Category: Commercial FIction Reviews

A review of Helen Keller in Love by Rosie Sultan

We come away from the novel seeing Keller, not as a saint, a wonder of the world, or an inspiration, but as a sad, brave human being. Like two other recent novels, Paula McLain’s The Paris Wife and Nancy Horan’s Loving Frank, Helen Keller in Love brings to life the emotions of a woman whose romance with a complicated man did not work out as she had hoped.

A review of Cocoa Almond Darling by Jeffra Hays

Hays pulls no punches in telling this tender love story with intense emotion. The characters can be frustrating and you’ll find yourself wanting to shake them. Master is in just as torn and confused a state as Millie and you want to slap him at times. It is a very well written book and although it ended absolutely perfectly, I hated to see it end.

A review of Thru the Fire by Vincent Ware

In Thru the Fire Vincent Ware has written poetry that is erotic and hypnotic with vivid imagery. The author’s absolutely sensual descriptions can make you blush and smile in understanding. The pulse quickens and the pupils widen as you read Thru the Fire. I felt as though I stepped into a portion of Mr. Ware’s world – the past and the present.

A review of Acid Indigestion Eyes by Wayne Lockwood

Lockwood’s writing is just the right mix of snark, sarcasm, and cynical observational humor to make it universally relatable to readers. He’s the type of writer that points out the common everyday occurrences that happen to all of us, and as you read you find yourself slowly realizing, “Hey…that happened to me, too!”

A review of One Moment, One Morning by Sarah Rayner

One Moment, One Morning gives readers the chance to do something few novels do—take a step back and really think of how delicate life is, and how quickly it can change from moment to moment. Rayner writes realistic, relatable characters who are simply trying to deal with the overwhelming feelings sudden change can bring, and she writes them well.

A review of How The Mistakes Were Made by Tyler Mcmahon

Although fictional, The Mistakes experience many of the same pitfalls that have cost real-life musicians their careers, if not their lives. Each character is a reflection of the punk rock scene they represent—a group of talented individuals who allow their fans into their world of anger, and frustration while showing them the human being behind the performer onstage. McMahon pulls no punches.

A review of Wherever You Go by Joan Leegant

Life in a war zone is fine for the noble savages, but not for developers from Shaker heights with Harvard-bound sons. It’s easy to dismiss Mr. American Tourist as a hypocrite, but Leegant isn’t choosing sides. Aaron’s partners in crime are equally American (one is from Skokie), sentimental and easily manipulated. Mr. American Tourist may be a hypocrite, but he knows how he wants to live, and he doesn’t need anyone’s approval to do it.

A review of Home Front by Kristin Hannah

Home Front is a nail-biter from beginning to end. The descriptions of Jolene’s daily life in the military, which are likely far more horrific for a real-life soldier than what Hannah describes in the book, are both compelling and heart-wrenching. Jolene Zarkades is a fictional Army helicopter pilot, but her story reflects the all-too-real experience of servicemen and women trying to return to their families after a life-changing tour of duty.

A review of 270 by Vincent Ware

When Mbala reaches his brother with two of his wives, one falls in love with him adding to their internal struggle. The differences, jealousy and dishonesty propel these two brothers into a struggle with violence of epic proportions. This was truly the best part of the book.

A review of The Honourable Schoolboy by John le Carre

Let me come clean and admit that I didn’t quite follow the plot; indeed, in places I found it quite perplexing. But I read on because I was held by le Carre’s world, precarious and peril-ridden. He writes at one point that ‘silence, not gunfire, was the natural element of the approaching enemy’ and he uses this element too.