Just as she gave voice to the silent women of the Old Testament in the Red Tent, Anita Diamont creates a cast of breathtakingly vivid characters- young women who escaped to Israel from Nazi Europe- in this intensely dramatic novel. Day After Night is based on the extraordinary true story of the October 1945 rescue of more than two hundred prisoners from the Atlit internment camp, a prison for "illegal" immigrants run by the British military near the Mediterranean coast north of Haifa. The story is told through the eyes of four young women at the camp with profoundly different stories. All of them survived the Holocaust: Shayndel, a Polish Zionist; Leonie, a Parisian beauty; Tedi, a hidden Dutch Jew; and Zorah, a concentration camp survivor. haunted by the unspeakable memories and losses, afraid to begin to hope, Shayndel, Leonie, Tedi, and Zorah find salvation in the bonds of friendship and shared experience even as they confront the challenge of re-creating themselves in a strange new country.
From the incomparable Anne Tyler, a wise, gently humorous, and deeply compassionate novel about a schoolteacher, who has been forced to retire at sixty-one, coming to terms with the final phase of his life. Liam Pennywell, who set out to be a philosopher and ended up teaching fifth grade, never much liked the job at that run-down private school, so early retirement doesn't bother him. But he is troubled by his inability to remember anything about the first night that he moved into his new, spare, and efficient condominium on the outskirts of Baltimore. All he knows when he wakes up the next day in the hospital is that his head is sore and bandaged. His effort to recover the moments of his life that have been stolen from him leads him on an unexpected detour. What he needs is someone who can do the remembering for him. What he gets is - well, something quite different.
Barry Laverty, M.B., can barely find the village of Ballybucklebo on a map when he first sets out to seek gainful employment there, but he already knows that there is nowhere he would rather live than in the emerald hills and glens of Northern Ireland. The proud owner of a spanking-new medical degree and little else in the way of worldly possessions, Barry jumps at the chance to secure a position as an assistant in a small rural practice. At least until he meets Dr. Finegal Flahertie O'Reilly. The older physician, whose motto is never to let the patients get the upper hand, has his own way of doing things. At first, Barry can't decide if the pugnacious O'Reilly is the biggest charlatan he has ever met or the best teacher he could ever hope for.
"It used to be Cliff and Vivian and now it isn't." With these words, Jim Harrison begins a riotous, moving novel that sends a sixty-something man, divorced and robbed of his farm by a late-blooming real estate shark of an ex-wife, on a road trip across America, armed with a childhood puzzle of the United States and a mission to rename all the states and the state birds to overcome the banal names men have given them. Cliff's adventures take him through a whirlwind affair with a former student from his high school-teacher days twenty-some years before; to a "snake farm" in Arizona owned by an old classmate; and to the high-octane existence of his son, a big-time movie producer who has just bought an apartment over the Presidio in San Francisco. The English Major is the map of a man's journey into- and out of- himself, and it is vintage Harrison: reflective, big-picture American, and replete with wicked wit.
( And strictly for fun!)
Helene Zahari's politician husband keeps her on a tight leash and cancels her credit cards as a way of controlling her. Lorna Rafferty is up to her eyeballs in debt and can't stop her addiction to eBay. Sandra Vanderslice, battling agoraphobia, pays her shoe bills by working as a phone-sex operator. And Jocelyn Bowen is a nanny for the family from hell (who barely knows a sole from a heel but will do anything to get out of the house). On Tuesday nights, these women meet to trade shoes and, in the process, form friendships that will help each triumph over their problems- from secret pasts to blackmail, bankruptcy, and dating. Funny, emotional and powerful, Shoe Addicts Anonymous is the perfect read for any woman who has ever struggled to find the perfect fit. (I checked out the audio book version of this one)
Hmm... a little bit of an older man/ exploring job & life theme going on this week!
Which of these books have you read that are simply fantastic...or not? Have you reviewed any of them? Let me know- I'd love to "hear" your thoughts!