One Breath Away

It’s another hit for Heather. “One Breath Away,” Heather Gudenkauf’s third novel (“Weight of Silence” and ‘These Things Hidden” are also excellent), is a great modern mystery, taking readers on a terrifying journey to find out just who would walk into a small-town Iowa school and take a classroom hostage. Gudenkauf’s storytelling style of alternating the narration between characters suits this story well, so that we can experience the hostage experience from all sides—the parents, the teachers, and the police. The only person missing from the circle of narrators is the gunman himself, and for good reason. If he talked, … Continue reading One Breath Away

Gone Girl

Wicked fun. “Gone Girl” has been all the buzz this month, so I grabbed it for July 4th weekend, knowing I’d have a solid chunk of time to spend with it. This may well be the “it” book for the summer. Chicago-based author Gillian Flynn takes readers on a roller coaster journey through the courtship, marriage and subsequent disappearance of Amy Dunne. Husband Nick, a hapless-but-harmless out-of-work writer has moved Amy back from spectacular NYC to the Midwest and the M-I-S-S-I-S-S-I-P-P-I to be closer to his sister, his dying mother and Alzheimer’s father. Amy, whose parents made a small fortune … Continue reading Gone Girl

To Be Sung Underwater

Ah, well. If you have even the teeniest bone in your body that belongs to a hopeless romantic, THIS is the book you should read. The story of Judith and Willy is the story of anyone who experienced an all-encompassing first love—the kind that lives in your heart long past it makes sense for it to reside there. Judith Whitman is a wife. A wife, and a mom, and a film editor. While to outsiders she may appear to be living the stuff of dreams, her life isn’t much different from anyone else’s, and Tom McNeal’s writing is such that … Continue reading To Be Sung Underwater