercial FIction Reviews

A review of Who Asked You by Terry McMillan

Fifteen major characters are a lot for a reader to keep straight, but the presence of many personalities allows McMillan to address a range of contemporary social issues. The American prison system, with its many African American inmates, long sentences and lack of rehabilitation, is shown through an inmate’s eyes. Another character shows the stress of being in the closet.

A review of The Lemon Orchard by Luanne Rice

In this reader-friendly, accessible novel, two parents from different cultures and social classes bond because each has lost a child. Yet The Lemon Orchard is more than a romance between a modern-day star-crossed Lady Chatterley and a Mellors, however, for it involves a not issue in the United States – illegal immigration.

A review of Flora by Gail Godwin

An unreliable first person narrator allows for the same pleasures of deduction that one would find in a who-done-it. In Flora, readers must be like young Helen, sorting out the contents of a drawer, deciding what’s important enough to retain, and what to let go.

A review of The Consummate Traitor by Bonnie Toews

The knowledge that this author has firsthand experience of wartime journalism comes as no surprise when reading this engrossing book. With her thorough research and attention to historical detail, I felt as if I was taking a peep into hitherto hidden war files, rather than reading a work of fiction.

A review of Ring of Stars by Richard Sanford

The climatic end builds along the way to a conclusion that suggests a follow on story is in the works. Many readers that like high technology and worry about the future of America and their own lives and retirement will find this a fun trip into story land in more ways than one.

A review of Radiance by Phil Kenny

Employing lyrical prose, Kenney narrates the poignantly observed story of a fictional family, the Brennans, as they voyage from poverty to comfort, from one era to the next during the latter half of the last century. Dividing his themes into separate chapters, the author focuses on different members of the Brennan household thus creating a complex oral history wherein time circles backwards and forwards around a series of family events and experiences.