A triple treat of literature
Pat St. Germain shares some titles to enjoy.
How a Woman Becomes a Lake Marjorie Celona Penguin Random House
An absorbing read from the get-go, Marjorie Celona’s second novel succeeds on multiple levels — as character-driven exploration of fear and love and loss, as domestic thriller and as page-turner mystery. Set in the small, seaside Oregon hamlet of Whale Bay, the story opens on New Year’s Day 1986, when a young filmmaker named Vera vanishes during an outing with her dog at a remote park soon after calling police to say she’s found a young boy in the forest. The story is told from several perspectives, including that of Lewis, a rookie detective who arrives on the scene; Jesse and Dmitri, two young boys whose divorced rage-aholic dad took them to the park on the morning Vera disappeared; her depressed, alcoholic husband, Denny; and Vera herself.
I Can’t Get You Out of My Mind Marianne Apostolides Book*hug Press
Obsessed with a married ex-lover who has returned to his wife, writer and divorced mother of two Ariadne is also consumed with a book project focused on the meaning of love — specifically on the meaning of the phrase “I love you.” Lacking a stable income, she buys time to work on the book by signing up for a paid study on artificial intelligence, which requires her to share her home with a disembodied AI presence named Dirk. It seems like a fair trade, but as the study progresses, with increasingly deep dives into Ariadne’s mental and physical states, she gives up more and more of herself.
How to Pronounce Knife Souvankham Thammavongsa Mcclelland & Stewart
Poignant, amusing, illuminating and engaging, the short-story collection How to Pronounce Knife focuses on a mixed bag of characters who are firstor second-generation Lao immigrants or refugees. They include a young girl with an unshakable belief in her father; a failed boxer who discovers a hidden talent when his sister hires him to work at her nail salon; and exploited female employees at a poultry plant. Souvankham Thammavongsa was born in a Lao refugee camp in Thailand in 1978, and raised in Toronto.